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FCC Chief Won't Enforce AT&T Merger Conditions He Doesn't Like
Senate begins firing questions at FCC over policy...
by Karl Bode 12:45PM Friday Feb 02 2007 Tipped by jtel See Profile
The FCC faced their first round of grilling before a Democratic controlled Senate that has promised greater scrutiny of the commission's actions. All five commissioners testified, FCC chief Kevin Martin seriously annoying Senators by already stating he had no intention of enforcing AT&T merger concessions he didn't agree with. Martin and fellow Conservative commissioners hinted as much when the merger was approved, noting that "while the Democrat Commissioners may have extracted concessions from AT&T, they in no way bind future Commission action. Thus, to the extent that AT&T has, as a business matter, determined to take certain actions, they are allowed to do so."

The FCC's two Democratic commissioners in their own testimony lamented the state of the broadband union. "Have us gather better statistics about our country's woeful broadband situation," urged Commissioner Copps. "Set our agency's talented engineers and policy gurus to work writing reports and teeing up options for you to consider about how we can inject life back into our nation's stagnant broadband market."

Meanwhile, this week, the FCC released their bi-annual report on broadband as required by the 1996 Telecom Act (see report and press release).

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FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

1 recommendation

Details on refusing to enforce "1 TERM"

Martin only refusing to enforce 1 term that he contends is illegal. Not the whole agreement as implied in the BBR news item:
»www.usatoday.com/money/companies···at_x.htm
But in agreeing to the requirement, AT&T said it would not slash the prices it charges Verizon and Qwest, two of its largest rivals, unless the two local phone giants lower the lease rates they charge AT&T in their territories. AT&T, Verizon and Qwest all have long-distance units that serve big businesses outside their regions.

Verizon and Qwest say they will not cut their prices for AT&T.

In a statement released when the FCC approved the deal, Martin and Republican Commissioner Deborah Tate suggested they would not enforce the condition because it improperly imposed obligations on other carriers. They also said if Verizon and Qwest can't get the low rates, the concession would conflict with FCC rules that require wholesale services to be offered to all carriers on equal terms.
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Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

1 edit

Re: Details on refusing to enforce "1 TERM"

Nowhere does the item "imply" the whole agreement won't be enforced. Just the parts he doesn't like.
quote:
Martin and Republican Commissioner Deborah Tate suggested they would not enforce the condition because it improperly imposed obligations on other carriers.
Also, from Tate and Martin's statement when the merger was initially approved:
quote:
while the Democrat Commissioners may have extracted concessions from AT&T, they in no way bind future Commission action. Thus, to the extent that AT&T has, as a business matter, determined to take certain actions, they are allowed to do so."
And it's pretty obvious that the FCC won't enforce the network neutrality concession barring some egregious and direct blockade of competing traffic that forces his hand.
Cod

join:2000-07-05
Kernersville, NC

1 recommendation

Re: Details on refusing to enforce "1 TERM"

said by Karl Bode:

And it's pretty obvious that the FCC won't enforce the network neutrality concession barring some egregious and direct blockade of competing traffic that forces his hand.
Pure speculation.

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

1 recommendation

Re: Details on refusing to enforce "1 TERM"

Your speculation that my speculation is speculation is pure speculation.

How's things at BellSouth, Cod?

TScheisskopf
World News Trust

join:2005-02-13
Belvidere, NJ

1 recommendation

Re: Details on refusing to enforce "1 TERM"

said by Karl Bode:

Your speculation that my speculation is speculation is pure speculation.

How's things at BellSouth, Cod?
Sure would be nice if there was some way to get some full disclosure going around here.

I know, I know...It's Da' Net and it's impossible, but let an old guy have his dreams, wouldja?

Alpine
Premium
join:2000-01-11
Atlanta, GA

Re: Details on refusing to enforce "1 TERM"

quote:
Sure would be nice if there was some way to get some full disclosure going around here.

Why? Would Cod's opinion matter less if you found out he worked at BellSouth? (If he even does. I don't know.)

Of course not. Saying so would be like saying one's opinion on United State politics doesn't matter because he lives there and thus must be biased. Obviously a stupid argument.

And, frankly, those that work in the industry generally know what's going on a heck of a lot better than those that just read DSLReports. Just like US citizens would generally have a better idea of what's going on in their own country than a foreign person reading AntiUSBias.com. Same thing.



Adam

Morty7
Premium
join:2004-09-18

Re: Details on refusing to enforce "1 TERM"

said by Alpine:

quote:
Sure would be nice if there was some way to get some full disclosure going around here.

Just like US citizens would generally have a better idea of what's going on in their own country than a foreign person reading AntiUSBias.com. Same thing.



Adam
The problem is the majority of Americans don't know what's going on OUTSIDE of their own country

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY
said by TScheisskopf:

said by Karl Bode:

Your speculation that my speculation is speculation is pure speculation.

