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When Telecom Mergers Hit Home 131

Posted by Zonk
from the there-are-people-working-there dept.
netbuzz writes "A telecom manager submitted an essay to Network World that paints a sadly humorous picture of what the mega-telecom mergers really mean on the ground." From the article: "Well, when I heard that these companies were about to combine forces, it made my blood run cold. How would they be able to take, in each case, two companies with already broken processes and mediocre customer support and successfully merge them? How could they continue to provide me with the support I need to keep my company's networks functioning as they need to in this age of the bandwidth junkie? The answer ... at this moment, is they can't!"
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When Telecom Mergers Hit Home

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  • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:21PM (#15122483) Journal
    Just a few more decades until the telecoms morph into Mom's giant robot company....

    But seriously, did anyone really expect that consumers wouldn't be harmed by all the telecom mergers? Monopolies are always bad for consumers, which is why they are so heavily regulated. Since there can be no practical competition to a land line phone provider, the only choices that aren't inherently harmful to consumers are A. highly regulated monopoly, B. government-run monopoly, C. a non-profit cooperative.

    Stop with this foolish deregulation before it's too late....

    • by cyngus (753668) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:28PM (#15122550)
      The telecom's are far from a monopoly and I'll tell you why they are merging, survival. What is a telecom has expanded, the Internet broadened the term. A telecom is just someone with a pipe capable of delivering data. You can deliver almost any service over IP, so anyone who can carry IP traffic is a telecom. Suddenly Comcast and TimeWarner are as much a telecom as AT&T, SBC, or Verizon. Now the prize is also much bigger, its not just voice traffic, its voice, internet, and media (TV, radio, and movies). Bigger prize makes bigger companies because they need more resource to try to win. And more competition is, guess what, great for consumers! This is why we get IP phones for next to nothing, cellular with free long distance. If it were 20 years ago, I'd pay thousands of dollars a month talking to friends around the country, but not with my trusty cell phone. Also, you're wrong that monopolies are always bad for consumers. A monopoly in an industry with low barriers to entry is great for consumers, because the monopolist has to try really hard to keep it, and they have the resources to continously improve the product. Monopolies in industries with high barriers to entry usually are harmful.
      • by stecoop (759508) * on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:40PM (#15122648) Journal
        It sounds like you weren't around 20 years ago, you would know that AT&T of that time wanted to charge consumers when they hooked up a modem. It went to court and the ruling was the consumer had the right to either talk on the phone or send data over the phone. Shortly after that, AT&T was split up. The internet arrived because of competition not from a monolithic monopoly; however, all isn't that great. Back then my phone bill was ~$8 and right after the split it was ~$20. A ton of money was made during that time and the telcos had money to burn. It is pure speculation whether or not the internet would have evolved like it has today without breaking up AT&T.

        As for wireless, you do know that all wireless communications (except same tower talk) goes over the land lines. You can't get away from the Telco just because you think its wireless or it as IP traffic.
        • Well, the MAJORITY of backhaul from cell sites goes through telco-owned T1s/T3s but don't forget microwave backhaul. Also, one cell provider in the states had foresight and wired each site with their own fiber-optic connection.
        • The world of AT&T 20 years ago had huge barriers to entry (building out the network). Now multipe networks capable of handling similar levels of information exist. Cable companies have this infrastructure, you can buy or rent fiber from a variety of sources.

          I wasn't saying that cellular or IP made things magically cheaper. I was saying that competition from new mediums will tend to drive prices lower.
        • What it appears you are all forgetting when it comes to Cell phones is that most of the Cell phone companies are also owned by a Telco. Verizon Wireless is 55% owned by Verizon Business, Cingular is owned by the New AT&T, and Sprint is a long distance carrier too. The only major long distance carrier that does not have a major brand cell company is Qwest, which the larger telcos are looking to buy. The reason that we have such cheap long distance is the over abundance of dark fiber all over the count
          • The cellular comment was just a top-off-the-head example, clearly poorly picked. To be pedantic, Cingular is owned by AT&T and BellSouth (which AT&T has announced intentions to by, but the merger may be blocked). For informational purposes, Verizon will probably buy Vodafone's share of Verizon Wireless soon, since it looks like Vodafone is getting out of CDMA markets. T-Mobile is owned by Deutche Telekom. I'm interested to see what will happen with players like Alltel and US Cellular. The ones
            • They might be able to provider internet access, but not a kind suitable for VOIP, latency is way too high.

