Tuesday, April 17, 2007

We Want Choice Ohio Says: How About Some Healthy Competition for Cable Provider Service in Ohio??

Do you get as aggravated over not having a choice in cable companies as I do? At least with high speed cable I had a few choices. But cable TV? If it's Cleveland it's Adelphia er, now, Time Warner. Anyway, I hate the monopoly idea and did not know until a few minutes ago that there was a grassroots non-profit group working on this issue.

We Want Choice Ohio (WWCO). They make good points: competition can increase quality of workmanship, customer service (customer service was one of the main reasons I got rid of my cable TV service back in March). Prices could come down...apparently this has been true in areas where competition was allowed. Competition breeds creativity; creativity could be awesomely cool new features, and maybe - dare I say - less expensive ones.

What's up with Cleveland anyway? Just how long is their contract with Adelphia/Time Warner? Competition was just arriving in Lakewood when I moved back to Cleveland from Lakewood in 2005.

WWCO makes the point that since 1995 cable rates have increased 90 % Nationally and that here in Ohio rates have far outstripped the rates of inflation.

CNET.com did an article this month on a study done by the Univ. of California at Berkeley. They were estimating the kinds of savings that could occur in California alone, once telephone companies were allowed more inroads into the cable provider business. They were estimating a total of 690 million to 1 billion dollars a month for California consumers. Yes, per month! That got me looking at other articles on the competition issue and that led me to WWCO.

We Want Choice has a cool website. They have a 'take action' section. You can contact your elected officials. That's a great choice but the one I like is writing letters to local newspapers. They even have suggestions for things to mention in a letter if you need help.

One of the mantras here on this blog is jobs jobs and more jobs...can we have them please. Well, competition among cable companies would bring jobs for the laying of the cable as well as customer service, etc. Many good points on this website, check it out and see if there isn't a 'take action' item you might want to put into practice. The squeaky wheel, especially if we made it a lot of squeaks and not just a few, could get some results! Peace Out - 3C

April 18th update: A shout out to George Nemeth for pointing me to the fact that WWCO may be a non profit financed by AT&T and others with a vested interest. While I think they have the right to lobby us, I would prefer they do it openly and not disguised as a grassroots consumer group. Now for sure the phone company will not be my 'other option of choice' (not that they were anyway). Go to George's comment below to read more.

April is Cuyahoga County Sponsored Toxic Waste Month

Ok, yesterday it was Spring cleaning in Cleveland; now it's County wide. Do you have old cell phones you want to dispose of? Old hard drives? Computers? I have an iMAC I need to get rid of and local schools have refused it.

Cell phones, computers, hard drives etc., all have toxic materials in them like lead for example. So this month Cuyahoga County will take your cells and pagers and hard drives .

For the rest of this month you can contact the RET3 Job Corp office on East 40th Street in Cleveland. They are the drop off point for these items.

They will erase your hard drives for you (at least that is what they say lol).

Call 216-361-9991 for details. Peace Out - 3C