Time Warner’s Internet Monopoly

March 07, 11 by kenrich

There is a problem with the cable TV industry here in America.  These companies have a virtual monopoly when it comes to high-speed Internet in many of the big cities.  For the consumer there are no other options when you are stuck with poor cable Internet service and lousy customer service.  They know they have a monopoly and they use this to their advantage to charge outrageous fees, increase them every year without providing anything additional in return.

In most cities you don’t have any other choice for high-speed internet unless you count DSL.  DSL or Digital Subscriber Line is a technology that utilizes phone lines to transfer Internet.  This is a system that is inherently flawed.  For one thing, they use the same connection that your phone uses.  This means that voice and Internet communication are all shared on the same line.  Another issue is that speed varies based on your distance from the ISP hub.

The typical speed of DSL is 256Kb to 40Mbit/s for downloads and even slower for uploads.  Compare this to 15Mbit/s download speed for cable Internet and you see how huge the gap is.  In worst cases, using DSL is not much better than using dial-up Internet that we used to have in the old days.

Let me get back to what Internet companies have been taking away.  One example is Usenet newsgroups which were one of the original applications written for the Internet.  Imagine a massive collection of message boards shared throughout the Internet (if you don’t know what I’m referring to here).  This service was taken away from Time Warner high-speed Internet customers at the same time they raised their fees.

Another thing that Time Warner is horrible at is customer service.  They often keep customers waiting for 45 minutes by placing them on hold.  I’m sure this keeps their call volume down when 90% of their customers hang up the phone in disgust so they only have to deal with about 10% of all customer service calls.  For the amount of money we all pay for cable TV and Internet services, you would think companies like Time Warner could provide a modicum of quality customer service to their customers.  But then again, they have a monopoly so why bother!

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