              I've been thinking about that... latency is quite relative. In semiduplex voice connections, such as ham or CB radio or any other where you and other party share the same channel, you have PTT button that clearly puts boundary around each voice message. This kind of communication never appears much more discomfortable (compared to two-way telephone) to participants, because they are mentally prepared to

        • You know those little 4-6 foot dishes pointing off into the horizon? They're pointing at another tower(aka 'Cell' despite the drop of the term used being 'Cellular phones') so yes, they do skip much of the long-distance cost. Local(to where you are) calls and calls to areas outside their coverage(esp. with satellite uplink to some of the newer towers for areas where they do have coverage) are still mostly landline, but also at bulk rates.
        • Well... the local telcos (until recently, VERY recently) are indeed a monolopy with anti-competitive practices. But they are actually in their positions BECAUSE of the government!

          So therefore they are a government granted monolopy! Water, utilitiy (power), sewer, phone, and cable are all local monolopies in place because of the government.

          Long-distance telephone service is no longer monolopolized nor regulated. Local service is. When the government gets involved, prices go up, and it's usually bad for consu
      • Also, you're wrong that monopolies are always bad for consumers. A monopoly in an industry with low barriers to entry is great for consumers, because the monopolist has to try really hard to keep it, and they have the resources to continously improve the product. Monopolies in industries with high barriers to entry usually are harmful.

        Hrm... I'm pretty sure the grand parent just said that. He said the monopolies that aren't bad for consumers are the ones that are heavily regulated.

        And in your statement, the
      • The article makes it clear that the telcos are refusing to take orders from paying customers.

        If Janet Ley had a real alternative to Verizon and ATT, don't you think she'd be taking it?

        If a company has real competition, what happens when it blows off its customers? It goes out of business. Are the incumbent telephone companies out of business?
        • Most markets don't react overnight. Eventually if the consumer is dissatisfied with the current provider(s) and is willing to pay the price necessary to provide the type of service they do want, then someone will come along to provide it. Why? Because said person will make money, self interest, pure and simple. I don't trust people blindly, but I do trust their self interest blindly.
      • Monopolies in industries with high barriers to entry usually are harmful.

        You disprove your own point. Telecommunications is definitely an industry with high barriers to entry. How exactly are you going to go about laying your own fiber, light it up, and then proceed to offer service with any hope of turning a profit?

        The telecoms are definitely a monopoly. The only question is to what extent. The purpose of splitting up Ma Bell was to break a national monopoly and set up companies that were only r

        • Well, let's see, there are at least half a dozen IP phone companies that have national reach. Interestingly, none of them had to lay their own fiber networks, other companies did it for them and now they purchased or leased portions of these networks. And no, not all of these are owned by traditional telcos. Level 3 Communications, for example, provides the network for Packet8/8x8 and (funnily enough) AT&T CallVantage!
      • This is why we get IP phones for next to nothing,

        . . . because the telecom monopolies are blocking VOIP traffic, thus rendering IP phones useless?

        A monopoly in an industry with low barriers to entry is great for consumers, because the monopolist has to try really hard to keep it, and they have the resources to continously improve the product.

        Yeah, that's until the monopolist makes the barrier to entry artificially high. Then those resources typically get devoted to improving executive compensation, rather
      • Monopolies in industries with high barriers to entry usually are harmful.

        The problem isn't the services that ride in on telcos, the problem is that there are very few ways to get data pipes into your home or business because they are entrenched monopolies with extremely high barriers to entry. I have two options for non-business class (and price) high speed internet for my home - the monopoly of the phone company and the monopoly of the cable company. There's little competition between the two of them, an
    • Since there can be no practical competition to a land line phone provider

      Bah. Cellphones are a counter-example. I have no land line and use cell phones for my phone service.

      What you might have meant is that wire-based communication is a kind of natural monopoly. But even that allows for some competition. Consider for example how cable is now offering telephone service.

      Stop with this foolish deregulation before it's too late....

      Nah. What we REALLY need is to deregulate public rights of way. Local governments

      • The other competitor to land-line phones is the cable industry, thanks to the growth of VOIP. AT&T may dominate land-line telephone service, but in reality, the market relates more to voice and data communication, for which there are several large competitors.

        10 years ago, I had cable TV, and if I wanted to get online, it was via dial-up modem. Today, you've got satellite options, cell phones, broadband internet access... consumers have benefitted greatly from the fruits of competition, and that shou
      • What we REALLY need is to deregulate public rights of way.

