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SCOTUS Rules Incumbent Telcos Must Share Network Access At Cost 134

Posted by timothy
from the billy-primrose-gets-an-invite-to-your-party dept.
schwit1 writes with news, as reported by Bloomberg, which will likely have bearing on (like it or not) regulation of peering among Internet carriers: "Established local telephone companies including AT&T Inc. must share disputed parts of their networks with competitors at cost, the US Supreme Court ruled. The unanimous ruling backs the position taken by the Federal Communications Commission in a fight stemming from the 1996 law that injected competition into the local telephone business. The law requires so-called incumbent local carriers, whose ranks also include Verizon Communications Inc. and CenturyLink Inc., to share their facilities with rivals."
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SCOTUS Rules Incumbent Telcos Must Share Network Access At Cost

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  • What does deliver the a la carte services at "cost-based rates" mean? Does that mean LECs who provide access to other locals can't charge for the added load on the network and are supposed to upgrade affected equipment out of pocket (and thus the contracting, generally smaller, LEC doesn't have to shoulder this cost) OR are they allowed to base this as part of the cost? That's my only reservation.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      It means Verizon cannot charge $1000 per megabyte to XYZ Services to lease their phone or DSL lines. The ruling is intended to prevent Verizon (and other telcos) from blocking-out competition via outrageous charges.

      This is a good thing. Now maybe instead of being stuck with Verizon or Comcast, I can choose some other ISP. Just the same way I can choose to say "screw BGE" and buy my power from somebody else.

      • by mooingyak (720677) on Friday June 10, 2011 @08:22AM (#36399300)

        They'll find other ways to screw you. If your service is interrupted and you're using Verizon lines but aren't a Verizon customer, your work order goes to the bottom of the pile. If the pile isn't large, they'll still leave some cushion room in case a flood of calls come in from their own customers. And they won't move you up when that flood doesn't arrive.

        • Undoubtedly telcos will screw you, it's part of the definition. But now, SCOTUS reaffirms that the common carrier clause is in effect, and that telcos are still utilities in the old concept of the word, that their wires are to be used for other providers, and those providers can be awesome or worse than the evil that describes the telcos.

          It is a good day.

          Could a telco screw a third-party? Sure. But I don't think they'll want to. Why? More than likely, what affects one of the third party customers also affec

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Full disclosure: I work for a major telco, but want to keep my job, so I'm posting AC.

          If your service is interrupted and you're using Verizon lines but aren't a Verizon customer, your work order goes to the bottom of the pile. If the pile isn't large, they'll still leave some cushion room in case a flood of calls come in from their own customers. And they won't move you up when that flood doesn't arrive.

          This is incorrect.

          How a trouble ticket is handled depends entirely upon how the customer opened the tick

          • by mooingyak (720677)

            First, let me say, exceptionally informative, thank you.

            Now, what happens at the install phase, I can't say. If there were a place for shenanigans to happen, that would be it? But more often than not, any shenanigans are self-inflicted by the customer not giving us the information or physical access we need to do the work.

            I had been speaking from personal experience, specifically at the install phase (Non local telco told me that install would occur in 6-8 weeks. I was advised to sign up with the local telco, then switch to my preferred telco after the install). I assumed that this sort of behavior would extend to any required work on my line, but I never had to call anything in before I moved, so I can't dispute what you've said.

          • Where the shenanigans happen is in the tariffs and in procurement. The rates for data lines do not drop after the line and the equipment have been paid off, nor do they fall along with the cost of the equipment, nor the actual costs of maintenance. Theoretically the state PUCs keep an eye on this, but in effect the ILECs charge whatever they feel like. Often the actual costs to the ILEC will be exactly the same for services that span one or even two orders of magnitude of price for the customer -the only di

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          This is normal.

          Here in Australia when I signed up with TPG in a new house and wanted TPG to come in and connect my phone line so I could hook my phone and ADSL service up they actually told me to sign up with Telstra (the monopolist who owns the lines), and then immediately transfer the service to TPG. They said turnaround time for signing up with Telstra was 1-2 weeks, turnaround time for signing with TPG was 4-5 weeks as they need to get Telstra to do the line work.

          That said lines rarely actually break, w

    • Buried somewhere in the case documents is a definition of "cost-based". I don't feel like digging around for it right now.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by Skarecrow77 (1714214)

      "cost" does not include overhead, but may include network load, not sure.

