In yesterday's Newark Star Ledger there was an article called Let Us Entertain You which highlighted the FCC's wrong thinking on telecommunication mergers and why they are completely clueless on XM and Sirius' plan to merge. The article's sub-title says it all: Bundled packages catch on. But consumers have yet to see any savings from Verizon, cable TV companies. You know why that is? Simple. When the FCC allowed the Baby Bells to buy up the long distance companies they eliminated their competition. Now in NJ we have none.
I live a 30 minute country drive from the old and better AT&T's corporate HQ that is now serving as Verizon's HQ in Basking Ridge NJ and I have little competition. I have Embarq (the worst brand name ever, but good customer service) for Local and my choice as a competitive alternative is Comcast's crappy bundle. And, since I can't stand cable I use the one alternative presented to me which is DirectTV; that's it folks. Nothing else. Does Verizon have plans to invade Embarq territory? Nope. Phone calls offering me to switch services? Nope. That's long gone. You see as that article pointed out, prices are not going down because there is no competition. Zilch. Nothing. This is what happens when the FCC doesn't have a clue and allows companies to merge, stifling competition.
Now over to Satellite Radio where the FCC once again is traveling down a clueless road - similar to a chicken running around a farm with its head cut off. Every single time someone gets in their car there is competition for that person's entertainment. At my finger tips I can choose between FM radio, AM radio, tape (who still uses that), CDs, and of course XM Radio. If that isn't an ongoing competitive battle for my listening ears I don't know what is.
The other day I was traveling into NYC and needed traffic reports. Wham, I jumped over to AM radio instead of XM's poorly delayed NY traffic. Isn't that consumer choice at its best? Doesn't that mean that an advertiser on AM radio pitched me a commercial? Sure it does.
I don't know how the FCC can justify eliminating the well documented and experienced telecommunication wars where we saw and enjoyed lowered prices; plus, all parties were ready to invade everyone else's business. Now - silence and Net Neutrality problems thanks to the FCC's wrong thinking. (And if you think this has nothing to do with Net Neutrality, you are reading the wrong blogs. It is about controlling access to your household and broken promises). It is this wrong thinking that may cause problems for a product that surely benefits consumers in a completely competitive environment found at an arm's length every time you are in your car.