A few months ago, we did some original research to determine who controls the Internet, state by state. It didn’t surprise us to see that Comcast is currently one of the largest Internet service providers in the country. It certainly didn’t make us any happier to see how much larger the company would grow after buying out another major market share holder, Time Warner Cable.
Time went by, and Comcast distracted us with other larger issues like threatening net neutrality all together. Regular interactions with Comcast’s phone support have also caused a bit of a stir. Little did we know, Comcast has been silently building political support for the long-forgotten TWC buyout.
You may have heard that Philadelphia mayor, Michael A. Nutter, has organized a 51 mayor group of supporters as the deadline for public comments came to a close. Nutter states in the letter that the merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast will lead to improved services and increased investment in existing Comcast markets.
Nutter gaining the signatures of 50 colleagues from 14 different states made us curious. So we did some comparison to our maps of Comcast’s empire.
Note: these comparisons are only related to Internet service providers and not cable companies.
Interestingly enough, 76% of these supporting mayors have a direct relationship to the $45 billion buyout, according to our ISP maps.
Of the total 51 mayors, 30 of them belong to cities already in Comcast territory; that is, states that show Comcast as having the largest market share. Nine more mayors belong to cities within states that Comcast will have the largest market share after the Time Warner Cable buyout. In total, 39 of the 51 mayors are from states that are already controlled, or will be controlled after the buyout, by Comcast.
Mayoral Support Tied to Market Share Increase
But it doesn’t stop there. In our original research, we discovered states that Comcast would gain the most market share after the buyout. This being the following:
- Florida – 97% increase
- California – 81% increase
- South Carolina – 43% increase
- Texas – 29% increase
- Indiana – 24% increase
Except for Indiana, which had no mayoral support (at least within Nutter’s letter), each of these top Comcast market share-gaining states had a significant influence in the letter:
- Florida – 9 mayors (the most support among any other state)
- California – 5 mayors
- South Carolina – 2 mayors
- Texas – 5 mayors
In these four states, where Comcast will benefit the most, they have support from 21 of the 51 mayors in the letter. Does this sound peculiar to you, too?
In the letter, Nutter seems to indicate that Comcast is a great company, stating that this merger will bring drastic improvements to each affected city. In fact, the similarity between his letter and Comcast’s own TWC transaction information page is uncanny.
Whether or not this transaction would bring such “improvements,” the letter fails to address the possible negative impacts brought on by making such a large company even larger.
As of Monday August 25, you unfortunately cannot submit any more comments to the FCC. However, at this point, pure public outrage may be just the solution, as it has swayed regulators’ decisions in the past. While it may be difficult to focus your anger on just one Comcast related issue at a time, this is to be the first one addressed by the FCC.
Check to see if your mayor is on this list. If they are, write them letters, give them a call, and make your voice known!
How to stay updated
For more information on the issue, be sure to follow updates at these links:
- Comcast on Consumerist
- Join the Fight to Stop the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger
- War on Comcast subreddit
- Save the Internet blog
- Free Press Twitter Account
What do you think about the Comcast-TWC merger? Do you think it will improve the quality of your Internet service, or will it negatively impact your choices and options in your area? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.