Readers Respond: The Road to Broadband

Readers respond to the eWEEK editorial, "The Road to Broadband."

In your Aug. 22 editorial, "The Road to Broadband," your position is heavily biased against the telephone companies.

Ever since Ernestine [comedian Lily Tomlins telephone operator character], it seems to be good fun to pick on the telcos. Why not go after the cable companies?

You know—the companies that cherished every roadblock the Federal Communications Commission put up against DSL implementation while they, sans regulation, took a 3-to-1 advantage in broadband customers.

What roadblocks you ask? Consider this: You have a great new service to offer to the marketplace. You know the market demand is there because you see competitors offering an inferior product to achieve the same result.

You have the technology, but theres one massive impediment: The regulatory agencies that govern how you do business insist that you have to sell your new service to your own competitors at discount prices. Indeed, you cant even set the prices—the regulators do that, too. Now, whats your incentive to bring that service out en masse?

People who pick on telcos because theyre big forget that it was that very big system that offered the finest telecommunications capabilities on the planet. You can watch the telcos, but dont forget to keep an eye on the other guys, too.

Research has shown that people would much prefer to get their TV service from the telephone companies than get their telephone service from the cable companies. Its a matter of commitment to quality.

Jerry Gilston
Lake Worth, Fla.