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Got dem ol' Comcast Blues?

The following is excerpted from an email I sent to a couple of Renton City Council Members and a couple of friends. One of the friends suggested posting it on The Patch so here goes.

The following link to a Seattle Times article will bring you up to speed in case you missed it.

http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2022669867_internetprovidersxml.html

Possibly you are saying "And?"

After reading the current franchise agreement and related amendments it appears that the agreement does not specifically address internet service.  The information I have been provided is that the current negotiations are being conducted by the Mayors staff and I can find no indication of that being overseen by any council committee. The previous agreement has been continued to June of this year in the absence of an agreement to replace the one that expired last September.

If the FCC acts in the near future to correct their mistake this may be a moot point. This seems unlikely.

In the meantime I think the city should be addressing the issue in the new agreement now being negotiated with Comcast. There should be specific language requiring any internet provider to maintain the original "net neutrality" guidelines that the FCC originally required.

My suggestion is, that if there is in fact no council committee oversight, the staff working on this should be brought in to a Council of the Whole meeting for a briefing on the negotiations and a discussion of this issue. If necessary some council action should be considered.

So far there has been no response to this message. If the federal government is unable to control the cable companies from the top we need to try it from the bottom.

And - if you think this is not enough to motivate you see the business section of Friday's Seattle Times for news about Comcast's latest attempt to corner the market.

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