It almost seems unconventional to have my first post at the nuklear tree be a reprint of an email circulating in one of the most activist cities in all of America when it comes to wireless build out, Encinitas, California.
But then again, we like unconventional here at the nuklear tree.
The Big Telecom Swindle
The consolidation of wealth and power taking place during this pandemic is unprecedented. It’s happening behind the scenes and its not making national news on purpose.
It’s imperative we look behind the virus and see how the actions taken by our elected representatives moving forward will shape our future with safe technology and ensure protection over profit.
I urge you all to continue getting informed about 5G and discussing the importance and urgency with those in your circle of influence.
The whistle blower audio recording below is fascinating.
Its our duty as citizens to hold our representatives and these mega-corporations accountable – Thanks for standing in the fire with us and doing your part!
Unified we are powerful beyond measure.
If you’ve paid a phone bill any time in the last thirty years, you may have noticed a lot of little fees on your bill for things you probably didn’t understand. Access fees, line maintenance charges, surcharges, and more. But who got that money? And what were they supposed to do with it?
To find out, Americans for Responsible Technology founders, Patti and Doug Wood, spoke with former telecom industry analyst turned consumer watchdog, Bruce Kushnick, about how state regulators allowed phone companies to charge these extra fees in return for a promise to connect everyone in their service area to high-speed broadband via fiber-optic cable.
But the telecoms never built the fiber-optic network.
Instead, they used “creative” accounting to divert the money into their wireless networks, which were much more profitable. Meanwhile, the digital divide, the rural divide, and the homework divide all got worse, preventing millions of Americans from accessing broadband services.
Now these same telecom companies are still asking Congress for billions more in taxpayer dollars to connect everyone to wireless networks, which are inherently less secure, less reliable, more expensive, and come with significant documented health risks. (And since the telecoms have to run fiber-optic cables to support wireless antennas anyway, it’s not likely that their wireless agenda will address the digital divide issues they’ve promised to fix for decades.)
Listen to the Story Behind the “Big Telecom Swindle” Here
Take a minute to send a message to Congressman Mike Levin.
Sample letter / Copy, paste, send:
Dear Mr. Levin,
I’m writing to ask that you hold telecom accountable and protect the citizens in your district and around the county.
I urge you to not to support any emergency funding for the expansion of wireless networks at this time.
There has been no testing by industry and the FCC is a captured agency…like many others.
We ask that you take a stand against corporate and governmental corruption.
Americans have already paid billions in extra fees on our phone bills to finance a national fiber-optic network promised by the telecoms decades ago, but the telecoms never built it.
Instead, they’ve used the money to build out their wireless networks which are much more expensive for consumers and more profitable for their own companies.
The future will demand a updated network for more data and faster speeds…this system must be wired with fiber optic cable.
Please address this issue with your staff and fellow Congressmen and women to redirect this historic bait and switch move by the Telecom companies.
We will be watching and expecting swift action on this urgent and important issue facing us all.
Your name here
SEND EMAIL TO CONGRESSMAN MIKE LEVIN HERE
Also…please take action on this today…we’re asking for your help in bringing this major news story to the attention of legislators in Washington and in your own community…
IMPORTANT first step: Send an email to the FCC’s secretary, Marlene H. Dortch, and demand that the FCC stop giving any additional funding to telecom companies until they complete the national fiber-optic network they promised us and that we paid for.
Stop 5G Encinitas thanks you for your support and action.
Please help us expand our newsletter subscribers and join our Facebook group @stop5gencinitas
STOP 5G ENCINITAS * PO BOX 937 * CARDIFF * CA * USA
19 thoughts on “The Big Telecom Swindle”
Wolf moon I came here to apologize for going off on the QTree yesterday at a comment that struck a nerve, I am totally sorry I lost it.
I wont be commenting there again, I cant help but lurk because you and Flep and a few others were the first people I had any contact with from CTH and you were my very first person I followed on Twitter who followed me back,Flep was the second.
I admire you guys and your crew I really do and I will miss interacting on the QTree this is a sad time for me.
I am going thru so much real life shit right now I just dont have time for someone who looks down their nose at others while trying to be seen as such a good Catholic. I love you and will always think of you as a brother and if there ever comes a time for war I will be there to have your back in any foxhole.
