Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

AT&T Slams Google Over Open-Access Wireless

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the wham-wham-wham dept.

Google 214

Robert writes with a CBROnline article on AT&T's objection to opening up a nationwide wireless spectrum. Their statement is made on the grounds that it will aid Google in their bid to get bargain-basement broadband prices. Google is just one company asking for open-access requirements on wireless signals; Skype, DirecTV, and EchoStar are others. From the article: "Yesterday, AT&T weighed in. In a letter to the FCC, AT&T said Google's "eleventh hour request" was self-serving because it would encumber licenses in the forthcoming auction 'with a laundry list of intrusive 'open access' requirements that would, perhaps, entice Google to participate in the auction. By its own admission, Google's request is intended to diminish the value of those licenses, thus preventing wireless service providers such as AT&T from bidding on them and clearing the path for Google to obtain them at below-market rates.' AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars, and inhibit the growth of wireless broadband in the country."

cancel ×

214 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Google is like anal sex without lube (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19850245)

If they do it slow enough, you won't notice as much.

Re:Google is like anal sex without lube (3, Funny)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850649)

If they do it slow enough, you won't notice as much.

Clearly, no one's ever pounded YOU in the ass.

Re:Google is like anal sex without lube (4, Funny)

computational super (740265) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851085)

Well, if you accept his premise, then you really don't know, do you?

Yeah right (5, Funny)

cromar (1103585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850247)

AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars, and inhibit the growth of wireless broadband in the country.

Isn't it good to know AT&T is looking out for us?

Re:Yeah right (4, Funny)

Pointless-'IZ'-Us (932207) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850267)

Yeah. Stupid AT&T. Thank god Google is looking out for us.

Re:Yeah right (3, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851125)

Neither of them is looking out for us. Google is no way doing this to make sure prices are low for broadband. They are doing it for profits and their shareholders. I would bet any benefit for users is temporary.

Meanwhile, AT&T sees a lapse in the way they can gouge customers and don't like the potential hit to them. Plus it's another way they can slow down what they see as a major competitor.

They are both looking out for themselves. Nobody else. Obviously if there aren't customers, they don't make money. That's the only thing that keeps either of them in line. But either of them would also squeeze you dry if they could. It's the American way.

Re:Yeah right (1)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851353)

But either of them would also squeeze you dry if they could. It's the American way.

What a world worthy of pride have we built..

Re:Yeah right (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851371)

"Meanwhile, AT&T sees a lapse in the way they can gouge customers and don't like the potential hit to them. Plus it's another way they can slow down what they see as a major competitor."

The thing is, it appears the way Martin has written his recommendation so far...that AT&T or Verizon, or anyone could buy one of the 6 geographical chunks...and block a nationwide competitive network. From the article:

"Whether or not Google is readying to build a nationwide wireless network may be a moot argument. Martin's proposal reportedly contains provisions that would divide up the spectrum into six large geographic regions, rather than a single nationwide block. That would mean an incumbent operator could buy just one region to prevent such a network.

There also, reportedly, is no language in the proposal that requires an auction winner to build a network at all. This means an incumbent could buy a regional spectrum merely as a way to block any such nationwide network."

So, while this is all conjuncture at this point...there are some risks out there that could really blow it for the consumers in the US. I hope they do some serious thinking at the FCC before putting this out to bid...too bad the general public doesn't have a lobbiest we could all contribute to, to lobby for the general public's best interests!!!

Re:Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19850313)

It may deprive tax dollars, but it definitely not inhibit wireless broadband growth. If anything, it will stir up more people to the internet and increase online business in the US (and in-turn, bring in more tax dollars).

Sometimes there has to be pain for some gain.

Re:Yeah right (4, Insightful)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850461)

This is such a classic example of doing what's right for the overall good of the country, vs doing what's right for big financial contributors (telcoms, in this case). What's the right thing to do? Duh, total no brainer. I hope the FCC is given the freedom to do it's job for a change.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850987)

I hope the FCC is given the freedom to do it's job for a change
I'm not sure I want the FCC to do much of anything, really. If they got their noses out of this, the there would be open access by default...

Re:Yeah right (1)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851267)

I hope the FCC is given the freedom to do it's job for a change.

judging by it's behavior in the last two years, i would say the FCC's job is to be the Telcos' bitch. thus far, they have had plenty of freedom to do their job and they doing it well.

Re:Yeah right (4, Informative)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850481)

>>> ..open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars...

