Mayor Bill de Blasio, who probably had to balance the budget of his own household more recently than our previous mayor, is aware that the cost of broadband in the city is too damn high. The mayor made that abundantly clear today in comments submitted to the FCC about the proposed Time Warner/Comcast merger that would allow the two scummy, price-gouging businesses to join forces.
"Reliable high-speed Internet access is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for connecting people to job opportunities and critical services, helping to support economic and business development in our cities,” de Blasio said in a press release regarding his comments to the FCC. "The contemplated merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable has particularly serious implications for those who are least likely to have access to high-speed Internet—among them the low-income, elderly and disabled residents and people of color."
In his comments, de Blasio asked the FCC to consider their approval of the merger to hinge on commitments by Comcast to making broadband more affordable, and to ramp up efforts to reach out to those who do not currently have high-speed internet access.
"Comcast needs to make demonstrable commitments to expand accessibility to underserved residents, upgrade infrastructure, improve customer service, and protect and promote an open Internet before merging with Time Warner,” the mayor argued
Among the desired commitments include a "transparent accounting of rate changes," "timely upgrading of infrastructure to fiber optic cable," and "protection and promotion of an open Internet, through Net Neutrality commitments."
But how much can we expect from the spawn of Comcast (of the infamous customer-service call from hell) and Time Warner (perpetrator of pretty much every customer service abuse imaginable)? De Blasio hopes that the FCC twists their arm to provide some decent concessions on their way to massive profits, as the alternative to getting Internet access from anything other than a single, corporate megalith becomes an impossibility.