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[Discuss] Verizon getting out of being regulated

MBR <mbr at> asked:
> Where does AT&T provide landline service?  They don't seem to be in
> Arlington.

In San Francisco just like in Cambridge/Boston area, Comcast rules for
broadband.  But there are three other companies with broadband offerings: AT&T
DSL ("uverse"), Astound.Net (aka RCN before the California operation was split
off), and Monkey Brains.  That last one is a Shore.Net-like local ISP that
managed to hang on through all the myriad shake-outs.  Landlines are provided
only by AT&T (which bought out the baby-Bell PacTel years ago) so I'm sure the
copper's getting ripped out here too.

Time Magazine this week has an interesting graphic showing how the Internet
industry's consolidation is accelerating.  Comcast is about to swallow
Time-Warner, the second-largest cable-modem provider.  "Regulators" who are
supposed to protect consumers against industry monopolies won't bat an eye as
they approve this merger and all the unsavory business practices that go with
it, ostensibly because the consumer-side services of the two companies don't
overlap geographically so consumers won't lose any "choice" of providers.  The
whole net-neutrality debate is pretty much lost already; politicians hear only
one side of the story (from Comcast and TW lobbyists) because voters in
general have little concept of what it means.

According to this article, 50% of the USA Internet market is now controlled by
the top 30 ISPs.  Consolidation is continuing to increase.


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