How's things at BellSouth, Cod?
Sure would be nice if there was some way to get some full disclosure going around here.

I know, I know...It's Da' Net and it's impossible, but let an old guy have his dreams, wouldja?
The most pathetic thing is when an astroturfer has been caught working in full-fledged corporate shill mode like this Cod guy, they simply disappear. No answer, no anything.

Truly pathetic.
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TScheisskopf
World News Trust

join:2005-02-13
Belvidere, NJ

Re: Details on refusing to enforce "1 TERM"

Hey, if a company wants to put a person on this site to fully express the corporate line, no problems here, as long as they are identified as who and what they are(black, shriveled souls that look like a raisin notwithstanding... ).

No, what makes my teeth itch is astroturfers who hide behind an assumed "true grassroots" persona while peddling their wares in a specious manner. I find that vaguely insulting to my intelligence and I really don't like have my last remaining shards of intelligence insulted. It is also smacks of classic psyops and I really resent that they even try that.

I mean, if they have a good job with UltraMegaJigundo Telecom Inc., why be ashamed? Of if they have a grunch of their money invested in same. Or if they work for a public relations contractor, hired by same.

I am sure most of us would like to have a job with said company, or have the money to invest, and the resultant salary or dividends thereof. Soul Retention Optional.

I suggest that these companies read, digest and truly absorb "Guerilla Marketing" by Christopher Locke. Learn what having a REAL two-way dialogue with their customers can bring to the table in the wonderful world of The Intertubular Communication Matrix. Stop speaking at us. Speak with us. Not all of us drool and have unspeakable relationships with barnyard creatures. Surely, some of us do, but it's a big world and it takes all kinds.

It would also remove their craniums from a very unseemly aspect of their lower anatomies. Awful dark and smelly down there.
axus

join:2001-06-18
Washington, DC
Reviews:
·Comcast
On the surface it does seem wrong, but I think his job is to implement the bill as it was passed. Let a judge decide if its unreasonable or not. My point of view is that AT&T made a concession, and it should be enforced, if it was something they didn't agree with then they shouldn't merge or challenge it in court after its enforced. If he doesn't enforce it, he's not doing his job.

If the FCC had come out of nowhere with this, it would definitely be illegal, but if they had merged without meeting conditions that would also be illegal.
w4ncr

join:2000-10-27
WHY IS EVERYTHING ABOUT WIRELESS--CINGULAR UPGRADES AND NOTHING ABOUT BROADBAND????????????

P Ness
You'Ve Forgotten 9-11 Already
Premium
join:2001-08-29
way way out
Reviews:
·Comcast
Does not matter what he thinks, he should enforce what his job requires him to enforce or step down....if its illegal then ATT will be the ones to fight it out in court...or Martin should go to the "cops" and let them figure it out....
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www.stopfcc.comI do not think the government needs to restrict free speech especially on a device that has an off knob.
clickie8

join:2005-05-22
Monroe, MI

Kevin Martin in Bed with Big Media


Kev-in-bed
I think this photo pretty much sums it up. It's Kevin Martin, in bed with big media.

»www.stopbigmedia.com/blog/?p=13

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

4 edits

1 recommendation

Hot Air, Fart gas, and Bullsh*t

What a bunch of smelly crap. Senators making political statements just to sound good. FCC so politicised it is worthless, and hearing just so the Democrats can sound like they are more concerned then the Republicans. the truth is no one in Washington cares one wit about this issue. But they think feeding us a line of bull-crap will make us feel so special because we know there is someone who cares.
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The older I get the more I prefer the company of my dogs over that of man kind.
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD

Re: Hot Air, Fart gas, and Bullsh*t

not just politicized, but as the previous post sez, in bed with big media.

I have heard buzz that Martin is interested in a political career after totally deregulating telecom and is looking forward to getting those big contributions from telcos to grease his election. I totally believe this to be true; otherwise, Martin is just a regular whore with no ambition.

as for the democrats on the commission, they talk the talk, but cave too easily when push comes to shove. They should have tied up the ATT/Bellsouth merger for eternity, but caved when ATT agreed to some piddly conditions they will ignore anyway.

No doubt about it, the U.S. is going to be fvked for years to come in the telecom and broadband space.

wireline service is totally locked up and I think it will be years, if ever, before wireless is really offered as a viable option.

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

1 recommendation

Re: Hot Air, Fart gas, and Bullsh*t

quote:
as for the democrats on the commission, they talk the talk, but cave too easily when push comes to shove.
They have to be the most easily suckered people I've ever seen. Other than tersely worded press releases they engage in no action that to me indicates any of them have anything resembling cojones....
quote:
Democratic Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein told lawmakers he was unaware of Martin's concerns until after the vote. "It's hard for me to understand how we cannot implement something that was (voted for) unanimously," he said.
Gosh! Gee! How is it possible we were tricked?

It's like watching a math club kid getting his ass kicked at the flag pole.

