TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Buyouts of AT&T, MCI Sign of Long Distance's Demise

Buyouts of AT&T, MCI Sign of Long Distance's Demise

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld)
Tue, 22 Feb 2005 14:10:00 -0500

By Bruce Meyerson, Associated Press

NEW YORK The acquisitions of AT&T and MCI by larger rivals are the
most dramatic evidence of long distance calling's steady decline as a
business distinct from "local" phone service.

But other signs are aplenty.

This past week, in addition to the $6.7 billion takeover of MCI by
Verizon Communications, came news of a large budget hotel chain,
Microtel Inn & Suites, whose list of amenities has been expanded to
include free unlimited long distance and wireless Internet access.

There's little to lose with the new marketing pitch: The calls don't
cost the company very much. And with so many travelers toting around
cell phones with national calling plans, long-distance calls don't
generate that much extra revenue any more, even at the inflated rates
hotels often charge.

The past week also brought an announcement from a small company named
Northland Cable Television, which introduced unlimited local and long
distance for a flat $38 a month in rural areas of the Carolinas served
mostly by BellSouth as well as Verizon.

Because such plans have become so prevalent on both wired and wireless
phones, the concept of local and long distance as different types of
calls may be fading fast among consumers and businesses.

Full story at:

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