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AT&T Cons Kentucky Into Hanging Up On Its DSL Users
AT&T Lobbyists Hard at Work Gutting Regulations
by Karl Bode 09:01AM Friday Feb 15 2013 Tipped by BlueArcher See Profile
Verizon and AT&T want to get out of maintaining or upgrading the tens of millions of users they currently have on aging DSL -- so they can focus on higher profit wireless services. Literally hanging up on these users creates a multitude of problems nobody is discussing, like the fact that many users are fleeing to cable creating a stronger cable monopoly, many of those DSL users will be forced to pay much more money for heavily capped LTE service, and many more won't be able to get LTE service at all when DSL lines are cut, creating connectivity gaps at a time we profess to be interested in eliminating them.

To make this shift possible both AT&T and Verizon have to go state by state convincing lawmakers to gut all of the regulations governing phone companies, especially any requiring they maintain aging and heavily subsidized networks they refuse to upgrade. State lawmakers have been easily duped for years by a quick handshake and some AT&T cash, and this effort appears to be no exception.

Kentucky is the latest to buckle to AT&T cash, the state passing a sweeping deregulation bill AT&T is busy promising them that "modernizing telecom regulation" will revolutionize broadband in the state:
quote:
State law requires phone companies to provide basic land-line service as the "carriers of last resort" for households throughout their territories. It also requires the Kentucky Public Service Commission to investigate and resolve consumer complaints. Patrick Turner, an AT&T attorney from South Carolina, said earlier this week that the company was planning to spend $14 billion across the nation to upgrade its Internet service. AT&T would not want to leave its land-line customers because the company wants to increase its Internet service to them, he said.
That last sentence is an outright lie. AT&T's recent promise of broadband expansion is largely a show, designed specifically to get these kinds of bills passed. There is no fixed line broadband expansion planned for Kentucky, and LTE isn't going to be available to all of these users. If it is, it's going to be significantly more expensive than DSL. The bill promises to keep users connected if they live in rural areas with fewer than 5,000 lines, but you can be absolutely assured that the model legislation written by AT&T these bills are based on gives AT&T's plenty of loopholes to work with.

Kentucky is ranked 46 by broadband speed according to FCC data, and with a deregulated AT&T soon hanging up on unwanted DSL and POTS users en masse, that's not changing anytime soon. Anybody telling you that deregulation of AT&T results in benefits for anyone other than AT&T is selling you a line of historically inaccurate nonsense.

Update: Meanwhile, FCC shows AT&T is actually among the worst ISPs when it comes to delivering advertised speeds.

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Darknessfall
Premium
join:2012-08-17
kudos:5

Stupid

Well... someone's surely stupid

whiteshp

join:2002-03-05
Xenia, OH

1 recommendation

Re: Stupid

Not stupid.... just has a pocket full of cash. It's pure revolving door politics. Nobody else has a voice anymore.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

2 recommendations

Re: Stupid

said by whiteshp:

Not stupid.... just has a pocket full of cash. It's pure revolving door politics. Nobody else has a voice anymore.

When the supreme court ruled that corporations was seen as people to our congress it has been down hill ever sense for the worker in this country.... Not to mention crap like this :-/

nonamesleft

join:2011-11-07
Manitowoc, WI
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1 recommendation

Re: Stupid

said by decifal:

said by whiteshp:

Not stupid.... just has a pocket full of cash. It's pure revolving door politics. Nobody else has a voice anymore.

When the supreme court ruled that corporations was seen as people to our congress it has been down hill ever sense for the worker in this country.... Not to mention crap like this :-/

Then couldn't we technically sue the scumbags behind this crap easier then? Since corporations want to be classified as a person.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
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·Verizon FiOS
said by decifal:

said by whiteshp:

Not stupid.... just has a pocket full of cash. It's pure revolving door politics. Nobody else has a voice anymore.

When the supreme court ruled that corporations was seen as people to our congress it has been down hill ever sense for the worker in this country.... Not to mention crap like this :-/

last time I checked.. spending cash to alter the regulatory climate was illegal. nothing's done about it.. but it's still illegal.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

Re: Stupid

said by tmc8080:

said by decifal:

said by whiteshp:

Not stupid.... just has a pocket full of cash. It's pure revolving door politics. Nobody else has a voice anymore.

