Comcast buyout of NBC highlights two issues

Coverage I’ve read of the story focuses on Comcast having an unfair advantage over other ISPs, or vertical integration gains they’ll make by joining forces with NBC. But there are two other things I wish were being discussed:

1) Net neutrality. Unfair advantage over other ISPs would be a non-issue if we had decent net neutrality laws in place. There would be no risk of Comcast abusing their power (by slowing down video feeds from other providers).

2) Broadband as a public utility. I strongly believe that broadband should be regulated as a public utility, just like power and water. The fact that Comcast has grown so large that they can drop $14B on another company is unbelievable. They have no competition on cable Internet like the DSL providers do, because cable Internet doesn’t use the phone lines–which are regulated as a public utility–so they’ve been able to overcharge subscribers. If this system were fixed the Comcast purchase of NBC would also be a non-issue.

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