TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: The Coming Tug of War Over the Internet -- Wash Post

Re: The Coming Tug of War Over the Internet -- Wash Post
27 Jan 2006 23:14:39 GMT

In article <>, <> wrote:

> No. The bottom line is that the baby Bells now operate in a
> competitive world. You don't need them at all anymore. You may get
> all services -- broadband and local -- from a cable TV provider.
> There's a lot of fibre out there that can serve end points. In other
> words, the photographer is NOT the only planning service available.

No, it's NOT a competitive world. Maybe in your perfect universe, but
if I HAVE to get all services from the people that provide the wires
then that's not competition. WHat you're saying is that anyone who
wants to provide Internet services should be prepared to deploy their
own Internet. There are very few places where there are more choices
than cable or phone company wires. And maybe you haven't noticed but
anywhere that alternatives have been proposed the phone companies have
been fighting them tooth and nail, in the courts and in the media.

I don't mind paying the phone company whatever they want to charge for
the physical connection. And I'm certainly interested in considering
whatever services they offer as well. But I don't want them to be able
to tell me what I can and can't do with the network that I'm paying
them to provide me.

I'm sure if the government wasn't forcing them to open the phone lines
that I'd have to use whatever long-distance company Verizon wanted me
to use.

You can argue Free Enterprise all you want, but the truth is there's
only competition in many areas because the government forces it. I
have a choice of local phone service now because of VOIP providers,
but what will happen when Verizon starts blocking all VIOP traffic
except their own? You're saying that it's their wires, they should be
able to do that. And that's what they will do, unless the government
stops them.

If Verizon, or whoever, wants to run wires at their own expense to my
place so they can offer their services, and only their services, over
it, that's fine. But if I'm paying for the wires I should be able to
determine what flows over it.

> All of the arguments in this theme falsely assume the baby Bells have
> a monopoly as they did in the old days.

You say falsely, but the local markets seem to say otherwise. A
monopoly position doesn't have to be 100% saturation. According to
your view, since Linux can be used as a desktop alternative then the
desktop computer market is obviously competitive ... something the
government has already ruled is not the case.

Thanks to our government I'm facing a near future where I won't be
able to use my current ISP. I'll be forced to use Verizon or
Comcast. It may not be a monopoly, but a duopoly is NOT competition.

> If the baby Bells have something to offer the market place (by virtue
> of their long experience in communications services), the market place
> should not be denied their services.

I agree! I've NEVER said that they shouldn't be allowed to provide
services. I don't know why you keep implying that I did. All I've EVER
said was that they shouldn't be allowed to PREVENT other people from
also providing services.

> AT&T tried to compete in the market place and failed and the
> company no longer exists.

AT&T "doesn't exist" because of mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs and
consolidation. It may or may not be because they failed to compete. I
would argue that they continue to exist, they just became an
attractive take-over target for a corporation with deeper pockets.

> If Verizon can outdo Comcast in Internet service (for example), why
> shouldn't we consumers have that benefit?

I never said we shouldn't. In fact, I wish they would, and that I
could. But 1) I have no choice, and 2) They're doing everything in
their power to make it worse. And I'm not unique, and they're trying
to make sure I'm the rule rather than the exception.

John Meissen

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