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oldguy
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:59 pm    Post subject: Off topic: Ma Bell coming back? Reply with quote Back to top

After many years, back in the '70s, and many millions spent by the Government to break up the monopoly of the telco giant AT&T (known as 'Ma Bell'), it looks as though Ma Bell is rising from the dead.

AT&T merges with SBC (who had already acquired Ameritech and others), and is now merging with Bell South.

And the Government says nothing????? Strange how our money is wasted.
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Vonage, Comcast, et al are providing competition for dial tone access. There are still plenty of long distance providers out there for people who want to waste their money.

The conglomeration of local PSTN companies into a single unit is not going to harm customers (they weren't competing in most markets anyway) and will provide efficiency of scale.

The biggest threat of this conglomeration is not to telephony but to Internet service. While competition from CLECs abounds in most markets the ILECs still serve as the primary provider (if not sole provider) of broadband Internet access when broadband cable service is not available.

This could lead to higher Internet costs hidden through service fees to content providers (the antithesis of net neutrality). This may actually be a good thing. Raising the cost of Internet access may open the doors to competition from other technologies, especially wireless technologies and possibly to widespread adoption of the municiple network concept.

I am, frankly, much more concerned about the conglomeration of the cable companies. Cable companies have control over much more than wires to transport generic services. They control the content that is transferred over those wires. Luckily even they have competition from satellite and the emerging ILEC based fiber optic systems.

All and all the terrain is much different from the AT&T dominated telephone system from the middle of the 20th century. It would be nice to see some separation of content and services from the companies who use public property, rights-of-way or wireless spectrum, to deliver services but we are in pretty good shape in terms of being able to avoid government regulation in the near future.

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bg4
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

While there may be mergers and they may not be good for consumers we will never see ma-bell emerge from the ashes.

One of the more interesting things to read on the net is the history of Bell Telephone and how we got to Voip. Do a google on history of bell telephone. Obviously any history of the phone system will not incluse Voip but you can connect the dots yourself.

You have to remember that AT&T had a monopoly. They owned all of the lines, the phones and provided the dial tone, local and long distance service. There was no competition and it was government sanctioned.

It is likely that the phone system we know today would not be here if not for bell telephone.

What was the downfall of Ma Bell? In my opinion it was regulation by the US Government interestingly enough the same government that de-regulated the telephone industry that alloows mergers.

Jan 1 1984 Bell Telephone was broken up



And the rest as they say is history. AT&T went on to purchase cellular licenses from McCaw cellular and began AT&T wireless.

What was the question? Oh yeah. Is Ma Bell rising from the dead. Not likely and not like it was. No one company owns everything anymore and Voip has helped competition so I do not believe it will happen although it seems AT&T wants it to get close to happening

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