The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Liz Rose, Communications Director, Free Press,
202-265-1490 x 32 or

New Report Exposes Labor Relations Double Standard at T-Mobile USA


Today, just as the Federal Communications Commission is rolling out
parts of the National Broadband Plan to bring broadband to more
low-income Americans, cable giant Comcast is reportedly raising its
rates for Internet service -- including its most basic, lowest priced

Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott made the following statement:

"It is a rich irony that the latest round of Comcast price hikes is
reported on the same day that the FCC is focused on affordable
broadband service to close the digital divide. Almost no one disagrees
that the FCC's proposals to increase broadband adoption are very
important. But they must be paired with a strong competition policy to
drive down constantly increasing prices or else they will struggle to
succeed. Nothing at today's FCC event on adoption drew an explicit
connection between affordability, adoption and price competition.

"Comcast is typical of the nation's broadband giants -- their own
costs are declining, yet prices keep rising. This combination of rising
prices along with declining costs is a strong indication the market is
broken. The public will take the industry's rhetoric about closing the
digital divide more seriously when prices for entry-level services are
dropped and kept low. Comcast's price increases, along with others
recently announced by Internet Service Providers like AT&T, should
make it clear that the incumbents have no intention of lowering their
prices and attracting more low-income users. Price competition is
simply not in their business model.

"While several elements of the National Broadband Plan announced
today are admirable, what we have seen so far will not directly
confront America's broadband competition problem. Chairman Genachowski
recently indicated that he is 'hopeful' that the elusive 'third-pipe'
wireless broadband platform will eventually inject some competition
into our duopoly broadband market. But this was the policy of both the
Powell and Martin FCCs, and the failure of this policy is exactly why
Congress charged the FCC with crafting a broadband plan to bring
robust, affordable services to all Americans. Subsidies for low-income
households certainly should be part of the solution, as should
innovative use of wireless assets -- but we need to make the market
work for consumers. Consumers need price relief, and are asking that
the FCC do something bold and decisive to promote meaningful

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