Sure, some taxes might be lost during the SALE of those bands... but it would save the taxpayers TRILLIONS of dollars by providing a true level playing field which promotes competition and innovation instead of treating 'locked-in' customers like fish in a barrel.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850629)

Don't you think it's funny that AT&T is so eager to point out the value of the spectrum that they have inflated over the years?

Go get em Google!

Re:Yeah right (4, Insightful)

mmeister (862972) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850895)

Don't forget, AT&T also claimed it would: >>> ..inhibit the growth of wireless broadband n the country. I think AT&T (and ALL the other wireless carriers) have done a great job of that already. Considering that the US is pathetically behind in broadband connections (both wired and wireless) compared with most other industrialized nations, it is time for our Gov't to start acting on behalf of the people and not just the corporations. We pay the most money for the least amount of bandwidth. Instead, we have a disjointed high-speed connection (that is most often capped and limited), the broadband that is available isn't compatible with other carriers, so they duplicate the same work to lock us in. Europeans have an open-access 3G connection that doesn't lock you into one carrier AND they only charge you from outgoing calls (meaning you don't pay twice). If competition alone would have us at the same point, I say let it rule -- but the fact is that we, the end consumer, suffer because it's about maximizing short term profits. These are our airwaves and to keep them locked up like AT&T would like will only insure that our nation will fall far behind in today's information age.

Re:Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19851383)

The day the Government looks out for us, will be the day after the New American Revolution. There is really only 1 party in this country, they agree on over 95% of all issues, and the 5% difference they usually tend to ignore.

Re:Yeah right (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851189)

Isn't it good to know AT&T is looking out for us?

Any time a corporation tries to state that less competition is better for the consumer, they're lying through their teeth.

Re:Yeah right (1)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851401)

Any time a corporation tries to state that less competition is better for the consumer, they're lying through their teeth.


My favorite is when they try to pass off their monopoly as "competition." Lately there have been ads on Comcast talking about how "When cable companies compete, you win." Uhh, yeah, except none of them are competing. They've carved out their niches and they guard them very carefully.

"Deprive taxpayers..." (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850259)

"AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars, and inhibit the growth of wireless broadband in the country."

And by "taxpayers", they mean Randall Stephenson and Richard Lindner.

Re:"Deprive taxpayers..." (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851069)

And by "taxpayers", they mean Randall Stephenson and Richard Lindner.

Never mind "taxpayers"- what's the real name of the stupid company that is calling themselves "AT&T" this week? Is it still Cingular?

Re:"Deprive taxpayers..." (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851127)

"AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars, and inhibit the growth of wireless broadband in the country."

Isn't that sentence wrong?

Shouldn't that say, "...would deprive the government of taxpayers money"? As far as I know, the U.S. Government is very good at depriving the taxpayers of billions of dollars and showing nothing for it. Unless you count the Robert Byrd Memorial Camp Ground as something worthwhile.

Why doesn't Google buy the frequencies? (1)

gozar (39392) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850263)

Is there any reason why Google just doesn't get in on the auction? I'd love to see a more tech minded wireless company competing against Verizon and AT&T.

Google want to buy the frequencies. (4, Informative)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850555)

But the auctions have serious flaws that allow the incumbents to rig them. Google is trying to reduce ATT and Verizon's ability to co-operate and screw others like Google. It would lower the price of spectrum to something more like a free market value. What you have now is more like a monopoly price from the people who fought tooth and nail against analog modems. I can correct the assertion of ATT reps to make it more like reality:

By its own admission, Google's request is intended to diminish the value of those licenses, thus preventing wireless service providers such as AT&T from bidding on them and clearing the path for Google to obtain them at below-racket rates.

A fair auction is in everyone's best interest.

A better system would completely eliminate government interference, because it there is not spectrum scarcity and it's regulation no longer serves a purpose [slashdot.org] .

Re:Why doesn't Google buy the frequencies? (2, Interesting)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850631)

Because Google has not paid enough to the right K Street people and contributed enough to the campaigns of everyone working telco committees and their hires within government to *win* a bid.

Google can out-bid AT&T all they want. What happens if a telco loses is the auction is, at some point, declared null and void. So they can go in with barrels full of cash, win the auction then spend the next 25 years in court with AT&T while the spectrum they won languishes.

There are a number of cases where an upstart bought frequency spectrum no one dreamed about using and put it to good use. Subsequently the major player in whatever industry the upstart drives the upstart out of business then gets the FCC to take the spectrum away.