        Got any suggestions for how that can be accomplished?

        I normally argue that telecoms need to be regulated into only providing connectivity, and not content. But if it were feasible to deregulate the rights of way for the wires, it would probably be a better solution.

        The obvious problem with deregulating right of way is that the local governments are suppossed to act as a bargaining collective. If they got out of that business, how would it be feasib
      • Nah. What we REALLY need is to deregulate public rights of way. Local governments decide who will and who won't be allowed to run wire from telephone pole to pole or in pipes underground. They're the biggest barriers to competition because they essentially make it illegal by preventing alternatives.

        While I agree with you in theory, I also think that cities with one company's phone or power lines are more aesthetically pleasing than a city with 4 (wired) phone providers and 4 power providers on every pole.
    • So when will we wise up and go with C?
    • Since there can be no practical competition to a land line phone provider,

      There's no practical competition to land lines only because landlines are no longer practical. Cell phone networks are both cheaper and more reliable. Freeing broadcast spectum would solve all of these problems. Eliminating the monopoly on wire laying is a also a very practical solution. If there's really no money in it, people won't do it. If they do it, there's more choice for everyone.

      • There's no practical competition to land lines only because landlines are no longer practical. Cell phone networks are both cheaper and more reliable.

        Hardly, for a large number of voice channels or high-speed data networks fiber and to a lesser extent copper is the only game in town. Just try finding a 43Mbps wireless connection in most parts of the country that includes a large static IP block and is as solid as a DS3 line.

        I'd hardly call a cell phone network 'more reliable' than the old copper phone netwo
  • If these telco's say it's ok for them to merge because they are no longer the sole provider of such services (i.e. VOIP, Fiber, etc...), then prove them right by jumping to said 3rd party providers.
    • They claim competition on one end and then degrade VoIP traffic intionally on the other.
      • by IANAAC (692242) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:55PM (#15122778)
        They claim competition on one end and then degrade VoIP traffic intionally on the other.

        The parent post really does give good advice. My provider (Speakeasy), for instance, uses its private network for all its VoIP and has decent QoS. So no, SBC can't degrade my VoIP traffic. Are they as cheap as SBC or Verizon? No, they're actually a fair bit more expensive. But that is how I choose to vote with my dollar. And when I left SBC I let them know exactly why I was leaving. Poor customer service, one arm of the company not knowing what the other arm was doing, etc. I've never, ever had any customer service issues with my current provider. It's definitely possible to find a provider that doesn't rely on SBC or Verizon, povided you live in a fairly major urban area.

        • It's definitely possible to find a provider that doesn't rely on SBC or Verizon, povided you live in a fairly major urban area

          And there's the rub. Even in Madison, WI where a friend of mine lives you have exactly two choices for broadband. Charter or Verizon. There are a couple of other providers but only if you live downtown and they really only deal with business (according to their account rep.)

          It may only have a population of 200,000+ (1/3 the size of Milwaukee) but it's hardly living in the sti

        • Feh. The only alternative to Verizon in my town is Adelphia, and Adelphia just jacked their prices for an internet connection up to $45.95/month this month. Hey, coincidentally, Verizon cannot take any more subscribers in Rockland due to a major infrastructure upgrade (rolling out fibre throughout town). Coincidence? I told Adelpha "Thanks, but no thanks" when their telemarketers called me today - I have a business connection at the office and worked too much up to now to make use of a home connection, and
    • I'd love to.. but where I live, I have one phone company option, CenturyTel. I am too far from any CO to get DSL, too far from a wireless broadband tower (Motorola Canopy), and Time Warner does not provide cable service. The only option is Dishnet, and it is not worth the cost. Not even mentioning the latency issues coming off a satellite.

      What we need is more options for where a good portion of the population lives. Hint: It's not the city.
      • If there is enough demand there will be service. DSL services can be offered by installing a WIC(Walk in Cabinet) to house the DSLAM close to the subscribers. They use them all over the place here.

        Basicly they have to have enough subscribers within an area to make the investment in fiber and the WIC worth while. The equipment to light up the fiber and the DSLAM's are a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of installing the fiber and WIC.

        Your only options are to move or have your own fiber installed. The
  • How? (Score:3, Funny)

    by blowdart (31458) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:25PM (#15122512) Homepage
    How would they be able to take, in each case, two companies with already broken processes and mediocre customer support and successfully merge them?

