FCC rules Boston can regulate basic Comcast cable rates because RCN's too dinky to be real competition

The FCC says Boston can reimpose Comcast price controls lifted in 2001, because RCN really isn't an alternative in most of the city.

The commission had lifted Boston's ability to dampen price increases on "basic service tier rates" in 2001 on the premise that RCN would eventually cover the entire city and provide effective competitive price controls.

But RCN ran into financial problems and today only 32% of city residents could sign up for it even if they wanted to, the FCC ruled, in a decision that doesn't even mention competition from Verizon, which has famously feuded with the mayor and which doesn't offer its FiOS service anywhere in Boston except for a tiny part of Dorchester.

In this case, all the evidence indicates that there is no realistic possibility of RCN building out further. [RCN]'s one-third coverage of the incumbent's franchise area combined with the impossibility [RCN] expanding are the decisive facts in this case. They amount to a clear showing that the reasons for the earlier revocation of the City's authority are no longer valid.

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A few (and I mean 3 or 4)

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A few (and I mean 3 or 4) people have FiOS service that live in the immediate vicinity of the Verizon CO on Boston St.

I think they might have been a pilot program or testing of some kind.

And higher for everyone else

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Apparently a couple of years ago when the city won a lawsuit forcing Comcast to pay higher property taxes on the equipment it maintains, they added a "Property Tax Reimbursement Fee" to the bill (I think that lawsuit was overturned and the city has to pay them back - does that mean we get our money back too?). It's only a matter of time before everybody else has to pay more for those who pay less.

I blame the city for not

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I blame the city for not allowing Verizon to offer cable service. The city created a monopoly and now gets to sue and regulate the monopoly it created?

Didn't the City want Verizon

Didn't the City want Verizon to pay for all the upgrades required (serve all or none) and Verizon was the one who said no?

Pardon me if I'm mistaken. I vaguely remember an article I read about it a while ago.

Umm

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As I recollect it, it was RCN who agreed to provide Fios on their own dime, but then reneged later, saying they couldn't affords to do so.

wrong

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Verizon told the mayor and the governor that until they had a state license (instead of negotiating per-town) for cable, they weren't going to do installs in Boston.

So, essentially, they're holding the largest capitol city in New England hostage.

Both sides suck

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Verizon asked to put Fios in the city...but only where they could turn a profit since laying the lines is expensive. The mayor said wire all of it or none of it. Verizon said then you have to help us get a statewide cable license so we don't have to lobby town to town. Boston said no. And the two sides have stared at each other ever since.

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