With the influence they've paid for, this is probably the most practical course of action.

Re:Why doesn't Google buy the frequencies? (4, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850643)

google won't bid unless they can get "lots" of channels across the country. If they're biding say 20 channels per market, Google would like the FCC to make 3-4 channels have a franchise across ALL the markets. For example then gooogle would bid on the lot of "channel 1" in every market at once. Google is interested in devices, not "phone" that scares the bejeebers out of the phone companies.
Google also wants provisions for national "open" channels if they can't get a nationwide one. That way a group of small people could buy them up for a "community" network and be able to mass-market devices without corporate interference. In effect Google is asking for what would amount to "wireless internet". It's right there, the FCC could create a wireless, pervasive, on good frequencies with high end spread-spectrum like wireless "n" uses.. on a national scale! It's too bad this is all going on in board rooms, it could be the biggest public sector news story not being reported!

Yeah Sure (3, Funny)

Soporific (595477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850269)

Google sucks because AT&T smells like roses and shits rainbow sherbet.

Re:Yeah Sure (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850685)

I'll believe that when me shit turns purple, and smells like rainbow sherbet.

Redundant (4, Interesting)

Jaaay (1124197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850277)

Practically every company is trying to oppose anything Google does since it's a risk for them. Google has a cash cow with adsense similar to what MS has with Office/Win... with billions of $ in unused cash AT&T probably thinks with some justification it's only a matter of time before they get bored and move in on their markets with some VOIP services that could hurt their core business.

ahem (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850279)

AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars, and inhibit the growth of wireless broadband in the country.

AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive AT&T of billions of dollars, and inhibit the growth of AT&T in this country.

Anything that's bad for AT&T is probably good for everyone else. I know that comes off a bit prejudiced but Ma Bell pt. II is alive and well in this country. (Love the kinder, gentler death star logo, too.)

I know that google is just another corporation, but honestly, does anyone believe they're more 'evil' than AT&T?

Re:ahem (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850823)

Is that really possible? Perhaps google is pretending to be good in its quest for world domination...but we *know* AT&T is just trying to ass rape us. I'll take my chances with the new guy, if I have any choice.

oh noes! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19850289)

Heaven forbid that people can have access to bargain basement cost wireless access, or god forbid...FREE INTERNET ACCESS! Why...why...that would cut into AT&T's profit margins! We can't have that, now can we?!?!?

Showdown (4, Funny)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850293)

Evil monopolistic empire vs. evil all knowing empire. This is gonna be entertaining!

We lose either way of course. Capitalism rocks.

.

Re:Showdown (1)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850469)

That doesn't really make sense. Google can only obtain personal data if you give it to them. If you're so uncomfortable with that, simply decline the offer of free wireless internet. Monopolies by definition don't give you that choice of using an alternative.

Re:Showdown (2, Interesting)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850705)

Google can only obtain personal data if you give it to them.

No, they can obtain it if *anyone* happens to give it to them, and it doesn't even have to be accurate. There are a lot of cases out there of some person getting mad at some other person and posting all sorts of unplesant, untrue things about that person online causing them to show up when people search for the affected person.

Re:Showdown (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850737)

"No, they can obtain it if *anyone* happens to give it to them, and it doesn't even have to be accurate. There are a lot of cases out there of some person getting mad at some other person and posting all sorts of unplesant, untrue things about that person online causing them to show up when people search for the affected person."

And that's unique to Google... how, exactly?

Re:Showdown (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850843)

I didn't say it was unique to Google. I was refuting his claim that the only way Google can get your personal information is if you give it to them.

Try actually reading what I wrote and what I responded to before jumping to the defense of something I wasn't attacking.

Don't be blind. Ma Bell is Evil. (3, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850617)

We lose either way of course. Capitalism rocks.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Google is absolutely angelic next to ATT and friends. Really though, the problem is not capitalism so much as it is corporate government interference. There would not be a problem if auctions were not rigged or did not exist to begin with. [slashdot.org]

Re:Don't be blind. Ma Bell is Evil. (5, Insightful)

GeffDE (712146) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851435)

I hate this about /.

