Feeds

Baby Bells emulsify back into AT&T

Competition, US-style

High performance access to file storage

Back in January 1982, the US Department of Justice announced the dawn of a new era of competition. The national phone monopoly AT&T was to be broken up, creating seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) to compete alongside the phone veteran. It was the second anti-trust agreement in AT&T's history.

The "Death Star" has inspired such loathing over the years that there are Americans who still refuse to have do anything with it. Although this is easier said than done.

The RBOCs have coalesced into two gigantic amalgamations of region monopolies - the twin duopolies of Verizon and SBC - which thanks to intensive lobbying at the Federal, state and city levels have succeeded in tipping the competitive landscape their way. They've also extended their reach into mobile voice - the leading two cellular carriers are SBC (Cingular) and Verizon - and fixed data. The future will be AT&T flavored too: the company is operating three trial WiMAX deployments and sees its relationship with the ILECs (Independent Local Exchange Carriers) as fertile ground.

The former state-owned monopolies in Europe inspire similar loathing, but regulators have been a little more successful in encouraging competition. The telcos t didn't succeed in extending their fixed line monopolies into the age of mobile telephony, unlike Cingular and Verizon.

Now history has come full circle with SBC, which is at the approval stage of swallowing what was left of AT&T, renaming itself … AT&T. SBC today confirmed that the merged entity will use the AT&T brand, and will unveil a new logo and stock ticker when the process is complete by the end of the year.

The 1982 antirust case took seven and half years to reach a conclusion, and just twenty three years to unravel.

Well, wasn't that worth it? ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.