August 28, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY—Mayor Bill de Blasio has submitted comments regarding the contemplated merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable to the Federal Communications Commission. The City has engaged in a constructive dialogue with Comcast about implications of their contemplated merger with Time Warner Cable, but remains concerned about the potential merger’s impact on New Yorkers, especially those without affordable, high-speed broadband access. The City’s comments lay out commitments the FCC should require Comcast to make before merging with Time Warner Cable.
“Reliable high-speed Internet access is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for connecting people to job opportunities and critical services, helping to support economic and business development in our cities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The contemplated merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable has particularly serious implications for those who are least likely to have access to high-speed Internet – among them the low-income, elderly and disabled residents and people of color. Comcast needs to make demonstrable commitments to expand accessibility to underserved residents, upgrade infrastructure, improve customer service, and protect and promote an open Internet before merging with Time Warner.”
Commitments for Comcast recommended by City include: Affordable access for low-income and underserved residents, Transparent accounting of rate changes, Improved customer service, Timely upgrading of infrastructure to fiber optic cable, Expansion of affordable broadband infrastructure, Protection and promotion of an open Internet, through Net Neutrality commitments.