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Old 02-13-2014, 08:41 PM   #31
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Comcast owns South Western PA, but I wouldn't say Western PA. Comcast has Pittsburgh and everything south of it. Starting at the nothern fringes of Pittsburgh suburbs, Armstrong Cable takes over and they service most of the western PA area between north Pittsburgh and the Erie metro area. TWC serves Erie.
Yeah, I was mostly thinking of Pittsburgh.

The Erie TWC systems are actually a part of the Northeast Ohio system. And Armstrong has stuff south of Youngstown.

Comcast has the PA side systems near Youngstown (Sharon, New Castle, etc.).
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:22 AM   #32
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A well written and well explained piece on why we should oppose this merger.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...-free-markets/
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:00 AM   #33
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If the regulators allows this to go through, they better demand that Comcast agree to net neutrality, no data caps on broadband internet, and commitment to the current and future universal security standard (CableCard, AllVid) for at least the next 10 years. Anything less than that would be completely unacceptable.
I'm on TWC. So far Tom Merritt (the TechNewsDailyShow) has made just one prediction regarding this merger: Former TWC internet subscribers will see data caps.

Does net neutrality actually imply no data caps? I would assume neutrality just means no caps that are different for different services.

I would love to not need a TA --- but that's not gonna happen --- there's a big infrastructure investment in SDV equipment and they're not going to throw that away.

As for copy protection, several years ago that was a big issue for me but by now I don't care that much. Local archiving is looking less important all the time.

But data caps would be a big hurt.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:58 AM   #34
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I'm on TWC. So far Tom Merritt (the TechNewsDailyShow) has made just one prediction regarding this merger: Former TWC internet subscribers will see data caps.

Does net neutrality actually imply no data caps? I would assume neutrality just means no caps that are different for different services.

I would love to not need a TA --- but that's not gonna happen --- there's a big infrastructure investment in SDV equipment and they're not going to throw that away.

As for copy protection, several years ago that was a big issue for me but by now I don't care that much. Local archiving is looking less important all the time.

But data caps would be a big hurt.
You can have service with Comcast without data caps, it just costs more. But does come with higher data speeds too. Currently up to 300Mbps in Houston, supposed to be Gb or nearly by end of year. Not cheap though.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:34 PM   #35
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You can have service with Comcast without data caps, it just costs more. But does come with higher data speeds too. Currently up to 300Mbps in Houston, supposed to be Gb or nearly by end of year. Not cheap though.
Sounds like you have fiber, at least down the street. Our TWC area has cable down the street and I doubt they will invest in fiber any time soon, whether part of Comcast or not. I think we can get 50 Mbps or maybe 100 Mbps soon, but I suspect anything above that will be a long time coming. And even 50 Mbps is very expensive (remembering they have a local monopoly).
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:29 PM   #36
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I don't think this is that big of a deal. Either company can already do what they want if they are your only tv or internet provider.

The funny part is Comcast said that the merger will result in faster internet!!!!
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:57 PM   #37
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Sounds like you have fiber, at least down the street. Our TWC area has cable down the street and I doubt they will invest in fiber any time soon, whether part of Comcast or not. I think we can get 50 Mbps or maybe 100 Mbps soon, but I suspect anything above that will be a long time coming. And even 50 Mbps is very expensive (remembering they have a local monopoly).
When AT&T decided to impose ridiculous caps, I opted for a Comcast Business line. No caps and 50Mbps is 99. 300 is 175 so yes expensive but as you say, effectively a monopoly. And its only 50Mbps from midnight to about 3pm. Evenings between 6 and 11 pm it drops to 9.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:32 PM   #38
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I'm betting this goes about like the failed AT&T/T-Mo tie-up.
Except TWC and Comcast don't compete. The only major issue is Comcast's ownership of NBCU. I'd like to see that broken up, as that causes all sorts of problems and awkward relationships. Comcast taking over TWC can only be a good thing for TWC subs. Comcast sucks less than TWC. However, it will add more technologically disconnected feudal domains for Comcast to manage, and they already have a problem with a whole bunch of different systems that offer slightly different services.
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:47 PM   #39
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Comcast taking over TWC can only be a good thing for TWC subs. Comcast sucks less than TWC.
Comcast may suck marginally less than TWC, but once they merge I have a feeling that Time Warner markets will retain the parts of Time Warner service that suck (e.g. tuning adapters/SDV, copy protection, etc.) and add new things that suck from Comcast (e.g. data caps, outlet fees, no HBOGO on Roku, etc.). It will be the worst of both worlds for former TWC customers.

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Old 02-14-2014, 09:20 PM   #40
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Comcast taking over TWC can only be a good thing for TWC subs. Comcast sucks less than TWC.
I disagree, partially because frankly I have very few problems with TWC, but also because...
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However, it will add more technologically disconnected feudal domains for Comcast to manage, and they already have a problem with a whole bunch of different systems that offer slightly different services.
This. Seriously, I hear so many stories that Comcast can't get their head out of their backside and can't even keep things straight *within* a market, let alone keeping things consistent *between* markets. I can't even imagine what a C.F. things will be when they're this lumbering behemoth that owns well over half the country.

And IMO, even though they don't directly compete within a particular market doesn't make this any less of a bad idea.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:03 PM   #41
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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.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:06 AM   #42
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Comcast may suck marginally less than TWC, but once they merge I have a feeling that Time Warner markets will retain the parts of Time Warner service that suck (e.g. tuning adapters/SDV, copy protection, etc.) and add new things that suck from Comcast (e.g. data caps, outlet fees, no HBOGO on Roku, etc.). It will be the worst of both worlds for former TWC customers.
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.

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This. Seriously, I hear so many stories that Comcast can't get their head out of their backside and can't even keep things straight *within* a market, let alone keeping things consistent *between* markets. I can't even imagine what a C.F. things will be when they're this lumbering behemoth that owns well over half the country.

And IMO, even though they don't directly compete within a particular market doesn't make this any less of a bad idea.
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.

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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.
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.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:27 AM   #43
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When AT&T decided to impose ridiculous caps, I opted for a Comcast Business line. No caps and 50Mbps is 99. 300 is 175 so yes expensive but as you say, effectively a monopoly. And its only 50Mbps from midnight to about 3pm. Evenings between 6 and 11 pm it drops to 9.
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.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:03 AM   #44
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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.
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:23 PM   #45
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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.
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.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:48 PM   #46
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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.
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?
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:50 PM   #47
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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.
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.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:09 PM   #48
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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.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:35 PM   #49
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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.
Most routers can track how much data you are using.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:28 PM   #50
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Most routers can track how much data you are using.
Comcast tells you how much data you've used if you log on to Comcast.com and look under My Services->Equipment
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:51 PM   #51
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Nope. Comcast is rolling out usage based billing nation wide by end of year.
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.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:46 AM   #52
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Most routers can track how much data you are using.
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.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:46 AM   #53
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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.
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.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:52 PM   #54
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Apparently, news of the impending merger has made it all the way to Taiwan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZGB...?v=2ZGBzxnOBDw
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:27 PM   #55
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I don't think this is that big of a deal. Either company can already do what they want if they are your only tv or internet provider.

The funny part is Comcast said that the merger will result in faster internet!!!!
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.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:49 PM   #56
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Apparently, news of the impending merger has made it all the way to Taiwan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZGB...?v=2ZGBzxnOBDw


Wonder what Hitler thinks?
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:39 PM   #57
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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?
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.

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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.
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.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:57 PM   #58
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Stop the merger

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...0#post10014780
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:26 AM   #59
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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/tim...ble-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.

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Old 02-19-2014, 04:39 PM   #60
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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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