Jul 31, 2013

Telco Companies Try to Smear Book About Telco Corruption

UPDATED It's no surprise that telecommunications corporations like Time Warner, AT&T and Comcast wield enormous power in our society, so much so, that they can freely treat their customers with contempt. Why should they care? After all, most people don't have a choice of who they get their services from, and even if they do, the alternatives are not much better.

The latest example is Time Warner's move to increase the rental fee on outdated cable boxes it provides to its subscribers. Not because it needs the money to maintain its network, but because it can. Don't like it? Tough.

The press, like a slumbering giant, may finally be starting to realize what many people already know: that corporations like Time Warner and Comcast are predatory monopolies. The telco blog Dslreports.com has a good article about this; it is definitely worth a read. Check it out HERE.

Update: The current battle (as of August 6, 2013) between CBS and Time Warner has led to the removal of CBS from many TW customers' homes, with both sides blaming the other. The awesome blog Consumerist has a great post about how these two companies show contempt for their customers even while they try to win them over to their point of view. Read their great analysis of this mess HERE.

Telecommunications corporations have such enormous power because of corruption in our government. They shower lawmakers with huge amounts of money to make sure their interests - not yours - are protected. They've become the coal and railroad barons of our age, holding our country back technologically in order to ensure their own profits. 

A new book by Susan Crawford called Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age has upset the telcos, so much so, that they are smearing her book on Amazon and trying to drive down the book's rating through fake reviews written by industry shills (a practice called astroturfing). 

The blog Techdirt has an examination of the telcos' attempt to discredit this book HERE. The fact that telcos have seen fit to discredit her message makes it worthwhile to read Crawford's book. The United States has some of the worst IT infrastructure in the world, and it is getting worse. The rest of us are suffering while a handful that control the nervous system of this country get insanely rich.

The link to the book is HERE. Need some summer reading? Pick up a copy! Below is a fantastic video that explains what telcos would say if they were forced to tell the truth.

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