      My mother was actually in the telco business back in the 90s and early 2000s, working for Verizon selling T3s, OC-3s, OC-12s, etc. She was forced to compete against other companies reselling Verizon's own hardware/infrastructure cheaper than Verizon could because Verizon had more overhead as a larger company.

      So at which point you say "hell yeah. fuck verizon. that's what they get for being a big monolithic company, screw the man!" unti

      • by bmo (77928)

        >She was forced to compete against other companies reselling Verizon's own hardware/infrastructure cheaper than Verizon could because Verizon had more overhead as a larger company.

        I smell loads of bullshit here, since during the 90s Verizon grew huge, and continued to grow through the next 10 years, and still, even now, continues to grow and rake in money hand-over-fist.

        Poor Verizon.

        --
        BMO

        • I doubt your mom had any idea what it cost Verizon to actually provide the lines (it's a very fuzzy number, if you asked different accountants they could come up with virtually any number you wanted), likely all she had were the tariffs which are basically the equivalent of the sticker price on a car. Obviously the competitors were getting the lines much cheaper than the list price, and higher-ups at Verizon were either willingly selling them at that price or were unable to document higher costs to the regu

      • by afidel (530433) on Friday June 10, 2011 @08:30AM (#36399386)
        Verizon was handed an infrastructure paid for by years of taxes and government granted monopolies, if they can't make a profit with that kind of setup then they deserve to lose.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        My mother ...

        I'm sorry your mother had to work so hard to sell T3s, OC-3s, OC-12s, etc in the late 90's and early 2000's.

        But I still say, "hell yeah. fuck verizon. that's what they get for being a big monolithic company, screw the man!"

      • It balances out in the "risk-costs" the little guys face when daring to take on the oligarchic companies.

        The big telcos have been making too many deals on the whole anti-NetNeutrality game, so those become "unbooked costs" which the seeming-unfairness of the SC ruling is designed to counteract.

      • Except all those cars are bought with tax payer money.

      • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Friday June 10, 2011 @09:29AM (#36400328) Homepage

        She was forced to compete against other companies reselling Verizon's own hardware/infrastructure cheaper than Verizon could because Verizon had more overhead as a larger company.

        The problem with this argument is that overhead tends to shrink as companies grow in size as a percentage of net income. This is why Walmart has cheaper prices than Joe's General Store. Walmart's overhead, as a percentage, is far lower than Joe's.

        To say that Verizon has more overhead than third parties is completely misleading. Third party overhead, as a percentage, was far more expensive on a per-service basis. True, Verizon may have had higher percentage overhead on advertising, but that is also part of their ability to out-compete a third party, even if a third party is at a lower cost. Verizon also has a much more well staffed service center. But this is a completely different "service" they can offer, but a third party could not. If a third party tried to compete with a support service center, their percentage of overhead would have been outrageously higher than Verizon.

        Verizon nor AT&T are not "screwed" by selling their lines at cost any more than Walmart is screwed by Joe for selling the exact same products. Joe's overhead, as a percentage, and confined to "services" he offers is costlier. And second, Walmart can offer more "services" (more lanes, more selection, more locations, etc) than Joe ever could, and should Joe try to compete in those services, his costs will be a higher percentage than Walmart.

        This makes complete economic sense, where-as your post does not. Because, if you were right, it would make no sense for Verizon or AT&T to want to purchase other providers or grow in any way. If it is more economically burdening to grow, then they would fight tooth and nail not to grow. Walmart and Costco wouldn't exist, nor would national brands. In fact, even the general store probably wouldn't exist in such a system.

        But that's simply not how the economics work. While your libertarian leaning ideals may be well placed, your economic reasoning for them falls apart. Because, in fact, as a percentage, Verizon can sell its own services cheaper than a third party (at cost), because nowhere in the equation are they getting a free ride.

        • by hibiki_r (649814)

          This holds true in a simple company that sells one product, or a few unrelated products. A large conglomerate like a modern telco is quite different though.

