20 janeiro 2003

VITAMEDIAS
Cable beast tightens its grip on our wallets: The cable TV industry has become a monstrous, unregulated bloodsucker. Consumers are being sapped of their money and all residue of good will.
AT & T Broadband - the cable company that has a stranglehold on cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts - has raised its rates nearly 15 percent in a year. The average household cable bill has climbed to $70 a month for television that used to be free.
This month's cable bills reflect the newest rate hike, as well as the old company name. Comcast - the behemoth Philadelphia-based company that acquired AT & T Broadband last year in a deal estimated at $52 billion - is keeping its name off any official mailings until after the rate hike is absorbed by pocket-shocked consumers. A Comcast spokesperson says the ``brand'' will change in the spring.
By then, strapped customers might not even care about the name of the bandit holding them up each month. Some may be forced to choose between turning on their electric lights and turning off television.
It has come to that, in a Wild West environment of deregulation. Washington is wise to wake up to the problem.

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