Monday, April 21, 2008

Two Shots Across the Bow of Telecom Giants.

Stupid, stupid. All of this talk, all of this wireless access is at
least 10 months away, and in reality, much much further down the road. Some people are even worried that the Gov't won't even turn off the analog signal in Feb '09. I'm not too worried about that, unless there is some caveat in the FCC auction that says it won't be liable to those who bought the spectrum if they open up access on time. What I'm really getting tired of seeing though, is the type of garbage in this story. First someone is trying to roll out a half and half (half free, half pay) internet -- at 384Kbps and 3Mbps. I don't know what the hell they're thinking, because no one will even take free access at 384. I won't even address the idea that they could block pornographic content. Second, I am sick and damn tired of groups like the CTIA bitching that any offering of free internet access will destroy the world and subvert the competition in the tele/cable arena. I'd love to see a free or low cost internet service provider stick it to the incumbents, but it's not going to happen this decade. Verizon and AT&T have most of the 700Mhz spectrum, so the hope for any competition, fair pricing, or new services has been destroyed. M2Z, the House of Representatives, and Congress are absolutely clueless about the state of the internet, competition in the space and the public and private sector's ability to wrestle control from the few companies that own the access to it.

This quote says it all. "Analyst Daniel Beringer argued in a 2006 article that network maintenance and upgrade expenditures are a lower priority for AT&T than attaining monopoly control of the market through acquisitions. "The Bells only invest in more monopoly which usually means buying each other. The track record shows steadily lower spending on networks to increase free cash flow for acquisitions. The $140 billion SBC spent acquiring Ameritech, PacBell, SNET, AT&T Wireless, and AT&T lifted the company's market cap by only $40 billion," wrote Beringer. "SBC missed an opportunity as $140 billion happens to be about what it would cost to run fiber to every home in America."

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