US Cable, Broadband Companies Continue To Have The Lowest Satisfaction Ratings Of Any Industry In America

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Karl Bode
2022-06-10 09:20:32
www.techdirt.com

from the we-are-experiencing-higher-than-expected-call-volume dept

For years we’ve written about how unchecked telecom and media monopolization and consolidation results in all manner of problems, from sparse broadband connectivity to high prices. We’ve also discussed how the speed of that consolidation over the decades, combined with Wall Street’s insatiable thirst for quarterly returns at any cost, comes with a sacrifice of competent customer service.

While some ISPs in some competitive markets have improved somewhat on this front (for example you don’t read stories about Comcast techs burning down homes or falling asleep in your living room quite as often as you used to circa 2008 or so), the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index study indicates that the entire cable TV and broadband sector remains a hot mess.

In fact, the cable TV and broadband sectors remain the worst ranked business sectors in the country. When you think about the sheer volume of terrible companies and industries that call America home (airlines, big banks, insurance companies) it remains a truly stunning achievement:

source: ASCI

The problem, again, is state and federal corruption, and unchecked consolidation and monopolization. That results in the high prices, spotty coverage, low service quality, and terrible customer service everybody has complained about for going on thirty years now. It’s not subtle, and it’s not up for debate, no matter how many telecom funded think tanks claim otherwise.

The ACSI’s study shows that ISPs have gotten better at stuff like making apps or building functional websites, but they still suck at overall service quality or answering the phone:

Again the reason for all of this isn’t mysterious! We literally let telecom and cable giants craft 90% of state and federal telecom and media policy. They’re currently stifling the appointment of a popular, qualified reformer to the FCC, after four years of lobotomizing FCC consumer protection authority. Unchecked consolidation and feckless and/or corrupt regulators are a positively brutal combination, and the end result is obvious.

Amusingly when mainstream tech outlets like CNET covered the latest ACSI report, absolutely any mention of monopolies (or even a lack of competition) is hilariously absent. It’s presented to readers as a problem with no known cause.

This parallels many policymakers at the FCC and in Congress, who talk nebulously about the challenges created by the mysterious, seemingly causation-free “digital divide,” but lack the courage to even identify the real and obvious source of the problem: unchecked, coddled monopolies.

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