"Telco Terrorism" -- Wired on Baby Bells v. the Net

Raymond Mereniuk Raymond.Mereniuk at mat.calvex.com
Fri Aug 1 23:33:25 PDT 1997

>If the Telcos move to raise rates, the internet will cease using the 
>Telco system.  And then some telephone interface company will create 
...deleted text...

The Telcos have always lived in a monopolistic environment, they 
can't see the world in any other manner.  One can say many bad things 
about these people.  

Fortunately, there may be reason for them to change their ways in 
regards to Internet access.  Canada is not the most competitive place 
in the world and most Canadians just accept this and pay more money 
then they should for goods and services with no questions to the 
system which forces such things as `Canadian Content' down their 
throats.  Bottom line is that business is not that competitive here.

I have been in the data communications business for a long time and 
dealt with bad service and attitude from Canadian Telcos.  Recently 
the local cable company (Rogers Cablesystems) started offering 
Internet access through a cable modem for CAN$55/month (US$39.95).  
This gives you the cable modem with some sort of asymmetrical data 
transfer rates.  They don't tell you the actual up-stream and 
down-stream data transfer rates but apparently you can get 6 - 10 
times the download rates as possible through a 33.6Kbps modem.

This might at first glance appear a bit expensive but it is a 
permanent connection.  They give you one IP address and up to five 
Email addresses under the standard monthly fee (there is a bit-count 
with charges if you go over the maximum but the limit is in GBs).  
The cable modem rental is included.  They charge CAN$150 (US$109) for 
installation and setup.  Included in this install fee is an Ethernet 
card.  Compare this to ISDN or installing an additional telephone 
line PLUS paying for ISP access.

If you are not careful everyone on your local cable segment can see 
your sytem but what the hell don't you want to get to know your 
neighbors better???  If you are technologically more than clue-less 
you would install a Linux box as a firewall and give it the assigned 
IP address.  Behind your firewall you could install...  whatever?!  
If you have a network, well that can be connected also!??  They will 
do the DNS work (probably at extra charge as this is the cable 
company) and set you up as a sub-domain on their domain and you could 
run a POP3 server to send/receive mail.  

This sounds pretty good, I could go for this, and they even offer it 
in my neighborhood.  But, I must move soon so I will do it in the 
fall after the move.  Now the local Telco (BC Tel, owned by GTE) gets 
a new chairman and the newspaper lets him blow his own horn and puts 
the article on the front page of the local section of one of the 
regional newspapers (Vancouver Sun).  In this ego flexing article the 
CHAIRman states that their market and engineering 
trials are almost over and that they will be offering ADSL for 
Internet access in the fall and that they have a big surprise in 
store for the local cable company as they can beat their Internet 
access offering.  Since that article the local Telco has filed an 
ADSL tariff offering with the federal regulatory body with a 
requested response date of August 27th as they want to begin offering 
this service in the market this fall.  

Are we about to see an elephant tapdance???  If this elephant is 
about to learn to tapdance maybe there is hope for the other Telcos 
of North America.  If by chance I got into the wrong medication 
please advise.  

Raymond at wcs.net
Raymond Mereniuk

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