TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Connecticut OKs Plan by AT&T to Offer TV Without a Franchise

Re: Connecticut OKs Plan by AT&T to Offer TV Without a Franchise

John Higdon (
Sun, 11 Jun 2006 19:17:15 -0700

Neal McLain <> wrote:

> On June 2, 2003, Higdon wrote [22:492]:

>> Uh huh. We have been hearing this for decades from the half-dozen
>> companies who have bought the system and then continue to milk the
>> revenue out of the sixties technology. Comcast is just the latest
>> in long line of empty promise providers.

> On June 3, 2003, I wrote [22:495]:

>> Well, I don't think either of us can predict the future. So here's
>> a suggestion: mark your calendar for June 4, 2004, and post an
>> update then on Comcast's progress.

> Unless I missed something, Higdon didn't post an update in June 2004
> or June 2005. So, Mr. Higdon, how about posting an update for us in
> June 2006?

Well, here it is:

The wrangling between the San Jose city government and Comcast faded
into the woodwork after Comcast proclaimed to the media, in essence,
"We're bigger than the city of San Jose. What are they going to do,
make us take it all down?"

Over the last three years, Comcast has upgraded parts of the old
Gill/Heritage/TCI/AT&T system so that at least most of San Jose has,
in addition to standard TV service, Comcast's brand of Internet

A major disappointment has been my own area, which was one of the
first of those in which Pacific Bell built its ADN (Advanced Digital
Network), the system that Ed Whitacre shut down immediately after SBC
acquired Pacific Telesis. The network had been fully operational,
providing digital phone service (fully switched 64Kbps, not VOIP) as
well as digital video service. It was something to behold.

Some time in 2004, Comcast purchased that dark network and vowed to
bring it up to upgrade cable service in those areas in which it had
been originally constructed by PB. Apparently, all they did was glue
enough of it together to provide Internet service in addition to cable
TV and nothing more. As of this moment, Comcast does not offer phone
service in my neighborhood, but does offer it in San Francisco.

That's about it. Comcast pays no attention to the San Jose city
government, and San Jose remains the most expensive service and least
equipped facility in the bay region. Their Internet service is nearly
the same price as Speakeasy DSL, which has far better service and far
fewer restrictions than Comcast. TV service (which is not as
full-featured as DirecTV) costs about twenty percent more than the
satellite provider.

The bottom line is that you were right: none of us can predict the
future. I had no idea that Comcast would just tell San Jose to buzz
off ... and get away with it. Comcast has made some incremental
improvements here in the south bay, but honestly, they're nothing to
write home about. And the prices are outrageous.

So that's pretty much the state of things, cable-wise in the "heart"
of Silicon Valley!

John Higdon
408 266-4400

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