Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 25, 2018 


President Trump scraps planned talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Also on our Friday rundown: California lawmakers support and emergency hotline for foster kids; and boating is a booming business in states like Minnesota.

Daily Newscasts

The Threat to NY High-Speed Internet Access

April 9, 2012

NEW YORK - Consumer groups in New York and around the country say a spectrum deal between Verizon and a group of cable companies known as SpectrumCo - and another deal with Cox Communications - will grab a large share of the wireless spectrum and lead to less competition and higher prices. The plan is currently being reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Telecommunications unions call the consolidation "job-killing."

Parul Desai with the Consumers Union says because of a joint marketing arrangement involved in the deal, land-line customers will be adversely affected, too.

"Any consumer who's going to want to rely on high-speed access - whether it's for gaming, music, video, even telehealth - should be concerned that they'll only have one choice in their market when it comes to high-speed broadband Internet access."

Verizon says it is "critical" that the cable spectrum be used for mobile services. The cities of Syracuse and Albany are on record as opposing the plan, which some call a "spectrum grab." The cities say it will widen the digital divide between well-connected suburbs and under-served inner cities and rural areas.

Edyael Casaperalta with the Center for Rural Strategies says a duopoly would be created, with Verizon and AT&T dominating the field. New Yorkers living outside the state's urban areas may be among the most affected, she warns.

"There will be less competition for their business and for servicing their needs - the needs of rural New Yorkers."

Casaperalta says smaller companies that provide wireless services in less-populated areas will likely get squeezed out of the marketplace if the Verizon spectrum deal is approved.

"Rural New York providers often mean access to spectrum and by these two companies amassing even more spectrum, it will make it difficult for these providers in rural New York to compete with them."

Verizon says with smartphone traffic predicted to be more than 25 times higher in 2015 than it is today, it needs to acquire the spectrum, and denies it will stifle competition.


Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY