Sunday, March 05, 2006

Ma Bell Rebuilds Monopoly Powers


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Thanks to our stupid emperor, Bush, we have all these entities forming huge monopolies and cartels all so they can exploit us. My phone bill shot up this month and it comes as no surprise that Ma Bell's tentacles are reaching into my pocketbook.

From the NYT:
As a result, consumers already buying services from AT&T, BellSouth and Cingular are unlikely to be affected directly. But the purchase would give AT&T more firepower to fight Comcast and other cable television companies that are quickly moving into the phone business.

A union between AT&T and BellSouth had been long rumored because of their mutual stake in the fast-growing wireless industry. In a statement this afternoon, AT&T's chairman and chief executive, Edward E. Whitacre Jr., called the deal "a next logical step" and asserted that the merger "will strengthen Cingular through unified ownership and a single brand."

Mr. Whitacre added, "No partnership between two independent companies, no matter how well run, can match the speed, effectiveness, responsiveness and efficiency of a solely owned company."
Bullshit. I must have spent half of my waking hours fighting Ma Bell back when she was a monopoly. Every time I moved and I moved a lot, I had nonstop battles over billing, service and in general, a rotten time. I hated the phone company.

Once, I bought a roominghouse which had a Bell payphone in the lobby. They wouldn't let me keep it but they wouldn't take it and we fought over that phone for about a year.

I remember these guys because they charged an arm and a leg for touch tone phones. The wretches. And color? Whoo hoo. Pay up, bud! You owned nothing, the wires, the phones, everything was "rented." Which is why I had continuous battles with them every time I moved.

When Ma Bell was broken up, I was estatic. And gloomy. I knew, thanks to lobbyists working like termites deep inside the superstructure of DC, they would reassemble this monster and unleash it upon us customers and lo and behold, here it is, acoming!

They hate the net because many of us no longer use any telephones to communicate, we use the net. I pay a lot for my highspeed DSL service and I use it a lot so it is worth it but geeze. Ma Bell lusts for some scheme to make lots of money on my use, I remember the bad old days when people were charged by the hour for internet service in some places!

This was a movie I loved back in '67 when it was made: The President's Analyst. The joke in the movie was the power that controlled the President was AT&T. Having alread a hate/hate relationship with AT&T at that early date, I laughed myself sick watching this film. Highly recommend it.
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