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Comcast To Buy Time Warner Cable

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by MeInDallas, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Comcast took over from Time-Warner here a few years ago, and there was basically no difference, at least from my perspective.

    I'm not a fan of consolidation, though. I don't think it's a good idea for so much of so many product categories, especially interrelated ones like TV networks, production studios, cable companies, and ISPs, to be in the hands of so few companies. There are a lot of different kinds of competition beyond who sells widgets to John & Mary, and there's so little competition in so many areas these days.
     
  2. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    I don't think so. I think they will "Comcastize" the TWC systems. They will go through with digital conversions to free up bandwidth and eliminate TA's. Every cable company charges per box or CC, so that's no different, HBOGo on Roku is not a major thing. Data caps are an issue. As of yet, they only really exist in a couple of markets. In most places they are "suspended". I am hoping that they eventually come to their senses and offer Unlimited data to all Blast! subscribers. I have a bad feeling though, that they may end up giving Unlimited data to Double or Triple-Play customers only. If this is the case, and our current Double Play doesn't have Unlimited data, I will have to seriously consider switching to the other cable company, but most people don't have that option.

    The bundling, both by Comcast, and by Verizon FIOS, are clearly anti-competitive, as you have to pay a massive de-bundling fee to get internet only and use satellite for TV. I'm surprised that DirecTV and DISH haven't pursued this in court or in Congress, as it has to be hurting them, since the only way to have reasonable cost internet in many markets with DirecTV or DISH is DSL, and the Slowskys generally don't have a very good ARPU.

    I have no problem with bundling for voice, as that has great competition. Most single family homes and some apartments can get DirecTV or DISH, so there is competitive pressure there as well, the internet is where they can (and will) screw us, since they have the only decent pipe in most locations.

    Their different systems are a mess. They have Moto and Sci Atlanta. They have 860 systems and 650 systems. They have all sorts of other little differences. They should regionalize the headends like Verizon did, upgrade everything to 860mhz, and then the whole thing would work a lot better. The problem is that they went to do 860mhz upgrades to all the systems, got most of the way through and gave up.

    NBCU is what was and is so scary, because it's a total conflict of interest. The regulators should never have let that one happen. I'd say they should give Comcast a choice: keep NBCU *OR* buy TWC. It would be a hugely positive thing for the US public if they got rid of NBCU and picked up TWC.
     
  3. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Wow. $99 for 9 Mbps during prime time? Was that '9' a typo? I think I pay around $40 to $50 for 15 Mbps (around the clock) with no caps. I have a bundle so it's almost impossible to tell how much of my $110 total bill is for internet.
     
  4. dave13077

    dave13077 Member

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    I can see the unlimited data on the current TWC systems being handled the same way Verizon Wireless did with theirs. You will be grandfathered with unlimited data UNTIL you make a change with your service. At that point you will be placed on one of the capped tiers.
     
  5. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Probably not. I'm hoping that Blast! ends up with Unlimited data, but we'll see. I'm one of the few lucky enough to have another provider that can provide 50+mbps, so if Comcast wants to screw us, then they will get an ultimatum: give us Unlimited or we will leave.
     
  6. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    No typo. Its a 50Mbps connection that drops to 9 and sometimes lower during prime time. That's Comcast. If there were any competition it would get fixed, be cheaper etc. They don't care. You pay or you don't have internet. Its a true monopoly in the Houston area. Comcast currently caps ALL residential service, they just have not rolled out enforcement in all areas yet. They have in Houston or are in the process now. It will be nation wide by year end. 300Gbytes then they charge you $10 per 5GB for any beyond that. Business service can be either capped or uncapped depending on contract. And uncapped does require a long term contract but they could never hold you to it as they never provide what they are contracted to. But where are you going to go?
     
  7. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    Nope. Comcast is rolling out usage based billing nation wide by end of year. If they take over TWC, it will go there too. The only unlimited lines on Comcast are specific business class contracts. Comcast does not actually cap usage. They bill for excess.
     
  8. Inundated

    Inundated Face For Radio

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    I wonder how much Internet activity falls under 300GB. And, if HD streaming video would blow through that fairly quickly over a month.
     
  9. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    Most routers can track how much data you are using.
     
  10. reneg

    reneg Member

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    Comcast tells you how much data you've used if you log on to Comcast.com and look under My Services->Equipment
     
  11. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    Do you have a cite for this? I'm not questioning it (I've been expecting it), but I haven't run across anything authoritative.
     
  12. Inundated

    Inundated Face For Radio

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    I don't have access to my router's control panel, and TWC doesn't provide measurement as far as I know (being unlimited and all).

    I was just hoping for general information on the kind of usage an HD stream would take.
     
  13. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    Actually the way Comcast phrased it was they were 'rolling out' usage based billing in 26 new markets in Feb and planned to continue going forward. No specific market dates but they have started with the notices in Houston and its not one of the current markets so likely very near future. Note that one of the 26 is Atlanta, this shows they are now rolling out in major metro areas as well. They are doing it in areas that have DOCSIS 3 equipment that has bandwidth measurement and shaping in the upstream hardware on a per account basis.
     
  14. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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  15. Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    This is where people are getting lost. It's not about your local service... it's about larger national issues.

    if Comcast and TWC are combined, they can leverage their huge market base to do things like charge Netflix a fee to be carried on their internet. They can start capping internet. They can start combining their services to provide internet based video that they control and give it preferred status.

    Small local monopolies aren't a catastrophe, because we have ways around them... large national monopolies are a disaster.
     
  16. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

    38,390
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    Oct 17, 2000
    Minneapolis
  17. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Wow, that's bad. They need to fix their system (i.e. split nodes). Here in CT, it's a fluke if I don't get 55mbps. It's rock solid virtually all the time.

    They haven't said what they're going to do. They are going to lose even more customers than they already have in areas that have FIOS available if they end up doing this. My area doesn't really count, since it's only half of one system that's overbuilt by a local provider. Unfortunately, Washington is asleep at the wheel as usual (or bought off) so they won't do anything about it.
     
  18. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    It looks like Time Warner Cable has decided not to wait until the merger with Comcast is finalized before it increases prices and fees to match Comcast. Highlights include:

    -A new outlet fee of $1.50/month/per outlet
    -A new broadcast TV Fee of $2.25/month
    -An increase in set-top box fees of 1.76/month

    And, as usual, broadband internet and other TV rates are also increasing. No word yet on usage caps, but at this rate I expect those to be announced within a month or 2. What a great influence Comcast is already having on TWC.

    http://stopthecap.com/2014/02/18/ti...or-earthlink-and-time-warner-cable-customers/


    On the bright side, these equipment fee increases and new outlet fees mean that my Roamio and 2 Minis w/lifetime will be paying for themselves even faster than I had originally calculated they would. The payoff time for my TiVos is now under 20 months.
     
  19. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    This merger isn't going to change the monopoly problem we have here for internet access, and the leverage that gives Comcast and gang. There needs to be regulation about bundling, as bundling internet with other things is highly anti-competitive towards DirecTV and DISH, as the customer ends up paying way more when the internet de-bundling fee is factored in. Either that, or we need good, widespread competition for internet access. The problem is that when a competing provider (telco) gets enough bandwidth for today's internet usage, they then do video (i.e. U-Verse), and you're back to square one, albeit with another competitor in the market, and in some cases, like in AT&T's case, they don't charge massive internet de-bundling fees, although Verizon FIOS does, and they're even worse than Comcast.
     

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