“5G” Wireless Is the New Fiber Optic, Bait-and-Switch Scandal

Bruce Kushnick, a Telecom Analyst and New Networks Institute,Executive Director, & Founding Member has a long and rambling discussion of telco bait and switch on Medium, the last third of his article and link to full article is below.  This does not bode well for rural broadband, just a higher tech digital divide. Cities, towns and villages need to build thier own networks and not wait for the telco promisses to be broken again.  Link to full article is HERE.  See the Ft Colins article HERE.

View story at Medium.com

History Shows 5G Is Just another “We Will Bring New Tech if You Get Rid of Regulations” Scam.

The 5G frenzy is like any of the previous techno-bait-and-switch schemes — and this one is ironically similar to the super-hyped 1990’s “Info-Highway” when America was supposed to get a fiber optic network that would replace the existing copper wires. The companies, changing the state laws, collected (overcharged) over $400 billion from this hype, and worse, the original rate increases were built into most of the current rates.

In fact, a lawyer came up with Kushnick’s Law:
“A regulated company will always renege on promises to provide public benefits tomorrow in exchange for regulatory and financial benefits today.”

And anyone who thinks this is different should travel back to the techno-hype that was thrown at the public hourly; it was everywhere, it was all pervasive and it was using a ‘new technology’ — the new shiny bauble, as the lure.

Example: It’s the spring of 1993 and the fiber optic Info Bahn is just a few months away. The April 12th, 1993 cover of Time Magazine proclaims: “The Info Highway: Bringing a Revolution in Entertainment, News and Communication: Coming Soon to your TV Screen….”. The story continues: (Click to get/view/purchase/tweet the cover.)

“It’s not here yet, but it’s arriving sooner than you think. Suddenly the brave new world of videophone and smart TVs that futurists have been predicting for decades is not years away but a few months…. We won’t have to wait long. By this time next year, vast new video services will be available at a price to millions of Americans.”

Ironically, America should have started on the path of a fiber optic future 25 years ago.

•  AT&T (Pacific Bell) California claimed it would spend $16 billion from 1993–2000 to complete 5.5 million households with fiber. Never deployed; pocketed the tax breaks and rate increases.

•  Verizon Bell Atlantic claimed it would spend $11 billion from 1993–2000 to have eventually 12 million households wired with fiber. (Most of the East Coast — never deployed; pocketed the tax breaks and rate increases.)

And 25 years later we have little to show for it. AT&T California never deployed the fiber optics in the 1990’s and then pulled a bait-and-switch with U-Verse in 2005, claiming it was ‘fiber-based’ when it is really a copper-to-the-home service. Verizon deployed virtually no residential fiber from 1993–2005, even though they got billions per state. They ended up finally deploying FiOS in 2005, then stopped in 2010–2012, leaving less than ½ of the utility territories covered (and with major gaps). Unfortunately, we know of no state that gave refunds or lowered rates based on the state-based incentives and the removal of ‘barriers to investment’.

Now we know why the previous FCC stats showed that there is little or no competition for high-speed broadband in America — AT&T and Verizon never showed up.
And just to show you how crazy this is, we again face a situation where a new technology is being touted as superior to upgrading the networks to fiber optics, even though 5G doesn’t exist yet as advertised, may never fulfill its projected destiny and requires fiber optics. But now, the FCC is giving companies the ability to dismantle the state utilities and hand them over to an affiliate company — wireless. And there are no commitments of any sort that once they get deregulated they will do what they say.

Based on history… this needs to be stopped. Where are the audits of the financial books? The FCC is now ‘weed-whacking’ them to cover over the cross-subsidies.

And if you think there are no similarities to the fiber promises of the past and the ‘wireless’ promises of today (that ironically require the fiber to be deployed…)

Compare:

Brendan Carr’s 2018 statement about 5G claims that there will be a $500 billion dollar boost to the economy.

“Deploying 5G, the next-generation of wireless service, could mean 3 million new jobs, $275 billion in private sector network investment, and $500 billion added to the GDP.”

To this:

In 2001, when what is now Verizon et al. wanted to prove to America that increasing broadband deployment (their way, of course), could add $500 billion to the US economy, Verizon hired the Brookings Institute to prove the case.

“While the great broadband debate rages on at Capitol Hill, a new study released yesterday said widespread use of high-speed Internet service in the near future could pump as much as $500 billion annually into the U.S. economy.

“The study, conducted by the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. and titled ‘The $500 Billion Opportunity: The Potential Economic Benefit of Widespread Diffusion of Broadband Internet Access….”

This 2001 study and others helped to create the Net Neutrality issues. They were used, in part, to convince the Republican FCC (and Congress) our fiber optic future was just a few years away — and we needed to get rid of competitors, including small ISPs. This was done by combining the broadband service and the internet service and calling it broadband-internet.

I note that by the end of 2017, about $500 billion has been overcharged in the name of broadband in the US; ($400 billion extended from 1992 through 2014, and this accounting process started in 1998.) And this is the low number based on our uncovering that the wireline customers have been charged for the wireless deployments.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s