Thursday, March 4, 2004 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

The Spin Zone

Focus groups must indicate that people shudder with fear when hearing the word "monopoly." Sample the following post-TRO decision press releases:

This decision is not in the public interest, but is instead in the interest of four Bell monopolies.

The court sharply restricted the ability of MCI and other companies to offer local phone service to residential customers by denying competitors the right to lease the facilities still controlled by local Bell monopolies.

Unfortunately, the D.C. Circuit's decision turns back the clock to the days when monopoly control of the marketplace gave consumers nothing more than poor service, high prices and little choice.

Voices for Choices-
If the Administration declines to appeal to the Supreme Court, these consumers will be forced back to the very Bell monopolies they have consciously tried to leave.

And Covad-
The FCC's pro-competition policies have already allowed 20 million customers to choose competitive local service providers other than the Bell monopoly.

I can only assume that the market definition CLEC interests are employing is extremely narrow - ignoring wireless, cable telephony, VoIP, and the millions of customers who have switched to both UNE and facilities-based CLECs. In many ways, this is as meaningful as saying McDonald's has a monopoly on McDonald's French fries - well, yes, but is this the relevant market for a market power inquiry? And what if the market is dynamic?

On the other hand, simple PR tactics are what telecommunications regulation has descended to.

posted by @ 11:15 AM | General