    The answer is obvious, they'll outsource the customer support

  • The title of the article had me thinking of two large companies crashing into my apartment a la the evil white robots from HHGTTG.
  • Telecomm customer service and response has NEVER been good, so why call it into question in light of recent mergers?

    This was more of a rant than an article.

    • Telecomm customer service and response has NEVER been good, so why call it into question in light of recent mergers?

      Both of the issues exemplified in the article were new issues arising from the fact that because of the merger the new company could no longer provide services they once did. Since there is no competition due to the merger, I'd say it is reasonable to call into question how much the merger has crippled the ability of businesses to acquire and use these services. This is concrete harm to the

    • Well, I don't know ... after the breakup of old AT&T twenty-odd years ago, our local Baby Bell (Illinois Bell) eventually became Ameritech. From a customer service perspective, they were pretty good, I had very few problems with either their policies or their personnel. Matter of fact, their technicians were uniformly competent. Then SBC (the Southern Boys Club) in their amoebic way absorbed old Ameritech and everything went to hell in a handbasket. After hearing some of the public remarks by the CEO of
    • Telecomm customer service and response has NEVER been good, so why call it into question in light of recent mergers?

      Because what was bad is now impossible.

  • Been there done that (Score:3, Interesting)

    by David E. Smith (4570) * on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:26PM (#15122532)
    I'm in exactly this kind of situation right now. I'm trying to set up a new DS3 for dialup Internet customers (lol, I know, but there are still a lot of 'em and they pay my salary), and get some numbers ported, and it's a nightmare. Our SBC sales rep of almost ten years isn't allowed to place orders, our new AT&T salesman is a nincompoop, and these processes that would have been trivial this time last year are turning into a trainwreck.
    • I agree... I just tried to get phones and a T1 put in for my companies new location and SBC in SIX weeks could not acomplish it.

      Two weeks before deadline I gave up when they were telling me mid April for a March 30th move and went with a third party for the T1... they got it in 7 days, a reasonable time frame.

      I told them as I cancled the T1 order the phones were next if they could not get them in on time so they "expadited" the order. Which, as far as I can tell, means "put actual effort."

      The real kicker wa
    • I haven't been in the position to place orders like that for a year and a half or so; but, when I did, I had the PUC's number in my contacts along with my SBC rep's. After the first sign of a runaround from SBC, a complaint to the PUC and service got great for a couple of months. I did this not only to help my immediate situation; but, with the hope that if there were enough complaints lodged, it might actually wake someone up in Sacramento or in DC.
  • He's just playing the same old game that the rest of us 'customers' have had to play for years.

    Essentially, you get referred from one person to the next, until you come upon a situation where facts collides and your potential solution dissappears in a puff of logic.

    It's just that now this problem is trickling down (up?) into the business-to-business arena.
  • by Churla (936633) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:27PM (#15122535)
    About the cognitive awareness which exists between the leftmost and rightmost appendage of an organism and the unique level to which it doesn't always exist.

    This merger frenzy is now creating corporate organisms with an exponentially larger number of hands.

    What do we expect?

    Maybe Fox can do a special about it and call it "when corporate bureaucracies attack!"
  • The Article. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What telecom mergers really mean
    By Paul McNamara on Tue, 04/11/2006 - 9:08am
    AT&T | MCI | SBC | Verizon | Wide Area Networks

    As promised in this earlier post, we're all about sharing here at Buzzblog -- specifically, sharing the soapbox. This morning you get to hear from Janet Ley, a reader and telecom manager who has a tale to tell about the impact of mega-mergers. It's amusing, in a maddening sort of way:

    By Janet Ley

    Those of us who consider ourse
    • Re:The Article. (Score:3, Informative)

      by dada21 (163177)
      This is terrible, but you have to blame your local village AND your state for the pro-union regulations they've created, requirements that can not and will not change as the market needs them to.

      In many states (my state is Illinois), there are so many pro-labor requirements that are managed by labor management, not by technicians, that I am surprised that most people still get ANY service.

      If you can't call a third party to provide you service, why is that? It is because third parties are criminals if they
    • Verizon's coporate offices are as bad, if not worse. You think being a retail customer of their's is hell . . . they can barely handle their own billing, let alone providing accurate CDRs and timely support for their MVNE's and MVNO's, some pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into their coffers. Any RSS users out there?
  • This is great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyngus (753668) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:31PM (#15122576)
    The great thing about merging two incompetent companies is they usually collapse faster and make room for someone who can do what the customer wants.
    • The great thing about merging two incompetent companies is they usually collapse faster and make room for someone who can do what the customer wants.

