God, I hope so…
There are few companies more justifiably hated than Time Warner. Their combination of outrageously poor customer service, ridiculous prices, poor quality signals, lack of responsiveness, and sheer arrogance is astounding.
And they and Comcast and a few others get away with it because they have a defacto monopoly in so many communities- thanks to their bought and paid for friends in Washington, as well as Raleigh and most other state capitols.
And let’s not even talk about how much better and cheaper internet, cable tv and phone service is in Europe and other parts of the world. That conversation always makes a few right wing heads explode as they are incapable of recognizing the fact that things aren’t always done best in the USA
Great article from AmericaBlog on what a little competition can do:
The Consumerist has an interesting story about this, and other similar stories seem to be popping up. Google Fiber is a new fiber optic Internet service, along with cable TV, that Google is building, with it’s first test cases in Missouri and Kansas. Google is offering multiple tiers of service, including a free level. It sounds rather amazing. And it seems that suddenly Time Warner Cable has found it in its heart to drop its prices significantly in the areas where Google Fiber is operating. Imagine that.
As it stands today, Americans pay outrageously high prices for Internet services, yet they still receive low quality. Overseas the competition is much greater, as is the internet speed — and our prices are MUCH lower than what you pay in the states for less service.
Thanks to plenty of friends in Washington, DC, American Internet Service Providers (ISPs, aka the Comcasts of the world) have mostly been able to get away with this lousy deal for consumers, but this may be changing. Unfortunately, Google Fiber is only present in Kansas City today, so the reports of pricing and quality are only there. Secondly, Google Fiber itself is pretty darned expensive.
As I’ve mentioned before, in “socialist” France we have numerous options all around €30 per month, that include high speed internet (including fiber optic, which I have), phone calls around the world at no additional charge and more TV channels than most will ever watch. Other countries in Europe have similar 3-pack deals and Asia reportedly has even better internet connectivity.
As much as the US is the center of the world for many things including leading internet companies, the people of the US are being ripped off with the internet services. (It’s not unlike pharmaceutical prices, which are much more expensive in the US than everywhere else.)
Computer guy via Shutterstock
Will Google Fiber drive prices down as some have experienced? Maybe. But the US still needs a lot more competition in more places to break the market apart from the stranglehold of a few players.