Charter sent this email to it’s customers today. Well all their customers except the CDE employees who use Charter, and me! Someone was nice enough to forward it to me. I promptly sent CDE a copy.
Subject: The facts regarding Clarksville Department of Electricity entering the cable business.
It is bad public policy for government to compete against any private industry.
Charter’s statement sure doesn’t sound like what he actually said does it? Charter intentionally misquoted his clear statement to mislead you, the voters.
As for why the government must step in when private industry won’t lets ask Layfette, LA…..
They couldn’t afford to wait 10-20 years for progress on their Cable and Phone companies terms, neither can Clarksville.
Public entities that have entered this highly competitive marketplace, such as Columbia, TN, Jackson, TN, Fayetteville, TN, and Covington, TN, have ALL had to raise or borrow more money to operate their cable and Internet business after entry.
Of course to build a municipal telecommunications network you have to borrow money to build their network and purchase equipment. That is what bonds are for. As for the 25% quote lets look at that one in detail.
25% of the market is specified in CDE’s business plan as the percentage of their current electrical customers using their additional services for this telecommunications venture to break even. Ambitious says the Cable industry….
Fayetteville, TN and Jackson, TN both have 45% of their local markets, Columbia, TN has 35% of theirs. Bristol and Morristown have 13-15% of their markets and they have both been offering service in less than a year. Doesn’t sound very ambitious to me.
Lets talk about Fayetteville, TN for a second.
In Fayetteville, the local municipal provider offers their channels 2-96 for $34.52, Charter offers channels 2-78 which is known as their expanded basic package of channels for $28.30. In Clarksville, TN they offer the same exact package of channels for $49.50. That means due to competition in the market place with a municipal provider, Charter has reduced their prices by $21.65 a month, saving the residents of Fayetteville $259.80 over the course of a year. Betcha you could figure out a use for that money, I know that I can!
Competitive private telecommunications service providers are already competing in Clarksville. These providers include Bellsouth, Dish Network, DirecTV, and EarthLink.
Competition only works when you compare apples to apples. That leaves exactly two companies capable of offering the same services. Bellsouth does not yet offer TV and video services so it’s not a 100% comparison but it’s close enough.
Lets look at a section of recent report by the consumer group Free Press….
The U.S. broadband market is dominated by regional duopolies of cable and telephone companies that face little competition.
Sure paints a different picture of the competition claimed by Charter, doesn’t it?
As for their investment statement, it’s put to rest by another choice quote from the same report…..
So when they have the threat of competition they are more likely to roll out new services. That has already happened here in Clarksville. Before CDE’s plan was announced, Charter had no stated intentions of rolling out faster services in our area. Once they were informed that CDE’s starting tier of service would offer 10MBPS of bandwidth both ways, Charter started upgrading our local network to provide faster speeds. First 5MBPS then, and they promise the hope of 10MBPS later, coincidence? I think not.
Last but not least their closing pitch….
The last part is all they have right. CDE will fiercely compete against both Charter and Bellsouth, and they will have to compete with CDE. That my friends is the heart and soul of Capitalism. It’s just sad that we had to wait for CDE to come into the marketplace for them to act like the capitalistic companies they like to claim to be…
Bill Larson is is politically and socially active in the community. Bill is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave.
You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.
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