Loose Cannon Blasts Comcast

Bruce Schimmel, in his latest Loose Cannon column, dropped a bomb on Comcast. Apparently, Monopolia Comcasticus “has never met certain minority and women business goals” as required in its franchise agreement with the City of Philadelphia. The penalty for this violation, according to the article, should be about $4.4 million.

Rebate, anyone?

Mind you, Comcast is still allocating its share of subcontracting money to local businesses, just not ones that are owned by women or African Americans.

It’s not surprising that Comcast would so blatantly flout its agreement with the City or that the City wouldn’t confront the local behemoth. We’re still waiting for our public access channels.

The absurd thing is how much time City Council spent pressing Earthlink on precisely this issue. As I blogged when Comcast was before City Council in June,

Councilman Nutter asked some pointed questions, including about Comcast’s fulfillment of its minority- and women-owned business requirements. Considering how intently Council focused on that issue with Earthlink, it was revealing to see how little they pressured Comcast on it.

Apparently, this caught Bruce’s eye, as well, and he followed up on it doggedly, getting the data and crunching the numbers. It would be nice if the City would now get a payday out of it, but little chance with this administration. Bruce deserves some appreciation regardless.

The way Bruce tells it, without Nutter, we’d still be speculating. So his article pushes me a bit towards Ruby Legs‘s  positon in support of Nutter for Mayor, even while most of the other people I know in Philly are backing Fattah. A willingness to buck Comcast is pretty much the first thing I look for in a Philly politician.

1 Comment

  1. [...] cable giant is based there and basically gets to write its own franchise agreement, with little oversight from the local government. It also controls all of the local sports programming, which it has historically used to its [...]

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