Random Lengths News
by Zamna Avila
On April 11, Comcast and Time Warner Cable officially filed their application for California Public Utilities Commission approval of Comcast’s proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable.
Telecommunications policy experts at The Greenlining Institute raised concerns about the deal’s ramifications for low-income customers.
Greenlining Institute Energy and Telecommunications Policy Director Stephanie Chen noted that Time Warner Cable has taken steps toward offering LifeLine service – subsidized, low-cost telephone service for low-income customers – to its Voice over Internet Protocol customers in California. In doing so, it has expressed willingness to come under the commission telephone regulations, from which the state legislature has exempted Internet services. Comcast has shown no interest in providing this service or allowing its protocol customers the protection of state regulation.
Beyond that, she noted, both the commission and the Federal Communications Commission need to review whether the merger is in the public interest and whether the merging companies meet statutory qualifications to be allowed to merge.