          Take, say, AT&T and internet access using fiber. If all they did was sell consumers the bandwidth, they could beat what any reseller would do, no questions. However, they don't just sell connections: They try to sell cable TV over fiber. Broadband internet access competes with TV directly. Make the connection too good, and a competitor that sells jus

      • by Omestes (471991)

        You've got a huge ass used car dealership. they're so huge that they've put all the competition out of business. no other used car lots around. The government says "that's not fair, there is now no competition" and mandates that the car lot now allow other outside car salesmen to walk on to their lot and sell their cars. The outside salesmen can sell the cars for lower than the lot salesmen because the lot salesmen need to bump up their prices to account for property taxes, keeping auction-goers on staff (where do you think those cars come from), electricity, etc. etc.

        Except the city mandated originally that there can only be one car dealership within city limits, and then fronted a huge share of the cost, and some of the property to the owner of the mandated singular dealership. Said dealership for years, then, only sold older model cars at a huge markup because of the mandated lack of competition, and eventually got so arrogant to sell beat-up, non-running, cars as new models without having to tell the customer (where else can the customer go?).

        Eventually someone real

      • Your analogy is flawed in that the outside salesmen in reality are charged for the part of the overhead that covers the infrastructure. What they are able to sidestep is the corporate bloat. I started a company years ago based on the business model that kept the multiple at or below 2. So if the employee makes $50/hr, the billing rate is $100/hr. The industry standard was closer to 3. Here's the kicker, we also had great benefits, so perhaps 40-50% of the multiple was fringe, the corporate bloat was ke
      • by Tailhook (98486)

        hell yeah. fuck verizon

        Fuck you and your straw man.

        The network will exist and function well regardless of the fate of Verizon et al. because there are vast numbers of rate payers that will pay for service. It just may not be capable of floating a powerful, vertically integrated company and its army of lobbyists and Hollywood power brokers.. It would, instead, exist among smaller, less powerful and more focused organizations that make their money by competing for rate payers, rather than exclusive media contracts, collusion and

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        So at which point you say "hell yeah. fuck verizon. that's what they get for being a big monolithic company, screw the man!" until you realize that these competitors wouldn't exist without "the man" because the infrastructure they're renting wouldn't exist or be maintained.

        So without large, monolithic telcos, there'd be no telephone system?

        I think it's more likely that without large telcos, there'd be a set of smaller telcos, so someone wishing to resell services would have to negotiate with multiple companies. I don't know if that would result in higher or lower prices to the end-user, since economies of scale factor in, but so does efficiency/overhead of a large company. My small credit union gives me much better service at lower rates than my former large bank, but they do

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        First, you assume that we actually give a shit about "Capitalism." Second,

        because the lot salesmen need to bump up their prices to account for property taxes, keeping auction-goers on staff (where do you think those cars come from), electricity, etc. etc.

        These should all be reflected in the "cost" charged to the other salesmen.

        And I highly doubt they had to compete with other companies selling Verizon's stuff cheaper. My guess is that Verizon was charging too much to begin with, and when they got hit with competitors that could undercut them on cost, they refused to lower their prices to compete.

      • by Rakarra (112805)

        My mother was actually in the telco business back in the 90s and early 2000s, working for Verizon selling T3s, OC-3s, OC-12s, etc. She was forced to compete against other companies reselling Verizon's own hardware/infrastructure cheaper than Verizon could because Verizon had more overhead as a larger company.

        No offense intended, but I question your mother's evaluation of the situation. One of the perks of being a larger business is that their overhead is often less (per person, not overall) partially due to the economies of scale that they can leverage. If their costs per unit go up the more units they process, then that's not a sign of a well-managed business.

    • by eyrieowl (881195)

      Presumably they are not obligated to do upgrades; however, I would imagine that if they choose to do so that they can build that into the "cost based rate", just so long as the cost is amortized across all the customers, not just the 3rd party's customers.

    • So would setting up a fake .inc and requiring them to give it to me (my only customer) at cost be cheaper than paying my $50/month ISP bill?
  • Cable too please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zaphod-AVA (471116) on Friday June 10, 2011 @08:01AM (#36399074)

    Enable competition and break the local monopolies of the cable companies. Expand this to include cable providers!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gtvr (1702650)
      My thought on local cable was that you should do a bit like electricity deregulation - have one company that runs the fiber to the house, which requires the massive money investment. They lease out usage to TV, internet or whoever at regulated rates. Have wide open competition for content providers - what you want, you pay for, and nothing else.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, but that would be... shudder .... a free market!

        We can't have that, it's communiste. err

        I'll leave now...

