SBC/AT&T Expert Commentary (Part 1)

Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

SBC/AT&T Expert Commentary (Part 1)

In my never-ending quest to keep my readers informed on the important issues of the day, I have issued a call for commentary in the hopes of adding some much-needed flavor to the SBC/AT&T hullabaloo.

David Grill is Principal over at Telecom Management Services, LLC
Montclair, NJ, and is also Senior Vice President at the Society of Telecommunications Consultants.

Here's what he had to say:

Stanley Kubrick got it wrong. The technology in '2001, A Space Odyssey' still looks current, but the corporate icons in the film are toast. Pan Am....gone. The monolithic Bell System...gone. AT&T...gone (almost). Except wait! We're moving towards a psuedo-recreation of the monolith, if not the monopoly. The Baby Bells have merged with (or gobbled up) each other. Now they're reaching out to absorb the old wireline LD carriers, creating (drum-roll, please) a company that can provide full-service local & LD on a single bill. Kinda like we had in 1984 before Judge Greene changed the world as we knew it.

Except that, the consumer has more choices than in 1984. Don't like being tethered to the phone company? Use wireless (which is probably owned by a phone company). Can't hear anything on wireless? Buy IP telephony and make calls through your DSL (phone company, again) or cable modem (not the phone company, yet).

What will the AT&T/SBC merger mean to the consumer? Not much. IP telephony will continue to penetrate the market as the cable companies continue to push it as part of their menu of services. So will the LECs on DSL, except they won't be able to decide whether to protect their legacy network or plunge into the new one. The LD carriers will continue to morph into new variations, offering business customers different modes of transport for voice & data.

AT&T's biggest mistake? Not being smart enough to manage the merger with TCI and dropping out of the cable business just before it took off into broadband internet and telephony. They coulda been a contender. Ma Bell, we'll miss ya.

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