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Cable TV's Monopolies

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Cable TV's Monopolies

Nowrasteh Letter in The Washington Post

Frank Ahrens's Nov. 12 news story, "FCC Moves to Place Restrictions on Cable TV," was highly misleading in its description of a "largely unregulated cable television industry" that results in higher prices for consumers. Cable television is highly regulated by local and state governments that routinely grant geographic monopolies to influential cable companies.

The federal government is not the only level of government that places heavy burdens on industry. Despite the methodological problems of comparing the price for services across decades, basic cable service today is leagues better than the best service 20 years ago. There is no basis to conclude that market competition results in higher prices. To the contrary, open competition results in savings to consumers and better services provided.

Before clamoring for new regulations and armies of bureaucrats, perhaps the Federal Communications Commission should analyze the effect that government-supported cable monopolies have in increasing the price.