      The really awful thing about government supported monopoly is that they never go away and you can never compete with them no matter how incompetent they may be. If these idiots have their way, you will once again be renting your phone and begging permission to hook up a modem.

  • Why all the fuss about the telecom mergers/aqusitions? It is the nature of a free market that some companies will win and others lose. The losers generally get bought out and absorbed by the winners. The break up created a number of artificial players in the industry which have since sucumbed to market pressures/bad management/changing industry resulting in the consolidation of the industry. The big problem is that technology is changing so quickly that the old mega corporations can not change quickly e
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:15PM (#15122956)

      Why all the fuss about the telecom mergers/aqusitions? It is the nature of a free market that some companies will win and others lose.

      What exactly do you think the merger of two government enforced monopolies into a larger government enforced monopoly has to do with a "free market?" The free market is not operating on phone companies. AT&T was not taken down by the free market, they were split up by the government for breaking the law and because the situation was so bad everyone had to rent their telephone as well as pay high rates for crappy service.

      • Since they broke up AT&T free market forces have been in play. AT&T was burdened by additional restrictions compared to the RBOCs which put AT&T at a disadvantage in most cases. Since the original government mandated break up each regional company has either survived or died based on how well they performed. It has been very interesting to see how the original baby bells have floundered around for the most part with the introduction of VOIP and wireless services. They started out based on a
        • Since they broke up AT&T free market forces have been in play.

          Making one big monopoly into a bunch of regional monopolies does not bring market forces into action. In most regions of the US one of said companies has a government enforced monopoly on the last-mile right of ways. It is not a free market when for my home I can choose to go with AT&T for my DSL line or with another company that has to get AT&T to hook it up for me and pay AT&T a pile of fees on top of the normal expense. It

      • I think a distinction should be made between local telcos and long-distance carriers.

        Local telcos until very recently (think Vonage and VoIP), have a geographic municipality-granted monolopy. If you want a dial tone, you had to have a a local telco provide one at their rates up until about 10-15 years ago.

        Now for a local dial tone you can go with a telco, a cell-co, or VoIP.

        Long distance was deregulated years ago and now long distance is virtually $free/minute as a result. Technology has helped with the loc
    • Based on past experience neither organization really knows what it is doing. All they seem to do anymore is try to make the numbers for the next quarter so the stock holders and pundits are pleased so the stock price goes up. Which is the real problem with the entire industry, they are not able to look much further than 3 months down the road to the next analyst meeting.

      This is a pretty astute post. Some analysts have called the proposed AT&T/Bell South merger as "a merger out of weakness". Others h
      • they are trying desperately to make Google, Amazon, etc. pay more for "using their pipes". They have run out of real ways to make money and are trying anything they can to get new revenue.

        They can only cut employees so far to show saving/revenue quarter over quarter. This is kind of like the wheel wrights that used to make wheels for wagons. That was a booming business back when wagons and horses were the main mode of transportation. As the automobile and the train displaced wagons the entire industry
  • by BigCheese (47608) <dennis.hostetler@gmail.com> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:35PM (#15122604) Homepage Journal
    We don't care.

    We don't have to.

    We're the Phone Company.

    Now all we need is Lilly Tomlin to take those orders and we're all set!
  • Mergers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:35PM (#15122605) Homepage
    Mergers usually happen before everyone knows all the facts. Rather than being good for the customers and saying, "Do stuff as usual until we come up with new rules.." its "Don't do anything until we come up with new rules.."

    This is obviously retarded. They end up losing a lot of money during the merger because of this. Another problem is that a lot of companies will say something like, "Ok. Now that you're a part of us, go make us some money. Bitch." Never mind that they pretty much just cut the throat of the company, leaving it with very little ability (or authority!) to do anything.
  • A telecom manager submitted an essay to Network World that paints a sadly humorous picture of what the mega-telecom mergers really mean on the ground."

    If I had to guess, I'd say that it meant they'd fallen and can't get up.

    (This is a throwback to the annoying corporate speak article [slashdot.org] from a yesterday. Not only does the phrase "on the ground" add nothing to most of the sentences in which it appears, but it's easy to make a case that the phrase was popularized by uber-asshole Donald Rumsfeld. That's a doubl

  • Personal Experience (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PacketScan (797299)
    Having a T1 moved Post SBC purchase.
    From the 4th floor to the 3rd floor.
    Took 36 days and 8 people to move 1 T1 Line 1 floor.
    It's fucking ridiculous.
    I would hate to see what would happen after the bellsouth acquisition.
  • Seems that when we relocated our office and put lines into their appropriate hunt groups all sorts of weirdness followed.

