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SBC and AT&T -- MY worries

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  • Mark J Cuccia
    One concern I have with SBC and AT&T (and please note that I am not necessarily opposed to the concept of the seven former baby Bells and big Maw
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 2, 2005
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      One concern I have with SBC and AT&T (and please note that I am not
      necessarily opposed to the "concept" of the seven "former baby Bells"
      and "big Maw Bell"/AT&T and Lucent, etc. all ultimately coming back
      togather again), is what happened when only a "medium-sized" competitive
      IXC merged with or took over, one of the baby Bells back around 2000.

      And that is when Qwest and US-West merged.

      One of the regulatory requirements was that LCI/Qwest Long Distance
      withdraw from the market in all 14 US-West states. Of course, the legacy
      (if Qwest could be considered to have had any legacy) LCI/Qwest-LD
      switching/routing/transmission network continued to exist in those 14
      states, afterall, they had to complete calls originated elsewhere by
      Qwest-LD customers destined for those 14 states or between locations on
      opposite sides of those 14 states (i.e., CA/NV, with everything east of
      US-West), but ALL CUSTOMERS of LCI-Qwest-LD were "spun off" to some
      other entity. And if you had special deals or service plans offered by
      Qwest-LD as a Qwest-LD customer, you would most likely LOSE those plans
      if you lived in one of the 14 US-West states.

      And this applied whether you had (residential) dialtone from a US-West
      ratecenter/central office, or a non-Bell ratecenter/wirecenter (i.e.,
      GTE/VZ, Sprint-Centel/United, Alltel, CenturyTel, or any other
      "mid-size" independent or even small rural/co-op/Indian-reservation
      independent telcos. I don't know if one could have Qwest-LD as their
      primary carrier on a CLEC, but if that is possible elsewhere, I would
      assume that Qwest-LD would have had to spin-off that customer base to
      the "other entity".

      I forget exactly who that "other entity" was....

      But in addition to being FORCED off Qwest-LD without the customer's
      consent, along with various rate-plans/etc. that might not continue to
      be offered, it also caused confusion and changes to customers when using
      their Qwest-LD card when travelling. They were now customers of this
      "other entity".

      BTW, this "other entity" who took over the Qwest-LD customer base, from
      what I understand, *DID* re-sell service from the "legacy" LCI-Qwest-LD
      network.

      However, there were also complications for inward-800 customers in the
      14-state area. I forget the exact technical complications, but because
      of the "CIC" code returned from the 800-translations database and the
      change of "carrier of record" from Qwest-LD to this "other entity", in
      many cases the originating local central office of the calling party
      trying to call that toll-free 8YY-nxx-xxxx number, did NOT have that
      "carrier identification code" (CIC) in its translations, and thus
      callers from any deliquent central offices in the 14-states couldn't get
      thru to their desired called 800/888/877 number if the called-800
      customer had chosen Qwest (and still had Qwest if THEY were located
      outside the 14-state area), or the called-800 number had originally
      chosen Qwest but were now forced over to the "other entity" because they
      were physically located within the 14-state area.


      NOW... I know that many people have "jumped ship" when it comes to AT&T.
      This has been going on with 1984, and if you consider ENFIA/fg.A and B
      access, it even was happening pre-divestiture.

      I know that there are cellular plans out there that give "virtually"
      unlimited calling throughout the US (and even Canada).

      And there are the VoIP entites.

      Many LECs including "baby Bells" (BOCs) now have some form of inter-LATA
      network or at least are re-selling some "major" IXC for their LD
      services.

      And anyone can have accounts with numerous service providers and
      carriers, and service offerings (Cellular, VoIP, prepaid card,
      traditional post-paid card, as well as 1+ landline toll) although you
      can only have "one (inter-LATA) PIC" per-line.


      Anyhow.... in addition to the other services out there, and I have
      accounts and services with SEVERAL providers, there are still some of us
      out there who ARE and WILL CONTINUE TO BE (OR DESIRE TO BE) ....

