Merit Network
Can't find what you're looking for? Search the Mail Archives.
  About Merit   Services   Network   Resources & Support   Network Research   News   Events   Home

Discussion Communities: Merit Network Email List Archives

North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

US West and RADSL

  • From: Marianne Granoff
  • Date: Fri Jun 05 14:16:43 1998

>On Wed, 3 Jun 1998, Jonathan Arneault wrote:
>
>> I just read (http://www.internews.com/isp-news/1998/06/0301-bell.html) that
>> Bell Atlantic is looking to finally roll out xDSL.  However, not as a
>> wholesale, unbundled service, but as an Internet service which will
directly
>> compete against ISPs.
>[snip]
>> for us "little guys" to compete against the behemoths?  Has anyone had
>> similar experiences with their primary iLEC (such as PACBell and US West)?
>
>US West just rolled out RADSL in Utah.
>
>$40/month for a 256k bi-directional DSL line
>
>USWEST.NET, US West's ISP, will sell you dedicated internet access over
>that connection for $19.95/month.
>
>Of course, the number to order either service is the same.
>
>Of course when you call to order the DSL line they might give you a hard
>sell to also sign-up with USWEST.NET. 
>
>Of course they might give out inconsistent and false information that
>changes with every time you talk to them. 
>
>We are a DSL enabled ISP.  Our first DSL customer ordered his DSL line and
>told them he wanted us as his ISP.  When the installed his line, they
>mapped him to USWEST.NET's ISP!!!  I also know of two other confirmed
>cases were the customer chose a local DSL ISP, and they mapped them
>instead to USWEST.NET. 
>
>I could go on and on about the VERY APPALLING situation here with USW and
>DSL and Internet access, about regulated and unregulated services, etc,
>etc. 
>
>Dax Kelson
>Internet Connect, Inc.

The preceeding message was forwarded to me by one of our NM ISPs.  US West
has been co-marketing its Internet service _with_ its RADSL service in all
of its 14 states (http://www.uswest.com/com/customers/interprise/dsl/).
Actions by ISP groups in Oregon and New Mexico may provide some relief to
local ISPs there.

I have just put up a listserve for ISPs in the US West states to use in
sharing information.  Technet has had one for the NM ISPs for several years
- it has been a big help in getting out the word about some of these
actions.  How about uswisp@lists.nm.net?  Please feel free to send this out
to any interested ISPs.

To subscribe, just send an empty note to:

   uswisp-subscribe@lists.nm.org
   
I believe that all the RBOCs/ILECs have taken or will be taking similar
actions.  Even Sprint's new ION services are part of this trend.  In my
opinion, this is anti-competitive behavior by monopoly organizations.  I
think that many local ISPs will be severly hurt by such actions, and more
than a few will close their doors.

As I see it - the biggest problem is that local ISPs are not organized and
do not know how - or have the forums - to work together to fight actions by
a company the size of US West (or other RBOC/ILEC).  My company, New Mexico
Technet, is one of the larger ISPs in NM.  We wholesale Internet access to
other ISPs.  We have intervened in the NM tariff filing for US West's
Megabit services (see http://www.technet.nm.org/press.htm) to attempt to
correct some of the things that are very anti-competitive about the
proposed tariff.  So far it has cost us over $30,000 in legal fees and we
have not even had the hearing yet.  Most local ISPs cannot do this.  Most
local ISPs do not know how to take the actions with the FCC or with the
state public regulatory agencies so that their concerns can even be heard.
Frankly - most ISPs are not members of CIX or of ISP/C - and many of them
do not even know about those organizations, or understand why they should
care.

In NM, the local ISPs come in mostly 2 flavors: those that serve urban
areas (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Los Alamos) who "may" be affected
by what US West does but are not sure, and those in rural areas who do not
feel they will ever be affected by these actions, and so do not care.  In
much of US West's 14 state territory - I suspect that this is similar.  The
local ISPs in the urban areas have mostly seen the other local ISPs as
competitors, not collaborators.  They have seen US West (or the RBOC/ILEC)
as a vendor, not as a competitor.  Most local ISPs worry about retribution
from US West (or other RBOC/ILEC) (delayed service, unresponsiveness on
outages, unfilled orders) if they come on too strong in criticizing a
company that they are _so_ dependent on. I am not sure that their concerns
are not valid.

The local (state) regulatory agencies are overworked and underfunded in
this age of telecommunications transition/revolution.  It is not that they
don't care.  It is that they simply have too much on their plates already.
Few states provided extra funding to handle all the _new_ issues raised by
the 1996 Telecommunications Act at the _state_ regulatory agency level.  No
one is championing any of this in most states.  I think probably because it
is not considered a problem by the vast majority of ISP _customers_.  I had
one of my customers tell me to "just get out of the way" and let US West
introduce the high speed service because the customer needed it right away
and I was just holding it up.  They never saw that US West owned some of
the blame in the constant delays, counterfilings, interrogatories, motions
to compel, and other actions that have caused this intervention to drag on.
 Unfortunately, this person is more typical of ISP customers than local
ISPs want to believe.

The saddest aspect of this is that unless something changes, US West and
the other RBOCs/ILECs will likely dominate the supply of Internet access in
large urban areas in a few years - and the rural areas will have a great
deal less Internet access than they do today.  

I think the answer is that the local ISPs _and their customers_ have to
come together if they want to have choices about ISPs in the future.  It
will take some of the larger ISPs reaching out to the smaller local ISPs to
help them get _all_ of their respective customers informed of the issues.
It will take the larger ISPs intervening in more state and FCC proceedings.
 It will take constant email, listserves, and newsgroups spreading such
information - and reaching customers - not just ISPs.  It will take some
national politicians to "champion" this cause - some who are not worried
about losing RBOC/ILEC campaign contributions - which are considerable.  It
will take involvement by media organizations that are not worried about
losing the RBOC advertising revenues - which are also considerable. 

It will take every local ISP who is harmed by US West actions calling,
writing, or emailing their local and national politicians and letting them
know that they have informed all of their own customers about the actions
by US West or other RBOC/ILEC and informing their customers of the fact
that the politician has not responded to these
illegal/unethical/anti-competitive actions.

In NM, it is now other internet professionals and businesses that have
joined ISPs in questioning the actions of US West.  Web designers, web page
hosting services, internet trainers, web-advertising services and other
businesses are starting to realize that US West wants to take their
Internet-based business as well.  This is a start.

Regards,

Marianne

Marianne Granoff
Director of Operations
New Mexico Technet, Inc.
5921 Jefferson NE
Albuquerque, N.M. 87109
Ph: (505) 345-6555
FAX: (505) 345-6559
email: granoff@nm.net or granoff@technet.nm.org





Discussion Communities


About Merit | Services | Network | Resources & Support | Network Research
News | Events | Contact | Site Map | Merit Network Home


Merit Network, Inc.