Cable-company monopolies

RE: Cox Cable and Time Warner Dear Matthew Alice, I have noted your cogent, insightful and snappy responses for years, but you must be getting tired of putting meat on the bones of your responses. It is such a crock of poop for the cable companies to continue with their ‘natural monopolies’ that I was left wanting after your response to Bryan Hendricks. Whatever good rationale existed 25 years ago for these exclusive franchises does not hold water now. Were there even cell phones 25 years ago? It was 1988 in case the math is fuzzy. My brother-in-law complained to me that since Fox and Time Warner can’t reach a Padres deal, local pro-baseball won’t be on his screen this season. He’d like to sign up with Cox, but... Of course, when I think of those enormous start up costs that Cox and TW went through, my heart just aches, if you know what I mean. Curiously, the cell phone companies manage to share each others infrastructures, as do electricity, gas and water providers on occasion. But I guess the cable companies have borne such great burdens that protecting exclusive territories is just good public policy and a great consumer benefit. And it puts a special spin on the concept of ‘free enterprise’ and ‘market forces’. So Matthew, if you have some spare moments and a little left over energy, I would appreciate it if you would investigate and maybe slam those self-serving free-loaders a bit. Hey, what about the wave of pure internet streaming services? Maybe we’ll be cutting the cable soon anyway.
— March 15, 2013 9:25 p.m.

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