Monday, January 5, 2009

Optimum on Line: Less than Optimal and Out Of Line

Today a large part of my neighbourhood spent the day without phone service. Telephone service is offered for an added fee with cable service. When it works, it is 21st century fiber optic speed. Today, we are told, a cable was cut. The outage of cable service lasted almost eight hours.

It is worth noting that in my neighbourhood there is only one cable service provider. When I call other service providers, they tell me they do not service my area. The monthly service fee for cable alone is steep. It costs fifty dollars after the introductory period.

It is important that telephone service be reliable. A family with medical issues, for instance must have phone service available at all times. A well developed cable system should have a backup system in its network. There are potentially lives that depend upon cable service being reliable. We are not talking about a technology that is only recreational. It is used for business as well

The telephone monopoly was broken up in the 1970's. There is now competition and prices have come down. Cable is a part of the communication grid. It is not just an entertainment delivery service. Brooklyn and other areas should offer a choice of service providers in this lucrative field. For want of healthy competition, prices have remained high and the quality of service has stagnated. If it takes legislative or judicial intervention to bring about healthy competition, then bring it on.

New York has had experience with monopoly service providers before. Commercial garbage providers had divided the city among themselves until Rudolf Giuliani broke that up during his mayoralty. The other major monopoly is the Democratic Party, which provides ideas that are as substandard as my cable service.

It is time for New Yorkers to demand a better deal from the companies that are supposed to serve us. We are living in a time when new technologies are creating new problems along with the ones that they solve. They are entitled to a reasonable profit, but they should be watched. Monopoly service providers eventually end up delivering mediocre and poor service. The Democratic Party of New York is living proof. And so is my cable company Sphere: Related Content

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