Thursday, May 17, 2007

Telecom association chief's assertions at odds with reality

United States Telecom Association President and CEO Walter B. McCormick Jr. filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission this week that contained two key myths of telco propaganda when it comes to broadband deployment in the U.S: 1) that competition is speeding broadband deployment and 2) that telcos are investing in broadband deployments in less densely populated areas of the U.S.

“In addition to deploying new and innovative products and services in urban and suburban communities, telecom companies are spending billions of dollars to reach many of the most geographically challenging and expensive rural areas in the nation,” said USTelecom President and CEO Walter B. McCormick Jr. “The FCC’s market-based policies encourage communications companies to stay ahead of the competition and continue to make significant infrastructure investments. These policies are working and we strongly urge the Commission to allow the highly competitive broadband market to continue to thrive.”


First of all, there's no real market competition in areas that lack broadband access since no one's providing service there. Second, telcos are NOT investing in infrastructure in less populated portions of their service areas. Just the opposite. Infrastructure investment is being concentrated in urban areas such as AT&T's Project Lightspeed and U-Verse initiatives and Verizon's FiOS fiber optic deployment. The FCC's own research found that as of last June, more than 20 percent of telco customers couldn't even get DSL over telcos' aging copper cable plants.

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