PacBell seeks to secure a monopoly
July 31, 2001 9:06 PM   Subscribe

PacBell seeks to secure a monopoly Californians urged to contact the PUC to put the brakes on PacBell's plan to kill the independent ISP. Should they be allowed to take their toys and go home or be forced to share? And, what effect will this have on the future of tech companies if PacBell is able to lock out DSL competition?
posted by sillygit (6 comments total)
I wrote my e-mail to the PUC. Did you?
posted by fleener at 9:34 PM on July 31, 2001

I did! Thanks for posting this, Abigail.
posted by fraying at 11:46 PM on July 31, 2001

I've been in the trenches when I worked at Covad, and I've seen just how much companies like SBC can undermine the Telecommunications Act of '96.

The point of the matter is that the ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers aka local phone monopolies) only wanted to say yes to competition when it meant that they'd be able to move into the long distance market, where a lot of the telecom money is. Now they want to monopolize data too, but because of how completely unhelpful they are with the ISPs and CLECs (Covad, Rhythms, NorthPoint, etc.) , I think they've fundamentally undermined the trust people have in DSL, damaging even their own DSL rollouts. The sad thing is that ILECs may be undermining DSL intentionally, since they might prefer having a monopoly on ISDN rather than settling for sharing a piece of a huge, competitive DSL pie.

In hindsight, I think they'll come to realize that they would have been better off partnering with CLECs and using them to provide the infrastructure for their own national rollouts, because the real risk to ILECs is cable, not the ISPs. Undermining cable should have been their prime motive, since the economics of Voice Over Cable make it a much more attractive option with a much faster ROI than Voice Over DSL. That is ultimately the biggest risk to ILECs - that other broadband providers will provide local and long distance voice services and undermine their existing monopolies.

Maybe part of the issue is that the ILECs believe that cable is better suited for residential broadband, while they are better suited for the lucrative business market. This may very well be the case, but should the ILECs decide for consumers that DSL isn't viable? I don't think so...

And yes, I emailed the PUC. Sadly, this isn't the first time I have done so and probably won't be the last.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:34 AM on August 1, 2001

If it's good for business it's good for everybody. ;-)
posted by crasspastor at 2:17 AM on August 1, 2001

This sounds exactly like the UK where BT is getting tanked by Cable because they don't want to share a smaller piece of a much larger pie. That's all it comes down to really. Oh, and they're still a monopolist and getting out of that comes hard. I just wish ntl would hurry up and enable broadband cable in my area!
posted by nedrichards at 4:02 AM on August 1, 2001

Weird. Click on the "Printer-friendly" link. There's a link back to this thread. I suppose sfgate picks up and displays the referrer, which is a nice little feature...
posted by fooljay at 2:11 PM on August 1, 2001

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