Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A couple of quick things worth mentioning

I recently started receiving alerts from WMUR-TV News and they are helpful if you are a busy person trying to keep track of news going on in the state.
This story, about the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, which aired in the last day or so, struck me as an interesting one: ["Primary Shuffle Causes Problems for Local Hotels"]. There is a video clip of the segment at the link too. There will be a ton of stories produced about the primary. This was an interesting angle for a reporter to take a look at.

I was not the only person who saw this great editorial in the Concord Monitor on Tuesday: ["Put C-SPAN2 back in basic cable package"]. The editorial nails the issue right on the head: Cable customers need - and deserve - ala carte choices and all the C-SPAN channels should be on the Basic service.
But technically, the editorial is not quite correct.
The "basic" package does not offer C-SPAN or C-SPAN 2 as part of its service and never has. The "standard" package does - at about $35 to $40 more per month than Basic. And Comcast in Concord only offers C-SPAN 3 on Channel 249, or the most expensive subscription service. Since these channels are free of charge there is no reason why every single customer with cable should not be receiving the channels as part of the Basic package.
Instead of getting the C-SPAN channels on Basic service, subscribers get useless channels - like three, yes THREE Spanish channels and four shopping channels. What a waste. One has to wonder how many actual Spanish speaking families with cable are there in lily white Concord - compared to the number of families who might not be able to afford the Standard or higher packages but want C-SPAN.
And this doesn't even touch upon the fact that the national news channels are not available on the Basic package either. They are only available on the Standard package. This means that basic news and information which should be available to the maximum amount of people is not. It is being kept from people who can't afford - or choose not to pay - the Standard service price. But that is why we need ala carte options: So we can pay for what we want and not have to pay for what we don't want.
I too have complained to Comcast about this - repeatedly - to no avail. But, the clock is ticking for Comcast and other companies who don't listen - and respect - their customers.

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