Attention Mediacom: Leave Sinclair Alone

Please See 12/01 Update With More Info

Mediacom, my cable internet and TV provider, is in a legal battle with Sinclair Broadcasting, the owner of my local Fox affiliate, KDSM Fox 17. The two companies have been in negotiations for the last year over the price Mediacom pays for the right to offer Fox 17 to it’s customers.

Now, the dumbass people in charge at Mediacom have decided to file an anti-trust lawsuit against Sinclair Broadcasting. Mediacom claims they’re simply watching out for the best interests of their customers. I call bullshit. Mediacom should know their customers won’t be happy at all if they drop Fox 17. I mean, they continue raising their cable prices anyway, why not just pass the cost of broadcasting Fox 17 on to the customer like they do for everything else? I for one would be willing to pay a little extra for keeping Fox 17 around. Mediacom simply doesn’t care, although they’ll care when their subscriber numbers in central Iowa tank.

From my past experiences, there’s only 1, high-level employee at Mediacom who gives a rats ass about his customers, I will not give his name. Were it not for him, I probably wouldn’t have internet service in my current apartment, and I know he’s helped a number of people I converse with also.

Basically, Mediacom is telling Sinclair that they’ll simply refuse to broadcast Fox 17. And Sinclair doesn’t seem to care, no matter how badly their ratings suffer. Now, Sinclair is probably asking for way too much money from Mediacom, so it’s understandable that they would negotiate for a while. But dropping Fox 17 all together shouldn’t even be an option for Mediacom. I just think Mediacom made a horrible decision, they need to think these things through. So, in the near future, no more Fox 17, cable channel 6, for Mediacom cable subscribers in the Des Moines metro area.

Anyway, Mediacom is going to suffer big time here in central Iowa because of this. Fox 17 has been scrolling a banner across the bottom of the TV today saying their service will likely be shut off by Mediacom on December 1st, 2006. Fox 17 is also urging viewers to call DirecTV, the satellite television provider. It’s either get satellite TV, watch Fox 17 with bunny ears, or don’t watch at all. Not watching isn’t an option for a number of reasons, mainly, Family Guy, American Dad, King Of The Hill, and The Simpsons.

So, I will be calling DirecTV tomorrow to schedule an installation. Mediacom can suck a nut, how the fuck can they alienate their customers like this? If anyone should be brought up on anti-trust charges, it’s Mediacom. Does half of central Iowa have any other option for cable services besides Mediacom? No.

Before it disappears, here’s the small little article about the situation from KDSM Fox 17:

Mediacom and Fox 17’s Parent Company in Legal Battle
As soon as December 1st, Mediacom customers may have to switch to antenna or satellite to watch Fox 17. KDSM’s parent company Sinclair Broadcasting says its been in negotiations with Mediacom for the past year to settle on a fair price for the cable company to carry Fox 17. Now Mediacom has filed an anti-trust lawsuit saying they are looking out for the best interest of their customers and don’t want to disrupt service. Both companies say they won’t back down, and Sinclair says it is willing to be turned off of the cable signal even if it will lose viewers, who will have other options, like satellite and antenna.


City-Owned Telecom

The last few weeks there’s been many commercials airing, urging voters to turn down a proposed city-owned telecom bill. I was all for it, being that we don’t have many good options for internet service here in Iowa. This should provide some more options eventually for Iowans.

Voters in 17 Iowa cities voted for the proposal, allowing cities to build their own telecommunications companies. This will really piss off Mediacom.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Voters in 17 cities are giving their local governments the right to form their own telecommunications company.

Supporters went to the polls Tuesday night and sent a message to companies like Mediacom and Qwest, which helped fund a $1 million campaign blitz against the measure.

Cities such as Dubuque, Mason City and Waterloo can now start their own cable, telephone and Internet systems and potentially charge less than other companies.

On the other hand, 15 cities voted against the the proposal. One of those cities being Nevada, where I usually reside. Nevada is currently served by Iowa Telecom for phone service, they’re our only option for non-voip phone service. Mediacom is the only cable provider. Both companies offer broadband, but Iowa Telecom’s is piss slow and Mediacom offers basically no upload speeds.

Residents of 32 Iowa communities delivered a split verdict Tuesday on whether their cities should seek a role offering cable television, Internet and other telecommunications services.

Totals showed 17 communities passed the measures to form communications utilities and 15 defeated them. In the Des Moines metro area, proposals failed in Altoona, Carlisle, Norwalk and Windsor Heights.

The proposal was defeated in Nevada and six other communities served by telephone company Iowa Telecom. “I think it shows that (voters) just took the time to research the issue,” company spokesman Dan Eness said. “They realized a municipally owned telecommunications utility was not in the best interest for them.”

OK Dan, you wouldn’t just say that simply because you’re an Iowa Telecom employee would you? Of course not. I should thank the Des Moines Register for getting thoughts from mostly Mediacom or Iowa Telecom employees, that’s super!


More Mediacom Goodness

Maybe Mediacom didn’t pay them enough money to rank well, I dunno. I have heard that J.D. Power gives top honors in each class to the company that “donates” the most money to them. That’s not the topic of this post though.

Mediacom recieved the worst customer service rating out of all the cable companies. I am so proud of Mediacom. I’m really getting tired of their crap again. My speeds are great, I’m not complaining about that. TV works great too.

But, remember 90+ days back when I started the Mediacom countdown to the free upgrades? Yah, well the 90 days has come and gone, and there’s still no 10000/1000 package. All we have is 5000/256. A 10/1 package was promised within 90 days. I want to know if they actually expected to be able to hit that 90 day deadline. I mean, it was printed in newspapers all over, saying that a 10/1 package would be available within 90 days. Bullshit. They can’t even provide a steady 5Mbps down to a lot of subscribers.

And we’re still stuck on 256Kbps upload. And they’re supposed to be coming out with phone service (VOIP). Correct me if I’m wrong, but won’t the VOIP suck up almost all of the upload? What happens when you try to surf the internet while on your phone? The sound quality can’t be too great.

There’s rumors going around that Mediacom is moving all of their equipment from analog to digital. This should help. But it doesn’t change that fact that promises were again made and again they weren’t kept.

I just wish they’d be straight with us for once. Although, Marshalltown, in Iowa, is getting a 10Mbps service soon, like within weeks. That package is only going to be $10 more than I’m paying. And I get half the download speed and a quarter of the upload speed. I hope it comes this way soon.

Honestly though, I am very happy with my internet service, although at least 512Kbps upload would be excellent. I do get a steady 5Mbps down at any given time of the day. When I signed up I had 1.5, then got a free upgrade to 3, and another free upgrade to 5. When we got the 3Mbps down upgrade we also got an upload increase to 256Kbps, from 128. All free upgrades, so I’m happy.