Did you know the major phone companies, Verizon and AT&T, owe your household and your business in excess of $2,000? It’s true. Once again, the government and big business have taken us to the cleaners.
Back in the early 1990’s, the Clinton-Gore administration made deals with the Bell companies–SBC (now AT&T), Verizon, BellSouth (now AT&T) and Quest–to wire 95 percent of all households, schools, libraries and government agencies, businesses and hospitals with fiber cable capable of at least 45Mb of Internet bandwidth and at least 500 television channels.
In exchange for this ambitioius undertaking, the phone companies were to receive “finacial incentives”, in the form of increased rates, decreased taxes, and several other concessions. However, by mid-2006, when 95 percent of homes and establishments in America were supposed to have fiber service, only 5 percent of the network was completed. While Verizon has finally begun in earnest deployment of its FIOS project, 2 years past the deadline, most areas of the country still do not have low-cost fiber optics Internet available.
Besides, Verizon’s FIOS and AT&T’s Lightspeed products are not the technologies promised by the phone company monopolies–they are slower than promised and cannot deliver 500 channels.
By 2006, the phone companies had collected approximately $206 billion in excess profits and tax breaks–over $2,000 per household and business. And this says nothing of the trillions of dollars lost in technological innovation and economic growth squandered as the result of the country not having this technology available. Since these incentatives are still in place, the amount collected and squandered is substantially higher today and climbing.
Bruce Kushnick, a phone company insider, has written an excellent book on this subject, available at: