Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has a responsibility to his shareholders to maximize profits. But what happens if within that effort he ends up driving business away? Roberts was recently quoted as being in favor of removing unlimited data for its cable subscribers, with an argument used by cellular phone companies when they did something similar:
“Just as with every other thing in your life, if you drive 100,000 miles or 1,000 miles you buy more gasoline. If you turn on the air conditioning to 60 vs. 72 you consume more electricity,” Roberts said. “The same is true for [broadband] usage.” Cellular data is already billed this way, “the more bits you use, the more you pay. So why not cable Internet, too?”
The logic is sound, but of course two of the above examples only work as sliding scales. There is no minimum fee paid if you don’t drive your car at all. The person who drives sparingly during each month also pays far less for gasoline. Comcast has no such policy, and in fact still charges a relatively high bill for users to simply remain subscribers.
Consumers would perhaps be far more in favor of such policies if Comcast fairly set up a way for light users to pay significantly less for their bill. But it’s pretty clear this won’t likely happen, as Comcast relies on those high bills to maintain record profits.
(h/t The Motley Fool)