When the supreme court ruled that corporations was seen as people to our congress it has been down hill ever sense for the worker in this country.... Not to mention crap like this :-/

last time I checked.. spending cash to alter the regulatory climate was illegal. nothing's done about it.. but it's still illegal.

yeah, much like what people do when renting hookers, they don't openly say "hey, lets do this blah blah, heres your money".. But instead its hey, the consumers want phone lines unregulated so we can cherry pick and charge em more.. Oh, and this bag of money is just something I thought i'd leave here for.. Ya know, the consumers...

timcuth
Braves Fan
Premium
join:2000-09-18
Pelham, AL

Who's Next?

If (when) this happens in Alabama, I guess I'll be off the Internet. I'll be damned if I'll go to Charter.

Tim

bolt
End of the line DSL sucks.
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Charlestown, IN
kudos:1

Re: Who's Next?

If this happens in Indiana, I am truly screwed.

midwesttech4

@ameritech.net

Re: Who's Next?

This already happened in Indiana. You'll notice that Indiana is one of the states serviced by AT&T which had a large amount of U-Verse connections implemented - mainly because they were able to bring in the service without purchasing franchise agreements and being required to maintain POTS. The current expansion work (not plans, actual work) being done in Indiana, even in rural areas, on U-Verse is 20X's that of Kentucky - because they aren't compressed with tedious regulation.

wizkid6

join:2002-03-31
Opelika, AL

1 edit

1 recommendation

I think they (AT&T) already lobbied here. The result was a requirement to have the citizens approve any referendums before a city can get into the video/phone/hsi biz. See Georgia for the result of thieir lobbying succeeding.

And if they've upgraded (or plan to upgrade) your area with IP-DSL, then they won't dump you area. They upgraded Opelika.
pandora
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If providing service was profitable AT&T wouldn't leave

If providing service in Kentucky were profitable, AT&T wouldn't want to leave. There is often a duopoly in most areas for wired Internet. Usually a telephone company and a cable company. Of the two, it is probably easier to be a cable operator.

We need to better understand the economic decisions AT&T or Verizon make. Assuming AT&T wants out, and it is profitable to provide service to Kentucky, shouldn't another company be ready to move in?
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.
axus

join:2001-06-18
Washington, DC
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Re: If providing service was profitable AT&T wouldn't leave

Selling LTE is *more* profitable. Getting cheap spectrum from the cable co in exchange for virtual monopoly is more profitable . Why have 5% margin when you can have 50%.

Groups like Frontier have tried to take over that 5% margin and haven't made it work.
pandora
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Re: If providing service was profitable AT&T wouldn't leave

said by axus:

Selling LTE is *more* profitable. Getting cheap spectrum from the cable co in exchange for virtual monopoly is more profitable . Why have 5% margin when you can have 50%.

Groups like Frontier have tried to take over that 5% margin and haven't made it work.

Great, head to Kentucky and start stringing wire or fiber optics. See how many you can string up before a cop inquires about the new "service" you are going to offer.

The state of regulation regarding Internet in this country is a total mess. Unless and until we undo the national, state and local mindset that there can only be one cable and one telephone company serving a geographic area and until we deregulate so the barrier to entry isn't high, there will be no competition.

Did you ever visit the FCC site or the Kentucky regulatory site, and view the thousands of pages of regulations a cable to telephone company has to comply with?

If you assume control over a geographic area, ALL within that area must be covered, in Kentucky any new telephone service must be connected if it is within 750 feet of an existing telephone pole. How profitable will it be to run 5-7 poles to one house if they will pay the low $25 rates we read about in Hong Kong. What about maintenance of poles, or damage during natural events. Even pruning of trees can become expensive.

I'm a big supporter of competition. However many are not. They like the idea of competition, within the current regulatory framework.

Competition means there will be winners and losers, that some will have many Internet or phone choices, others will have none. For the most part, most on this forum, like all the mandates. They just don't like paying for them.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
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Why would any company chase a 5% margin (if that)?

