We're at the mercy of the local cable company
Published: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 12:34 a.m.
A caller to The Gainesville Sun's Sound Off column complained about the recent increase in his cable television bill. What most people do not realize is that only the basic service, Channels 2 through 13, is regulated. All other service was deregulated by Congress under the belief that by deregulating the cable industry there would be an increase in competition that would result in lower costs to the consumers.
This certainly has not happened, as cable television companies have increased their prices at more than twice the rate of inflation. The cable industry has paid lobbyists millions of dollars to influence state and federal legislators to block bills that would have resulted in increased competition.
As long as the Gainesville area has only one cable provider it can do as it pleases. It can delete channels as it wishes, as it did with WJCT and Oxygen, and increase its prices whenever it wants to increase its profits.
Considering the service and price the residents of Gainesville pay for cable TV, our city commissioners should certainly look into the possibility of establishing a TV cable company to provide service to their constituents.
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