In Verizon’s Monopoly Game, we all lose.
Verizon is about to strike a deal with Verizon wireless, Comcast, and Time Warner which will essentially create a monopoly. This deal is great for them, but bad for consumers.
Under the proposed agreement, Verizon Wireless and major cable companies wouldjointly market each other’s products—allowing them to offer a “quadruple play” of home phone service, wireless service, cable TV, and broadband that would eliminate competition for the cities’ consumers. Verizon and big cable will jointly dominate the market –eliminating consumer choices and massively increasing prices for consumers – all while increasing their own profits.
Verizon is also looking to decrease its landline and DSL service (which is crucial to rural areas). As Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam recently told a conference, “We are going to just take it out of service. Areas that are more rural and more sparsely populated, we have got LTE built that will handle all of those services and so we are going to cut the copper off there.” Those customers will flee to the cable companies it is partnering with under the new deal. read here
The deal would also end Verizon’s incentive to build FIOS, Verizon’s high-speed fiber-optic FiOS network that competes with cable. Though FiOS is widely available in New York City and affluent suburbs, the deal would remove any incentive for Verizon Wireless to provide high-speed service to the state’s other urban centers and rural areas. People of color and lower-income households would be disproportionately affected. Stopping the expansion of this service would not only destroy good union jobs, but would also leave many rural and urban low income areas without access to high speed networks, which are crucial to economic development, small business growth, job creation, education, and public safety. In essence, this would create a digital divide between communities in our state.
This is why in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the mayors of nine upstate New York cities – Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Cortland, Elmira, Kingston, Syracuse, Troy, and Utica —expressed deep concern that this deal between Verizon Wireless and cable companies would have a devastating impact on their communities. See letter here
The federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are reviewing the proposed deal. They need to reject it and add conditions to foster competition. They need to promote choice and competition, not collusion and economic stagnation.