Fate of the RBOC's (was Re: Flat Rate Pricing)

From: Brian D Williams (talon57@well.com)
Date: Fri Jan 19 2001 - 08:15:30 MST

From: Brian Atkins <brian@posthuman.com>

>Ok then look at this:


>It's an article on how fiber to the home is happening today, with
>a 100mbit ethernet link into the house.

<Disclaimer: My opinions are my own, I do not speak for

We're on the same wavelength Brian, I was reading that same article
yesterday when I visited the site. ;)

Our problem isn't technological, its political.

10 years ago I was part of a very ambitious project who's mission
statement was to have fiber installed at every Ameritech site by
the year 2000. As I said, then the long distance companies,
interaccess carriers, cable companies, state and federal regulators
got involved, regulated the crap out of us and killed the deal. And
they've been bitching at us ever since, wanting to know when we're
going to build it.

Here's my personal brief synopsis of the result of these regulatory

If we were to build a fiber network:

1) We can't charge the ratepayers for doing so, the expense would
have to come out of our profits.

COMMENTARY: This alone wasn't the deal killer, we were still
willing to do this, but they weren't done yet.

2) 80% of the bandwidth was reserved for competitors.

COMMENTARY: Not only was 80% of the bandwidth reserved for
competitors, but under the pricing plan, they could get access for
less than we charged ourselves.

3) The RBOC's are prevented from entering any new business

COMMENTARY: We currently are restricted to local service only, if
you want to call another customer 50 miles away, by law it has to
go via either an interaccess carrier, or a long distance carrier,
we cannot by law complete that call ourselves.

Not only are we still barred from long distance, but effectively
barred from any other value added business that might actually be
worth getting into the fiber business for.

4) The "competitors" have a say-so in the deployment.

COMMENTARY: Yep, not only are we subsidizing our so-called
competition, but THEY get to decide when and where we are going to
be allowed to deploy it.

So now you have my personal opinion as to why we're not living in
a fiber-optic wonderland.

We're standing here with our hands cuffed behind our backs, gagged,
blindfolded, with corks in our ears, a hood over our heads, wrapped
head to toe in chains, our feet cast in concrete, suspended from a
crane over lake Michigan..... and people want to know "Why haven't
they built a fiber network yet? Don't they get it?"


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