Insulting news, residents of Chattanooga! US service provider Comcast will soon offer its two gigabit-per-second fibre internet service to some 200,000 customers in the area. Why insulting? Because just a few years ago Comcast sued Chattanooga’s utility board for building a fibre network, forcing residents to use its own super slow internet instead.
Comcast eventually lost the lawsuit against the Chattanooga Electric Power Board, but only after it prevented hundreds of thousands of people from getting to use the city’s lightning-fast gigabit internet. Chattanooga’s internet is the fastest in the country by many measures, and costs just $US70 a month. (Comcast has yet to reveal how much its “Gigabit Pro” service costs, but it sounds expensive.)
The move is particularly insulting since Comcast just announced this new very limited service. There will also be rollouts in Atlanta, Florida, and California. But it seems obvious that Comcast’s targeting Chattanooga because Chattanooga is now famous for having its own fibre. After all, the city is also a model for President Obama’s plan to loosen Comcast’s stranglehold on America’s slow, shitty internet by clearing the way for more municipal broadband projects.
It should come as no surprise that Comcast itself has traditionally been the one to build those barriers. The giant Cthulhu of a corporation has sued other local internet service providers, like CenturyLink, in an attempt to prevent them from any competition.
Ripped from the Evil Capitalist playbook, the company is profiting from its relative monopoly, quite nicely — and screwing over helpless Americans in the process.
So good luck in Chattanooga, Comcast! Everyone there hates you.