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NW Wide Area Networking and Convergence e-newsletter

Jim Metzler, Larry Hettick, and I asked for comments on this topic in the electronic newsletters published via Network World.

In case you did not receive the newsletters, click here to view the WAN newsletter archives and here to view the Convergence newsletter archives.


The main problem of the merger of AT&T and BellSouth is that this puts AT&T just one more buyout away from returning to its pre 1984 ownership of most of the USA telecom business. If some of you are old enough you will remember that there was little or no competition in the telecom business. Sure, there are some short-term benefits to be gained, but what will you be saying when AT&T decides to buyout Verizon?

We are already down to two carriers capable of offering national coverage for MPLS lines. According to TIA, voice wireless customers exceeded wire line voice. This is the heart of the matter. Land lines are going the way of token ring. Carriers still holding on to the product will get an increasing share of a dimishing market, i.e., the very definition of a dying market. Losing land line carriers for voice is not the problem. Losing competing MPLS line carriers is.
Lastly, the oligopoly markets of the world like energy have proven they will charge what the market will bare, and not keep costs down to what it costs to produce. I hope I am proven wrong.

I find it interesting that we've almost come full circle back to "one" telephone company. When I started out in the industry, it was 1985 and the heady days of deregulation were just beginning. Was it worth it? Yes, I think it was because it spawned the age of networking which begat the Internet as a commercial entity. I don't think that we are returning to the monopoly days of pre-1984 because the concept of communication is much much more than just telephone. And in that regard, there are many more players than just SBC/AT&T and Verizon.

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