Capitalism is basically financial engineering: figure out a way to get "the most buck for your bang/product." In a lot of instances, the most cost-effective way to do that is to rig the playing field in your favor. Capitalism is premised on a Free Market; however, once a company is successful beyond a point, it gains the power to tie up the Invisible Hand (with monopoly practices, collusion, government interference, subsidies, etc.) and thereby destroy the Free Market*, which is how they rig the playing field in their favor. It is actually in the best interests of a corporation to not have a free market. They all want captive markets where they can wring as much profit as possible. Capitalism is the problem because it is capitalism that brought about corporate government interference in an effort to maximize profits. The other problem is that corporations do not give a fig about consumers (beyond the fact that they must be kept happy enough to keep consuming); it is, however, the government's sworn and bounden duty to protect its citizens, at least according to the principles espoused by John Locke, whose thinking, coincidentally, greatly influenced the Founding Fathers of the US.

I'm so sick of all this libertarian "The Government Scares Me" tripe. The government scares me too, but when I look at what's bad in the government, it has all been brought about by powerful lobbies, the vast majority of which are corporations or industry groups. Those scare me so much more because in this day and age, they are (almost) effectively puppet-masters.


However, I completely agree that this problem wouldn't exist if we didn't have auctions or we had completely fair auctions. And also that Google is much much better than AT&T. It's just the tired, fallible libertarian claptrap that gets to me. I'm sorry for venting on you; believe me, it's not personal.

*As an aside, I find it ironic that /.ers don't like invisible hands that Create or Intelligently Design things, but are downright chummy with other invisible hands.

Re:Showdown (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850625)

Capitalism rocks.
Google senses that.... you are correct! [googlefight.com] Ding ding ding! Dweet dweet! Win win win win!!!111

Language (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850297)

Only in corporate newspeak could bargain basement broadband prices be a bad thing.

Yes, but... (4, Insightful)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850299)

"[...] an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars [...]"

Speaking as a taxpayer, it seems to me that a nationwide open-access spectrum would be a very worthwhile thing to get by forgoing those "billions of dollars".

(Nice to see that AT&T is looking out for my interests, though.)

Re:Yes, but... (0, Offtopic)

FrankWhite_KingOfNJ (842073) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850539)

"[...] an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars [...]" Is it just me or does anybody else Immediately think of the war in Iraq whenevery they hear this statement?

Re:Yes, but... (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850611)

Is it just me or does anybody else Immediately think of the war in Iraq whenevery they hear this statement?
I doubt you're the only one who thinks it but most of us don't post it everytime we think it, especially when it's so offtopic.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850627)

Speaking as a Internet user, it seems to me that any kind of telecom open-access is desirable. But telcos like AT&T have always opposed sharing their "last-mile" links. They've resisted being forced to share their telephone lines with independent DSL providers; they've resisted sharing their CATV cables with independent ISPs, and now they're resisting sharing their wireless spectrum. Business as usual.

Their argument is that the government will get more money if we give them a monopoly. Which is certainly true: if they a monopoly, they make more money; if they make more money, they can afford to bid more for the spectrum.

Very sound logic! We should apply it to other aspects of commerce. I propose that we legalize armed robbery, in exchange for bandits being required to pay hefty license fees. Imagine the revenue that would generate!

Re:Yes, but... (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850641)

That was my first thought, too. You're talking about a nation with a budget of, what, a couple trillion dollars a year? If they're implying that keeping our future nationwide wireless internet access open will cost a couple billion, I'd say that's the most worthwhile couple billion dollars our government could spend.

Hell, I bet lots of aspects of our economic and social freedom "costs" us billions of dollars every year. I, for one, wouldn't choose to sell that freedom for a mere couple billion dollars.

No. Let AT&T pay the monopoly price. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850713)

Then release many more channels in a second auction. Of course that won't happen.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850977)

"Speaking as a taxpayer, it seems to me that a nationwide open-access spectrum would be a very worthwhile thing to get by forgoing those "billions of dollars"
Indeed. It's not like I'm ever going to see any value from those "billions of dollars". Nor will the government.

This is just ridiculous. Everyone has everything to gain by an open-access spectrum and bargain-basement broadband and nothing to lose -- except for AT&T, Verizon and their ilk. Not that Google should own it all, either though.

Hey, AT&T: You don't speak for my interests and you never have. So stop telling people that you are because you are a bunch of liars. It's not like the you have any right to use the government to enforce your business model. If you can't change with the times, then get the hell out of everyone else's way.

Hey, Google: we're on to you. You said you'd do no evil, and it looks like you got your hand caught in the cookie jar on this one.

Hey, government: Don't listen to any of it. Listen to me. We, the people, as voters and taxpayers, are responsible for putting you into power in the first place. We made you and we can make you go away just as easily.

The three of you can all go quietly fsck off now.

