Reports Suggest First U.S. Fiber Optics “Bait-and-Switch” Was in 1995; Gov’t Keeps Giving Billions to Telecoms Anyway

By B.N. Frank

Over the years, numerous lawsuits have been filed against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) including one by a group of telecom experts, “The Irregulators”.  According to the Irregulators’ lawsuit, Americans have already paid for telecom-related services that many have still not received.  In fact, for decades, Americans have been overcharged for telecom-related services – some of which we haven’t yet received – and we are still being overcharged (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  For years, Irregulator Bruce Kushnick has been referring to this as a “Bait & Switch” (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) which seems reasonable according to the lawsuit.

Despite this having already been proven, federal and state government agencies and legislators continue to commit billions more to telecom companies (see 1, 2) which they are using to primarily deploy inferior, unreliable, and unsafe and Wi-Fi and 5G broadband connections (see 1, 2, 3) instead of safer, more secure, and more reliable fiber optics to the premises (FTTP) and copper landline connections.  As if almost 20 years of this wasn’t enough!

From Medium:


What Do You Mean America had National and State Fiber Optic Plans in 1993? We Were Punked.

Don’t Take Our Word for It.

FCC REPORT: “PacBell’s August 1995 authorization for four Video Dialtone (VDT) systems in California, which will pass 490,000 homes in San Francisco; 360,000 homes in Los Angeles; 259,000 homes in San Diego; and 210,000 homes in Orange County, California. PacBell’s applications, originally filed in December 1993, proposed an advanced, wire-based video and telephone network that would be constructed sometime in 1996 at an expense of approximately $16 billion. It appears that PacBell currently plans to pass only 500,000 homes with this advanced network in 1996, increasing to one million homes in 1997.”

FCC REPORT: “These reports suggest, however, that PacBell is accelerating construction of the VDT network in the San Francisco Bay Area, scaling back its VDT deployment plans in its other authorized areas, and deploying wireless facilities in those areas in the near term while building out the VDT systems.”

Let’s Keep Going

FCC REPORT: “The remaining five applications for permanent commercial VDT authority were granted to Ameritech in January 1995 for five systems that proposed to pass 232,000 homes in Detroit, Michigan; 501,000 homes in Chicago, Illinois; 115,000 homes in Indianapolis, Indiana; 262,000 in homes in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; and 146,000 homes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.”

Verizon’s Fiber Optic Failures

FCC REPORT: “GTE’s May 1995 authorization for four VDT systems that will pass 476,000 homes in Pinellas and Pasco, Florida; 334,000 in Honolulu, Hawaii; 122,000 in Ventura, California; and 109,000 in Manassas, Virginia. Reportedly, GTE is aggressively moving ahead with its VDT plans. By the end of 1996, GTE reportedly plans to pass a total of 500,000 homes in three markets: Ventura, California; Pasco and Pinellas counties, Florida; and Honolulu, Hawaii. By 1997, GTE reportedly plans to enter the Manassas, Virginia market, increasing its total homes passed to 900,000 homes in all four markets. GTE states that its goal is to pass seven million homes with VDT in 66 top markets within the next ten years.”

FCC REPORT: “NYNEX’s March 1995 authorization for two VDT systems, one in Rhode Island that will pass 63,000 homes and one in eastern Massachusetts that will pass 334,000 homes. NYNEX’s applications, filed in July of 1994, proposed completion of construction in 2010. According to some trade press accounts, NYNEX is proceeding on target with a “cautiously aggressive” strategy with its VDT systems in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Earlier reports suggested, however, that while still pursuing VDT entry, NYNEX had scaled back its deployment plans and may utilize wireless cable in the near term to reach subscribers while constructing its VDT systems. “

FCC REPORT: “On May 24, 1995, Bell Atlantic withdrew two applications for permanent commercial VDT systems that proposed to pass 1.2 million homes in the D.C. metro and 2 million homes in the mid-Atlantic area. Bell Atlantic announced that it was considering new technologies and would submit amended applications at a later date, after further evaluating the technologies. Press reports suggest that in the D.C. and mid-Atlantic regions, Bell Atlantic plans to use wireless technology pending further development of switched digital video (“SDV”) architecture. Notwithstanding its withdrawal of two significant VDT proposals, Bell Atlantic is going forward with VDT in other areas, including the construction of a permanent commercial VDT operation in Dover.”

