Common Cause California Board member Norman Kline sent this letter to the San Jose Mercury News:
We at Common Cause respectfully disagree with Carl Guardino's letter supporting the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The key points that Carl states turn the idea of competition and innovation on its head.
First, the only reason that there is so little competition at the local level is because the industry lobbied away regulations that that guaranteed such competition. Now they are using those separate monopolies to justify building a bigger monopoly.
Second, just because they offer 500 mbps service, doesn't mean it is affordable. These local monopolies are a big reason why Americans pay some of highest rates for internet access in the Western World.
Last, all consumers deserve net neutrality protections, whether they purchase their connectivity from Comcast, AT&T, Verizon or Google Fiber. Such net neutrality protections should not depend on a company policy that can be changed a will.
Allowing Comcast and Time Warner Cable to merge would provide the new entity an incredible amount of leverage over content providers, many of whom are in California. Competition, innovation and lower costs will be enhanced by a greater number of players providing services to consumers.
Such a merger would put us on a sure path of making the Internet a corporate owned toll road. The magic that helped create the most innovative companies in the world will be at great risk. Even more troubling, with so much of our democratic discourse taking place online, concentrating gatekeeper power in a behemoth like the one proposed would threaten the ability of voters to inform themselves and advocates to organize themselves."
Office: Common Cause National