Comcast can’t find love at home

by Steve Blum •

The City of Philadelphia expects more out of one it’s most prominent corporate citizens. Looking ahead to renewal of Comcast’s cable franchise, the city commissioned a 500-plus page study that found that residents are not getting the level of service they – and, in some cases, the FCC – expect. Mayor Michael Nutter said in a blog post that he’s expecting Philly-based Comcast to up the ante in renewal negotiations…

The City will be seeking high speed broadband capacity and computing technology to support the City’s KeySpots locations and libraries; free broadband access in areas designated as “unserved” or “underserved” or PhillyRising neighborhoods; a program to provide computers and digital literacy education opportunities; and high speed broadband capacity to support the local tech and startup communities, and broadband co-working facilities throughout Philadelphia…

Philadelphia’s cable subscribers reported satisfaction levels ranging from one to eleven percent (1%- 11%) lower than Comcast franchise areas in selected markets where similar studies were completed in the last six years. Overall, however, the survey found that 74% of Comcast cable subscribers are satisfied with their cable service…

The study also found many instances of maintenance failures and code violations on Comcast’s part. It also recommended that Philadelphia build its own dark fiber network to support city operations, rather relying on Comcast to meet its needs.

From its towering downtown Philadelphia corporate headquarters, Comcast wasted no time in firing back. In a blog post entitled A Philadelphia Love Story, two senior execs said “many of the findings are inaccurate, over-stated, or misleading” and warned that “the FCC clearly delineates what a City may ask for as part of a cable franchise”.

Love has its limits, even in Philadelphia.