Quoted on MSNBC Site Today

I just saw an article today on MSNBC’s site with some quotes from me. Here is the excerpt of the article with clarification:

Telecom industry analyst Rich Tehrani says business rivals may take some advantage of the merger, but it’s unclear if any have sufficient financial clout to pose a long-term challenge.

"We need a vibrant CLEC market to provide competition and innovation, but the model has largely failed to this point in our country," he says.

He notes many countries sport faster broadband systems than the United States, which he says is the result of giants such as AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon focusing on mergers instead of innovation.

"Without that CLEC vibrant market, we’ll always be behind other countries and we’ll continue to lag in innovation," Tehrani says.

The increased scope and political clout of AT&T and BellSouth will inevitably make it a tougher rival for business competitors, says Pat Eudy, president of Charlotte-based American Broadband Inc., which owns several small rural telephone companies. He considers the merger "horrible for consumers" and says former monopoly companies have rarely produced significant innovations.

"SBC has proven to be fiercely anticompetitive and has been the most aggressive of all of its peers in how it deals with its competitors," says Eudy, whose firm buys services from both BellSouth and AT&T. "As tough as BellSouth can be, SBC is the worst of all."

The combined lobbying clout of AT&T and BellSouth at both federal and state levels can’t be underestimated, Tehrani agrees.

"The bottom line is that CLECs will survive because they offer different services, but prices will be higher to businesses, and we will see less innovations," says Earl Comstock, president of Comptel, a CLEC trade group.

The first point is correct… The US is lagging in broadband access.

The second point I was trying to make was that the government killed the CLEC market, not the vendors. Vendors don’t stop CLEC competition they benefit from increased service provider competition.

I agree we will se less competition as a result of the CLEC market disintegrating and increased telecom mergers.

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