T1 Rocky

join:2002-11-15
Dallas, TX

Republicans or Democrats

I was under the impression that the Republicans were in favor of the AT&T/Bellsouth merger and the Democrats were opposed to it? Guess I was backwards?

What I'd really like to see is how many pieces of legislation since 1996 that the telcos got their way on and how many they did NOT get their way on? I wonder if there is a way to get that data?

footballdude
Premium
join:2002-08-13
Imperial, MO

1 recommendation

Re: Republicans or Democrats

said by T1 Rocky:

I was under the impression that the Republicans were in favor of the AT&T/Bellsouth merger and the Democrats were opposed to it? Guess I was backwards?
Neither side really cared all that much. Democrats felt they had to make some noise against it to appease the anti-corporate left. Republicans felt obliged to rubber stamp it to appease the free market right. Afterwards they all went to dinner together and laughed at those of us that cared.
--
What's certain about Darwinism is that it would take less time for (1) a single-celled organism to evolve into a human being through mutation and natural selection than for (2) Darwinists to admit they have no proof of (1) - Ann Coulter

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

USA like a 3rd world country

When it comes to broadband. If the "free market system" is so superior" then how come the USA is so far behind other countries? Don't bring up how other countries are funded by their governments because all the major teleco/cable companies money combined is more than the GDP of 90% of the countries on earth. Of course the REAL reason is when it comes to broadband their isn't any "free market sytem", but these compnies want to be treated as if there is.
jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH

Re: USA like a 3rd world country

Don't forget about their complaining that someone ELSE should pay for THEIR network upgrades. You know, decades of getting profits arn't enough for AT&T's half-assed plan to bring 6mb/s internet up to 6mb/s. They still want others to pay for it.
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- "Techie" Jim

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000

Re: USA like a 3rd world country

so true. AT&T will be at the front of the line with hands outstretched begging for corporate welfare in a few years.

that's the only thing that can possibly explain their current, flawed business strategy.
jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH

Re: USA like a 3rd world country

said by morbo:

that's the only thing that can possibly explain their current, flawed business strategy.
Please tell me where I said this. I never said they had a flawed plan, I simply said it is immoral.

Given the fact that Verizon will be offering 100mb/s plans throughout their areas along with fiber munies this will create a huge divide in the U.S. where some will have high-speed internet while many others will be stuck with slower. All this while other contries continue to out-pace the U.S. at next-gen internet deployment.

My point is they are exploiting the majority of American's lack of knowledge of the internet to offer the same speed they and others have offered for quite a few years.
Technically, the only thing they are adding is IPTV and VoIP. They arn't increasing the internet speed for the simple fact that they won't be able to.
--
- "Techie" Jim
rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT

The reason the free market system isn't working...

The reason the free market system isn't working is because very few people are willing to actually make the system work and vote with their feet. If AT&T faced massive subscriber loses over their broadband policy they would change that policy immediately.

The reality is that the majority of American's don't give a damn. We aren't a nation of people that live in skyscrapers and spend 90% of our free time playing video games (like South Korea). America is a diverse nation that live in suburban environments and realistically the majority spend their time interacting with their families and friends not getting a tan from the glow of their computer screen.

Heck I agree that we need a better broadband policy, as I'm one of those FEW people that uses their computer a lot. But be realistic, a very small percentage of this country cares whether their line is 1.5kbit or 15kbit. The vast majority care about cost.

bigjohn

join:2005-05-26
Woodstock, GA
kudos:1

att/bellsouth merger screws bellsouth customers - HARD.

If ATT can sell DSL 3mb/256k for $24 dollars a month in areas where it competes with Verizon, why can't they do that in "bell south" territory too? Because Verizon does not compete here. So, for we get 'as low as $24.95/month', as long as you keep your dialtone at $50, and that 24.95 buys you 'dsl lite' which I think is 512k down / 128k up.

Gee. Just think, we're almost back to one monopoly telco who can dictate whatever they want. I can't wait until I can pay $4.50 for a 3 minute call again!

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
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FCC forgot

Foppish FCC forgot why the D.O.J. charged Bell with violating the Sherman Act and ordered ta breakup of the company many years ago. Now it's bigger, back together and meaner than a hungry Python. Sooner or later there will be NO competition in television, internet providers or telcos because they will not exist - which is why I dumped Bell and its forced bundling a few months ago. I haven't looked back since nor have I regretted the change.
--
Mac: No windows, No gates, Apple inside

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

2 edits

Disband the corrupt, rotten FCC and put its ilks on trial...

... like MArtin and similar shills for corruption, for conspiracy to commit bribery, lying to the Congress and the nation etc etc. It's a long list and we should include former Tief-In-Chief Powell as well.
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GhostDoggy

join:2005-05-11
Duluth, GA

Like BellSouth and Cingular, FCC is joining AT&T

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one. The FCC is a joke and a half. They are not their for the benefit of the American people UNLESS those Americans come forth with money to bribe (ahem, lobby) them with.