I agree 100 percent with the Seattle Times editorial board in their assessment that the proposed "Comcast-Time Warner merger would be a calamity":
No one is watching to keep Internet access free and open, and prospects of a Comcast and Time Warner merger only increase concerns about a truly open Internet for competing services, voices, diversity and consumer affordability.
Putting all the access under ever fewer corporate brands, and decreasing already limited competition raises basic concerns about prices. ... Nothing about this merger moves the country toward the high-speed, low-cost broadband accessible to all that Copps says the rest of the world is getting, and the U.S. does not have.
My only quibble is that rather than just whining to federal regulators—who clearly couldn't give a shit about what one Seattle editorial board says—the paper has passed up this opportunity to use its local influence to call for the one thing that might counter the power of Comcast and provide consumers here the "high-speed, low-cost broadband" the editors acknowledge we both lack and need: Municipal broadband!
The editors recently gave a Comcast surrogate space on their own op/ed pages to argue that the cable provider's top offering (where available) of 105 Mbps for $115/month is "fast enough" for Seattle consumers. So with or without the Time Warner merger, why would the editors expect Comcast to make the investments necessary to give us the upgrade the rest of the world is getting?
It is not enough to block this merger. That won't assure either net neutrality or speedy 1 Gbps service at the affordable $70/month price tag municipal broadband networks elsewhere are offering. If Seattle wants to guarantee that our residents and businesses have access to the advanced broadband infrastructure necessary to thrive in our 21st century economy, then we are going to have to build it ourselves.
That is why I invite the Seattle Times to join me in calling on Mayor Ed Murray to screw Comcast, and build a fast, affordable, city-owned broadband network ourselves.