A Telecommunications expert says media giant, Comcast, is making broadband internet access too expensive and slower than it should be. Susan Crawford, author of a new book called, Captive Audience, says the government decided 15 years ago there would be adequate competition for internet service to let the marketplace determine accessibility and cost. But company’s like Comcast and a handful of others have come to dominate the marketplace.
“Comcast is the second largest advertiser in the country. Second only to Proctor & Gamble, spending billions on advertising. It is the largest broadband distributor. It’s also a 100-billion dollar company at this point, it’s bigger that Home Depot and McDonalds. It’s able to bundle all the offers together. It just decides how much people are going to spend for them. It’s subject to no oversight.”
Crawford claims Comcast has become politically influential on the state, local and national level, making legislative reform impossible. Crawford argues the internet should be treated like electricity or phone service in their formative years, with the government regulating access and price.
Local State Senator Bob Mensch says this year’s state budget battle will likely be over funding for Pennsylvania’s welfare programs. Mensch is a Republican representing parts of Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Mensch says holding the line on welfare programs is tough.
“They expended dramatically through the previous administration. They grew by 50-percent in those 8-years. So, a lot of people think they’re at a spending level that is sufficient already. If you just take it on the abstract and you say, well you’re not increasing Medicaid spending, that’s probably true, but that doesn’t mean we’re bad, because we’re already doing 1 out of 6 residents.”
Mensch says, he also supports Governor Corbett’s decision no to fold the state’s Medicare program into the Federal Obamacare Plan.
Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Jim Cawley says he expects the State Senate to modify the state store privatization bill passed by the House last week.
“The measure that passed the House of Representatives was not the measure that Governor Corbett originally put forward as his plan for privatization. Representative John Taylor of Philadelphia of the House Liquor Control Committee was absolutely instrumental is getting this piece of legislation through the House of Representatives and he had a very keen knowledge of where the sweet spot was, if you will, in being able to garner enough votes, in order to pass it though the House.”
Cawley says, He was working with Bucks County
State Senator, Chuck McIllhenny, who chairs the liquor Control Committee to come up with something that will pass the Senate. McIlhenny recently said he would not have voted for the House Privatization Bill. Cawley was a guest on the Tuesday Edition of Comment Please by Univest with Darryl Berger.
Pennsylvania Lt. Governor, Jim Cawley says the Corbett Administration will attempt to polish its image. He says, the Administration will make a greater effort to win the public relations battle associated with issues it’s working. Cawley says, Tom Corbett has been unfairly compared to Ed Rendell when it comes to advocating for issues.
“For eight years in Pennsylvania we had a show horse and now we have a workhorse. Tom Corbett has always been a very thoughtful, very careful, very introspective person, who felt it was much more important rather than talk about goals, Tom Corbett is about achieving those goals.”
Cawley says, the Administration is also committed to more effectively working with the legislature. He cites the recent passage of state store reform in the State House as an example of Corbett’s commitment.