Why Verizon’s proposed deal with cable companies could kill FiOS and cable competition as we know it

By Jeff Saginor – Ever since Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 — effectively deregulating the telecom industry in such a way that allowed phone providers and cable companies to start competing in each other’s markets — competition has grown relatively robust. Phone companies offer DSL broadband service in thousands of markets around the country, along with the increasing push of FiOS fiber-optic broadband. Cable companies offer their own cable broadband as well as television service, of which FiOS now also competes.

The proposed agreement between Verizon Wireless and the consortium of cable companies — which includes Comcast, Time Warner, and Bright House Networks — will see cable companies paying Verizon hundreds of dollars for each cable contract obtained through Verizon marketing, and vice versa.

What is at the heart of this debate: Verizon spent nearly $23 billion laying the infrastructure for FiOS in the comparatively small area that it currently serves.

But in the majority of the country — otherwise known as the 85 percent of customers who don’t yet have access to FiOS — this deal is basically a capitulation. more> http://tinyurl.com/7t5wwhg


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