Right now at this time in my life I just need to step back and just keep my opinions to myself.
Once again I am totally sorry for disrespecting you home it was not my intention, I have a very short fuse and should of never opened my mouth.
God bless you Wolf your one of a kind I love who you are and how you carry yourself on your blog,,,,,, YOUR TOP NOTCH, ONE OF THE BEST…..
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Sorry to hear you are not going to be commenting for a time. And yes I have notice some people have a tendency to be very…. ridge in their thinking and combative when challenged.
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Thank you Gail, I will still be lurking but I feel it’s best just to keep my mouth shut.
I love you all your family to me, your all I have.
I will never turn my back on the QTree but I just need to back off for a bit.
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The door will always be open for you Rodney! 🙂
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Thank you TripleT
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Do what you need when you need. We’ll miss you in the time that you’re gone, but it’ll seem like a blink when we see you next.
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Rodney, no harm; no foul. I understand you getting pissed, reacting in comments (we all do it when we reach “our limit”), and now backing off. You take care if what’s most pressing for you and Kimmie. We got your 6 at the QTree, but please let us know you’re hanging in there – an occasional 👍.
Jesus loves you, and you can lay your suffering on Him because He is our salvation. God Bless you every day 💖💖
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Thank you Alison your an angel, please dont ever change…
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I like your posts Rodney and hope things get better for you. I understand though. Sometimes you’re just done.
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T3 — thank you for a thoughtful post about a real subject. It really deserves a lot more attention……from non-corrupt officials in a functional regulatory system…..which is a long way from where we’re at.
Most of telecom and all of media is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, abetted by regulatory capture on steroids. In such circumstances, it is no great surprise that long-term funding of fiber got railroaded into dividends — just like long-term funding of Social Security got pissed-away on government patronage; long-term highway funds got pissed-away on light rail instead of road repair; long-term funding of flood control in San Jose got sucked into urban renewal until the neighborhoods flooded (oops….); and long-term funding for California pensions was raided for bullet trains to nowhere. If you pile up a bunch of money for any cause, even a good one, it just encourages the vermin to raid it.
And, yes, we paid for it but it ain’t there. But we shouldn’t fatten it further — we should incentivize it.
At one point, I was VP of a fiber-optic communications equipment vendor. It is a terrible wretched shame that the opportunities of this technology have been so squandered…..but it’s all about the interface with government. Who was the idiot that allowed a surcharge on bills without results to be measured or milestones to be met?
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It really made me happy in a perverse sort of way to see the telcos getting some sunlight on this. In my own neighborhood the fiber optic cables are strung up right alongside the cable tv and telephone lines… BUT no residential service! only goes down the street to some kind of small cell antenna which pollutes my environment with lower data rate wireless signals. I’ve talked with friends out in rural areas and it’s the same story. Fiber is on the poles, but only to run to cellular installation at the nearby high school. Grrrr.
If you look up at units hanging off of cables near telephone poles, the ones about 30 inches long, ten inches deep, and eight inches thick, made out of ribbed aluminum….the company I was at made fiber-optic receiver modules to plug into them in the 90’s.
We built ’em when we got PO’s for ’em. No PO’s, no build.
The potential was obvious back then….but the money was somewhere else.
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Bet with the right know-how and weak ethics, they could be tapped for home use. Kind of like other countries bootleg electricity (dangerously, often with no grounding).
OMG – I missed this, but YEAH – what happened to fiber optics for everybody?
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AMERICANS for RESPONSIBLE TECHNOLOGY…
We are Americans who believe in the implementation of safe, reliable and responsible technology. We believe in the democratic process, and in our right to determine how new technologies will be integrated into our neighborhoods, our homes and our lives. We believe the issues that surround the widespread deployment of new wireless 4G/5G technologies must be addressed before taxpayer money is used to expand them.
No vague promise of future benefits is worth jeopardizing our democratic principles, our freedom of choice, or our health, safety, security and privacy.
• There is no justification for this massive wireless densification. The build-out of millions of new wireless antennas is not necessary for coverage or public safety. It will not improve emergency responsiveness, or magically close the “digital divide.” This is not a public service or a vital utility.
