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 They amount to a clear showing that the reasons for the earlier revocation of the City's authority are no longer valid.