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Cawley: Big Telco ABC Plan "Fiction Worthy of James Bond"
Saturday, 06 August 2011 14:41
Anne_BoylePennslyvania Commissioner Jim Cawley calls the Big Telco ABC plan "Beyond outrageous. It has nothing for customers except higher bills. It would raise local rates as well as the SLIC and is a one sided deal" The heart of the Big Telco Plan is a claim they are massively losing money on rural lines they have in place. It's backed up by "model" they refuse to release. The "model" is obvious nonsense for existing lines, while contradicting the AT&T filings in the T-Mobile merger, numerous Verizon statements, and common sense.
    Cawley, the lead state commissioner on the FCC Joint Board, recognizes "No responsible regulator would use this data until they release the actual model. It is fiction worthy of James Bond." He adds "We are going to have failed rural carriers and massive consolidation. There will be a major job loss in rural areas." 
     Nebraska Commissioner Anne Boyle said it like it is. "A lot of state regulators agree this isn't right. The Plan has no cost analysis. Industry does not have the right to take advantage."
     We were at the Montana State Telecom Association meeting, which reaches out for diverse opinions. AT&T's Hulquist spoke as well. He didn't respond directly but instead simply described the plan as presented. He said that T would be open to a compromise that reduces the $2.2B the Big Telco expect to collect. Back in D.C. Hultquist and a high-powered 12 person team urged the FCC to put conditions on access to the data, including non-disclosure and high costs to access.  
      When I got a chance for questions, I asked Hank and Jeff Lindsey of CenturyTel about what U-Verse and Century's expanding IP TV might bring to Montana. "We're kicking cable's butt and are the fastest growing IPTV provider. Cable is losing." Jeff added "I'm a U-Verse customer. It beats cable hands down." Bell Canada is similarly taking customers from Videotron Cable in Quebec. Microsoft Mediaroom is doing very well for T & Bell Canada.