As an engineer I had learned and read about the plans by the "phone company" Verizon to lay fiber optic cable directly to homes. This FTTP or fiber to the premises rollout was scheduled to come to Brooklyn in 2008 and did just that. As soon as it was available Verizon put together a very competitive package of internet/cable/phone service to match that offered by Cablevision. A marketing push eventually led to agents going door to door to sell the new service, I dealt with an agent and switched my service over from Cablevision a little over a year ago, however I hadn't done my homework to figure out how I could continue to have distributed internet access to all the computers in my home (7 machines at the moment) this caused some consternation which led to eventual cancellation and then I reverted back to Cablevision after they called and offered to boost my service and reduce my fee for a year. All of this price play would not be possible had not Verizon come out to provide the competing service, you might wonder why it was that Cablevision had such a monopoly in my area and the answer was that it was government sanctioned. The cable companies were given specific rights to provide services that the phone companies could not, but as the technologies began to merge on the back end it made no sense to separate the providers (of phone/internet versus cable/internet service) as with modern data services phone/internet/cable were all transmittable down the same pipes. The attempts by the phone companies to be given the right to compete with the cable companies was finally granted and that opened the competitive landscape and immediately allowed the consumer a choice which lowered prices.
Now, fast forward to the present day. The year worth of reduced pricing that I got from Cablevision for coming back from Verizon is about to run out and the the cable company was sure to warn me of the 31% jump in monthly pricing that was to come. As if in clairvoyant recognition, a week later Verizon began a promotion for reduced service costs on the "triple play" that significantly out performed what I was currently paying for Cable vision (before the price goes back up) I am now in the process of signing back up with Verizon to take advantage of the opportunity. Hooray for competition! If it weren't for the regulation of the competitive zones I would have been forced to swallow the price increases by Cablevision for service that I will now enjoy from Verizon for less than half the price that Cablevision would claim they have no choice in charging me. This reinforces the truth of business pricing that many people don't think about, a company sets prices not at a fair percentage above the costs required to provide that service but rather they tend to price the service at what they determine the customer will pay. This difference will always exist in the absence of competitive pressures and the only way to get rid of it is for competitors to enter the space and thus keep the previous provider "honest" in terms of charging customers costs closer to the costs of the actual service or take no revenue at all from those customers.
An interesting aspect of this ordeal is that as soon as I switch back to Verizon , Cablevision will send a hard nose salesman to try and win back my service. In order to give them the opportunity to match pricing before I switch over I called cablevision and told them of my intentions , they claimed they could do nothing since my existing promotion was coming to an end. I am curious to see if I'll get that "come back" call any way after I switch, we shall see, for now ...it is time to call Verizon and cut my data service bills in half, consumer options always force providers to charge honest pricing, yay for the customer.