We believe the primary purpose of 4G/5G densification is simply profit. It will allow telecoms to compete with cable companies by selling wireless video subscriptions that deliver television without having to invest the money to lay cable. Billions in profits will result from charging consumers to watch movies, play online games and surf the internet, and by mining and marketing the resulting customer data.
• American telephone customers have already paid for a national, fiber-optic network that would provide reliable, low-cost, secure and safe broadband internet access to every American. But instead of using the funds to build the network, as they had promised, the telecoms decided to use the money instead to build out their wireless networks, which are more profitable. Read the press release about FIBERGATE. Listen to the PODCAST.
• The build-out of new wireless networks will exacerbate existing energy and safety problems. According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), wireless infrastructure consumes at least ten times as much energy as wired technologies. A massive build-out of 5G will significantly increase demand for power, resulting in greater greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
Extreme weather events now routinely occur around the country – wildfires, hurricanes, flash floods, mudslides, drought. What happens when telecoms install hundreds of pounds of wireless transmission equipment on telephone poles in residential neighborhoods? Recent events have proven wireless systems to be unreliable and potentially hazardous in an emergency.
• Proposed legislation guts democratic norms, local control and sources of revenue. Americans elect local leaders to represent their interests and respond to their needs, including a clean and healthy environment and the unique aesthetic of their community. Telecom-sponsored national legislation that takes away local control over the deployment of 4G/5G equipment violates basic democratic norms.
Public rights-of-way are public property. Providing private businesses with access to public property generates income for a municipality’s general fund, which pays for road repairs and other basic services. Legislation that eliminates or limits a municipality’s right to receive income from leasing its own property, and empowers private interests to reap billions in profit without compensation is not acceptable.
• Regulations to protect public health and safety are inadequate and outdated. Published science proves harmful health effects from exposure to RF microwave radiation; studies show a wide range of biological effects at levels far below current FCC exposure guidelines. RF microwave radiation affects everyone, and with 4G/5G installations in every neighborhood, Americans will not be able to escape continuous, involuntary exposures in their own homes. The unborn child, small children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses, microwave sickness, or compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
Telecoms admit they do not know if their wireless technology is safe, and warn that their revenues could be negatively impacted by health claims. Insurance companies will not insure telecoms against liability for exposure-related health claims or other damages; taxpayers may be forced to bail out telecoms in future class-action lawsuits.
• Human health is already being compromised by wireless radiation. The recent $25 million NTP study provides conclusive evidence that exposure to wireless radiation causes cancer. Oxidative stress, a proven result of microwave exposure, is a well-established mechanism that can lead to cancer, non-cancer conditions and DNA damage. Microwave sickness is a recognized medical condition in the U.S. and many other parts of the developed world.
• There is an existing solution for internet connectivity: Fiber-optic To and Through the Premises (“FTTP”). Fiber-optic is faster, thousands of times more energy-efficient, and much more secure and reliable compared to wireless. It is more easily defended and resilient in the face of natural disasters and/or direct attacks, and is not hazardous to human health.
* * *
The telecom industry and the commissioners of the FCC are rushing to deploy the next generation of wireless before these issues have been addressed. The “race” to be first in 5G technology is one not worth winning if the cost exceeds the benefits.
We call on our elected representatives in Washington to reject any proposal to use public funds or public property to facilitate the deployment of expanded wireless networks until these issues have been fully, publicly and satisfactorily addressed.
It’s Time to Take the FCC to Court…
Author: Bruce Kushnick
FACT SHEET: VERIZON MASSACHUSETTS FIBER OPTIC FAILURE
April 11, 2020 – Bruce Kushnick
Verizon Massachusetts Fiber Optic Failure, 1994-2020
1994: Verizon Massachusetts files with the Mass Department of Public Utilities to have fiber optic services, to replace the existing copper wires. The included colleges and universities, hospitals, as well as 330,000 residence and businesses.
1994: This same plan was also filed with the FCC known as “Video Dialtone”, and claimed the majority of the entire state would be finished by 2010.
“NYNEX proposes to deploy hybrid fiber optic and coaxial (HFC) broadband networks that will provide advanced voice, data, and video services, including interactive video entertainment, multimedia education and health care services… “NYNEX plans to deploy this type of network to the majority of its customers by the year 2010.”
