Saturday, July 6, 2013


After battling against the unfair monopolization of our local ISP market by Insight Communications for nearly two decades (they changed their name--but not ownership--once during that time), now our local, regional, and state government has again left us unprotected, and essentially allowed us to be given over, to a much more massive, corporate communications conglomerate (impressive double-alliteration, right!?).

Time Warner Communications (aka 'Road Runner', regionally, as far as their ISP is concerned), is frikking HUGE.

(read their wikipedia citation here)

Perhaps they really do fully intend to bulk out the Insight market with all their streaming offerings (apps, online services--read this part of that same wikipedia link).

However, as consumers, we stand to at their multinational conglomerate corporate 'mercy' (ha!--good luck!) because we've never had any hi-speed broadband (over the fastest connection--coax/fiber) for Insight before.

It already concerns me that the pre-existing monopoly situation wasn't ever even addressed--much less resolved--by any government oversight--before Insight was acquired by TWC.

This is mostly due to the structure of the way the laws regarding this particular industry--the FCC and FTC both can't really do anything about monopolies, and honestly, neither could do so much as force Insight to even respond to concerns over their longstanding, TWC could run amok here, financially, and just exploit us, rather than do what's right, and be an even better ISP for the region.

I'm hoping they don't, but there are signs they're going to be worse than an absentee, corporate landlord.

Assuming TWC knows they've bought a monopoly (HA! you bet--they're not the world's biggest com-company by being oppresively ignorant), we could be in for quite a ride, here...actually, I'm sure that term will do nicely for what we're in for--it'll be almost the same experience (services, billing, customer support) as Insight, with a few more digital online services.

Actually, I won't be surprised the first time I see TW making Kentuckians pay for services they offer for free in other regions, because we'll have to...because they're our only choice.



The fact that TWC is forcing Insight customers out of their email addresses is a BIG, negative indicator that this means we'll NOW be at the mercy [pure snark: there will be NONE] of not only a local monopoly, but a huge, indestructable CORPORATE one...the 'transition process' is a joke already--even the site pages 'shepherding' customers through the process are written so poorly, with almost NO vital info on what new email address you're getting, AND all 'registration confirmation' emails to old Insight addresses GOING STRAIGHT INTO JUNK MAIL BOXES (unbelievable--doing this for a local PC repair client, I had to do it again using his gmail account in order to even SEE the damn thing--AT ALL!)...all this amounts to one HUGE mess, and I'M ABSOLUTELY SURE price gouging GOING HAYWIRE by TWC...

Just WAIT 'til it finally 'hits home' to this corporate Tyrannosaur the unchecked hoards of unprotected, helpless vassals they have here in KY--they'll be exploiting it mercilessly in a matter of weeks--as soon as the interoffice memos will allow.


They're already throwing us into their corporate, national, dogfighting pits with promotions and marketing, as well--Wednesday afternoon I received a phone call from a '513' area code, and idiotically answered--it was a COLD call from TWC's promotional center in CA, but as she ID'd herself as a TWC rep, I thought they were calling people to help them 'transition' such luck--QUITE THE OPPOSITE--this TWC rep hung me on the phone for 30 minutes trying to get all my info, asking questions like "Are you satisfied with the current internet speed you've been having?", and most deceitfully, this one: "We're just checking to make sure things are going well during this transitional phase you've been going through in your area".

When I heard THAT, I was fooled into thinking that TWC really WAS helping people already, and that maybe--just mayyyy-be--there was the slightest chance that their sheer size would allow them to allocate more CS (and--'gasp'--tech support!) resources to our 'newly-acquired region'.

No, this was a damn promotional cold call; she put me on hold at least THREE times, checking, 'double-checking', seemingly SO conscientious about the whole process, then mid-way through, she started trying to sell me more packages...

Ahhh, but that's not the worst came that frikkin' RUB.

At the 30 min. 'mark', I had indeed committed to one of the smaller TV / NET packages she was pushing...and was really disappointed when she abruptly told me she was 'going to have to put you on hold one more time'...I sighed 'yes'...FOUR minutes later, she gets back on to tell me this:
"Sir, I'm sorry, but I checked with my supervisor here, and you will have to call Insight local technical support to get the combination of packages you want--I'm sorry--I thought you could get that, but apparently, right now, it's a case of 'two sides of the same coin' [whut?]', and more cheesy, contrived, on-the-spot, embarrassing and hurried misnomers that meant this, PURELY:
TWC is now sending out mass Insight customer phone number lists to its corporate sales centers out in CA, pushing them to cold-call Insight customers, who they cannot even provide ANY packages to at this time.

Their promotional team has not been prepped to offer us the CHOICES even INSIGHT was 'allowing' us--so I'm already as disjointed and disillusioned as I could be about this, and, 'God help me', I'm forced to think about our hapless, ridiculous, crappy satellite alternatives here, as well.

And--believe me--in this region (Central, Western, SC KY), the satellite 'net market SUCKs beyond compare, and I shudder at the notion. It's a death-sentence for any type of web use--weather-dependent, highly-restrictive, undependable, etcetera, etcetera...they suck. More than 80% of my local HUMAN customers who've 'tried' satellite internet here, have PAID OVER $200 TO BUY OUT OF THEIR CONTRACTS...especially HughesNET--my God they're awful.

Oh well--we're probably just royally, officially, screwed--BG has the worst selection of ISP's already--now, it's going to get worse, and also, I can hear one massive toilet flushing sound, from the legal team TWC already has together once they figure out how well they can maintain their monopoly if they can just keep owning the actual coax and fiber lines that keep us in 'subjecture'.