And comcast continues to suck —in a big way, thank you MSM for starting to pick this up and thank you New York and Andrew Cuomo for calling out Comcast on behalf of less than half of one percent of its subscribers.
The revelation that Comcast paid nonemployees to stand in line at the hearing comes against the backdrop of a bitter public relations war between Comcast and its critics, including the public interest groups Free Press and Public Knowledge.
This is a copy of a message that I sent to the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Cable Communications:
As a “Valued Comcast Customer” I received notice on October 12th stating that “It has come to our attention tha t you are currently receiving channels Ch. 20 (C-SPAN), Ch. 21 (C-SPAN2), Ch. 37 (MSNBC), and Ch. 38 (CNBC) as part of your Basic Service Tier. These channels are part of our Stanard Service, and were inadvertently provided to you in error. As of November 12, 2007 these channels will only be available to customers who subscribe to Standard Service, soon to be renamed Digital Starter Service.”
I’m writing out of concern that Comcast is removing C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 from their basic service package. C-SPAN’s mission is “is to provide public access to the political process. C-SPAN receives no government funding; operations are funded by fees paid by cable and satellite affiliates who carry C-SPAN programming.” 
How can one align “providing public access to the political process” with restricting access to a premium product. Whether they call it “Standard” or “Starter”, it is certainly a premium product.
The cost of the basic service is $8.86/month, while the “Digital Starter Service” is $55.99/month–an increase of $47.11/month or more than 600%.
What kind of statement is it about a company’s commitment to its community if it restricts access to a valuable public service based on income? At $60/month my Comcast bill for 9 months of the year was higher than my heating and electricity bills *combined*. After watching their presentation at the Franchise Renewal Hearing on BNN TV I downgraded my service to basic cable. Now in an unsubstantiated claim of ‘error’, they are removing four news and information channels including the two that the cable industry created in a show of good will to the people and its government–federal and state.
Please bear this in mind during the contract negotiations.
Sean M. Brown