Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other cable providers face the prospect of competition from rival Internet providers and new online services like Google Fiber, the tech giant that offers fiber optic internet connections.
The Internet companies say their own networks and technologies are far superior to those of their rivals and are therefore more suited to delivering video and other services.
The debate over cable prices has been brewing for years, as cable companies have been struggling to attract new subscribers to their networks, even as they offer a range of services that compete with cable providers’ offerings.
Comcast, for example, has been offering Internet service to the public for decades, but its cable-TV offering has seen a steep drop in subscribers.
Comcast has been losing subscribers at a rapid rate.
The company’s share price dropped from $37 to $19 in the first quarter of 2017 and it has lost $1 billion on its stock this year.
Time Warner said it would sell about $2 billion of its assets and said it was laying off employees.
The companies are fighting to preserve their businesses.
Comcast’s CEO, Brett Loewenstein, said in a conference call with analysts in February that the company would focus on the “next wave” of the cable industry and on the technology that enables it to deliver services to consumers at an even lower price.
Time to change course: The tech industry has been slow to embrace Internet competition, and it is unclear if there will be enough consumers for those companies to offer services that will be competitive.
Comcast and Time Warner say their offerings are better and that they have better technology to offer, but many companies have failed to provide an alternative to their cable networks, including Comcast, which is losing subscribers fast.
A new streaming service is coming in the spring and cable companies say they want to be the best.
But cable companies argue that they are the ones who have to provide a competitive service and that their competitors have superior technologies.