February 04, 2015
Mediacom Business Press Release
Mediacom Offers Broadband Speeds Six Times Faster Than The New FCC Benchmark
Mediacom Park, NY – February 4, 2015 – Mediacom Communications Corporation today released the following statement regarding the updated broadband benchmark set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week: “Mediacom was founded on the belief that America’s smaller cities and rural areas deserve the same advanced telecommunications services as the large urban markets. Over the past two decades, we have poured $7.3 billion into acquiring, upgrading and expanding a robust broadband network that passes nearly 3 million homes and businesses in over 1,500 communities spread across 22 states.
“When the FCC last week increased the benchmark speed for broadband to 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads, Mediacom was already offering speeds that are up to six times faster than the new standard. Mediacom’s Ultra Plus residential service offers download speeds of 150 Mbps and upload speeds of 20 Mbps to over 99% of the homes passed by our fiber-rich network. In addition, the 250,000 businesses in our markets can get customizable fiber solutions with speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. While we make super-fast broadband connections available to those who want them, we also provide a choice among several other service levels with different prices.
“Contrary to the FCC’s one-size-fits-all approach, Mediacom believes that the definition of ‘broadband’ should be based on the independent decisions of the millions who actually buy Internet service, not dictated by a government agency. In that regard, it is noteworthy that a significant majority of American households—over 70 million—choose not to sign up for broadband service at speeds of 25 Mbps or faster, even though they could. This statistic flies in the face of the FCC’s fiat that the only broadband service worth having is the one designated by three of the five FCC Commissioners in Washington.
“The FCC has arbitrarily chosen a standard designed to paint a picture of a U.S. broadband market that is broken. There is little doubt that this action was taken in order to help justify a highly partisan agenda that includes subjecting Internet service providers (ISPs) to 1930’s-era common carrier regulation and overturning state laws intended to prevent taxpayer dollars from being wasted on government-owned broadband networks. In fact, there has been no market failure that cries out for more intrusive government regulation. Without governmental coercion or funding, cable ISPs have spent over $230 billion of private capital to build broadband networks that offer an impressive array of service options that are meeting consumers’ needs.
“Unfortunately, the public statements by the President and the FCC’s Chairman make clear that, for political reasons, the Administration now intends to embark on the wrong regulatory path—one that will lead to higher prices, new taxes, market uncertainty, reduced investment, less innovation and years of litigation. If the FCC insists on taking this route, then it should at least avoid the anti-consumer distortions in the marketplace that usually result when the government attempts to pick winners and losers. The FCC will not accomplish its stated goals by addressing only the threats supposedly represented by ISPs and ignoring the dangers posed by enormously rich and powerful Silicon Valley companies that not only have the theoretical ability and incentive to harm the open Internet, but, unlike Mediacom, have often actually done so.
“Because of our experience in the cable television business, Mediacom knows the problems with unbalanced regulation. The 1992 Cable Act, by encouraging competition among distributors while leaving content owners largely unregulated, has led to runaway media consolidation, higher prices and less consumer choice. Because of obsolete or misguided regulations and FCC inaction, a few media conglomerates that own the popular television channels have achieved market domination, to the detriment of consumers. Without a doubt, this same result will be repeated for the Silicon Valley giants if their agenda is adopted by the FCC under the guise of protecting a free and open Internet.
“In formulating its Internet policies, the FCC should also avoid the mistake of creating one-size-fits-all rules that harm smaller ISPs and garage innovators who pose no significant threat to the open Internet. On the ISP side, Mediacom is not AT&T or Verizon. Similarly, there is a big difference between Web startups and established, global behemoths like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix and Microsoft, which have a combined market value of over $1.5 trillion. Those companies are undeniably so rich and powerful that they are immune to coercion by even the largest ISPs. If the FCC’s goal is to protect the garage innovator, then it should tailor its rules so that firms which already dominate their markets do not wind up with huge windfalls at consumers’ expense.
“In short, a modicum of regulatory oversight that intelligently and dynamically addresses the entire Internet marketplace, encourages infrastructure expansion and innovation, recognizes the critical role of private enterprise and does not unnecessarily stifle smaller ISPs is more likely to be successful in protecting all of the interests of consumers than a heavy-handed approach that places the profits of technology giants ahead of the well-being of hard-working Americans.”
About Mediacom Communications
Mediacom Communications Corporation is the nation’s eighth largest cable television company and one of the leading cable operators focused on serving the smaller cities in the United States, with a significant customer concentration in the Midwestern and Southeastern regions. Mediacom Communications offers a wide array of information, communications and entertainment services, including video, high-speed data and phone, and provides innovative broadband communications solutions through its Mediacom Business division. Mediacom Communications’ advertising sales and productions services are sold under its OnMedia division. More information about Mediacom Communications is available at www.mediacomcc.com.
Group Vice President
Legal & Public Affairs