Bells and their dirty tricks


SBC Communications and other Baby Bells are lobbying federal regulators for permission to keep secret the deals they reach with rivals to share their local telephone networks.

bq. The Bells also want to avoid a Telecom Act provision that lets competitors pick and choose the best parts among completed contracts to put in their deals. The Bells also believe that they should be able to reach contracts like any other business. Critics point out that they still have monopoly power with more than 80 percent of the local lines and a fast-growing chunk of the long-distance market — Verizon Communications Inc. said this week it had 45 percent of the long-distance customers in its territory.

I think it is a dirty rotten trick, and the consumers deserve all the transparency in the process. I want to know what deals these buggers are cutting and how they are planning to screw me. I am pretty convinced that FCC is the lackey of the big phone companies, and if they agree to their demands again, my faith in Powell & Company will be gone forever.

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