Elections: Too late for telecom

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know I have little or no faith in FCC and its ability to put consumer interests first. Things are unlikely to change, whosoever gets elected tonight. FCC and the regulatory authorities have little in common with consumer needs. Just to bring up a few old points, most of the critical telecom decisions have already be taken. FCC is completely in favor of Regional Bells, and has killed UNE-P. It has approved the Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless merger without even a whimper. And if that was not enough, the FCC has gifted the Bells with completely monopoly over FTTH and FTTC, making lame excuses that WiMAX and BPL will be worthy competitors. Nextel’s spectrum swap has passed even without a whimper. I guess Verizon decided to shut-up because they got all the fiber they could eat. AT&T and MCI, have been put on a slippery slope to nowhere. (AT&T hopes that its IP-makeover will save the company, and I think it is possible!) Michael Powell has served the republican puppet masters, aka political contributors quite well, passing himself off successfully as “one of the little people.” When the political dust settles, there will be changes at the FCC: no doubt about. VoIP, universal service fund and inter-carrier compensation issues – commonly referred to as Politically Charged Subjects – will be left alone. On more specific stocks, Merrill Lynch believes that a John Kerry victory would mean a 15% dividend tax, and that’s not good for some higher dividend yielding telecom stocks, including Citizens, AT&T, SBC, BellSouth and Verizon. 

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