TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: The Real Reason Why SBC Won't Work With Vonage on E-911

Re: The Real Reason Why SBC Won't Work With Vonage on E-911
6 Apr 2005 07:15:19 -0700

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But try to be realistic, would you
> Lisa? For most people, it is not as simple as just saying, 'Do not
> use SBC.' I managed to pull that off, after considerable grief, and
> I _know how the 'system' works_, but as we have said here many times,
> not all cablecos are as effecient and friendly and prepared as ours
> is here Independence. Not everyone has access to good _alternative_
> phone networks as we do here. Oh, I agree, ASAP get yourslf weened
> off of Traditional Bell if that's your pleasure, but its not all that
> easy even for experienced people to do, let alone newbies to telecom.
> PAT]

In my town, the cable company, when still small and locally owned,
relaid its network with fibre-optic cable. I suspect the investment
is not that high to do so. Afterwards they jacked up their rates.

As to good alternatives not being available, that's the free market
that society wanted by breaking up the Bell System.

Maybe other subscribers do like SBC and there isn't enough demand for
alternatives. The textbooks say if people don't like SBC service,
other providers will come in to provide it since they'll be a demand
for their services.

Some people forget that in the real world, a "free market" is often
not what an economics textbook make it out to be. There is no
guarantee that you'll have multiple grocery stores, gas stations, or
department stores. There's no guarantee that the equilibrium reached
in a competitive marketplace is one that we like -- such as the
situation described here.

In cellular phones, it seems to me most companies have settled on a
$40/month service plan, and it's hard to find something cheaper for
occassional users. Theorectically competition should bring that price
down, but the marketplace settled on this particular equilibrium, for
better or for worse.

I must admit I get frustrated when people complain as in this context.
To me, it seems people want the low rates and high service quality of
the old Bell System ALONG WITH competitive choices. In other words,
they want only the 'good' things about a free marketplace but none of
the bad. They forget that in a free marketplace businesses can be
jerks. (I believe it was Mr. Decker himself who pointed out how a gas
station was not very customer friendly and he had to schlep further
down the road to find another). That's the situation now. There is
competition and alternatives, but sometimes one must "go down the
road" to find it.

People complain today the phone companies aren't too helpful if you
have a problem like static on your line. The subscriber must
disconnect every phone in their house and check carefully to be sure
it isn't in any of their telephone sets, answering machines, computer
modems, faxes, or house wiring.

As mentioned before, people once complained about paying $1.00 every
month to rent each extension telephone set. But, they conveniently
forgot that if they had any problems, regardless of cause (telephone
set, house wiring, street wiring, central office, or long distance),
one quick easy phone call took care of it. (Back then telephone sets
and wiring were built to last forever to keep down maintenance costs
and keep service quality high. No longer.)

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