Covad is in the news this week for unplugging ISPs who didn't pay their bills. Covad, in a partly helpful, partly self-serving gesture, has attempted to get disconnected customers hooked up with other ISPs using Covad's service. Oddly enough, the submissions seem to blame Covad - it looks to me like the ISP was the one to blame, taking subscriber payments but not paying off Covad. Covad's financial situation is best described as precarious, with one-third of all its DSL customers not paying - Covad's trying to throw off the dead-weight. So what's the deal with CLEC [?] 's these days? Is there any hope of survival against the incumbent phone companies who will do anything to squash competition?