The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (MI-NATOA) and the Michigan Chapter of the Alliance for Community Media (MI-ACM) are calling for local regulation of cable companies to be restored.
Cable was deregulated in Michigan in 2006 at the urging of phone and cable companies. Lawmakers who favored the elimination of regulation argued that widespread competition would soon follow, together with lower cable rates and better customer service. According to MI-NATOA and MI-ACM, Michigan’s residents are still waiting.
MI-NATOA and MI-ACM cite the following:
- Comcast’s rates for lifeline basic service increased more than 18 percent over just the last two years, and other prices increased by more than three times the pace of inflation.
- According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Comcast and Charter, Michigan’s two dominant cable companies, continue to post the lowest customer satisfaction scores of all major video providers in the country.
- Cable complaints were up by more than 4½ percent over 2009, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission.
"No matter how you look at it, 70 percent of Michigan’s communities still have only one cable provider four years after deregulation," said Deborah Guthrie, President of MI-NATOA, in a statement. "Even in the places where two providers offer service, if serious competition existed, prices wouldn’t run up several times faster than inflation and customer service wouldn’t be so poor."