Date: November 2nd, 2017
Comcast Spends Big on Local Elections in Seattle & Fort Collins
The telecom giant would lose millions in revenue from real competition, new ILSR report says
Contact:Christopher Mitchellchristopher@ilsr.org612-545-5185 MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. -- Comcast has a lot to lose from competition in broadband Internet access. That’s why the telecommunications giant is spending big in municipal elections in Seattle and Fort Collins to maintain its monopoly on broadband Internet access. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s latest policy brief shows that Comcast could lose from $5.4 to $22.8 million per year in Fort Collins and between $20 and $84 millionper year in Seattle if faced with real competition.
In Seattle, Comcast faces absolutely no competition in four of the ten census blocks it offers broadband service. In 73 percent of the blocks with competition, there’s only one other option, according to FCC data. Comcast joined incumbent telephone company CenturyLink with a $50,000 donation supporting preferred candidate, who just happens to oppose a municipal fiber network. Local group Upgrade Seattle is holding an event at Seattle City Hall on November 2nd to rename the building Comcast City Hall because the cable giant’s remarkable influence.
In Fort Collins, the state cable association and Chamber of Commerce had already spent over $200,000 (with 2 weeks left before the referendum) opposing an effort simply allow the city to later create a telecommunications utility. Comcast is a powerful member of both organizations and has a history of pushing its policies through such organizations
Evidence from other cities helps highlight that Comcast may actually be under-spending relative to how real choice in...Read more