Monday, June 25, 2007

June 25, 2007

I received a number of letters from various Politicians the last few weeks. It's interesting as many say the same thing. Politicians are aware of a growing concern by their constituents that the Internet is in trouble. Yet they seem to move rather slow in fixing the problem. If we had our roads privately held and problems were cropping up every week, we would see decisive and immediate action. I'm not talking about the infrequent pot hole here.

People in and out of Utah are contacting me stating they received "The Call" and asking what can they do. I'm asking everyone whether a resident of Utah or not to contact Senator Hatch, Senator Bennett and Representative Chris Cannon. Tell them how you feel about the problems with monopolies (in some cases duopolies). Don't forget to remind them it's important for our future as a country to have high speed Internet everywhere.

Finding your Senators and Representatives is easy. Tell him how you feel. In many cases you can easily send them a letter quickly online from their web site (the web sites are usually linked to their name, try it). It's your right and privilege to tell them what is on your mind. After all, America just dropped in broadband penetration from 12th place to 24th place. We're losing ground fast. Countries such as Australia understand how important the Internet is.


I think Orrin Hatch is closer to understanding that people are being harmed and discriminated by some private companies.


So, without further comment.


Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about network neutrality legislation. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you are aware, S. 215, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, was introduced by Senator Byron Dorgan on January 9, 2007, and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. S. 215 would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to establish certain Internet neutrality duties for broadband service providers, including not interfering with, or discriminating against, the ability of any person to use broadband service in a lawful manner. This law is intended to promote competition and ensure consumers are not harmed by the actions of large telecommunications companies.

As a longtime advocate for competition and fairness to consumers, I believe competition yields several important advantages to consumers, including lower prices, higher quality services, and more responsive customer service. Our nation has always placed a premium on the many benefits made possible when companies compete on a fair playing field.

I believe it is important for telecommunications providers to ensure they do not and will not discriminate against consumers. I am hopeful the Federal government will not be forced to take too active a role in prescribing what can and can't be done on private networks around the country as I believe in fostering competitive integrity in the offering of broadband and video services. However, telecommunications companies are deregulated and are therefore subject to antitrust laws which regulate anti-competitive behavior in the U.S. Should these laws prove to be ineffective at protecting consumers, I will not hesitate to take action, especially if market imbalances begin to manifest themselves. Again, thank you for writing.

Sincerely,

Orrin G. Hatch.
United States Senator.

7 comments:

JTRockville said...

Frank, as a consumer who's been terminated from using a private network (albeit installed on public property), how well do you think our existing anti-trust laws have protected you so far?

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u235sentinel said...

Addison said...

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Thanks. I hope it helps people realize they didn't purchase from Comcast what they "thought" they purchased. That they could be next if they aren't careful.

Most people I speak with about this issue are stunned the company does this. In nearly every case people are looking for alternative solutions to Comcast.

BTW, I would urge caution when using widgets. Without getting into a great deal of detail, there are security issues with many of the ones I've looked at. It's unreal what people can do with your computer these days. Usually without your consent.

u235sentinel said...

JTRockville said...

Frank, as a consumer who's been terminated from using a private network (albeit installed on public property), how well do you think our existing anti-trust laws have protected you so far?


Exactly. I'm crafting responses to help our politicians understand that if the anti-trust laws were working, we wouldn't have these issues today.

I'm urging everyone to send out letters to Senator Hatch, Bennett and Rep Cannon. You don't have to be a constituent to tell them what they are thinking is wrong. Heck, write letters to everyone and tell them. It's your right to pester them until they do what they were hired to do. Pass laws to protect the American public from abuse.

autoguy said...

I just got off the phone with Comcast "Customer Security Assurance". I wish I had recorded the call, it was absolutely amazing. I have never had such an experience with anyone I have ever done business with. My experience goes along the same lines as many others being reported. Comcast has issued an official response claiming they will try and work with their customers regarding this very issue. Not so in my case, regardless of the extensive effort I made to work with them. They threatened me with a 12 month suspension of services. I am not using my connection for the examples they use in this response either. The following was flatly refused to me:

* Give me a limit to go by so I can remain in compliance. No guidelines whatsoever.

* Allow me to speak to anyone else in that department to determine how I can remain in compliance.

* Any and all information aside from the threat itself and an order to "significantly reduce" my usage.

My efforts were to work with this company and I always remain calm and civil when making the effort. The message that came through to me was that my services were now a crap shoot with a disconnection sword on a hair over my head.

When I offered to resolve the issues by paying more, I was told I could subscribe to a $15,000 product they offered and that was my only alternative.

I'm floored. I have seen posts from Comcast customers that have been disconnected at 150 GB/month. What is the number? Does anyone know? Has anyone had any success when trying to work with this company on this issue to determine what they wish to see? I'll work with them if I can, but how?

My thoughts turn to their advertising campaigns that promise very high speed downloads. If they officially apply a bandwidth limit, perhaps that would then require them to state limitations in their ads?

Catmoves said...

Comcast has given me one more reason to despise their company.
their ads keep telling us how "Comcast Cares", while their actions tell us how Comcast Cares About Their Bottom Line, Not The User.
Oh, I wish I could put up a dish.

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