Historically, notes, insurance, and government securities have paid in that same range without any overhead or real risk, recent government-induced banking nonsense not withstanding.

For investors to risk their capital, there has to be some potential, some perception, some lure. 5% won't cut it.

This is why, historically, non-competitive markets were awarded regulated, monopoly franchises - so that the seller would be assured a guaranteed rate of return. That resulted in much higher prices, but service was available.

We probably should have a discussion on the merits of returning certain low-density markets to protected monopoly status for data and dialtone, which will include a surcharge on LTE use, but don't act surprised when the rates are substantially higher than urban areas.
dlsauers

join:2005-10-25
Wellston, OH
said by pandora:
If providing service in Kentucky were profitable, AT&T wouldn't want to leave. There is often a duopoly in most areas for wired Internet. Usually a telephone company and a cable company. Of the two, it is probably easier to be a cable operator.

Maybe in the *URBAN* areas of KY, OH, WV, and just about every other mixed state... but unless you been to and lived/live in those areas... there is NO DUOPOLY.. outside the urban areas. theres POTS and if your really lucky you can get DSL in these areas. Crapble ends most of the time the next hawla over and there is NO PLANS for expansion, unless YOUR PAYING for it, upfront and in cash.

VZ has already sold out most of these rural areas to frontier, especially the GTE areas..

My area is a prime example... go outside the few little urbanized "towns" and you get POTS and DSL available if your REALLY LUCKY, and crapble never was available, and no plans to expand.
pandora
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Re: If providing service was profitable AT&T wouldn't leave

said by dlsauers:



Maybe in the *URBAN* areas of KY, OH, WV, and just about every other mixed state... but unless you been to and lived/live in those areas... there is NO DUOPOLY.. outside the urban areas. theres POTS and if your really lucky you can get DSL in these areas. Crapble ends most of the time the next hawla over and there is NO PLANS for expansion, unless YOUR PAYING for it, upfront and in cash.

VZ has already sold out most of these rural areas to frontier, especially the GTE areas..

My area is a prime example... go outside the few little urbanized "towns" and you get POTS and DSL available if your REALLY LUCKY, and crapble never was available, and no plans to expand.

High density population and affluent areas without significant local regulation will almost always have better utility service than poor rural areas.

At multiple levels our government attempts to impose "fairness". Which means as near universal coverage as is possible.

There are great costs to government regulations, in time, litigation, and distraction from the core mission of providing service to new and existing customers.

If you live in a small community, contact your local utility commission and indicate your desire to provide low cost Internet to a few hundred homes nearby. Call your electric company and see if they own the poles, what they charge for pole connects.

In my state, a developer of a large complex tried to offer very low cost Internet within the complex, as a stand alone provider. He was shut down by our utility commission. Only authorized telco or cable companies can provide wired Internet service in Connecticut.

My guess is the rules are similar for most states.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

2 recommendations

Karl and the Behemoth

And Karl swings his sling stone with deady accuracy to the behemoths knee. As he goes in for the coupdegrace the behemoth stands back up, run karl run!
--
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Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

1 recommendation

And there is no reason for AT&T to not try

and do this to everyone they can screw without it being a PR disaster.

We have so many sheep here and elsewhere that love screaming about our "Free Market" then either dismiss the fact that AT&T is basically re-writing the laws (well, major Corps not just AT&T) to help them strictly benefit for a few more bucks) and outright stopping any and all competition against them.

Not sure what exactly is "Free" about that

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: And there is no reason for AT&T to not try

They've been listening to Republican propaganda for too long, being told the Free Market works for everything, despite the facts.
A Duopoly is barely competition, and when the telco and cable companies start making marketing agreements and/or the telco's pull out of wireline services for the more lucrative wireless market,
with hand crafted laws by the telco and cable companies to stifle competition. Eventually you'll have a unregulated monopoly in wireline access, and no way to regulate it, with more and more citizens disconnected and the US will fall farther and farther behind.

Suntop
Premium
join:2000-03-23
Fairfield, MT
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1 recommendation

If this do not stop

We will lose our free market. Step 1 Lobby hard to change laws. Step 2 Get law passed in their favor for total control. Step 3 Profit!!

Welcome to the Corporate States of America

WE BETTER STAND UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

nonamesleft

join:2011-11-07
Manitowoc, WI

Do they really want out or what?

Attention att, your immunity doesnt extend to screwing over cities towns or whole states!

timcuth
Braves Fan
Premium
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Pelham, AL
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Re: Do they really want out or what?

said by nonamesleft:

Attention att, your immunity doesnt extend to screwing over cities towns or whole states!

Are you sure about that?

Tim
--
"Life is like this long line, except at the end there ain't no merry-go-round." - Arthur on The King of Queens
~ Project Hope ~

nonamesleft

join:2011-11-07
Manitowoc, WI
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Re: Do they really want out or what?

said by timcuth:

said by nonamesleft:

Attention att, your immunity doesnt extend to screwing over cities towns or whole states!

Are you sure about that?

Tim

I'm not sure of anything with this scum of the earth corporation called att.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
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Springfield, MA
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Massachusetts would never pass such a bill

When Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont were sold to FairPoint, I heard from a VZ tech that Western Mass was supposed to be part of the deal but it was shot down by the state. This state would be more likely to pass a compromise bill that would allow the telcos to hang up on copper if the addresses affected are passed by equal or better service (like cable or FiOS).

I get better service from Comcast anyways as CDV has voicemail but Verizon does not at the Indian Orchard (543) exchange. I would not take a 543 number on a bet as those are all poisoned by debt collectors calling in multiple languages as those numbers are heavily recycled. I personally think Verizon should get another prefix for the Indian Orchard exchange.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

Trident

@myvzw.com

Unconnectivity

You know, there are folks that never even got DSL from ATT in western Kentucky. They come to within 1/4 mile from my neighborhood. Nobody else can serve us b/c ATT owns the phone lines, and that's that. West Kentucky Rural Telephone got a huge bundle of $$ from the USDA & installed miles of fiber, yet here we sit with nothing. They even laid fiber down gravel roads in Henry County, TN sometimes going a mile in between customers.

PhoenixDown
FIOS is Awesome
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Fresh Meadows, NY
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It's dead Jim...

POTS and DSL are all but dead.

* Cable is eating DSL for lunch in terms of speed.

* Copper is expensive to maintain and, in technical terms (not financial business terms) wireless transport is a better medium than copper in most instances.

Yes, we would all love fiber to the home (hugs FIOS) but if its not going to happen, its not going to happen and holding on to the remnants of copper/dsl are not going to change that.
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Add a signature here
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
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DSL vs. LTE

Karl again confuses the two.

Neither AT&T nor Verizon need abandon copper in order to "focus on higher profit wireless services".

The wireless services will sell like hotcakes where they're available, and the faux-controversy over "low caps and high overage charges" will be put to rest, except for a few whiners who failed geography and didn't take economics.

I don't want to see the copper disappear, even if it is replaced by fiber or coax, but in low-density settings, it simply costs too much to maintain given its performance characteristics, as compared to wireless options.

AT&T and Verizon would be smart to offer up a 10-year rural-only fixed-LTE rate plan, with a more generous data allotment, to quiet the critics. But something tells me they'll complain anyway.
evmoy15

join:2013-01-31
Federal Way, WA

Re: DSL vs. LTE

I'd personally have no complaints about LTE/Wireless services if they made the prices/caps "netflix friendly".
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
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Re: DSL vs. LTE

said by evmoy15:

I'd personally have no complaints about LTE/Wireless services if they made the prices/caps "netflix friendly".

Too bad the Net Neutrality lobby wants to ban any chance of that happening.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

What is it with DSL Reports and this fake story?

AT&T is NOT hanging up on users. That's the good news. That makes no sense, and doesn't pass the smell test. The bad news is that AT&T isn't really upgrading in the way they imply that they are. Their "upgrades" are basically ADSL2+ DSLAMs, which serve only a few more customers than the old ones, and maybe an RDSLAM here or there.

