Monday, October 31, 2005

Commissioner Copps Calls it as He Sees It

"The mergers before us are about more than the union of this country’s largesttelecommunications carriers. They are about consumers’ phone bills, the availability of competitive broadband options and the future of the Internet. But in a sense, these mergers can also be seen as an epitaph for the competition that many of us thought we would enjoy as a result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. That legislation, I am convinced, envisioned a vastly different communications landscape than the one we find ourselves living in today.

If you seek the reason why we haven’t arrived at that happy valley of competition rife with consumer benefits, you can start with the misdirected policies of the FCC over the last several years. On too many fronts, the Commission put the spear to the procompetitive policies of the TA96." FCC Commish Mike Copps.

The only real concessions were Naked DSL and "net neutrality" - both of which will require FCC oversight (ha! ha! unless it's Janet's nipple, there isn't any sight). from USA Today:
  • 'Other conditions include forcing the two companies to offer high-speed Internet service without requiring customers to also subscribe to local telephone service for two years." "Naked DSL"
  • 'They also agreed for two years to permit customers to surf anywhere they choose on the Internet and use any applications on it." Net neutrality.
  • "Verizon and SBC also agreed for two years to continue swapping Internet traffic with the same number of providers that they do now, according to the FCC."

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