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AT&T wants to have its cake & eat it too

The main problem is the fact that AT&T wants to abandon all of its wired customers besides itself. It doesn't want to maintain wireline service (or fiber) to end users, but it doesn't want anybody *else* to be able to do it, either.

It wants to finance laying fiber to its own cell towers under the guise of U-verse using USF funds and profits from their remaining landline customers, without actually spending a cent to make the service competitive (or often, even available... many alleged "U-verse" neighborhoods have no customers besides... an AT&T cell tower). They lay the fiber to their tower, then "forget" to build the VRAD for everyone else to use.

The time is long overdue for the government to force a new breakup of AT&T... this time, forcing them to sell off their landline and fiber business to someone who genuinely wants it, and who's willing to operate it as a true common carrier who'll lease and peer fiber to anyone who wants it, on equal arms-length terms.

The big problem with Comcast (and DOCSIS in general) is the fact that cable companies aren't, and have no interest in being, "carrier-grade reliable". They're perfectly content to let their service go down whenever commercial power does, and maybe issue a prorated piddling refund to customers who complain loudly, instead of spending the money to build their own robust backup power.

Cable (and now, AT&T) unreliability is a particularly sore point in Florida, where hurricane-induced extended power outages are common (I had no power for almost a MONTH after Hurricane Wilma... in the middle of Coral Gables, no less. My DSL never quit working, once I figured out that I had to double-convert power from the generator to make the DSL modem happy), and pre-AT&T BellSouth's ability to keep running through anything short of nuclear attack was legendary.

BellSouth's central offices were concrete bunkers built to LITERALLY survive downtown Miami getting nuked by up to 3 warheads, most of their wires were buried, and they had enough backup power to keep everything running for more than a week... from batteries, no less. People emerged from Hurricane Andrew's rubble, and phones making "off-hook" noises underneath... and many were able to place long-distance calls to tell loved ones they thought they were about to die as their homes came down around them. Yeah, BellSouth really WAS *that* good until the bean-counters from SBC (oops, I mean "AT&T") took them over and turned them into penny-pinching misers willing to neglect our phone system into the ground (the way CSX does to its railroad tracks) in an effort to wring every last drop of equity out of the bloodied carcass of our once-proud phone system before kicking it to the curb and abandoning it.