AT&T’s Striped Bass

ph_striped_bass.jpg You may recall that the FCC at the last minute in 2006, after the elections and before the electees took office, agreed to some conditions on the merger of Bellsouth with AT&T. Among them was a $10/month DSL plan.
The merger commitment specifies that the plan had to be offered. That means to me that it has to be put forth as an option!!! (If there’s a fifty pound striped bass somewhere out there in the ocean, that’s not an offer of fish!)

So I don’t think AT&T is honoring its $10/month commitment.

Is AT&T Honoring its Merger Commitments? David Isenberg,, Friday, July 06, 2007

This is the same $10/month service USA Today announced AT&T was developing back in January. Maybe they’ll just keep “developing” it until the 48 month time limit expires, or make it available to a few people and claim they’ve honored their commitment.This is what SBC used to do: claim availability if one person per ZIP code could get a service, and the FCC let them get away with that.

Isenberg asks:

Do you think the FCC will investigate?

Well, on another rate condition (call connection by other telcos) the FCC has already shortened the time period it’s required:

As part of the order, the FCC said AT&T will only have to offer the reduced rate for 39 months instead of 48 months.
And in any case, after the original 48 months expires for these conditions, in 2009 all bets are off. Not to mention that none of them apply to IPTV, anyway, and online TV is what AT&T thinks the future is.

Maybe their predictions will be more accurate this time than they were in 1993. So far I’m betting on Ray Bradbury. Unless we get net neutrality regulations, or more competition, or both.