Broadband From Cable Operators?

A column in the Financial Times by Joe Leahy barely scratches the surface of cable-broadband issues in India. The story quotes a recommendation by Media Partners Asia to the Government of India, to encourage the use the already established cable network for increasing broadband connectivity. The article largely focuses on issues with cable – low cost per channel and under-reporting of subscriber base – but ends with an iffy conclusion: comparing the amount that Indian subscriber pays for cable TV channels with his overseas counterparts, and saying that this could be at the expense of broadband access.
I don’t agree. As far as I know, charges for broadband from cable operators in India are over above those for cable television. Many cable operators have what you might call neighborhood-monopolies, and they are difficult to manage since they own the last mile. The problem that cable-broadband companies have faced in the past is that the local cable operator, apart from becoming a franchisee and a distributor also takes on the responsibility of customer service and management of the last like infrastructure. That often ends up in disaster, and even if these small cable operators are consolidated into larger entities, I doubt whether they will actually relinquish operational control. Direct to home it is, whether by wireless, satellite or DSL independent of the local cable operator.