Wednesday, June 09, 2004

State of the Industry

Rumors abound that FDN is being sold. Apparently, the owners aren't hppy with the progress. Um, if you are the owners, who do you think is responsible for the progress? FDN has rolled out VoIP in FL and GA under a subsidiary called Broadline Communications. BTW, looks like ITCD is the suitor. ---------------------- Just what AT&T needs... another fine for slamming.... from the South Florida Biz Journal: AT&T said it has entered an interim agreement to settle a lawsuit the Florida attorney general brought against it in April. The telecommunications firm said the suit filed by Attorney General Charlie Crist said AT&T was "wrongfully billing consumers for unsolicited services and for coercing them into signing up for the same services for which they were requesting refunds." Morristown, N.J.-based AT&T said the interim agreement addresses timely refunds and credits for Florida consumers who it billed in error. ------------------------------- quote from Jim Geiger, CEO of CBeyond & president of ALTS: Players dependent upon UNE-P will have to determine two things to survive: how to hold and to grow revenue. First, to hold revenue, they must find solutions for maintaining current UNE-P customers. Negotiating with incumbents is one option that is not bearing fruit in most cases. In the late April negotiations, Cbeyond Communications CEO James Geiger was quoted in the trade press saying increases demanded by the Bells “would not allow us to sustain our business.” The second unattractive option is raising prices to cover increased costs. The third option is transitioning customers to new connections. Again, the possibilities are not pretty, but barring UNE-P, they must be investigated. --------------------------------------------- ISP-Planet Managing Editor's Alex Goldman wrote an Editorial: Defining a National Alliance ( The nascent National Internet Alliance is advocacy the way the small ISPs should have always done it. But the alliance must be lead by its feet, or it will never get off the ground. ------------------------------------------- Naked DSL: Some local phone companies are deciding that they don't need to sell local phone service anymore to some customers--a stunning reversal for an industry reeling from defections to cellular and Internet phone services. Verizon Communications this week confirmed that it has begun letting some broadband customers drop local phone service without forcing them to abandon the company's DSL (digital subscriber line) plan. The move follows a similar announcement in February by Qwest Communications International and points to the fast-approaching day when the local phone line is just one more item on an a la carte telecommunications menu. Bottom line: The limited introduction of so-called naked DSL is among the signs that the Bells must face the day when local phone service will no longer be the linchpin to their business. --------------------------------------------- Verizon started selling Voice services out-of-Region. The truce has been broken! What is this world coming to? The RBOCs can't even trust other RBOCs. THE WINDOW FOR OFFERING VOIP FOR ISPs IS RAPIDLY CLOSING.... --------------------------------------------- Supreme Court Next Stop For Telecom Access-Fee Issue June 7, 2004 (11:20 a.m. EST) TechWeb News The telecommunications industry's hottest topic--access fees--is likely headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, in the wake of a denial by a Federal Appeals Court to permit existing regulations for the fees to remain in force. Although the decision last Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia had been expected, the litigation's path to the Supreme Court had been held up while the appeals body reviewed its earlier decision. The decision gives the four former regional Bell operating companies--BellSouth, Qwest, SBC, and Verizon--the go-ahead to raise the fees they charge to long-distance providers, such as AT&T and MCI, to connect to their local telephone line monopolies. AT&T and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) have said they plan to take the issue to the Supreme Court. NARUC represents state regulatory agencies, many of which currently regulate access fees. Most consumer groups have said consumers' telephone bills will rise if the Bell monopolies are permitted to raise access fees. The issue is highly charged politically, because the administration wants to avoid across-the-board increases in telephone service before the November election. The entire issue is exacerbated by the expected gradual erosion of traditional landline telephone service, as cell-phone service improves and VoIP service begins to take hold. A spotlight now shines on solicitor general Theodore Olson and whether he-and, by extension, the Administration--will appeal the decision, too. The deadline for appealing is June 30. --------------------------------------------- two good articles that explain the Access situation: ------------------------------------------ ALTS: Assoc. for Local Telecommunications Services 05/28/04 - ALTS Condemns Exclusionary Negotiations FCC-Sponsored Negotiations Shuts out Nine of the Top 25 Local Telephone Companies in America 05/20/04 - ALTS Praises Sensenbrenner-Conyers Bill To Reverse Antitrust Immunity For The Bells Bill Assures that No Company is Above the Law -------------------------------------

No comments: