Sorry, wrong remedy: Feds poised to hand SBC a monopoly
by Taoron 12:37PM Monday Feb 17 2003
Some nights, it seems that every other call is a phone company with a new deal for local and long-distance service. This is the sound of competition, and the question is how long it will last. Companies throughout the country that are trying to take on the longtime local monopolies are all afraid of a proposal that the Federal Communications Commission is considering, a proposal the onetime monopolies all love. This sounds like trouble.
All this cutthroat competition is supposed to take place over the same set of wires and switches that are owned by the longtime local phone company. In these parts, that is generally SBC. The whole trick in this competition is to figure out how competitors can fairly share the hardware.
The challengers that don't own it have to rent space. But what's the rent? And increasingly important, can they not only send voices over this hardware but high-speed Internet traffic as well? The answer should be yes, leaving state regulators with the thankless task of figuring out the correct rent and high-speed Internet rules. But the FCC is proposing to take this out of the state's hands and that scares the companies trying to compete with the SBCs of the system.Full Story