By Mary Alice Crim, FreePress
Earlier this week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler admitted that he “has not done enough” to encourage competition between cable giants.
“We want low-income, offline Americans to have multiple options for getting online … and that means choice, and my favorite word: competition,” Wheeler said.
We appreciate the chairman’s sentiments — and have something he can do right now: Block the $90 billion Charter-Time Warner Cable merger.
In fact, Wheeler has all the power he needs to stop this deal, a move that would encourage competition rather than crush it.
If this merger goes through, Charter and Comcast would offer service to nearly 80 percent of U.S. homes. Together the two companies would have unprecedented control over our ability to connect and communicate. Without any other meaningful competition, they’d be able to charge us whatever they want for our connections. Higher prices would leave even more people on the wrong side of the digital divide — hitting low-income communities of color the hardest.
Wheeler knows “digital divide” isn’t just some wonky term — it’s a chasm that affects people’s day-to-day lives.
Here’s the question: Will Wheeler do more to encourage competition — or will he stand with Big Cable? The choice is his.
Tell Wheeler to stop Charter before it gobbles up the competition, raises rates and makes it even harder for people to get online.