1995: Verizon filed and was granted “alternative regulations”, which gave the company
1999: In New Networks institute filed a complaint in Massachusetts outlining how Verizon (then New England Telephone) convinced regulators that they would rewire the state starting in 1995 if the company got massive financial incentives – Deregulation — the removal of regulation that examined and limited their profits. The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy, never acted on our complaint.
2005: Verizon announces FiOS and gets some municipality franchises for cable TV
2007: We presented testimony in front of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Telecommunications Utilities and Energy.
2010: Verizon announces it is halting the fiber optic deployments in all states.
2016: Bait and Switch: Verizon announced it would be upgrading 100% of Boston and spend $300 million dollars. Instead, most of this has been a bait and switch to use the fiber optic wires that should go to homes to instead roll out wireless, and 5G Wireless.
We documented the story in articles in Huff Post and Medium.
Links are on this page: http://irregulators.org/author/bruce/
Verizon’s FiOS Deployment in Boston Is Fiber-To-The-B.S.
Billions in Cross-Subsidies Could Bring Fiber Optic Broadband to Massachusetts Cities—But Remain Unchallenged, 2017
Verizon’s Boston FiOS Fiber to the Home Plan Needs Investigating—Now.
Verizon’s Boston FiOS Fiber-Wireless Bait-N-Switch
Verizon, Fiber, Boston, Wireless: History Repeats Itself, Yet Again., 2016
Verizon’s Boston Faux-FiOS, “One Fiber” Strategy Exposed
More Exposed: Verizon’s FiOS-Wireless Bait & Switch in Boston
Verizon’s $300 Million Shell Game in Boston and Cross-Subsidizing Wireless
Verizon, Boston, Bernie, Fiber and the Facts
Verizon Wireless’s 5G Deployment is a 1 Gig Fairy Tale.
Verizon’s Massive East Coast FiOS Scandal: 41 Percent Coverage Using ‘Weasel Room’ Math 2015
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Just in case Medium takes Bruce Kushnick down…
Images are in article at:
View at Medium.com
(Will try to archive them soon.)
AT&T Is Letting the Wired, Public Telecommunications Utilities in 21 States Deteriorate — for 5G and Streaming?
Mar 12, 2020 · 13 min read
AT&T’s 21 State Utilities and Only 4 Million fiber optic lines?
§ Did you know that AT&T controls 21 state-based, public telecommunications utility networks — but never mentions this fact?
AT&T Controls 21 state public telecommunications utilities
§ Did you know that there are still public state telecom utilities left in America?
§ AT&T covers about 76 million locations yet has less than 3.9 million fiber optic lines to the premises in use — that’s only 5%.
§ AT&T claims it will be focusing on 5G wireless and streaming — like Netflix.
§ AT&T claims it is only deploying 350,000–500,000 fiber optic lines to homes a year.
§ Real 5G requires a fiber optic wire to the small cell every block or two.
This means that:
§ At this rate, it will take decades for AT&T to bring fiber to their territories.
§ Almost all of the wireline utility construction budgets have been diverted to fund wireless — instead of upgrading cities.
§ The majority of the wired infrastructure has been left to deteriorate.
§ Over the decades, though it varies by state, customers have been charged thousands of dollars for fiber to the home, and now customers are overcharged for fiber to the wireless cell sites.
§ If 5G requires a fiber optic wire down the block, then why are they not wiring the homes that are being passed along the way?
§ It would appear that the FCC, state commissions and those who are supposed to provide oversight failed to examine basic facts.
§ 5G is not profitable if these subsidies are removed; and
§ This has been and is a massive continuing, financial bait-and-switch.
AT&T’s Plans: 5G — Streaming Entertainment Company.
According to a Barron’s article, AT&T’s current plan is to ‘transform’ the company to focus on 5G and streaming video. The headline says it all. (Requires registration)
“How AT&T Is Transforming Itself for a Future of 5G and Streaming”
John T. Stankey, AT&T President & COO at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, March 3rd, 2020, said:
“In terms of our marketing muscle and our momentum in the market, it will be about software-driven pay TV packages either over bring your own hardware, which is ATT (sic) [AT&T] — ATT Now (sic) [AT&T TV Now] or ATT TV (sic) [AT&T TV], which is our own hardware-provided package, that will be what the customer sees and has us promoting.” (Emphasis added)
(NOTE: We left in the transcription marks to give what everyone reading this should feel –sic.)
