I was at home trying to get my internet access working again–I will not name the cable company whose access keeps bopping out an inappropriate times.
Anyway, I was looking up the number in the community directory and guess where I found it? Listed Under "utilities," along with water and power and gas. Satellite wasn't there, nor was my local newspaper or TV station. Verizon was, but currently as the phone company rather than the nascient video service.
I have said for some time that cable is now being treated like a utility. That is why there is so much high dugdeon over the bills and "customer care," as they like to call it, as though it were a monopoly which the government was not sufficiently keeping in line.
To the degree it monopolizes, it is through providing a service a lot of people want.
You don't have to take cable. But if you do, you get it for a per-channel price in line with, an perhaps a tad under inflation.
I guess that its semi-utility status is a backhanded complement from regulators, except when the hand holds a bunch of new regs.
Cable, by investing a hundred billion bucks or so, has become a part of the fabric of our lives, the way most people get their TV, and perhaps soon their phone and Internet. But it only seems like a utility. It should't be regulated like one.
Although…I take humbrage at them deleting the on-screen, scrolling channel guide from my analog service just to try to prod me into switching to digital, but then, I guess I should really be switching to digital by now anyway.
By John Eggerton
The television industry's top news stories, analysis and blogs of the day.
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