        • ...regulated rates...

          ...free market...

          That term...I don't think it means what you think it means. To be fair, though, it would be better than what we have now.

          • ...regulated rates...

            ...free market...

            That term...I don't think it means what you think it means. To be fair, though, it would be better than what we have now.

            Yes it does. regulating the infrastructure side would make the service provider side a free market.

            At the moment, the infrastructure and service provider are the same entity, and since they (ab)use this monopoly position...

          • by s73v3r (963317)

            Actually, it very, very much would be, depending on what market you're talking about. In the infrastructure market, not so much, but then, infrastructure is generally a very poor thing to leave to the "free market", as there can only be so much infrastructure duplicated in a given area. That means natural monopolies. However, if you're talking about the service/content providing market, then it very much would be, as everyone would be competing on a level playing field.

      • by jgagnon (1663075)

        Which "large company" would run the lines? Chances are it would be a large company already tied into that industry, thus creating the mess we have now. This whole idea would only work if ownership of the lines that are run is transferred to an independent entity not tied to the commercial success of any of the companies actually using the lines. Obviously, this owner would be responsible for the cost of maintaining the lines. Choose carefully. ;)

        • In Houston, Reliant power totally divested itself of the infrastructure to Centerpoint, who now maintains the power lines. Works well.
          • by Jawnn (445279)

            In Houston, Reliant power totally divested itself of the infrastructure to Centerpoint, who now maintains the power lines. Works well.

            You, sir, are a liar. I live in Houston and I am here to tell you that the maintenance of the physical plant is a joke. A look down any major thoroughfare, at all the sagging lines and way-off-plumb poles, should be evidence enough, but the real test is in the delivery of the juice and at that, Centerpoint fails hard. Quality sucks (dirty and with frequent voltage sags) and availability is less than stellar as well. That Centerpoint is beholden to shareholders is quite obvious. Contrast his with other comm

            • While you have been living in other communities, I have been living in Houston. I travel a lot, but live in Houston. Out of plumb poles? It is a swamp. Everything moves. Poles have been out of plumb long before Centerpoint took over. Outages? Yep... Other places too. But when Ike came through, how long did it take to bring 5 million people back up? It ain't perfect, but it is as good as it ever was, and cheaper. And you, sir, are a pickle. Wait, just cause I say it, it doesn't make it so?
        • Re:Cable too please! (Score:5, Informative)

          by ArhcAngel (247594) on Friday June 10, 2011 @08:45AM (#36399614)
          You missed the key term "regulated" meaning the government would determine what they could charge. It would be like they have done with electricity deregulation. I live in Texas and here is how it was done here. The local government mandated monopoly (Houston Lighting & Power) was split into two companies. One became the owner of the infrastructure and was named CenterPoint Energy [centerpointenergy.com]. The other became the independent seller of electricity to end users Reliant Energy [reliant.com]. Reliant Energy must purchase electricity from power brokers and CenterPoint delivers the power to Reliant's customers. CenterPoint charges Reliant a fee for using it's lines. CenterPoint is regulated by ERCOT [ercot.com]. Reliant is free to charge the customer whatever it likes but it now must compete with other electricity providers for the privilege. For cable companies it would be like splitting Comcast into two companies. One would own the infrastructure and be regulated and the other would simply sell programming packages and service. I also advocate this model for Telco and Cellular.
      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>have one company that runs the fiber to the house,

        Government. They already own the roads... and the water/sewer pipes... might as well own the 50-fiber optic bundle too. Then lease one fiber to each company as needed, so customers can choose comcast or cox or cablevision or verizon or AppleTV or MSN or whatever.

        Of course this will never happen, because Comcast bribes my local politicians to make sure comcast has an exclusive contract to distribute CATV. (sigh)

        • Based on the condition of many of the roads I have seen, I vote no! Just force a divestiture.
          • by nschubach (922175)

            Have you had trouble with your toilet backing up when it wasn't your fault for shoving too much paper in there? How about getting water when you turn on the faucet? When the "thing" in question lies below the ground in an area not easily accessible by people driving over it with ignorant abandon these things tend to last.

          • by Xtifr (1323)

            Based on the condition of many private roads I've seen, and even lived on, I'll take the government "interference", thanks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by devious507 (192750)

        My thought on local cable was that you should do a bit like electricity deregulation - have one company that runs the fiber to the house, which requires the massive money investment. They lease out usage to TV, internet or whoever at regulated rates. Have wide open competition for content providers - what you want, you pay for, and nothing else.