I paraphrase AT&T; We’re not building infrastructure anymore. We are now ‘software-driven’ and we have all of these entertainment properties — like Warner Brothers. So, besides tracking you online — we’re not serious about doing upgrades of the utility infrastructure. Instead, we’re offering a package that competes with Netflix — i.e.; the customer uses someone else’s broadband pipe and the AT&T content which includes HBO.
Or, the customer can use AT&T’s wireless service — which can be versions of 5G that are the same as 4G with some lipstick — or worse, the services just aren’t available.
“AT&T has three 5G network offerings. Speeds on 5GE can be up to two times faster than LTE, according to AT&T. However, research from OpenSignal shows, ‘The 5G E speeds which AT&T users experience are very much typical 4G speeds and not the step-change improvement which 5G promises’.”
Moreover, AT&T et al. control the wires so they also control the price of wireless service; America has some of the most expensive wireless services in the world.
All of this should be ringing large alarms in every AT&T state. AT&T controls 21 state public telecommunications utilities, and these networks have been the primary wireline infrastructure — the essential infrastructure in each state for decades upon decades. And with all the talk of fixing the Digital Divide, maybe it is time to come to grips with how the promised future technologies have been used to manipulate public policies.
Where’s the Fiber?
AT&T’s fiber optic deployments are in need of investigation. After examining AT&T’s overall financials and business statistics, what stands out is that AT&T, after all of the blister and talk of U-Verse (which was supposed to be a fiber optic service) and Gigapower (which was supposed to be a serious deployment of fiber optics in cities) — AT&T still has squat.
AT&T’s 2019 Annual Report shows 3.9 million fiber broadband connections to residential customers, and most of this increase was based on a condition of the AT&T-DirecTV merger to have 12 million households upgraded.
AT&T is claiming that it will upgrade about 350,000–500,000 residential locations annually; that’s about 17,000 to 24,000 per state.
“We’ve continued to build fiber to new homes as they’re built probably in the 350,000 to 500,000 living unit growth per year, as some of our cost efficiency initiatives start to take hold, as I described earlier, and we start to free up cash flows with overperformance on that…”
Here’s the rub. According to previous AT&T announcements, AT&T covers 76 million locations in these 21 states. In fact, almost all of AT&T’s territories have already been wired with a copper wire as part of the state utility over the last 50–80 years. Moreover, over the last 30 years, thousands upon thousands of miles of fiber have been put in place as part of the state telecom utilities, or put in place as part of the previous version of AT&T that offered long distance. And yet there is a paucity of very high speed services offered by AT&T.
AT&T makes it hard to figure out how many U-Verse or wired broadband service connections are still left (some moved to fiber in areas where available; some moved to DirecTV). These numbers show that the AT&T wired connections in 21 states have been and continue to be eliminated with the plan to move customers off of a wired broadband solution. DSL, which was cannibalized by U-Verse, has less than ½ million customers in 2019.
In fact, AT&T’s total broadband connections (which include the fiber lines and U-Verse and DSL, etc. ) — has been totally flat for the last three years and going down since 2014.
NOTE: U-Verse is a copper to the home service, though it has been advertised as “fiber optic” based. In fact, the fiber is within a ½ mile from the home.
There have been rumors that AT&T is going to stop offering U-Verse. Cordcuttersnews has been tracking the story.
“For some time now we have heard that U-Verse TV’s days are numbered. Recently AT&T has confirmed to Cord Cutters News that U-verse TV is no longer offered in markets where the new AT&T TV is now available. Now AT&T has announced that AT&T TV will go live nationwide in February of 2020, raising questions about the future of U-verse TV….Cord Cutters News asked AT&T for comment about the future of U-verse TV after AT&T TV goes nationwide. All AT&T would say was the national rollout of AT&T TV would not affect current customers. AT&T declined to answer our question on if signups for U-verse TV would stop when AT&T TV rolls out.”
Add this from AT&T’s web site. It details that the “fixed wireless” used for more rural areas, (when available) is at least 10Mps down, 1Mbps up.
In the end, where’s the plan for very high speed competitive broadband-internet services, including rural areas from AT&T?