FCC REPORT: “In 1996, Bell Atlantic announced plans to upgrade its infrastructure to a switched broadband network in Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania, with eventual service to over 12 million homes and small businesses across the mid-Atlantic region over the next three years. NYNEX also recently announced plans for large-scale deployment of switched fiber networks in the Boston and New York areas, with plans to be able eventually to provide video to up to five million subscribers.”

CenturyLink (Lumen)

FCC REPORT: “On May 31, 1995, U S West requested suspension of further Commission consideration of the five applications it filed in January and March 1994, which proposed permanent commercial VDT service to 1.1 million homes, including 90,000 homes in Boise, Idaho; 357,000 homes in Denver, Colorado; 357,000 homes in Minneapolis, Minnesota; 162,000 homes in Portland, Oregon; and 160,000 homes in Salt Lake City, Utah. U S West stated that it wanted time to review results of its Omaha, Nebraska market trial and to study new technologies.”

FCC REPORT: “In contrast, Pacific Bell Video Services, which, before its merger with SBC in 1997, had obtained cable franchises for San Jose, and the surrounding Santa Clara County in California, is now in the process of terminating these franchises. SBC is reportedly looking for a buyer for the incomplete system that Pacific Bell Video Services was constructing to serve these franchises. SBC performed an 18-month cable trial in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, which ended on July 7, 1997. Sprint applied for cable franchises in Wake Forest and Wake County, North Carolina last year, where it had been operating VDT trials but later notified the Commission that it would not seek a cable franchise in this area and that it was terminating video service in Wake County.”

FCC FILING: “NYNEX proposes to deploy hybrid fiber optic and coaxial broadband networks that will provide advanced voice, data, and video services, including interactive video entertainment, multimedia education, and health care services. NYNEX plans to deploy this type of network to the majority of its customers by the year 2010.”

The Wireless Bait and Switch Started in 1995.

FCC REPORT: “Status of LEC Investment. In the 1995 Report, the Commission reported that Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and PacBell had all invested in wireless cable operations. In 1996, one new LEC, BellSouth, entered the wireless cable industry.”

FCC REPORT: “However, late in 1996, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX announced a suspension of their investment in wireless. Also late in 1996, a proposed acquisition by PacTel of a wireless system in northern California collapsed, although PacTel states it is continuing with plans for a southern California digital wireless system.”

FCC REPORT: “These reports suggest, however, that PacBell is accelerating construction of the VDT network in the San Francisco Bay Area, scaling back its VDT deployment plans in its other authorized areas, and deploying wireless facilities in those areas in the near term while building out the VDT systems.”

FCC REPORT: “Earlier reports suggested, however, that while still pursuing VDT entry, NYNEX had scaled back its deployment plans and may utilize wireless cable in the near term to reach subscribers while constructing its VDT systems.”

FCC REPORT: “In the 1995 Report, the Commission noted that Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and PacBell had made significant investments in wireless cable. As noted above, BellSouth entered this domain this year with its acquisitions of licenses for a wireless cable system in New Orleans.”

FCC REPORT: “CAl’s wireless systems located in Bell Atlantic’s local telephone service area include Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Norfolk-Virginia Beach. Bell Atlantic would be able to pass four million households in those markets through CAl’s wireless systems. CAl’s wireless systems located in NYNEX’s local telephone service area include New York, Boston, Long Island, Buffalo, Providence, Albany and Syracuse. In addition, CAl has wireless systems in Cleveland, Hartford, Rochester, Stockton/Modesto and Bakersfield.”



FCC REPORT: ‘However, as also noted above, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have suspended their wireless cable ventures with CAI. Currently, the only operational Multipoint Multichannel Distribution Service (MMDS) that is directly owned by a LEC is the 42,000 subscriber system in Riverside, California owned by PacBell.”

FCC REPORT: “Various factors, including technological limitations (e.g., line-of-sight and channel capacity), have been blamed for the relatively low penetration of wireless cable systems. Due to their relatively small size, wireless cable systems potentially face higher programming costs per-subscriber than many of their larger, wired cable system competitors.”

Subplots

The reason that the announced fiber deployments were made, starting in 1991, was to:

ATT, VERIZON, CENTURYLINK FIBER VIDEO DIALTONE FCC APPLICATIONS

More from bruce kushnick

New Networks Institute, Executive Director, & Founding Member, IRREGULATORS; Telecom analyst for 38 years, and I have been playing the piano for 63 years.


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