    Verizon has issued dozens of tickets for the same problems, yet mysteriously the tickets close and the problems aren't fixed.

    The problem I'm talking about could EASILY be remedied at the switch level. The main problem is that a few lines had call forward on busy/no answer on them. Do you think our Verizon rep could have told us that? Hell no. Do you think they'd be responsive? Hell
    • Here's what I dont get.

      Everybody bitches about the telco's and there problems
      Everybody bitches about the FCC and the problems they cause.

      When really most people dont realize the FCC can be there best friend. Its easy to make the telephone company bend over backwards and kiss your ass in three easy steps.

      1. Document your problems your having with your phone company. Names, dates, times, all important.
      2. Write a letter (or email) to the FCC complaint department (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/complaints_general.html [fcc.gov])
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @03:16PM (#15123578) Homepage
    It's really useful when dealing with vendor finger-pointing to have the capability to get both vendors on the line and connect them with each other. That tends to cut down on the finger pointing.

    They hate that. But it gets results.

    Especially when you say "This call is being recorded for quality control purposes".

    • DING DING DING DING DING. WINNER!

      I work for a company that sets up LAN's in hotels. We frequently work with both the managers/owners of the hotel, and the local ISP. If the ISP tells us one thing, and the owner another thing, the BEST and FASTEST way to get it sorted out is a 3 way call. The ISP's hate that sort of thing, but shit gets done fast.
    • Speaking as someone who used to work in support for vendors of network products, a three way call with the customer and the network provider was something I _loved_. In fact I sometimes used to just get the customer to fork over the provider contact info and call the network vendor on the line immediately.

      Once upon a time, this is what support was about: getting problems fixed, getting crap working. I got out of support when I could see where that 'industry' was headed.

      Not to mention this kind of action e
  • welcome our new AT&T overlords.....
  • by abb3w (696381) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @03:44PM (#15123940) Journal
    ...to get more people to pay for a three-way calling service.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They're about removing 'unnecessary' competition and price pressure. Thanks to the mass corporate adoption of Jack Welch's 'I'm either #1, #2 or I'm out of a market' philosophy and application of the 'Beautiful Mind' guy's girl-selection theory to customers, we're going to end up with a world where every product you can think of -- everything -- will be Coke vs Pepsi vs Dr. Pepper and absolutely nobody else. You'll have a mind-numbing array of of logos, pretty boxes and commercial spokes-androids to pledg
  • It looks like a good time to revisit the idea of the CLEC.
  • This whole section of comments is one giant off-topic. The topic is not about how the baby bells reforming as an entity much larger than they ever were before, yet how this business practice creates massive process problems within already mismanaged companies.

    I have worked in telecom from every aspect for some time, so I have an intimate understanding of how bad this can be. I'm fortunate that my company has managed to take the correct approach of process and engineering system merging. We are in the min
  • Verizon in particular is not mixing core with Verizon Business. The only interconnects we're doing are Verizon Business to Verizon GNS (their legacy LD network, primarily for carrying Verizon Wireless LD trunks I believe). I think there's some exaggeration to the confusion. One side is regulated heavily, the other mostly deregulated. Union vs. non-union, etc. There are just too many differences for core to be integrated heavily with Business, or Wireless, or GNS.
  • What the mergers mean on the ground is not limited to quality of service or customer support. The real danger here is a drastic eventual increase in the price of service. Without competition monopolies will rise prices and customers will have no choice but to pay. Governments may eventually lose their control of the monopolies. It is concievable that cyclicly merging and splitting telcoms every few decades will help to keep the industry healthy in the long run. I just hope that this cycle trend will co
  • It sometimes used to take a month or more to get a telephone connected in an apartment. That was especially true in college towns at the start of the fall semester.

    And one time we needed a dialup line for a PDP-11/70. It took several months before I found someone at the telephone company who could tell me what they required before they could hook up the line -- the ringer equivalence for the telephone modem.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Various studies have shown that mergers have failure rates of more than 50 percent. One recent study found that 83 percent of all mergers fail to create value and half actually destroy value. This is an abysmal record. What is particularly amazing is that in polling the boards of the companies involved in those same mergers, over 80% of the board members thought their acquisitions had created value. We are beginning to understand some of the reasons why these mergers fail."

    from http://executiveeducation. [upenn.edu]

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