5G is just another in a long line of shiny-tech-baubles that are used to distract the public from what’s really going on — pursuing less obligations to customers and creating more profits with little concern about the harms they cause cities or the states they serve.
How to Screw 21 States: Erase the History and Rewrite it.
America has had multiple waves of hype about the delivery of a fiber optic future. And it is important to remember this (or to learn this now) because a) there is a plan to shut down the remaining wired infrastructure and hand it over to the wireless subsidiaries as private property while b) letting whole areas of these state utilities deteriorate, especially rural areas. These actions also let c) the companies plead poverty so they can get government grants to deploy slow wireless at high prices instead.
Fiber Optic Plan Part 1: The Info-Highway Fiber Optic Future, 1993
This next chart is a sample of the fiber optic upgrades that were supposed to be done in the 1990’s in parts of AT&T’s state utilities. Known as “video dialtone”, the state-based telecom utilities (and their holding companies), filed to replace the existing copper wires to offer video services — over fiber optic wires. And these applications were filed at the FCC, as this was the federal version of the fiber optic broadband plans that were to be implemented by the state utilities. Almost nothing was ever built as advertised. Notice that these were to be ‘permanent’ installations.
In fact, according to the 1993 Pacific Telesis Annual Report, California was to have 5.5 million households wired with fiber optics by 2000 and the company would be spending $16 billion dollars.
AT&T California Pacific Bell, 1993
“In November 1993, Pacific Bell announced a capital investment plan totaling $16 billion over the next seven years to upgrade core network infrastructure and to begin building California’s “Communications superhighway”. Using a combination of fiber optics and coaxial cable, Pacific Bell expects to provide broadband services to more than 1.5 million homes by the end of 1996, 5 million homes by the end of the decade.”
The Ameritech Fact Book, March 1994 (which includes Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan):
“We’re building a video network that will extend to six million customers within six years.”
All of this was just the start, as this first wave of upgrades were to be completed around the year 2000. The other now-AT&T states had varying degrees of state-based fiber commitments, but in almost all states, laws were changed to give the companies more money for replacing the existing copper wire with fiber optic wires. Some plans even called for schools, libraries and hospitals to have fiber optic upgrades.
What most people never understood was that the federal video dialtone plans overlapped the state-based commitments — and the FCC never examined the state based- commitments and they were never mentioned or brought up as part of, say, the advanced network broadband reports or even the National Broadband Plan of 2010.
For the gory details of AT&T’s broadband plans see “The Book of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net”
Part 2 Fiber Optic Plan: FiOS and AT&T’s U-Verse, 2004
AT&T, (formerly SBC) 2004 Annual Report
“Project Lightspeed In June 2004, we announced key advances in developing a network capable of delivering a new generation of integrated IP video, super-high-speed broadband and VoIP services to our residential and small-business customers, referred to as Project Lightspeed… “We anticipate that we will deploy approximately 38,800 miles of fiber, reaching approximately 18 million households by year-end 2007, and expect to spend approximately $4 billion over the next three years in deployment costs and $1 billion in customer-activation capital expenditures spread over 2006 and 2007.” (Emphasis added)
In fact, SBC told the FCC it was rolling out fiber to the home. According to former FCC Chairman Michael Powell’s statement as to why he closed the networks to direct competition, he pointed to AT&T’s commitment for fiber.
“Powell claimed his reason for closing the networks (“removing unbundling obligations”) was based on ‘commitments’ for 100 Mbps, fiber-optic based services by SBC (now AT&T) in October 2004.
“In my separate statement to the Triennial Review Order and in countless other statements during my seven years at the Commission, I have emphasized that ‘broadband deployment is the most central communications policy objective of our day’. Today, we take another important step forward to realize this objective…. By removing unbundling obligations for fiber-based technologies, today’s decision holds great promise for consumers, the telecommunications sector and the American economy. The networks we are considering in this item offer speeds of up to 100 Mbps and exist largely where no provider has undertaken the expense and risk of pulling fiber all the way to a home.
“SBC has committed to serve 300,000 households with a FTTH (Fiber to the Home) network while BellSouth has deployed a deep fiber network to approximately 1 million homes. Other carriers are taking similar actions.”‘ (Emphasis added)
NOTE: SBC bought AT&T after the FCC closed AT&T’s ability to use the networks to offer competitive services — and then took the AT&T name. It then merged with BellSouth in 2006.
