FCC: Don't Be Evil. Stop Comcast

New York Times media critic David Carr went after Comcast in a recent column, skewering the company’s “ballistic” response to critics of its bid to take over Time Warner Cable.

Indeed, Comcast’s official FCC filing goes so far as to accuse companies like Netflix and DISH of extortion — for having the nerve to express concerns about the deal.

“The word extortion is usually applied to guys with names like Nicky who wear bad suits and crack their knuckles a lot,” wrote Carr. “If this is how the company acts in the wooing stage, imagine how charming it will be once it actually gets what it wants.”

And this is one of the many reasons we have to ensure that Comcast doesn’t get what it wants.

While the fight over FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s abysmal Internet rules has grabbed more attention than the proposed Comcast deal has, the two are in fact intertwined. On the one hand you have a proposal that’s a giveaway to broadband providers like Comcast — and on the other you have an already bloated company (i.e., Comcast) trying to control the future of broadband.

If the FCC blesses either of these proposals — or worse, both — we can say goodbye to the open Internet.

The deadline to submit comments on the merger is Oct. 29, and the FCC could vote on the deal as early as year’s end. If the merger goes through, we’re in for higher prices, fewer choices and far less control over how we connect online.

We need your voice to be part of this fight. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Call Chairman Wheeler. Sometimes the chairman forgets that he’s supposed to protect the public interest. Pick up the phone and tell him this merger will serve Comcast execs — not the public. After you leave your message for Wheeler, stay on the line to urge your House representative to speak out against the merger.
  2. Submit your comment to the FCC by Oct. 29. We need to bombard the FCC website with anti-merger comments. Comments from folks who have endured subpar service from either Comcast or Time Warner Cable are especially powerful, but all of us should weigh in — because this deal will have far-reaching consequences.

We’re fighting a powerful foe that’s used to fighting dirty. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Comcast spent $18.8 million on lobbying in 2013. It’s hired an army of lobbyists just to push this deal through and has aired misleading advertisements in Washington, D.C., to sway regulators.

It’s also peddling one lie after another. It claims it supports Net Neutrality — even though it’s violated it multiple times. The company also claims the merger would boost competition — when it would do just the opposite.

So pick up the phone, submit a comment and encourage everyone you know to do the same. If we don’t take a stand today we’ll all be living in Comcast’s world tomorrow.