TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: AT&T 'Family' Reunion: Merger Approved

Re: AT&T 'Family' Reunion: Merger Approved
30 Dec 2006 12:08:44 -0800

TELECOM Digest Editor wrote:

> AT&T _mostly_ got its way very late Friday afternoon when the Federal
> Communications voted to agree to the merger between AT&T and
> BellSouth. Democrats on the Commission held out for concessions,
> including among others, 'Network Neutrality' and a continued
> discounting in rates for wholesalers; i.e. the former Prairie Stream
> Communications and the existing Sage Telecom.

I'm not sure I understand why the FCC should be dictating policy in
this situation.

AT&T is not the old monolithic and powerful Bell System. It is a
shadow of its former self, keeping the name for marketing purposes.
It's last power base, Long Distance, isn't worth much anymore with all
the cheap fibre and satellite circuits lots of others have installed.
As others have noted, even the traditional landline business is
falling off for companies like Verizon.

Consequently, I don't know why it should be forced to discount its
rates for wholesalers. It should be free to do what every other
business does -- if it feels it's in its interest to discount, it will
do so, otherwise not.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: AT&T wanted to be very pragmatic about
the whole thing and have the merger approved _sometime_ during the
lifetimes of its present executives. The Democrats (or do you know
them as 'Demopublicans' or 'Republicrats'?) suggested "here is a way
to grease the American public's back orifice, and make it easier for
everyone to take your offering: Maintain the status quo so we can tell
everyone what good guys we are." AT&T apparently agreed that was a
prudent way of handling things, by not offending more politicians. PAT]

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