Part 3: The AT&T-BellSouth Merger was to have 100% with Broadband by 2007
In 2006, AT&T merged with BellSouth and the new merged company claimed it would have 100% of their 21-state territory capable of broadband, albeit slow at 200 kbps in one direction, but it was the ‘standard’ set by the FCC.
We cut out the actual text from the AT&T-BellSouth merger agreement as someone might suggest that we were making this up.
AT&T signed documents that they had completed their commitments and yet an article in Huffington Post in 2012 found that AT&T had not fulfilled its promises.
Part 4: Just Hype Em’: AT&T’s Project VIP, 2013
In 2013, AT&T’s VIP announcement claimed that by the end of 2015 they would have 57 million locations covered, which is 75% of the total.
“AT&T plans to expand and enhance its wireline IP network to 57 million customer locations (consumer and small business) or 75 percent of all customer locations in its wireline service area by year-end 2015.”
The U-Verse broadband service was supposed to covered 33 million locations.
“This network expansion will consist of U-verse. AT&T plans to expand U-verse (TV, Internet, Voice over IP) by more than one-third or about 8.5 million additional customer locations, for a total potential U-verse market of 33 million customer locations. The expansion is expected to be essentially complete by year-end 2015.”
IMPORTANT: This would indicate that AT&T has 76 million locations. (If 57 million represents 75%, then the total would be 76 million locations.)
Part 5: The Hype Continued: AT&T Gigapower: Fiber to the Press Release.
DSL Reports’ coverage in 2014 nailed it:
AT&T’s ‘Expansion’ of 1 Gbps to 100 Cities is a Big, Fat Bluff
“AT&T today announced that the company is “eyeing” 100 potential target cities as locations they may deploy faster 1 Gbps “Gigapower” service. According to the company’s press release, this “major initiative” will target 100 “candidate cities and municipalities” across 21 metropolitan areas nationwide. Those users could then get AT&T’s $70-$100 per month 1 Gbps service, currently only available in a very small portion of Austin, Texas.”
“Before you get too excited, you need to understand that this is a bluff of immense proportion. It’s what I affectionately refer to as ‘fiber to the press release’.”
But what about the cable companies?
I rest my case.
As a group, over the years the cable subscription TV, ISPs and telecom providers have been rated at the bottom of every customer satisfaction survey, according to the ACSI surveys.
Simply put, with only 3.9 million fiber to the home services in 21 states, AT&T never brought any high-speed broadband competition, so the cable companies have been able to deliver services as they see fit. From poor customer service or continuously raising rates and adding new taxes, fees and surcharges, the cable companies can print money when they need more, which is the punchline of this discussion.
Instead of bringing serious competition for high speed broadband, AT&T has decided– (I repeat and paraphrase) We will use software to allow customers to view AT&T programming on other networks. And we’ll keep the price of wireless inflated because, well, we own the wires that were part of the state utility and we don’t even have to upgrade the state utilities.
In short, the cable and telephone companies have a defacto agreement to split-up the markets where cable keeps the wired broadband services and AT&T will keep the wireless networks.
But What About Direct TV? According to National Interest:
“Since purchasing DirecTV for $49 billion in 2015, the satellite TV provider has been hemorrhaging subscribers — now already down 4 million from the initial headcount of 20 million, as all of its past marketing efforts failed to stanch the bleeding from cord-cutting. All told, about 6 million abandoned satellite and cable in 2019, according to Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson.”
Time to rethink the state telecommunications public utilities?
We’ve taken the FCC to court. IRREGULATORS v FCC focuses on how Verizon, AT&T et al., with the help of the FCC, have been able to manipulate the FCC cost accounting formulas that made the utility networks appear unprofitable, when underneath, there has been a massive financial cross-subsidy scheme to have the state utilities fund the wireless and the other lines of business instead of delivering on the promise of a wired, fiber optic future.
Way to complicated to discuss here, this case is at the core of how AT&T et al. have been able to let the telecommunications utility infrastructure in 21 states deteriorate, and it is also the solution to fix this obvious problem, as will be discussed in future articles.