So much iron in that statement, it's starting to.. (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850307)

oxidize

"The one-size-fits-all mentality that characterizes open access regimes for the wireless industry would begin the process of stifling innovation and creativity in our industry," Verizon Wireless general counsel Steven Zipperstein said to the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Zipperstein said that while congress and the FCC had been "barraged" with requests to regulate the spectrum with open-access requirements, there is no evidence of how the current closed wireless market has failed consumers.
Funny how proponents of deregulation don't want truly open markets.

And then he has the gall to claim that the oligopoly of telecoms has not failed consumers.

Re:So much iron in that statement, it's starting t (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850689)

Not that I keep up on the telecom industry that much but what innovation have we seen from ATT lately? Other then the fact that they seem to be buying up smaller telecoms and essentially reasserting their monopoly I haven't seen a lot about them in the news lately.

Like it or not we have Verizon at least developing and pushing FIOS but what R/D is ATT doing that will suffer so much if people have more and better access to wireless?

Re:So much iron in that statement, it's starting t (2, Funny)

computational super (740265) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851161)

what innovation have we seen from ATT lately?

Oh, I think their argument against Google was fairly innovative - oh, sorry, you meant technological innovation.

Re:So much iron in that statement, it's starting t (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850715)

Funny how proponents of deregulation don't want truly open markets.

Of course not. They simply want fewer rules which apply to them so they can squeeze more money out of the consumer. Open markets just cut into profits and force them to compete on quality instead of having a monopoly.

Cheers

Summation (5, Funny)

BooRolla (824295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850319)

Dear Congress,

Please do not allow others to compete in communications. We are a monopoly and like it.

Sincerely,
AT&T

Re:Summation (2, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850585)

You forgot:

PS: Attached is a check for a $LARGE amount of money and some wine for our buddies at the NSA.

Re:Summation (2, Insightful)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850863)

Dear Congress,

Don't make us release the contents of your cellphone calls, landline calls, internet usage, and emails. STFU and do as you're told.

Your Master,
AT&T

From the article: (4, Insightful)

QCompson (675963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850371)

"The one-size-fits-all mentality that characterizes open access regimes for the wireless industry would begin the process of stifling innovation and creativity in our industry," Verizon Wireless general counsel Steven Zipperstein said...

This is the same BS talk that these telecoms use in the net neutrality debate. "Innovation" and "creativity" seem to be the new corporate-speak for "monopolize" and "profit".

Selfserving much? (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850373)

AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars, and inhibit the growth of wireless broadband in the country.
Yes, it would deprive us tax payers billions of dollars paid out by companies that we have little/no choice about buying services from, which they will just bill us for anyways. 6 one way, 1/2 dozen the other, either way the average Joe citizen will pay for it, the only question is which company will profit from it. And right now the choices appear to be AT&T, or everyone else. Personally, I'm willing to bet we will see more competition, better products and services, and lower prices if we let everyone else fight for it instead of giving it to AT&T to sit on and prevent competition.

-Rick

Re:Selfserving much? (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851337)

If AT&T gets their wish and ends up paying for their privilige, the cost will be passed on to us, as consumers. It always is and always has been. We will pay more to ensure that we stay with their company and their dirty ways.

We will fucking PAY to keep AT&T on top, whether we like it or not.

AT&T A Cursed Name? (3, Interesting)

Conception (212279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850383)

So... when I first signed up with Cingular, like 10 years ago, they were a pretty good company with flexible policies and good plans, I have the same plan as when I signed up in fact and you still can't beat it today. All in all, while they were cingular they didn't do anything too evil.

But within like 3 weeks of them becoming AT&T they've turned into AT&T. Bad service, bad policies, bad politics. It's like the AT&T trademark requires a company to be assholes and give out terrible service.

I don't get it. Cingular wasn't like this last year, or at least they were so blatant about it.

You got that right (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850721)

But within like 3 weeks of them becoming AT&T they've turned into AT&T. Bad service, bad policies, bad politics. It's like the AT&T trademark requires a company to be assholes and give out terrible service.

You got that right. That's why we call them Assholes Through & Through.

Re:AT&T A Cursed Name? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850811)

It's like the AT&T trademark requires a company to be assholes and give out terrible service.

They like to call it a perk, not a requirement. :-P

Cheers

Suit themselves and their evilness (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851025)

Contract with the assholes was up today. Guess how fast I already switched! The girlfriend did it last week without my preaching.

Re:Suit themselves and their evilness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19851427)

Contract with the assholes was up today... The girlfriend did it last week without my preaching.

