Saturday, June 23, 2007

Incumbent "Child Like" response to consumer rights

by: Mark Hewitt - June 23rd, 2007

Verizon the only primary RBOC left to support fiber via the Fios project has today reached one million subscribers in a statement by the companies CEO this week. The incumbent which still controls regulated utility status and thus the ability to use “eminent domain” to secure property for easements to deliver communication services – has again shown a child like respect of consumer rights –

In a move much like “we want our cake and eat it too” approach to the FCC 1996 Telecom law designed to protect consumers rights to multichannel video programming called CableCARD – Verizon is hoping for an FCC reprieve from the ruling.

In similar actions the old MaBell used invalid patents to cripple an upcoming competitor to the telephone side of Verizon’s service income – in an attack on the VoIP provider Vonage – costing millions of dollars that could have been used to improve customer service and release new products.

Verizon Wireless was also hit by a recent Patent dispute over Broadcom technology which is most commonly used in the Cell Phones sold to consumers of the Verizon Wireless network – a recent halt to the import of these devices by a DC judge – and again rather than respect the Intellectual Property of another party the carrier appeals to President Bush for a reprieve.

Draw your own conclusions – however I feel that it is time to take control over key utility infrastructure as is today the case of several State and Local government actions – such as the recent eState initiative in Vermont and proposed legislation in New Jersey and New Hampshire.

The need to separate the Infrastructure from what should be “Open Market” services has put the United States 15th in broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

“We are failing to bring the benefits of broadband to all our citizens, and the consequences will resonate for generations. There is no justification for America’s declining status as a global Internet leader. Instead of more excuses, it’s time for true national broadband policy that will put America’s digital future back on track.” said Ben Scott, policy of director of Free Press. [via broadband reports]

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