Matt Richtel from that other Times -- the one in New York -- had a great story Saturday on the issue of the telcos' virtual refusal to unbundle their DSL and voice services. SBC's position on it is essentially, "That's the way we do things. If you don't like it, go somewhere else." Which, come to think of it, isn't a bad suggestion if you happen to have a choice of broadband providers. SBC's stance is actually preferable to Verizon's, where a spokesman bleats that unbundling DSL voice is really, really hard to do:
"It's just very complex," said Michael D. Poling, Verizon's vice president for broadband operations and processes for Verizon. "It's changing the guts of the systems and processes we've built for five years."Somehow, the story notes, Qwest has managed to quickly and cheaply offer unbundled DSL service.
Of course, the real reason SBC and BellSouth are resistant to unbundling and that Verizon is slow to act on its promises to offer the service goes back to where they see meaningful competition: It's coming from the cable industry, which is working from the same monopoly playbook as the Baby Bells. They still feel they can afford to be unafraid of independent or upstart voice or broadband providers because, in the end, what networks do they control?