RE: Welcome back, Ma Bell

With Katrina and all the other hurricanes hitting Bell south's area, they
are just overwhelmed. The prize here is Cingular anyway; the landline
business is declining. Since neither SBC nor Bell South have too much
interest in FiOS, the harm the consumers near term is minimal. In fact,
some of the hurricane-ravaged areas may see upgrades and repairs sooner
rather than later.

The impact will be felt near term and longer term most by small and
mid-sized businesses, especially those run out of the home. Most of the
expense of NxT1/T3 (typical speeds needed by small and mid-sized businesses
lines are eaten up by the atrocious local-loop charges, which will most
likely rise as a result of this deal. Getting Ethernet and/or Fiber to the
premises will be a long way away in the areas served by these two companies.
Yes there is cable and DSL, but for now these are not as reliable as the
dedicated lines that a NxT1 or a T3 would bring. Add the that the need for
some to multi-home and the costs continue to rise.

This is where the FCC, in the role of regulator, would do the most good.
But as someone mentioned in a previous post the FCC is feckless at this
point. Bigger is not necessarily better or worse, but when government
abdicates its role as the regulator of free markets, it is most definitely

Edward Ray