Stand Up to Comcast
First, the bad news: If the mammoth Comcast succeeds in buying chief rival Time Warner Cable, it will have unmatched power to raise prices, squash competition and reshape the future of the Internet.
Now the good news: This summer, you’ll have lots of opportunities to speak out against this mega-merger. In fact, next week folks in New York will have a chance to voice their opposition in person. The New York State Public Service Commission is holding hearings in Albany, Buffalo and New York City.
New Yorkers have a lot to lose if this merger goes through: Comcast and Time Warner Cable combined have more than 3 million customers in the Empire State. And this merger will affect even those who aren’t currently customers of these companies: A larger Comcast will have the power to dictate prices throughout the industry.
If enough anti-merger activists show up, this hearing will send signals to the FCC and the Justice Department as they prepare their formal review of the merger.
If you’re a New Yorker, don’t miss your chance to weigh in next week. RSVP today:
Meanwhile, on June 30 in Albuquerque, N.M., our ally the Media Literacy Project is hosting a panel discussion featuring FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. This wide-ranging exchange will cover everything from the Comcast deal to the fight to save Net Neutrality, and organizers are particularly interested in hearing from youth. Anyone can ask questions via Twitter, phone or in person. There will also be a live webcast of the event. Click here for more details.
And in Burlington, Vt., Sen. Patrick Leahy will hold a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Net Neutrality. The public is invited to attend — a rare opportunity to see an influential committee at work. And while the focus is on the FCC’s plan to allow discrimination online, expect the Comcast deal to enter the discussion as well. Details (including the date) will follow.
In the end the fights to stop the Comcast merger and restore Net Neutrality are all part of the same big battle to save the Internet. To win we’ll need as many people as possible to speak out. Stay tuned for info on other opportunities to do just that this summer.