TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Why is Congress Considering Such Anti-Consumer Telecom Bills?

Re: Why is Congress Considering Such Anti-Consumer Telecom Bills?

Sat, 29 Jul 2006 02:32:11 -0400 wrote:

> Bruce Kushnick wrote:

>> (Asian countries are now using 100 Mbps in both directions for their
>> standard. That is 500 times more powerful.)

> Could someone elaborate on this?

> Does this mean that if I were to go to Asia, everyone
> everywhere -- wealthy and poor, urban and rural, democracy and
> dictatorship -- all have a nice 100MBPS hookup at their disposal?

These discussions are usually talking about Korea, Japan, Singapore,
Hong Kong, etc ... Where population densities make my town of Raleigh
look more like Montana. Broadband implementation costs are all about
location, location, location. If you have block after block after
block of 500 unit or more apartment buildings, this (100mbps Internet)
is MUCH easier to do. Plus toss in a totally different tax and public
utility structure and you get things in one country which just can't
be done in another.

> Somehow I don't think that's the case. Now I don't know the utility
> situation in Asia (which is a pretty huge land area), but I suspect a
> heck of a lot of people don't even have electricity nor telephones,
> let alone this high speed connection.

Now you're talking about rural Thailand, Cambodia, China, etc ... (And
someone I know to travels to China frequently says that in many ways
that country is becoming very very very split between the big cities
and the rural areas.

> Actually, I suspect the telecom situation in the U.S. -- overall -- is
> better than in Asia. Undoubtedly a few parts of Asia (such as very
> wealthy people or countries) have some fancy hookups. But I suspect
> the great masses do not.

It's more homogenized but better? That gets into issues of
subsidization vs getting what you pay for. And As someone who grew up
and lived in the more less developed parts of this country but
traveled to major cities for years, I was amazed at how backward the
big cities here could be in terms of phone service, cable TV,
etc ... All in the name of protecting their citizens. That has changed
a lot in the last 20 years but still it was amazing to see. I read
somewhere recently that cable TV service in San Jose is still stuck in
the 80s.

> Consequently, I think the use of "500 times more powerful" is a littnle
> exaggerated hyperbole.

> I am not familiar with the issues adequately he raises to comment on
> them. But over the years articles against the "big evil Big Guy"
> tended not to be not so reliable. Perhaps significant facts were left
> out or inappropriate issues emphasized. For example, back during the
> early MCI-AT&T fight the issue of cream skimming, lack of rural
> service, mandated cross subsidy, and local connection cost was ignored
> by AT&T critics.

> I was searching thru the telecom archives and found a post criticizing
> the Bell Systems' PBX offerings of 1969 as being junk. I personally
> saw some modern good systems in use in those days and a check of the
> Bell Labs history confirms the offerings. To put it another way, how
> much computer horsepower could you buy back in 1969 for $2,000? Today
> you get quite a bit and people say it's easy to make your own PBX from
> that. But back then I don't think you could hook up a string of
> Altair's and make an ESS out of it, and real computers of that era
> cost a heck of a lot more. But people seem to expect that the Bell
> System would have offered cheap yet powerful electronic systems in
> those days, long before the technology even existed to make it happen.
> (Sorry, offering a few ICs at the local hobby store doesn't count.)

> All I know is that when Verizon was finally allowed to offer long
> distance my costs went down and service quality went up. The
> "consumer advocates" wouldn't let Verizon do that in order to "protect
> me". How they protected me from those restrictions I don't know nor
> understand. LIkewise, I'm not sure painting today's big telcos as bad
> is necessarily in the consumer's interest.

> [public replies, please]

AT&T's major problem was that it bread bureaucracies. Any time you
have decades of cost +10% for profit pricing, the costs will creep up.

IBM had the same thing when they owned the market. Just as Akers
retired and things were really headed south the org chart was 15+
steps from the top to the bottom. His replacement (I forget his name)
started first on things like this. Within a year it was down to under
10 and shrank a bit more later. I was there for a while during this
time on a short term deal and it was amazing how insular the employees
were. They ridiculed the competition without even knowing anything
about their products or why a customer might want them.

In another direction, my wife works for a major airline. They survived
the last 25 years due to the man at the top realizing that the
universe was changing. The company staff and management fought him
tooth and nail all the way but at the end of it they didn't wind up
like Pan Am, Braniff, Eastern, etc ... And they never went through
bankruptcy. But they still are not fully there. Maybe it literally
takes 2 generations to clear out the dead wood. And for anyone who
thing Southwest has it perfect, they really just got an 6 or 7 year
extension on the old ways. They are NOT a low cost carrier, their
labor costs near the top of the scale. What they did was win big on a
bet back 6 or so years ago. They bought very long term futures
contracts on jet fuel and won. These contracts have all
expired. They've publicly stated that their fuel cost increases this
year will be larger than last years profits. No more flying on fuel
based on $30 a barrel oil.

My point to all of this is that the world changes and big dominant
companies hate change. It makes them work to maintain their dominance
and what they really want to do is coast and talk about what they are
doing, not actually do something.

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: John Hines: "Re: Why is Congress Considering Such Anti-Consumer Telecom Bills?"
Go to Previous message: DLR: "Re: NYC Broadband"
May be in reply to: Bruce Kushnick: "Why is Congress Considering Such Anti-Consumer Telecom Bills?"
Next in thread: John Hines: "Re: Why is Congress Considering Such Anti-Consumer Telecom Bills?"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page