"Using their own data, Verizon and SBC claimed they would spend $48.9 billion and have 36.5 million households by 2000" on hot new broadband systems, says Bruce Kushnick, who this week released his e-book The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal, which details alleged phone company misdeeds in broadband. "This was fiber-to-the-curb services ... with 500-plus channels," Kushnick says. Not only did those build-outs not happen, Kushnick says, but every time one local phone company merged with another, nascent broadband projects got shut down. "These companies failed to deliver on their fiber-optic commitments, and it is now clear that the mergers were to blame," he says. After Sunday's announcement, AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre said the combined companies would be in a better position to build new networks and compete with cable TV. But if history repeats, those projects will get just about as much priority as McDonald's gives to health food.
The other consideration is that SBC has a lousy record on merger acquisition and integration. Absorbing AT&T and BellSouth into the old SBC infrastructure will be a challenge. CNN Money writes: "With its $65 billion agreement to buy BellSouth Corp., AT&T Inc. faces one of the biggest challenges in its history: integrating two stodgy telephone companies with the nation's largest wireless company and making good on $18 billion in promised cost savings." -----> Have you read Bruce's book yet?