Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Is Big Telecom Out Of Control?

Imagine a world in which there was only one telephone company. A world in which government passed laws to curb telecom competition. A world in which...hold on a minute! That's the world we used to live in before the breakup of Ma Bell. No worry about going back to those days, is there?

Unfortunately, the new world of telecommunications is starting to look suspiciously like the bad old days of Ma Bell. Telecom companies are gobbling up each other up so fast, it's hard to know how many will be left after the feeding frenzy.

At the same time, telecom and cable companies (which are increasingly one and the same) have pulled the strings of politicos to ban cities, towns and states from providing free WiFi and other telecommunications services.

All of this is bad for consumers and bad for business. The reason is very simple. It means less choice. Let's take the big telecom fish gobbling up the little telecom fish first. When Verizon or Qwest or whoever is the telecom choice du jour ends up buying MCI, it means that there's one less company looking for your business, one less company willing to provide better services at lower prices in order to get you as a customer. This is especially important because SBC, is in the midst of buying AT&T.

What should be done? The Justice Department should look very closely at whoever buys MCI, with an eye towards stopping the deal if it proves to be too anti-competitive.

  • 1