Gave up the asshole? Good girl!

Skeptical. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19850401)

an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars..

Right.. because all those "billions of dollars" would have definitely been spent on something useful. Especially if it was a totally unregulated system.

I mean, look at what fees for telephone service did for us! They helped fund the Spanish-American War up until last year.

Well, those are totally unrelated. This slashdot, so maybe it is close enough. :-P

they forgot to mention (4, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850443)

AT&T forgot to mention how open access would increase competition and reduce their stranglehold on the market. We have been down this path before when AT&T was broken up, anyone old enough to remember having to essentially rent your phone from Ma Bell? AT&T and SBC managed to gobble up Ameritech, Southwestern Bell, Pacific Telesis, Bell Shouth and after merging themselves we are right back were we started, yet they have the nerve to call Google's request self-serving. Maybe its time for the FCC to wake up and realize that open access isnt going to inhibit growth, it will enhibit AT&T's version of growth which has always been expand and strangle out competition in markets they want to be in and own enough spectrum to make expansion into area's they may not even see as worthwhile difficult for anyone else to grab a foothold in.

Re:they forgot to mention (1)

nickname225 (840560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850541)

Nothing essential about it - You actually had to rent y our phone from AT&T. The phone had a stamp on the bottom that said "Property of AT&T" and private ownership was effectively illegal - since the only way to get one was to buy it from AT&T and they weren't selling any. They used to charge you for EACH phone in your house, and there was a small black market in illegal phones that people used to avoid the "extra extension" fee.

Re:they forgot to mention (1)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850965)

Maybe its time for the FCC to wake up and realize that open access isnt going to inhibit growth, it will enhibit AT&T's version of growth which has always been expand and strangle out competition in markets they want to be in and own enough spectrum to make expansion into area's they may not even see as worthwhile difficult for anyone else to grab a foothold in.

Did you forget how to spell inhibit mid-sentence?

Most companies nowadays (3, Interesting)

maroberts (15852) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850465)

...are very good at avoiding handing over billions of dollars to taxpayers. I seem to remember companies like Microsoft have avoided doing so through clever balance sheet manipulation.

looking out for who? (1)

Glennethh (1122001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850487)

AT&T looking out for people...now theres a joke. *cough*IPHONE yup their really looking out for americans.

Translation (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850511)

AT&T is whinning because it and the two other dominant mobile carriers will no longer be able to charge exhorbitant amounts for service. What Google is doing will not inhibit mobile broadband growth but greatly increase it. AT&T is really saying that it will be unable to compete with Google's rates.

Maybe if AT&T would build a FTTH network (3, Informative)

Brian Stretch (5304) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850533)

people wouldn't work so hard to find wireless alternatives. AT&T has a nice idea with their U-verse service (Internet and IPTV) but they choked it by going with FTTN (Fiber To The Node, existing copper to the home) so there's only enough bandwidth to watch 1 HDTV channel at a time and Internet access tops out at 6M/1M. They're going to have to come back and put in fiber in a few years anyhow so why not get it right the first time?

AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars

AT&T's just cranky that the feds extorted $billions from them and the rest of the cellphone companies in prior spectrum auctions and it wouldn't be fair if everyone else didn't get screwed just as hard. Actually, they have a point. I only take issue with the pretension that taxpayers aren't ultimately paying for that spectrum in higher service bills.

I'd like to see that 700MHz spectrum opened up using 2.4GHz spectrum rules and skip the auction bit entirely, but there are certainly good alternatives to that. We don't necessarily need to set up the entire block of spectrum with the same rules. Maybe reserve an open chunk for directional antenna use only for fixed long-range wireless use?

"Google's request was self-serving"... WTF? (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850553)

No kidding. Google are a freaking company, every request they make will be self serving in some way, even if it's not immediately apparent why.

Or perhaps AT&T would like to suggest that they provide telephone services out of the goodness of their black little hearts?

Hey! I'm a taxpayer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19850563)

When's AT&T gonna stop depriving me of my billions of dollars?

