Driven Back to Dial-Up

You know your company is performing poorly when someone cancels
your high-speed Internet and opts for dial-up instead.

But that's what Bettye W. Clark from Chattanooga, Tenn., did. In a letter-to-the-editor
of yesterday, Bettye wrote about her decision to cancel
Comcast: "I hung up [with Comcast] and immediately called the phone
company to have dial up installed and am leaving Comcast completely."

We've all probably experienced frustration with our Internet
providers - whether we're repeating "speak to a representative" to a
confused robot on the phone, trying to figure out why a bill is so
startling high, or simply getting service turned on.

It reminds e of an old
from comedian Brian Regan about phone service:

    Regan: Can you turn on our telephone?
    Phone rep: OK, it's going to be a problem.

    Regan: I figured. How? Why?

    Phone rep: It's just going to be a big nightmare. That's our policy.

These days, Regan's joke increasingly reflects reality. ISPs like
Comcast - with their near monopolies in many communities - can set
nightmarish policies and prices for many consumers.

Bettye expressed her frustration with the Comcast's cartel. "I think
it is a horrible thing when one company has a monopoly and treat people
in the way I was treated dealing with Comcast."

But here's the thing: Our answer to Comcast's shoddy service
shouldn't have to be to simply shut it off or accept a lesser, but less
frustrating, service. We need real competition that would not only give
us other local options for high-speed Internet service but also pressure
Comcast to do a better job. But unfortunately, most people don't have a
second or third option in their communities - in fact, 96 percent of
households have access to two or fewer wired broadband services

The FCC recently released their National
Broadband Plan
to help connect all Americans to high-speed
Internet. But as we've
, the plan is lacking in details about how to increase
competition to give consumers another option besides forgoing broadband.
And of course, Comcast and others are doing all they can to ensure that
the status quo remains - high profits for them, terrible service for

You can do something by telling
the FCC
you want a broadband plan that supports the public's needs,
not the ISP's.

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