An excellent post by Tom Evslin on his fractals of change blog about the Ed Whitacre BusinessWeek interview (about which we previously wrote about here and here. Tom writes:
This isn’t about freeloaders; it’s about tollbooths. As local access monopolies, the baby Bells have been able to maintain tollbooths for voice traffic for years. Voice over IP (VoIP) got much of its original impetus by providing a bypass around those tollbooths. Even though they’ve done better than their long distance rivals (whom they are now buying), it’s getting harder and harder for the baby Bells to increase or even maintain profits. They could have been leaders in Internet access but they weren’t. Now they are providing DSL – great. Now they would like to erect new tollbooths on what used to be called the Information Super Highway – that sucks.Read the rest of this excellent post. Tom ends: "Meanwhile, it’s a good idea not to get your broadband hookup from someone who’s already said that they intend to erect a tollbooth on YOUR pipe. If you have a choice, that is." And that lack of choice is the point, isn't it. SBC (when do we start calling them AT&T?) is trying to make sure that we don't have a choice. When will our government be back off of their Martin-vacation to protect us, the consumers? Wasn't that supposed to be their job?