        You can't do this with cable, there isn't an individual line that goes from your house all the way back to the cable company, the wire in your house is only "yours" to the pole where it combines with everyone else in your neighborhood. The wire coming to your house is capable of carrying approximately 125 channel slots. Those channel slots can be used in 1 of 4 ways...

        1. A single analog channel
        2. 2 HD Digital Channels
        3. 3 or 4 SD Digital Channels
        4. Approximately 30mbit of download capacity for data

        You

        • Re:Cable too please! (Score:5, Informative)

          by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday June 10, 2011 @08:40AM (#36399542)

          Minor corrections:

          [180] channel slots [upto 1000 megahertz].
          1. A single six megahertz analog channel
          2. [5] HD Digital Channels
          3. [10] SD Digital Channels
          4. Approximately 30 [or 40 Mbit] of download capacity for data

          Points 2 and 3 are why cable channels often look pixelated compared to live broadcast. The cable channels squeeze as many channels as possible into each 6 megahertz/40 Mbit wide slot, which means the viewer sees lots of macroblocking and mosquitos in their picture.

          • by Bengie (1121981)

            I wonder how much it would cost to switch the channels from FDMA to a FDMA+CDMA system. That would allow a ton more bandwidth, but would probably cost a crap ton to implement.

            DOCSIS 2/3 both can use CDMA and it adds a lot more bandwidth, which allows many many more customers.

          • by Hatta (162192)

            2. [5] HD Digital Channels ...
            4. Approximately 30 [or 40 Mbit] of download capacity for data

            So one HD channel takes 6 megabit, or 732KB/s. For a half hour show then, that's 732*60*30/1024/1024=1.2GB.

            You're telling me that digital TV engineers can't deliver a half hour of transparently encoded HD video in less than 1.2GB?

            • by cpu6502 (1960974)

              Ooops. I meant 30-to-40 Mbit/sec datarate. That is only 6-to-9 megabits per second per hd program. And yes that's pretty tight. It's about the same datarate as a DVD, but with six times more pixels to stream.

              As for CDMA, I don't know if that would work on a noisy cable system. The reason broadcast digital radio and television is limited to ~250 kbit/s and 19 Mbit/s respectively is because of the high noise floor. Cable is no different. Cable is limited to just 30 or 40 Mbit/s using 16VSB or 64Q

              • by Bengie (1121981)

                Actually CDMA is extremely resilient to narrow band noise, much more so than TDMA/FDMA. CDMA was actually created by the military to get around jamming devices.

                DOCSIS 2/3 can make use of the 20mhz band only when using CDMA. Because there is so much noise TDMA can't get any signal, yet CDMA works just fine.

                Also,because of CDMA's resilience to noise, CDMA mode supports 128QAM on the upstream, while TDMA mode only supports 64QAM upstream.

                Speaking about noise, look at cell phones. A GSM(TDMA) tower outputs abo

    • Isn't satellite available almost everywhere, thereby making a cable monopoly impossible?
      • by krobe (944780)
        Unless you live some place that has trees, as I do. I don't have a view of the southern sky therefore no satellite TV, so I am currently stuck with Comcast if i want to watch sports, or avoid some of the other downsides of going to internet TV.
      • by Qzukk (229616)

        Sure..........If...........you..........don't..........mind..........the..........ping..........times.

    • by alen (225700)

      it's not like the law requires phone companies to do this. the law says if the ILEC's want to enter other markets they have to lease their lines

  • The ruling was a victory for Talk America Inc. in its fight with AT&T’s Michigan Bell Telephone unit. The case centered on so-called entrance facilities -- the wires or cables that connect the networks of two carriers. AT&T argued unsuccessfully that those lines aren’t covered by the 1996 law.

    There, now you've read the entire article

  • If you lose 9-0 at the Supreme Court that means you pretty much had no case.

    • sudden outbreak of common sense?

      and yes I agree with applying this ruling to the cable companies as well.

  • How do you verify "at cost" prices? Is there an independent and/or open audits? These entities have been gifted with regulated monopoly status. History has shown them to be just as aggressively profit driven as many other corporations.
    • The replies you got are ridiculously naive about how ILECs rig their accounting and prices. Audits don't help because the way that the accounting is rigged is actually legal. The "regulated" part of "regulated monopoly" is also pretty much a joke.