      DEDICATED LIFELONG CUSTOMERS of *AT&T*.

      I do have a prepaid MCI card, and I have card-only accounts with other
      service providers. I can easily get cellular toll plans with a cellular
      provider.... and I can easily get a VoIP if I wanted to.

      But I still want my inter-LATA PIC on my main resi-line to have the CIC
      of 0288, AT&T. I am on some of AT&T's best discount plans offered, as
      long as they continue to offer them.

      And AT&T's basic LD network is FAR more developed and entrenched (legacy)
      than is MCI or Sprint's or anyone else's. Although if you combine the
      number of tandems in MCI and Sprint (and GC/Frontier and Qwest-LD) you
      probably have twice as many switches as AT&T-LD has -- it still is true
      (AFAIK), that AT&T carries probably just over half of the LD traffic in
      the US. A good deal of this is because they re-sell to other entites,
      but still, if I want to KEEP AT&T as long as they still "exist", I
      should NOT be forced off of it because the government "sez-so".

      And as for the negative aspects of LCI-Qwest-LD customers "anywhere"
      in the 14-state area (even if they lived-in / got dialtone-from a
      non-US-West wirecenter/ratecenter), it was 4-5 years ago -- I forget the
      exact drawbacks and consequences. I will have to check with "our blind
      friend" in the Twin Cities (MN) which is a NWBell/USWest/Qwest-LEC
      ratecenter. (Some of you know who I'm referring to), as he told me about
      these negatives when Qwest and US-West "merged" back in 2000.

      I do NOT want to see anything like that happen to AT&T customers
      regardless of where they live, just because they might live in a SBC
      state !!! :(

      And because both SBC and BellSouth jointly own Cingular, and also
      because Cingular recently took over (most of) AT&T-Wireless even though
      AT&T-W was more or less "spun out" of the real AT&T a few years ago,
      I have some concerns about a repeat of the Qwest/US-West drawbacks,
      because I LIVE in a BellSouth state!


      Mark J. Cuccia
      mcuccia(at)tulane(dot)edu
      New Orleans LA CSA
      **********************************************
    • Paul Zawada
      On Wed, 2 Feb 2005 15:08:24 -0600 (CST), Mark J Cuccia ... Mark, I was one such customer until last year when I had some billing issues to straighten out with
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 4, 2005
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        On Wed, 2 Feb 2005 15:08:24 -0600 (CST), Mark J Cuccia
        <mcuccia@...> wrote:
        >
        > Anyhow.... in addition to the other services out there, and I have
        > accounts and services with SEVERAL providers, there are still some of us
        > out there who ARE and WILL CONTINUE TO BE (OR DESIRE TO BE) ....
        >
        > DEDICATED LIFELONG CUSTOMERS of *AT&T*.

        Mark, I was one such customer until last year when I had some billing
        issues to straighten out with them. It was pure hell dealing with
        AT&T. I had been a happy customer my entire adult life and it seemed
        they did everything they could to drive me away. After the third or
        fourth 30-minute phone call for a reltively minor issue, enough was
        enough and I switched my long distance to SBC.

        I still view the old Ma Bell with tremendous awe in what they built
        and accomplished. However, after the aforementioned dealings, it was
        painfully clear to me that the AT&T of today was a radically different
        company than the one that most of us remanisce about. And after I
        thought about it a bit, I felt that SBC, while also still a different
        company, held a much closer resemblance to The Telephone Company (in
        BSP-parlance :-) than AT&T.

        IMHO, if anything, SBC will save AT&T from themselves.

        --zawada
      • blitz
        Lets hope so, their main sin was they never got out of the monopoly mindset after the breakup, and like you said, drove customers away in droves.
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 4, 2005
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          Lets hope so, their main sin was they never got out of the monopoly mindset
          after the breakup, and like you said, drove customers away in droves.



          >IMHO, if anything, SBC will save AT&T from themselves.
          >
          >--zawada
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