How Comcast is making Verizon’s move to fiber even more genius

Full disclosure, I don’t like Comcast. At all. One of the worst customer service experiences in my life was with Comcast. Given the choice between Comcast and the Titanic, I’d take my chances on the Titanic. With that said…

“Comcast Treats Lightly” by Don Sweeting (Video Business Magazine, www.VideoBusiness.com, 8 Sept 2008). Btw, Don also does a noteworthy blog: www.ContentAgenda.com/Sweeting.

There are only two ways a company can get away with supplying less for the same price:

1 – Their competition is doing the same. In this case I don’t know of any other ISPs capping their customer’s usage. Internet access via cell? Yes, those often come with some sort of cap. But not DSL, cable or fiber.

2 – They have no competition. The truth is, from a marketing perspective, no company ever wants to give the other side a bat to be beaten with. If Comcast feared (for example) Verizon saying, “We have no limits. But those cable guys do” then they wouldn’t do it. No fear = no competition.

Btw, from a more technical perspective what you’re also seeing is the limitation of cable broadband. For those who don’t realize, when you have cable broadband you are actually sharing the pipe with others on your street. So if one user is sucking up all the bandwidth and thus compromising the experience of everyone else then Comcast obvoiusly feels it’s worth it to “confront” those heavy users. It wouldn’t be surprising if the next step is peak vs. off-peak pricing. It makes sense especially if the competition forces the issue.

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