  • by Kuma-chang (1035190) on Friday June 10, 2011 @09:15AM (#36400084) Journal
    As an actual telecom attorney, I'd just like to clarify that this ruling applies very narrowly to the use of entrance facilities (wires running into telco offices) for the purpose of interconnection. The dispute centered on an order from the FCC that excluded these facilities from regulation under one part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that requires unbundled access to network elements that are necessary for competing service providers and would impair their ability to provide service if they were denied access. A separate section of the Act requires telcos to provide cost-based access to network facilities for the purpose of interconnection. AT&T claimed that the order meant that they did not have to provide access to entrance facilities under either statutory provision. A competing provider, took them to court over it, the FCC filed a brief stating that AT&T was required to provide the facilities for the purpose of interconnection, and the Supreme Court endorsed the FCC view. That's it. This opinion does not expand the rights of competitors to unbundled access to incumbent networks in any general sense.
    • Thanks - great comment. Can you answer the more general question as to what happened to unbundling? I talked with the FCC team who were responsible for the infrastructure work on NBP last year, and they just totally wrote it off -- "Unbundling? Yeah right, it'll destroy the industry if we do that."

      What went wrong after 1996? We had unbundling for a few years and now it's totally verboten. Regulatory capture? Anything legal that's taken us down this road? Thanks for any insight.

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        I don't know about everywhere, but in Illinois the government-mandated rates were below cost to Ameritech/SBC/AT&T. The result was that after a couple of years Ameritech was able to get the mandated rates recinded and they no longer had to effectively support the competition.

        For a while in Illinois you could connect your phone line up to at least 3 or 4 different DSL services. None of them had any investment or incentive to provide any customer service, so you got what you got. A few people got good

        • In the southeast US, the competing ISPs sold DSL service where everything from the local loop to the ISP connection was provided by the wholesale part of BellSouth. BellSouth's captive ISP was theoretically competing on the same basis as the other ISPs, but the volume clauses for price breaks were adjusted so that only BellSouth's ISP got much lower prices, and there was a huge amount of cooperation between the wholesale side of B.S. and the ostensibly independent ISP. The big pipes at the ISP end were also

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Friday June 10, 2011 @11:28AM (#36402238)

    Well, it's interesting to note that here in Canada, we have the exact opposite - the big telecommunications companies pretty much have free reign except for some small legal matters.

    E.g., the FCC mandates that consumers must have choice in set top boxes, so CableCARD was created. Sure it's iffy, but at least you guys get to have "premium" PVRs like TiVo, Moxi, Windows Media Center, etc fully working with digital cable. Here we have to put up with cableco provided boxes that only work with that cableco. They won't activate any equipment you didn't buy from them even if it's identical.

    Point 2 - UBB. The CRTC rule that jacked up DSL rates was changed from (cost+%) to (retail price-%). So if the incumbent sold DSL for $20/month and it cost them $10 to provide, instead of the ISP paying say, $12/month and providing service with the remaining $8 (the way it was), the rules changed so the ISP must pay say $18 (10% off retail) for the line. That's why TekSavvy had to jack up prices.

    Hell, the only provider that seemed to have done a decent thing was Shaw by announcing new limits and plans that even include an unlimited service. Probably because they were bleeding customers and feared the government might end up stepping in with regulation. Bell and Rogers though... bleh.

    Free market, indeed. Sometimes I wish our CRTC had balls like the FCC.

    • by sycorob (180615)

      Free market, indeed. Sometimes I wish our CRTC had balls like the FCC.

      Really? That's pretty much the saddest thing I've ever heard!

    • by ameoba (173803)

      Cablecard is such a joke. At best, the implementation was half-assed and companies only supported it enough to maintain legal compliance.

  • Under the original law, telco equipment was to be rented out at a rate decided by gov't - typically based on fractional cost of equipment purchase, which is only one small part of total cost.

    Under the previous ruling, a telco would maintain a Point of Presence, provide redundant connections to the POP, back-up power, etc. and install a DSLAM - a competitor could come in and tell the telco that they wanted a DSLAM port and only pay for the fractional cost of the DSLAM device. The telco had to eat the differe

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