Just on the heels of Time Warner Cable announcing 81 new jobs in Kansas City in response to the newly competitive environment created by Google's Gig, we learned that Comcast is adding more jobs to its workforce in Chattanooga.
In talking points, the lobbyists and spokespeople for these major carriers often claim that community networks will result in less investment from the existing providers, not more. This is theoretically absurd, as competition drives increased investment. And empirically, we almost always see existing providers invest more as a response to losing their monopoly, not less.
According to Ellis Smith of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, 150 new jobs will be added by the end of the year. Ellis spoke with Jim Weigert, vice president and general manager of Comcast Chattanooga:
"Chattanooga is often at the top, not only in our division but across the country in terms of performance,” Weigert said. “Our strength and record of success made it a contributing factor when they selected a location."
Comcast and others, including AT&T, have had to step up their game in Chattanooga to keep customers who suddenly had a real choice.
Regardless of whether or not today's Chattanoogans connect to its publicly owned network, they benefit. Consumers get better service, affordable rates, and advanced technology simply because the network has created competition.