Wednesday, May 21, 2008

AT&T audaciously claims "broadband access to all of its California service area"

One of the physical principles of cosmic black holes is no information can be known about what's inside of them because no information can escape the powerful gravity of the singularity at their centers.

Clearly, that same principle also applies to the numerous broadband telecommunications black holes in California based on a recent AT&T filing with the California Public Utilities Commission. In the introduction to the April 16, 2008 filing, AT&T asserts it "now offers broadband access to all of its California service area."

Apparently the unfortunate residences and small businesses who cannot order wireline-based broadband service from AT&T such as DSL or the telco's next generation U-Verse bundled service offering higher speeds than AT&T's legacy DSL service haven't gotten the message. Of course not. In AT&T's universe, they simply don't exist and nothing can be known about them. Out of sight, out of mind.

Perhaps AT&T is fudging by counting the limited areas where it offers its EDGE wireless network service that provides throughput not much better than the antiquated 1994 Federal Communications Commission "broadband" standard of 200Kbs. No dice. By today's standards, that's not broadband. Ditto satellite, which the telco deployed throughout much of the U.S. -- as if the entire nation was situated in the remote regions of the Arctic Circle -- in 2006 via a reseller agreement with WildBlue.

The AT&T filing objects to proposed CPUC rules designed to reduce California's digital divide and speed broadband infrastructure build out by requiring telcos and cable providers to report by census tract where they provide broadband and delineated by various speed tiers, i.e. less than 1 mbps; 1-5 mbps; and 5-10 mbps. The AT&T filing asserts CPUC has no authority to regulate broadband services because they are information services preempted by Federal Communications Commission jurisdiction.

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