Time Warner Cable wants legislation to eliminate competition

Time Warner Cable really needs to work on its public image.

We've talked at length about the high costs of its proposed Tier-based broadband pricing plans, and it did back down from those (for now) after public pressure and a bit too many glances from government officials. Then came the rumors that, since they couldn't push the tiered pricing through, they were scrapping plans to roll out much faster DOCSIS 3.0 equipment in those test areas (at the same time that Comcast is actively rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 with plans to have 65% of its customers on the higher speed gear by the end of 2009).

Now comes TWC's third strike. In Wilson, NC, there's a city-owned and operated cable service called Greenlight which is offering higher speed internet and better tv channel selection than TWC does, for less money. Greenlight came into being when the City of Wilson approached TWC and local DSL provider Embarq and requested faster service for the area. TWC refused the request. And so Greenlight was born.

Now Time Warner Cable and Embarq are upset that they've got competition, and rather than try to go head to head with Greenlight on price and service, they've instead been lobbying the state government of NC to pass laws to put Greenlight out of business. And apparently they're having some success, as the NC State Senate have proposed bills that would do TWC's bidding. DailyTech has all the details on the story, and Brian Bowman, Public Affairs Manager for Wilson, has set up a blog to disseminate information about the situation. I love the blog's tagline: Broadband IS an essential utility - just like clean water and good roads. Rock on, Mr. Bowman.

I'd love to hear comments from someone who lives in Wilson. I can't imagine how frustrating it'd be to have 10/10 Mbps internet service ($99/month, and the package comes with 81 TV channels and telephone service) and have my speed cut back and my bill go up, because my state government passed laws protecting the interests of a behemoth like Time Warner Cable. And then, of course, to have to turn around and pay the very people who caused you this misfortune in the first place? Ugh.

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