Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Remember the CLECs?

There is a continuing cry from those who have little or no knowledge about which they speak regarding broadband. The latest is a cry from of all places Scientific American.

You see, in early 1960 I bought my first Scientific American, and I read every page and every article absorbing the science avidly for each page brought to light new ideas as a high school junior I was anxious to learn. And here in Scientific American, written by those who actually did the work, were at least a half a dozen great things every month. I still have all the old issues, real treasures. Then something happened in my opinion and in my opinion Scientific American became a clone of Red Herring, Technology Review, and the swath of techy promotion rags which cover the roadside of soon to be defunct magazines. It is a sort of self inflicted death wound in my opinion that some how gets inflicted by some group of outsiders who manage to convince the owners that the magazine must spruce up its image.

Now Scientific American is proposing shared broadband sold at wholesale. Specifically Scientific American states:

Phone companies have to compete for your business. Even though there may be just one telephone jack in your home, you can purchase service from any one of a number of different long-distance providers. Not so for broadband Internet. Here consumers generally have just two choices: the cable company, which sends data through the same lines used to deliver television signals, and the phone company, which uses older telephone lines and hence can only offer slower service.

The same is not true in Japan, Britain and the rest of the rich world. In such countries, the company that owns the physical infrastructure must sell access to independent providers on a wholesale market. Want high-speed Internet? You can choose from multiple companies, each of which has to compete on price and service. The only exceptions to this policy in the whole of the 32-nation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development are the U.S., Mexico and the Slovak Republic, although the Slovaks have recently begun to open up their lines.

Well truth be told, we most likely have as good if not better than most if not all countries. you see I built that network in The Slovak Republic, in the Czech Republic, in Poland, in Romania, in well you get the point. I know what happens there, still have many friends there as well.

The folks at Scientific American somehow forget or never knew of the 1996 Act which created the CLEC, and unbundled local loop. Well that lasted just so long, you must own the assets to make them work, just look at the cable companies, the only viable competitor to the Telcos.

In addition, less and less people have land lines any how! You see in 2002 I wrote all this up in a paper entitles the Imminent Collapse of Telecommunications. I think the projections were a month off here and there, but generally on target.

So what do the folks there at the once great Scientific American want? They want Verizon to build fiber and then lease it at wholesale, yet what is wholesale? We played this game before and we lost $5 Trillion in the Telcom collapse, yes more than the banking disaster, but there we just let people loose money not tax the public, Oh well socialism works all so differently!