Saturday, February 20, 2010

Big v. Small: Telephone Edition

The battle continues: Here is an article about telephone companies against new tech companies. The seedy understory is that telephone companies don't want to share their lines or subscribers with smaller telephone companies, so they might be ripping out the copper wiring in some areas.

Then, to avoid regulation and possibly to avoid sharing new fiber optics lines with smaller competitors, some companies have apparently convinced courts that their newer fiber optic lines transmit "information," not telephone calls, so the state PUC isn't the appropriate regulator. Such a strategy would help big phone companies take care of smaller telephone competitors, but it may also open the door for companies like Cbeyond (CBEY). (At the same time, I think the FCC, a federal agency, may still regulate telephone companies' fiber optic networks, but that regulation would occur at the distant federal level, not the more local state level.)

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