Center for Media Justice home of the Media Action Grassroots Network

12 Comcast Lies, by Steven Renderos and Julia Graber

Comcast is constantly claiming that everything it wants to do — like kill Net Neutrality and merge with Time Warner Cable — is good for the public.

Right now Comcast is spinning out lies left and right, hoping you won’t look at any of its claims too closely. We’ve collected 12 of the biggest whoppers here so you’ll know them when you see them.

1. “We believe in Net Neutrality.”

Comcast has been running ads claiming it’s the only company in America bound by “full Net Neutrality” and should therefore be allowed to merge with Time Warner Cable. Sounds fishy, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. The reason we need Net Neutrality rules in the first place is to protect users from gatekeepers like Comcast.

2. “No seriously, we really believe in Net Neutrality!”

Well, for another three years. Whenever Comcast trots out this argument it neglects to mention that it agreed to adhere to open Internet rules only as a condition of its 2011 merger with NBCUniversal — an agreement that expires in 2018. Comcast executives recently said they can’t guarantee the company will still abide by Net Neutrality past this expiration date, and even under these conditions Comcast has already figured out ways to slow down and mess around with Internet traffic. That’s why the version of “Net Neutrality” Comcast supports is the loophole-ridden kind that allows fast lanes. Pssh. More like Not Neutrality.

3. “If the FCC implements Net Neutrality rules, your bill will go up.”

Net Neutrality rules don’t lead to price increases, plain and simple. There’s just no truth at all to the convoluted, trickle-down argument that if we let cable discriminate more they’ll pass the savings along to you. Your bill is already going up. And up. Cable rates have been growing faster than inflation for decades. But that’s because of a lack of competition, not because of consumer-protection rules.

4. “We don’t need Net Neutrality; we’ve never even thought about blocking anyone.”

Here’s a list of the many ways in which Comcast and other Internet service providers have violated Net Neutrality over the years. And let’s not forget that while Comcast and Netflix were enmeshed in a dispute that dragged on for months, Comcast customers experienced slow speeds when they tried to access and use Netflix. As this Consumerist graph shows, speeds reached their lowest right before the deal was announced in February 2014.

5. “We love the FCC!”

Want proof? Right after the FCC voted to approve the merger with NBCUniversal, Comcast hired then-FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker to work as a top lobbyist.

6. “If you regulate us, we won’t be able to invest in our networks.”

That’s what Comcast tells the media but it’s not what it tells its own investors. In fact, all of the major U.S. ISPs, including Verizon and Time Warner Cable, have told their investors that real Net Neutrality rules wouldn’t affect their investment plans. So why are these companies saying one thing to the media and another to shareholders? Simple: They’re legally bound to tell investors the truth, but they say whatever they feel like in Washington to try and get their way.

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About the Author

Steven Renderos is the Senior Campaign Manager at the Center for Media Justice. He is passionate about the role of media and communications in building movements for social change. He's been a community organizer for the past 10 years leading campaigns for affordable housing, immigrant rights and most recently media policy fights. He helped lead CMJ's advocacy and organizing efforts including the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, a national campaign fighting to lower the high costs of prison phone calls. Previously, Steven led the Media Justice program at Main Street Project in Minneapolis, MN where he helped jumpstart a local collaborative that will be applied for a radio license in the fall 2013. Steven aka DJ Ren is also the co-founder of Radio Pocho, a collaborative of [email protected] radio DJs in Minneapolis who's mission is to explore the musical roots of [email protected] raised in the United States. Steven currently resides in his hometown of Los Angeles, CA.

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