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Re: HR 1542 [OT, anti-BS attempt, US]
From: Miles Fidelman <mfidelman () civicnet org>
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 16:55:35 -0400 (EDT)

On Mon, 7 May 2001, Fletcher E  Kittredge wrote:

BTW, if you spend much time with regulators and lawyers, you will be
aware that there is a major difference between the cable network and
the PSTN.  After the mid-1930's, the PSTN was built by a company which
was guaranteed a specific, profitable rate of return.  The cable
network was built by many small entrepreneurs who were not guaranteed
a profit nor even solvency.  For that reason, the PSTN is more
arguably a public resource.

Except that most of today's cable systems were built while municipalities
could, and did, grant exclusive franchises. Overbuilding an incumbant
cable operator is as expensive and risky as becoming a CLEC - probably the
reason that neither CLECs nor cable overbuilders are showing much
commercial success.

If you can't tell the legal difference between the above cases, I
recommend you stay out of this discussion.

The legal differences quite clear - very different regulatory regimes
enforced by different levels of government.

The ethical differences are less clear - both ILECs and cable companies
grew under monopoly regimes, making use of public rights-of-way. The
current, "de-regulatory" environment gives both ILECs and incumbent cable
carriers a very unfair advantage over new entrants.

call AT&T/MediaOne/TCI, AOL/Time Warner, Adelphia, or Charter "small
entrepreneurs." These guys engage in monopoly tactics that rank right up
there with those of the ILECs.

1) You quoted me out of context.  2) Do you have a point?  Obviously the
above are  not small entrepreneurs. But then, I never said they were.

A very simple one: we are not seeing much in the way of serious
competition, and HR1542 will simply make things worse.

The Center for Civic Networking             PO Box 600618
Miles R. Fidelman, President &              Newtonville, MA 02460-0006
Director, Municipal Telecommunications 
Strategies Program                          617-558-3698 fax: 617-630-8946
mfidelman () civicnet org                           http://civic.net/ccn.html

Information Infrastructure: Public Spaces for the 21st Century 
Let's Start With: Internet Wall-Plugs Everywhere 
Say It Often, Say It Loud: "I Want My Internet!" 

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