Not in my rice bowl (4, Insightful)

Afell001 (961697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850599)

OK, I am all for fair competitive practices. But right now, in this country, there is nothing fair or competitive about wireless broadband. You have large monopolistic companies working in tight collusion with one another, fixing the price of "air". What AT&T (and Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, et al) are afraid of is someone (like Google) coming in over an "open" spectrum and offering the latest generation in broadband access without having to pay for legacy compatibility (ie, they don't have to maintain a network of antiquated technology just to service customers who are too cheap to upgrade). Just look at the standard wireless service model here in the US. If you want to access the latest generation of broadband, you have to buy the latest generation of phone and sign your name to a one or two year contract, since the wireless provider is obviously subsidizing the phone you are buy (obviously), because buying the phone from your wireless provider is prohibitively expensive unless you sign up or renew your contract, and if you do happen to buy one of those grey market unlocked phones you can find on the internet, you mysteriously don't have access to broadband through your wireless company, and they won't offer any support unless it's hardware you buy from them. Who is stifling innovation in the wireless broadband industry? The industry itself is stifling innovation under it's own model of capitalize once, and run it for profit until the public realizes they are getting peanuts at caviar prices compared to what they could be getting otherwise. This is why we are seeing emerging markets like Southeast Asia and China with better wireless networks than our supposedly developed US market. Stifling innovation? Why is Europe already using 3G technology and we have yet to roll out a comprehensive 2G technology in most major regions? Maybe it's about time to open up bandwidth to entrepreneurs who can make the wireless industry finally sit up and realize just how transparent their real intentions are.

AT&T's breathtaking assertion of rights (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850653)

>AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive taxpayers of billions of dollars, and inhibit the growth of wireless broadband in the country.

Yeah, well, if AT&T doesn't pay me $20897678937 per year for being a smart guy, they're depriving the employees of a bunch of airplane and bicycle companies *enormous* incomes, which is immoral and unethical. I'm sure AT&T will see the righteousness of this stance.

If Google manages to get the value of licensed spectrum licences reduced, then at value *is* the market value, right? They're not trying to get something at below-market value, they're trying to reduce the market's evaluation of the value so that they can get in the game. That's the very basis of an economy-based market, right?

Trust AT&T. No, really. Aw, come on! (1)

MattW (97290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850659)

AT&T is like the RIAA of telecommunications: always behind the times, never wanting to change their business model, always trying to monopolize something.

AT&T also said an open-access network would deprive AT&T of billions of dollars, and encourage the growth of wireless broadband in the country

AT&T: fyp

Your world, delivered... to the NSA

Meaning, what, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19850679)

Probably a dumb question, but I read TFA, and I'm still not clear on what the bottom-line is on how "open access" makes a whit of difference to me as a consumer? This is a serious question, if anybody has any references they can share about what the differences are, I'd really like to see them -- can't have much of an opinion if I don't understand the issue.

Looks like (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850703)

Goliath is getting angry. Brace yourselves, here comes the FUD!

AT&T whining (4, Insightful)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850729)

I'm not a troll really, but this really sounds like AT&T is whining. If google can do it, make money, then their business plan is better. But from AT&T's point of view I can see why they are upset, and they are just trying to protect themselves.

This is really about the same as MS embedding IE to kill off other companies who were solely browser developers (Netscape?).

I think the big different here, and I may stand corrected, is that google isn't doing it as a lost leader to lock someone in, but to better their product. So if that's the case I support it. Only time will tell though as things roll out.

I know that smell (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850741)

It smells like self-interest. Could it be that AT&T sees a chance to gouge consumers potentially fleeing?

On an odd note (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850757)

If AT&T wants to bitch about frequency licenses, it should be stated that the first few "channels" on the wifi spectrum are actually licensed to HAM operators. Part of the 2.4ghz spectrum is for amateur radio use.

inhibit the growth... really? (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850779)

inhibit the growth of wireless broadband in the country
My guess is that if Google got in on the broadband game then more people would be able to afford it.

Re:inhibit the growth... really? (1)

slack_prad (942084) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850993)

My guess is that if Google got in on the broadband game then more people would be able to afford it.

Also, more free google ads!

Printing money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19850805)

And from where those billions dollar are suppose to come from ?

Billing customers for it. Plus expenses.

Not selling it gives you access to it, and forbid them to charge prohibitive extras for
something they would control.

The FCC should understand (4, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850833)

since the head of the FCC is a former AT&T lobbying professional, I'm sure they will be able to see the evil in Google's willingness to compete and provide better services. Poor AT&T keeps facing new competitors every year. Its a tough playing field when other people keep bringing out new and better services. The FCC needs to put an end to Google's ideas and bring us back to the old telephone and online pricing models.

Self-Serving? (1)

AgtSkippy (745943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850845)

"AT&T said Google's "eleventh hour request" was self-serving"... AT&T's rebuttal was self-serving... Everything AT&T does is self-serving, they're a business, not a non-profit.

