NNSquad - Network Neutrality Squad

NNSquad Home Page

NNSquad Mailing List Information


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ NNSquad ] Re: Remembering the "long distance warrior" who took down Ma Bell

Steve Coll's "The Deal of the Century" is a wonderful book for those
interested in the details of the politics behind the break up. Divestiture
was more about particulars of political personalities and ATT missteps than
a straightforward analysis of business policy. McGowan played an essential
role but we also need to understand the larger context.

On one hand it doesn't bode well for effective new policies given today's
toxic politics and an even more politicized landscape.

On the other hand, as I note in http://rmf.vc/ivt (Information vs. Telecom)
which I wrote based on Coll's book and Gleick's "Information", when we look
back at the breakup we have to realize that it was doomed by the very
digital transition that allowed MCI to "create phone calls" in competition.
Ultimately there was no value to be added by network operators. All they
could do is try to puff themselves up until they could puff no more. No
wonder ATT is trying to acquire T-Mobile -- it can't risk losing control of
the bits.

ATT may again finding itself in the position of getting ahead of an
inexorable process.

Of course MCI was done in by more mundane fraud riding a telecom bubble.
Steve Coll now runs the New America Foundation.

-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org
[mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of
Lauren Weinstein
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2011 14:43
To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Remembering the "long distance warrior" who took down
Ma Bell

Remembering the "long distance warrior" who took down Ma Bell

http://j.mp/pK7wMS  (ars technica)

   "MCI's case against AT&T quickly wound up in court. The Department of
    Justice had joined the foray by the same year that I took that
    classical call. The huge affair eventually turned MCI into "a law firm
    with an antenna on the roof," as its staff joked. But by 1984 Ma Bell
    agreed to divest into regional parts, and McGowan became the closest
    thing America has ever seen to a telecommunications hero.  The
    David-versus-Goliath version of the story is nicely told in a new
    documentary, Bill McGowan: Long Distance Warrior, which will air on
    public television stations on September 13 at 8pm EDT."

 - - -

I sure remember "Execunet" back then!

Too bad the FCC has allowed AT&T to reassemble like the T-1000 robot cop
in "Terminator 2" -- blobs of blown apart liquid metal recombining, with
T-Mobile their intended latest outside glob to be assimilated.

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com): http://www.vortex.com/lauren
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: http://www.pfir.org
 - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org
 - Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance:
 - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
Google+: http://vortex.com/g+lauren
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 / Skype: vortex.com