The exact same reason that AT&T doesn't want to invest in FTTH, short term returns and capital expenditures, is the exact same reason that AT&T is keeping DSL alive with minimal upgrades, except to lower their costs (IP-based ADSL2+ DSLAMs), they are putting basically nothing into the system, and yet it makes them money month after month after month. They aren't just going to tear out a profitable system, even if it's not as lucrative as their mobile business or their U-Verse triple plays (at least until cable cranks up the bandwidth, and it becomes blatantly obvious to dumb American consumers how awful U-Verse is).
countscabula

join:2010-03-09

Re: What is it with DSL Reports and this fake story?

Until cable cranks up the bandwidth, ha. That's funny. They are intentially holding back their service. Come on.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: What is it with DSL Reports and this fake story?

So you think cable will be stagnant forever? I don't think so. They are cranking it up now. And obviously, if you read the context of my post, I'm saying that they are intentionally holding back capacity they have now, but if they go in and free up more carriers for internet, and split nodes farther out into the field, they will have more capacity to offer higher speeds, in addition to deploying 8-channel bonding. The point is, they have an easy baby-step upgrade path, which they have been following for years, and will continue to follow, to provide more and more bandwidth. AT&T doesn't. They're maxxed out.

mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
Reviews:
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should've kept att broadband

ATT made a mistake selling att broadband to comcast. I know it needed alot of upgrades and had it's problems. But given another 5 years or so they could've made it their cash cow. Plus they could've went into other areas they served with telephone and maybe pitched att broadband in those areas, which were often served with other providers thus providing competition.

motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:3

Re: should've kept att broadband

said by mikedz4:

ATT made a mistake selling att broadband to comcast. I know it needed alot of upgrades and had it's problems. But given another 5 years or so they could've made it their cash cow. Plus they could've went into other areas they served with telephone and maybe pitched att broadband in those areas, which were often served with other providers thus providing competition.

interesting to say. As at&t basically wanted one thing on the cable systems they owned and that was phone and once they got that they stopped upgrading. Heck the system I am on worked crappy until Comcast came in and did some minimal upgrades to make the system work at 750MHz which TCI had started upgrades to and At&t finished for the most part but half ***** it. Heck the system I am on still has 1980s style Magnavox amplifier housings from when the system was built in 1981. TWC has done so much since taking over from comcast and they basically rebuilt all of the North Texas cities to 860MHz and got rid of the A/B system in Dallas Texas that neither at&t or Comcast would touch and upgrade fully to a single line 860MHz system. Heck at&t never even got HD running on the systems or even tested it.

skeechan
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Are they mandated to offer DSL?

If AT&T is so interested in killing off DSL, why not simply discontinue it? I mean can you get an analog cell phone from AT&T?

Also are DSL prices regulated? DSL used to be $50 + POTS, and now in some markets AT&T charges what, $15? If they want to get people off DSL, why not just raise the price back to $50 and suddenly LTE doesn't look so expensive.

Seems there are easier ways to accomplish what observers claim AT&T is trying to accomplish.

skeechan
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2 edits

It all comes back to bribery

Any legislator who takes a contribution from AT&T and then votes on any bill related to AT&T should be prosecuted and imprisoned for bribery. That is what would happen to any of us if we walked in with a sack of money and a bill we wanted passed.

Sure, AT&T can have all the speech it wants trying to hand out money...but any government official that takes it goes to FPMITAP. After after the government officials are in jail, we start looking at every AT&T employee involved in the bribery and send them to prison too.

Bribery isn't protected speech and 90% of problems related to governance solved.
countscabula

join:2010-03-09

Deregulation

It amazes me how TELCOs get deregulation for what amounts to nothing more than empty promises on their part. Our state and local leaders are very uninformed when dealing with these issues so the lobbyists usually have their way with them. If there are any advisors to the state's regulatory commissions, chances are they either work for, or worked for the corporations they regulate. Well, the same as banks and the Fed. Same thing.

C0RR0SIVE88

@direcway.com

Ugh... BS

10 years ago, BellSouth owned the lines at my house, they was getting ready to roll out DSL in my area, but a few weeks later, AT&T bought them out... Since then, the line quality has gone down, repairs have been half-assed, and the plans for DSL scrapped all together... It is seriously tempting to drop them for the crappy phone service they "provide" to us for the ridiculous $80 a month.