Thursday, October 20, 2005

EATEL Leaving Lafayette

Not news dept.

It may not be news, not really, but EATel is officially out of Lafayette. So says a brief on the KLFY newsite. It's a sad thing. East Ascension Telephone was a great, small, local competitor as long as the Feds were trying to encourage phone competition. In recent months the FCC has restored to BellSouth and the other regional phone companies the "right" to charge pretty much whatever they want to use the phone company network. The old rules were written at a time when the Feds 1) thought competition a good thing, 2) recognized the historical fact that BellSouth's landline telephone service was built on governmentally guaranteed profits, 3) understood that such services remain an effective monopoly throughout almost all of BellSouth's footprint, and 4) actually considered itself a group with responsibilites to the consuming public.

All that has changed.

And one consequence is that an entire category of price competition has been eliminated. If you don't think losing competition will have the effect freeing BellSouth to raise residential and especially small business rates (where EATel was especially effective) you're either excessively partisan or just not thinking.

LUS cannot get here too soon.

EATEL Leaving Lafayette

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