« Rent Vs. Buy – Socialism | Main | September 11 Thoughts »

September 09, 2007

The More Things Change…

In preparation for speaking tomorrow at a conference of rural carriers, I’ve been reading an excellent history of Waitsfield Champlain Valley Telecom, a rural Vermont carrier which managed to provide DSL early to 100% of its customer despite the fact that they’re spread out across mountains and valleys. The quotes below are from the early days of voice but they have an eerie familiarity.

“Steady but slow growth in the number of telephone subscribers characterized the monopoly period. Bell invested its scarce capital in its most profitable markets, the cities…”

“In this environment, rural areas like Vermont held little hope of getting telephones without the residents taking matters into their own hands”

“Many of the independent providers were marginal operations that employed cheaply built and poorly maintained facilities and suffered from a shortage of capital and managerial skills.”

“The company [AT&T] carefully doled out lines to cities and territories where it could make money, and refused access to its lines to any upstart telephone company, making it impossible for independent companies to act as any more than a closed community of communications.”

One quote which I wish were appropriate to today isn’t:

“The company’s monopolistic attitude was looked on unfavorably by the government, which began under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to pressure AT&T to change its tactics.”

Today’s FCC seems to take all evidence of consolidation as proof of competition.

| Comments (View)

Recent Posts

Tablo Replaces Amazon FireTV Recast for Over-The Air-Viewing and Recording

Where Have All the Children Gone?

Vermont Starlink FAQs Updated

Vermont Needs a New State Mental Hospital

The Cricks Do Rise


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The More Things Change…:


blog comments powered by Disqus
Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 01/2005