Some truth about Comcast - WikiLeaks style

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Mon Dec 20 13:30:08 CST 2010


On Dec 20, 2010, at 11:16 AM, Leo Bicknell wrote:

> In a message written on Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 12:20:37PM -0500, Steve Schultze wrote:
>> Congress went so far as to force ILECs (the incumbents) to lease their lines to competitors for awhile, with the idea that it would lead the competitors to build out their own "facilities-based" lines.  Even with those incentives, line-based competition failed to materialize to any substantial degree.  
> 
> They did, I had my $300 T1 for a while years ago, and Covad/Megapath
> et all did a very good business buying the local lines (as UNE)'s
> and selling DSL services over them.  While I don't think the model
> was the success I had hoped for, I think it was a success.
> 

> However through a series of steps the iLEC's have effectively shut
> these folks out of the market.  They lobbied, and won, that Fiber
> is not part of the requirements.  Want to buy UNE "FIOS" fiber?
> Verizon won't sell it, the government won't make them.  The AT&T's
> of the world went and installed "FTTN" (Fiber to the Node), where
> a node serves a small neighborhood.  This allows them to be less
> than 1m from the house and offer up to 24Mbps DSL.  The other
> providers sued saying they need space in the nodes, and lost.  So
> Covad gets to be in the CO, with 20kft of copper, while AT&T gets
> to be in the node with 3kft of copper to the user.
> 
The argument being made is that the CLECs could run their own
copper from their own COs to the residences. I don't buy that argument,
but, that is the argument being made.

Personally, I think that enforced UNE is the right model. If you sell higher
level services, you should not be allowed to operate the physical plant.
The physical plant operating companies should sell access to the physical
plant to higher level service providers on an equal footing.

Unfortunately, the market forces have way too much invested in the
status quo and the lobbyists will block this at every turn. A grass roots
consumer movement could probably change that, but, it would require
an impractical level of consumer education on the subject.

>> 
>> The exclusivity for cable providers went away with the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, which you can read about in the Background section of the FCC's 2007 Order Implementation of Section 621(a)(1) (the first of two orders that sought to further remove local control over many aspects of the franchising process):
>> 
>> http://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2007/03/21/E7-5119/implementation-of-section-621a1-of-the-cable-communications-policy-act-of-1984-as-amended-by-the#p-21
> 
> And yet, I don't know of any location in the US with two cable
> operators.  You see, these rules weren't changed to provide for a
> second cable TV plant to be put in the ground, even in the FCC knew
> that cost too much.  Rather, if  you read carefully the problem was
> that Verizon, AT&T, and Bell South (all mentioned by name in the
> article) wanted to deliver video over FIOS/DSL.  Most areas had
> coverage rules, to be a cable provider you had to pass 95%+ of the
> houses or such, and these folks didn't meet many of the local rules
> and went to the government for help.
> 
I think that I recall encountering one or two such places in the past,
but, I cannot recall them to make a specific citation. Certainly it is the
exception and not the rule.

Owen




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