Broadband Residue

Phil Harvey
The Philter
Phil Harvey, US Bureau Chief

6:00 PM -- The economy's beating everyone up and, to build market share, phone companies and cable providers are dropping their pants on prices.

My latest mailing from Charter Communications Inc. offered $9.95 basic cable for a year. I don't know what was included in the offer. The mailing and Website had no details, so I'm left to guess that they're probably offering a set of rabbit ears and some canceled stock certificates.

Each offer's more tempting than the next, but here's something to remember before you hop to the next best thing: When you switch services, your current TV or broadband service provider just cuts you off -- and they won't clean up their mess.

Satellite operators don't take down dishes. Cable providers don't remove line drops, termination, or grounding equipment. And, as you'll see in these pictures from a Light Reader in Carrollton, Texas, the new service provider will just come right behind them and install their stuff wherever it'll fit.

A Box Collection It's a mild problem, but wouldn't it be nice if they at least reminded you to unplug the old junk? The more you know...

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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