The dispute between TWN (The Word Network) and Comcast is yet to be fully resolved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Over the summer a complaint had been filed by TWN with the Federal Communications Commission citing discrimination after Comcast’s decision to remove the TWN channel from approximately seven million households at the beginning of the year. Additionally TWN also claimed that terms of agreement had been violated by Comcast as it had attempted to obtain exclusive rights to the digital content of The Word Network.
Comcast has however denied the allegations saying its decision was not discriminatory since the channel which replaced TWN, The Impact Network, is a minority-owned religious station. The Federal Communications Commission also weighed in saying The Word Network did not offer sufficient evidence in support of its claims of discrimination.
Terms of agreement
A spokesperson for the Federal Communications Commission disclosed that some sections of the complaint are yet to be ruled on and this includes the claims that terms of agreement had been violated. The decision by the FCC comes after over a year of efforts by TWN, which is not minority-owned, to make a comeback in homes.
Comcast’s unresolved dispute with TWN coincides with a rebuke the cable operator and rival cable operator CenturyLink received from voters in Fort Collins, Colorado, after a ballot question which was seeking to grant the city permission to put up a high-speed broadband network of its own was approved.
This was despite the fact that opponents of the move who included Comcast had spent over $450,000 in ads aimed at defeating the city’s ambitions. Officials of Fort Collins Broadband Committee on the other hand spent around $15,000 to promote their cause. The percentage of voters who approved was 57% while those who voted against was 43%.
David vs Goliath
“To win against one of the most politically powerful telecom companies in the world, just amazing. There is real discontent with the status quo, and that is directed at both Comcast and CenturyLink,” Glen Akins, a leader of the Fort Collins Broadband Committee, said.
Activists who were pro-municipal broadband argued that a network owned by the city had the potential to provide faster internet speeds but only cost half of what Comcast charges for its price. Estimates put the cost of the municipal broadband network at around $150 million. The rebuke to Comcast from the voters in Fort Collins was delivered despite the fact that Comcast recently opened a call center in the city which employs 600 people.