Braintree Electric Light Department, a municipal utility that sells high speed internet and cable television service to 4900 customers in Braintree, MA is complaining that Comcast is trying to lure its customers by ludicrous discounts and is trying to drive the utility out of business.
According to Braintree Light, Comcast is offering its customers a 16-month discount on a combination digital TV and high-speed Internet package that would cut its usual price of $97 a month to $52. The municipal utility, which charges $76 for the same package, says the 16-month rate is not available in other towns or to Comcast’s current customers in Braintree.
So far the complaints are falling on deaf ears. This is an all familiar tale. Small cable companies and other utilities have also complained of such tactics in states like Michigan, Virginia, Arkansas and Kentucky. The larger players are using their considerable financial muscle to take market share, which is well no different than Wal-Mart squeezing out the mom-and-pop retailers.