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The 1996 Telecom Act worked?

A reader writes: How can you say the 1996 Telecom Act worked when the telecom arena is in a shambles?


The 1996 Telecom Act worked?

In response to the May 8 Perspectives column by Paul Beckner, "Ending the broadband rip-off":

Where has Paul Beckner been? As far as anyone can see, there are no success stories regarding the Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) business. Even the companies that were well financed, such as XO Communications, Covad Communications, Metromedia Fiber Network and McLeod USA, are either bankrupt, or will be soon.

How can you say the 1996 Telecom Act worked when the telecom arena is in a shambles and there is no money for new entrants to even try to attain market share? You say the market for local players doubled in 2000. Going from 1/2 percent to 1 percent is not saying much! You say that Time magazine has said there are now 2,040 local telephone companies in the country.

Let me ask you this: How much business do they have as compared to the Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs)? They can exist--barely--but having so little business is not indicative of success. Your reasoning is flawed in my book, although I applaud your efforts to bring broadband to the forefront of business endeavors.

Art Simon
Westchester County, N.Y.



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