Comcast Strikes Back
The internet is addictive. I can’t tell you how many hours a day I spend online because when I switch off from working on this site, I’m watching YouTube videos with my kids or connecting online and playing the Playstation. That’s not even counting the time I’m at my other job to pay the bills, which ironically happens to be for an online insurance company.
However, 30% of rural Americans dont have this luxury and are going without broadband every day. This means 3 million American children can’t complete their homework and as a consequence, are suffering at school for it.
A lot of this is down to the Internet Service Providers in America, with the worst of the bunch – the infamous Comcast. Having been voted America’s most hated company above both EA and Activision, Comcast essentially monopolise the internet model in America, splitting up its states between Charter and Comcast. Instead of preventing this, the government are only further reinforcing this through the FCC regulations.
The fix? Municipal broadband. Fed up with slow speeds and atrocious customer service, people in the neighborhoods are taking it upon themselves to build their own broadband, much to the displeasure of these big corporations. Still, the future does look bright for these rural communities but only time will tell whether this DIY broadband will catch on nationwide.
With Patriot Act now done until August 4th, this episode ends with a very topical subject, one that sheds light on a constant issue hounding Americans. Having heard horror stories about Comcast before, I can only imagine how bad this must be to be stuck with an internet service dictacted by one company.
By comparison, in the UK we have a number of different companies offering broadband from BT and Sky throughout to Plusnet and EE. While no one company is that much better than the other, this choice keeps all the services in check and further illustrates why monopolies can be such damaging things. With Net Neutrality and a continuous push for 5G looming on the horizon, the internet feels like a bubble that could burst at any moment. If it does, let’s hope Americans get the internet they deserve.