Cactus updates story after McArdle critique

by cactus

I have been somewhat out of contact, but while sitting in a lawn chair far from home I had a brief opportunity to read some of the comments to the post I put up courtesy of someone else’s internet access. (Also, Tom Bozzo’s excellent follow-up and Megan McArdle’s critique.) I’d like to provide an update…

1. Time Warner informed us they’re again postponing when they can ignore an appointment with us. Why they need to send someone by I have no idea.
2. Verizon sent us a modem. However, they also told us they won’t be able to get us hooked up until the middle of next month. Having worked for a phone company, I can tell you that for a phone company to hook up a person with DSL if they live close enough to a switch or a remote requires little more than having a tech spend three minutes entering data into a computer terminal.
3. AT&T, which is SBC renamed, includes among its component parts the ILEC (incumbent local exchange company – the the baby bell that used to provide all service around here pre-1996), tells us they can’t offer DSL service at all.

Now, because AT&T is the former ILEC for the area, I assume Verizon’s DSL service comes courtesy of co-location. That is, Verizon probably offers DSL service using AT&T equipment. So either Verizon cannot offer us service at all despite what it is telling us, or AT&T can offer us service despite what it is telling us.

I realize that the 96 Telecom Act didn’t exactly deregulate the industry, but it was supposed to provide for more competition. Now, maybe its all in my head, but I’m just not seeing it apply to me.

BTW, to everyone who feels that complete deregulation is the solution – regulation is what allowed the phone system to exist in the first place. Rights of way through people’s back yard had to come from somewhere and the phone companies didn’t exactly pay for them. I’m no attorney, but I imagine that complete deregulation (or at least no more collective action to go down the route of another Tom Bozzo plus Megan McArdle set of posts) means AT&T is going to have to do an infinite amount of costly negotiation, since there are an awful lot of people with telephone polls in their backyard. And BTW, there are an awful lot of power lines out there too.
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This one by cactus

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