Comcast says TWC merger is moving ‘full steam ahead’ [Comcast Roundup]

Plus: Will FCC Chairman (and Obama appointee) Tom Wheeler "throw a wrench into Obama's plan to preserve an equal-access-for-all internet"?


  • Comcast Has Some Issues With the White House’s Net Neutrality Proposal [Re/Code]: “Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said the White House’s proposal to regulate Internet providers like public utilities would do nothing to spur future investment. But Roberts stopped short of issuing the kind of dramatic pronouncement that AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson did earlier in the day. The wireless carrier said it would suspend investment in high-speed Internet connections until the rules are resolved.”
  • Obama Says Reclassifying Internet Way to Protect Communications Rights [Media Mobilizing Project]: “When Chairman Wheeler came to Philadelphia earlier this fall, he heard how important the right to communicate was to poor and working communities — from disability justice advocates and the last black-owned radio station in the state, to rural advocates, taxi drivers, and public access television stations. It is communities like these who should shape the future of the internet, guaranteeing it as a human right – not big cable companies who put profits before people.”
  • Comcast CEO: Full steam ahead on Time Warner deal [CNBC]: “Comcast CEO Brian Roberts is moving ‘full steam ahead’ with the company’s proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable despite the uncertainty raised by President Barack Obama’s call for tougher regulations on high-speed Internet service providers. As part of its commitment to getting the Time Warner deal done, Roberts said Comcast still intends to spend about $20 billion during the next two years to improve its Internet service and other products.”
  • Did Obama Shoot Himself in the Foot on Net Neutrality? [Mother Jones]: “When Obama had to name a new chair of the FCC—which oversees radio, TV, satellite, and cable communications nationwide—and [Tom] Wheeler emerged as a front-runner, many free internet groups expressed concern. These advocates worried that Wheeler, who had been a prominent lobbyist for telecom trade groups, was too close to industry and not likely to champion the interests of consumers. Obama favors strictly regulating the internet as a public utility (so preferential access cannot be bought and sold) and millions of Americans have sent letters to the FCC urging the commission to treat all internet content equally. But Wheeler has been leaning toward allowing internet companies to charge content providers like Netflix and Facebook extra for faster internet speeds—which could result in the creation of a tiered system for the internet. There’s no telling yet whether Wheeler will throw a wrench into Obama’s plan to preserve an equal-access-for-all internet.”
  • AT&T, Comcast plan ‘all out war’ on Obama’s Internet policy: report []: “They will fight hard — despite the fact that Obama doesn’t want the FCC to set cable or Internet rates, hasn’t set guidelines for connection deals between Internet providers, or set targets for other stern government actions that consumer-activists want and corporations dread: indeed the new initative will most likely slow down the FCC’s shuffle toward a ‘net neutrality’ policy, [Paul] de Sa adds.”
  • Comcast Offers A Peek Into How It Wants To Dominate Everyone’s Living Room [Business Insider]: “Another new feature is a voice-activated remote control, which gives the user a more intricate way to navigate through dozens of settings, menus, and TV shows. For example, you could ask it to ‘show me kids movies on HBO,’ and a list of movies for children will pop up. You could also ask it to search for specific movies or shows, or even ask it ‘what should I watch?’ and it will give you a list of what’s trending or suggestions based on stuff you’ve watched in the past.”
Companies: Comcast / FCC / Time Warner Cable

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