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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/18/20

Comcast, Disney+, Netflix Set to Raise Rates at Height of the Pandemic

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We've been stuck at home a lot this year.

Maybe you've been working at your Netflix list.

Perhaps you've discovered The Mandalorian on Disney+.

Quarantines, lockdowns, and general anxiety about going out in public have been boons to streaming-media companies.

So at a time when unemployment rates are soaring, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and people have more time to watch television, some of the most profitable outlets are doing what we might expect them to do at this time of pain and crisis--raise their rates.

Just as Disney stocks hit an all-time high, the company plans on unveiling some new shows at a higher subscription rate.

Ditto Netflix--again.

Not to be outdone, one of the most profitable media monopolies, Comcast , providing millions the bandwidth necessary to stream media--as well as students what they require to complete remote learning--is extending bandwidth usage fees involving amonthly1.2-terabyte data cap to the 39 states in which it operates.

There's a reasonable argument one could make about these companies simply responding to the need for increased usage.

Except Comcast received $861 million in federal tax subsidies the first year of Donald Trump's "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," the $1.5 trillion-dollar permanent tax cut to corporations and the wealthy.

So, does it really need to raise its rates?

Especially now, when so many are out of work and barely scraping two nickels together?

When children are confined to bedrooms instead of classrooms to complete their schoolwork?

Consumer-advocacy group Public Citizen tweeted:

"This is why monopolies are bad. Comcast can arbitrarily exploit us for profit during a pandemic just because it feels like it. Meanwhile, Comcast collects tons of tax breaks and government subsidies. Comcast should be broken up."

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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