37 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2018 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.

The Telecom Digest for Sun, 30 Sep 2018
Volume 37 : Issue 234 : "text" format

Table of contents
The FCC is finally cracking down on the use of spoofed local numbers to robocall youBill Horne
Cities Are Teaming Up To Offer Broadband, And The Fcc Is Mad Bill Horne
Re: Finger PointingHAncock4

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message-ID: <20180928203659.GA7212@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2018 16:36:59 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: The FCC is finally cracking down on the use of spoofed local numbers to robocall you By Andy Meek It's likely that many of you reading this have had your cellphone bombarded at some point with spam calls that trick you into answering by spoofing a local number. The purpose being so that you don't see a 1-800 prefix or something similar that would let you know it's not a real person. Those kinds of spoofed calls have seemed to multiply with no end in sight, basically leaving callers helpless to stop them beyond blocking each number or just never answering your phone when you see numbers you don't recognize. Thankfully, the FCC is finally moving to take action and has proposed a first-of-its-kind fine against one company accused of engaging in this practice. https://www.yahoo.com/news/fcc-finally-cracking-down-spoofed-local-numbers-robocall-123724700.html -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ***** Moderator's Note ***** As welcome as the news may be, I must take it with a grain of salt. This is not a fine, just a proposal to levy one - right before the election. Bill Horne Moderator ------------------------------ Message-ID: <20180928233627.GA8058@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2018 19:36:27 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: Cities Are Teaming Up To Offer Broadband, And The Fcc Is Mad By Susan Crawfords THIS IS A story that defies two strongly held beliefs. The first - embraced fervently by today's FCC - is that the private marketplace is delivering world-class internet access infrastructure at low prices to all Americans, particularly in urban areas. The second is that cities are so busy competing that they are incapable of cooperating with one another, particularly when they have little in common save proximity. These two beliefs aren't necessarily true. Right now, the 16 very different cities that make up the South Bay region of Southern California have gotten fed up with their internet access situation: They're paying too much for too little. So they are working together to collectively lower the amounts they pay for city communications by at least a third. It's the first step along a path that, ultimately, will bring far cheaper internet access services to the 1.1 million people who live in the region. https://www.wired.com/story/fcc-southern-california-broadband-collective/?CNDID=45588406&mbid=nl_092718_daily_list1_p1 -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <93b6a740-948c-446b-88e5-9a6f69ce2420@googlegroups.com> Date: 28 Sep 2018 14:18:23 -0700 From: HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> Subject: Re: Finger Pointing On Friday, September 28, 2018 at 1:48:53 PM UTC-4, Fred Atkinson wrote: > > From: HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> > > Unfortunately, soon after Divestiture, many telecom businesses-- new > > and old--changed their operating philosophy and consumers suffered as > > a result. > > > > As a regulated monopoly, Bell was more engineering oriented and tended > > to work hard for very high service standards. We all know their gear > > lasted forever and generally their people were well trained and > > helpful. (There were some exceptions over the years and in some > > places). > > > > But after Divestiture, AT&T and the Baby Bells were now marketing > > companies. They were out to make a buck. Suddenly, engineering took > > a back seat to profit, and a fast profit at that. Cost- cutting > > became a priority. Sales was a priority. Many dedicated well-trained > > professional staff were replaced with salespeople on commission. They > > didn't know anything about "ground start" nor did they care. They > > wanted you to buy something and buy it now. Staff turnover was high. > > This of course all applied to the newcomer carriers and suppliers as > > well. The exceptions were a few folks who knew what they were doing > > and could get something done. But for the customer, it was very > > frustrating trying to get along until a competent person was found. > My experience was that the frustration was around long before > divestiture. I agree there was a lot of frustration by Bell customers in the 1960s onward. However, my own experiences at the time, especially in the business world, was that public's expectations were not valid. One factor was price; many customers felt Bell's prices were too high. But a big problem was that, as we discussed, Bell was obligated to provide universal service and cross subsidy to keep basic and residence prices low. That was a public policy decision by state and federal regulators, who generally felt pretty strongly about it. Another factor was a misunderstanding by the public about Bell's end-to-end responsibility. Many customers, both residential and business, wanted it both ways: that is, they wanted cheap equipment yet wanted Bell to maintain it all for free. Bell personnel used to get very frustrated on service calls to find a residential subscriber (or a small business) connected a bootleg extension to their line, and that phone was now causing problem that Bell was expected to fix. When businesses starting using their own systems, many of them were poorly built or poorly installed, giving Bell even more headaches. Further, the 1960s onward were a time of social unrest. Since Bell served the cities, it got hit rather hard with vandalism, disgruntled workers, protests, etc. (So did Western Union). For example, Bell got hammered in the media for its defense contracts, something they used to be proud of. In the eyes of many in the 1970s, Bell was an evil company. Most people had no idea of the specifics of providing national telephone service, but the perception Bell was bad (like many other corporations) took off. That didn't help matters. > I generally found telco persons (not all) to be arrogant, > display an 'I know more than you know' attitude, and [generally] not > really be listening to their customers. Many times the answer they > would give me clearly demonstrated that they didn't really hear what > I said or asked. Yes, the old Bell System was not perfect. But in essence, I strongly believe the 'cure' of Divestiture made things much worse, not better. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. My own experience as well as among telecom administrators was not that way. > Higher engineering standards, yes. But at the price of a > totalitarian PSTN. In my opinion, their rigid standards maintained the integrity of the system. The moderator mentioned problems when independently made PBX's appeared on the scene. > Bell didn't seem to understand that the PSTN belonged to the > public as they were the ones footing the bill. That I disagree with. A renter does not own the apartment he lives in even though he writes out a rent check every month. The apartment belongs to the landlord, who has taken the risk of ownership and maintenance. As best as I knew personally and from my employers at the time, Bell generally met its public obligation to provide good service (there were some exceptions). Indeed, I think Bell generally did better than the independent phone companies. Note too that Bell kept reducing long distance rates as their costs dropped, as well as bringing out technological improvements. > If you were not satisfied with the result or the overall service, > you had nowhere else to go. > > Many times I wasn't satisfied at all. But I had no recourse > other than to escalate through the PSC. Yes, if there was an unresolved problem, the PSC was necessary. Generally that was very rare (Bell hated that and usually responded aggressively when that happened). But that situation exists in a great many fields. Often times a business has an effective monopoly. > Once I had other options (post divestiture), that changed. > They were generally more receptive than before. But not all the > time. Sometimes I took the other provider instead when I couldn't > get a resolution from them. > > Sometimes I escalated through the PSC. That was drastic. But > it worked when all else failed. > Today, we have many options. That's a good thing. Fast forward to today, are we any better off? I say no. In essence, all we have today are Verizon and AT&T, we really don't have realistic and viable competition. Individual consumers who don't know the gory details are particularly frustrated or at risk for getting hosed. In my opinion, the PSC/FCC are worthless today compared to the best. Supposedly we have "competition" and the carriers today managed to get many services deregulated. In my own experiences, Verizon, AT&T and Comcast are far worse in terms of service quality, reliability, and price than the old Bell System was. Our little rinky dink neighborhood cable TV company was far superior to Comcast, despite Comcast's much higher rates and economies of scale. Verizon doesn't give a damn. I know telecomm administrators who are very frustrated. ------------------------------ ********************************************* End of telecom Digest Sun, 30 Sep 2018

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