It's about time Comcast had competition

Speakout!

Your Opinions

Thoughts on issues relating to Howard County

July 31, 2005

THE ISSUE: The County Council voted Thursday to give Verizon permission to negotiate a cable television franchise with the Howard County government. Do you welcome the competition between Verizon and Comcast?

Pricing structure draws resentment

At best, Comcast's overall service is lackluster although its Internet service is satisfactory. What I do resent is its pricing structure. Many years ago, Howard County was dumb enough to give Comcast a sweetheart deal: a monopoly. Like all monopolies, the company raised its prices each year. Forget about using inflation as a bellwether for price increases, it was gouge 'em while we can. If you don't like it -- tough luck; go somewhere else, and at present there is no somewhere else.

We receive fliers and telephone calls for special Comcast "deals," but they never seem to apply to me. And any time I receive a message from Comcast that starts with, "In order to provide better service..." I hold onto my wallet because I know Comcast's "better service" is going to cost me more money.

Be that as it may, I would object to a monopoly under any circumstances. I think competition is a good thing and it's about time Comcast had some. Bring on Verizon -- I'm ready for a change!

Richard D. Crafton

Ellicott City

Comcast too big for its pants

Yes, I would like to see another company give Comcast a run for its money. It is too big for its pants.

An outage due to a storm takes a week for service, yet a new subscriber gets service the next day.

Mary Hornberger Ellicott City

Competition would be welcome

I definitely would welcome the competition between Verizon and Comcast. As it stands now, Comcast continually raises its cable rate every year at a higher rate than the cost-of-living increases would justify. Comcast would no longer be a monopoly, and consumers would then be able to make a choice based on economic considerations.

Hal Cantor Columbia

Cost for cable has risen too fast

Comcast has had cable monopoly for too long, and the price has gone up too fast. It is time to have some competition in this business and to keep cable television and high-speed Internet access affordable.

Ying Wang Ellicott City

Prices are high, service pathetic

Comcast needs and deserves competition. Comcast's prices are high, discount structure is anti-competitive, and customer service is pathetic. It took years of hassle to get my TV cable working properly with adequate signal strength. I would have said goodbye in a heartbeat if there had been an equivalent service available.

Ben Wigney

Ellicott City

Goodbye, Comcast; hello, Verizon

Comcast has enjoyed a monopoly in Howard County since its inception. The cost to the consumer for Comcast Cable and Internet services has been plagued by ongoing price increases. In my case, the combination of digital cable and Internet service for a single set top box is at $115, and that's with no premium channels. This is outrageous. Competition for broad band from Verizon is a welcomed blessing. As far as I am concerned, Verizon cannot set up operation fast enough. Goodbye, Comcast; hello, Verizon.

Edward Thomas

Columbia

A very healthy thing for the consumer

The consummate "no-brainer" question. Look at what Lifetime Fitness did for the members of Columbia Association's health clubs. After years of ignoring members requests, we now have discounted rates, extended service hours and millions of dollars in upgrades.

I would love to own a business that most households want or need and not have to deal with competition. Barring collusion, this could be a very healthy thing for the consumers.

Bob Bingham

Columbia

A desire to sever all ties with Comcast

Competition for Comcast, for those of us who wish to have high-speed Internet access, is long overdue in Howard County. For high-speed cable Internet access, the minimal amount we must pay Comcast each month is $60. This includes the $15 "discount" if we keep basic cable service for $13.55. A net savings of $1.45. I'm sure this helps Comcast's deep pockets even more since this leads to an inflated number of "cable subscribers," which I'm sure translates to more advertising money.

I personally have not turned on cable television in over two years since subscribing to DIRECTV, which, by the way, provides a much clearer picture on all my TVs than cable, by far. With Verizon DSL costing an average of $29.99 per month, why should there even be an argument on this subject. I cannot wait for Verizon to become available in my neighborhood, so that I can sever all ties to Comcast once and for all. I will immediately cancel all service from Comcast, continue to enjoy my clear TV reception from DIRECTV, and pay $29.99 to surf the Internet as fast as I do now with Comcast for $60. Howard County should do everything possible to expedite the expansion of Verizon DSL to all its residents. There is not one other service I use on a day-to-day basis that has a monoply like Comcast. It's time we had a choice.

Brian Robinette

Ellicott City

THE ISSUE: Howard County planners, under pressure from state agricultural preservation officials, have proposed tighter development controls on rurally zoned farmland in western Howard County. Some landowners have complained, saying that changing zoning rules would rob them of their land's value.

Do you think the county should make the changes that would help preserve farmland and slow development in the western county?

YOUR VIEW:

Send e-mail responses by Thursday to howard.speakout@baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published Sunday. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published

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