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Letter: PUC should regulate Comcast

Did anyone else using Comcast just lose all of their HD channels? Last year Comcast stopped broadcasting analog channels, meaning that to hook up to a black-and-white TV, you need a cable box. But I have an HD, cable-ready TV, so I should not need a cable box, right? Up until last week that was the case, but then Comcast moved all its channels to new channels that current cable-ready TVs do not pick up.

Presumably soon, newer cable-ready TVs will pick up these channels, but right now I get nothing unless I hook up the cable box. But doing that means that I get no HD channels. I can get Channel 9 with a rabbit-ear antenna over the air, but not the Boston channels. If I want HD, I need to hook up a Comcast cable box and pay another $9.95 per month, on top of the more than $70 I am currently paying. And I would need to use two remotes, one for the TV, one to change channels. And I lose programming information (previously I could press the display button on my remote to find out what I was watching; now it tells me only that it is 480i).

This is absurd. New Hampshire needs to require that cable be regulated by the Public Utilities Commission and provide basic service at a reasonable price, with a reasonable number of HD channels, using both analog and signals that a cable-ready TV can pick up. Of course, I can switch to Fairpoint, which is working on rolling out fiber optic, which is capable (theoretically) of providing 1 million megabytes of bandwidth, or to satellite TV, with high-speed internet, for $35 per month. Does Comcast expect to make money by losing all of its customers?



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