8 Comments

Summary:

FCC today announced that states cannot force phone operators to offer naked DSL service. Naked DSL, in case you did not know, is a phone line that is purely used for a DSL connection, and carriers no voice or no voice related charges. This ruling makes […]

FCC today announced that states cannot force phone operators to offer naked DSL service. Naked DSL, in case you did not know, is a phone line that is purely used for a DSL connection, and carriers no voice or no voice related charges. This ruling makes absolute sense because you cannot have 50 states making different rules.

Kevin Werbach thinks this the end of broadband service, and sees sinister shadows.

The FCC ruling makes broadband an extension of phone service, rather than the reverse. It ties the data applications of the future to the anchor of the public switched telephone network. That’s perverse. Voice is the application, not connectivity. We’ll never have real competition if the incumbents get paid even when customers want to switch to a competitor.

Blame it on TGI Friday cheer but I am not that despondent. The competition he talks about is as dead as the disastrous Telecom Act of 1996. Time to live with the harsh reality of capitalism. There maybe no competition on the copper line side, there cable. As Mike Masnick points out,

These telcos still don’t seem to realize that the only thing they’re doing is making cable modems look more attractive than DSL for anyone who doesn’t want a local phone line, but would prefer a mobile phone or VoIP.

I cherish the idea of two 500 pound sumo wrestlers trying to rip each others guts out. Cable and Bell battles will be equally entertaining.

Where I think FCC has failed us, is in articulating a national level policy which should mandate that pure DSL services should be made available. Phone companies should look at car companies for a cue – you can get a Honda sans all the trimmings or you can get it fully loaded. Phone operators, similarly should offer a pure DSL line for those who want (Qwest’s adoption rate shows that there aren’t too many!) and fully loaded packages to those who want the convenience. This is going to make for happy customers.

By Om Malik

You're subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Naked DSL and Open Networks

    Om has a piece in his blog about Naked DSL and how the FCC said that states can’t force telcos to offer DSL without underlying phone service. The only reason I agree with this is the “50 different sets of…

    Share
  2. I am no lawyer. So I wonder whether Madison River Consent Decree will apply to “naked DSL” service providers. Are they carriers as identified in the consent decree?

    Share
  3. No Naked DSL

    Link: Om Malik on Broadband ? No Naked DSL for You.FCC today announced that states cannot force phone operators to offer naked DSL service. Naked DSL, in case you did not know, is a phone line that is purely used

    Share
  4. The entry title, reminds me of the Soup Nazi, except for its the FCC this time.

    Share
  5. i was watching a seinfeld rerun at the time of posting. oh well that was a classic episode

    Share
  6. Its absolutely phenomenal how the FCC changed in track after powell is gone. I am one of big fans of Naked DSL.. I am using cable for now but have to pay $45 for my broadband.. I would love to get a Naked DSL for $20.. Well I have to wait I guess.

    Share
  7. i think this was powell’s decision before he left the FCC. so it would be unfair to say that they changed tacts at the last minute and because he is gone!

    Share
  8. [...] The New York Times has one of the better articles I have read in recent times on the strained yet working relationship between the city of Philadelphia and its biggest and most famous corporate citizen, Comcast. The two entities are having a lovers spat, over the city’s decision to build a wireless network. Earthlink is the company that is building that network. One point which is most important is buried in the story. But the attraction of Wireless Philadelphia to its proponents is that it is a stand-alone, affordable network – not part a broader effort to sell video, voice and data services, the way companies like Comcast and Verizon have approached broadband. I hope this is going to force the incumbents to change their approach and start offering standalone broadband. Naked DSL or Naked Cable Broadband is what we need. I get my broadband access from Comcast, along with basic cable, which I almost never watch. I pay around $60. If they offered me 10 megabits per second, instead of 3 megabits per second speeds I get now, they can still charge me more. But for things I want, not for things they force down my throat. [...]

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post