I am so dam tired (2, Insightful)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850849)

I am so dam tired of seeing public interest sold to the highest bidder. (including payed for legislation) Look around.. everything that should be for the public good is bought, monopolized, and ends up milking the public. I dont even read the articles any more.. I just figure out who has the most money or who has paid the lobbyist the most and that decides the issue. Follow the money and you will find the answer. I guess thats capitalism. Yay.

corporate speak is funny (4, Interesting)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850887)

Black is white, up is down, left is right.

If you want to know the true meaning of a corporation's PR or marketing, just translate it to the opposite of what they say.

Fixed versions:
"AT&T also said an open-access network would SAVE taxpayers of billions of dollars, and ENCOURAGE the growth of wireless broadband in the country."

Easy.

Wait a minute... (1)

iAlta (1098077) | more than 7 years ago | (#19850999)

Cheap internet is bad? Did I misunderstand the post, or is AT&T retarded? Or both?

Surprise, surprise! (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851057)

AT&T, the worlds longest running communications monopoly, doesn't want ANYONE to have free communication.

Hold on while I give myself CPR.

Fear not ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19851083)

All your wireless bandwidth are belong to us.

Google Public Policy Blog (3, Informative)

Darth Cider (320236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851121)

Google states its position very clearly in its Public Policy Blog [blogspot.com] .

People here keep mentioning the cost of broadband, so here's a recent chart comparing costs worldwide [dailywireless.org] . (Example: 34 cents/Mbps in South Korea versus $10/Mbps in the U.S., if it's even available where you live, which is why Open Access really matters.)

I relate the FCC's position to all the news about Dick Cheney a few weeks ago, how he relentlessly pressures political appointees who ought to be impartial. Could it be happening again?

Re:Google Public Policy Blog (1)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851349)

I think a more meaningful example would be in (cost/average income). Sure, it's 34 cents per Mbps in Korea, but what about staffing costs, etc.

Why are restrictive licenses the only option? (1)

chernevik (1079091) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851147)

I don't see why anyone but incumbent carriers objects so strongly to this. The auction isn't intended to raise revenue so much as to allocate spectrum to the most efficient user by letting the market price the license. I certainly don't see why a restriction-positive license is better policy than an "open only" license.

The Wall Street Journal complained yesterday that the winner of "open" spectrum would either try to get out of the requirements or leave it idle as the buyer would be financially or technically incompetent to build it out. But surely those contingencies can be managed with some kind of buildout requirement, ie use it (or at least have spent X% of the auction price on buildout) in [7] years or lose the spectrum.

So the risk is delayed usage. But without some evidence that the current licenses are headed into unmanageable congestion (and it's certainly possible), the loss to public from delay doesn't seem catastrophic. And that risk has to be balanced against the possible gains from an open license. Maybe the risk is greater than the upside, but why reject the whole idea before Martin even releases the draft?

(I suppose one problem with an open license is restrictions on wholesaling. If a restricted license service needs spectrum to relieve congestion, could they lease access on an open license for their restricted services? On the one hand, forbidding such leasing closes a backdoor to restrictions. On the other, such leases could be a desirable use of otherwise idle spectrum. Maybe a solution could be to allow such leases but require that they be assigned lower priority than open services? You'd still need rules to keep the open licensee from gaming this into de facto restrictions.)

I don't see why smart people like the WSJ are so quick to judge this. I too worry about the property right / deal compliance problems of net-neutrality, but none of that applies to a _new_ license. Maybe it's just a knee-jerk reaction? Maybe the net-neutrality arguments have gotten so emotional people can't think about them? I suppose many readers here will think the WSJ is just a corporate shill, but I actually think that's one the less likely (and least interesting) explanations.

Caveat lector -- I know nothing about this field at all!

What???? (4, Interesting)

guspasho (941623) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851157)

So Google is asking to make the spectrum cheaper. And AT&T is complaining about that. Why? Nothing is stopping AT&T from competing in the auction. If they can compete in the auction for expensive spectrum they can compete in an auction for cheap spectrum. You know what this really sounds like? AT&T is whining because what Google is suggesting means that AT&T actually has to compete for a change.

I wonder if lawmakers feel the same (1)

mr_rattles (303158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851213)

Y'know, with all of these 'freedoms' that the people like and enjoy so much it must be difficult to make laws.

GROUPTHINK (0, Offtopic)

kad77 (805601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851247)

I had to click the link after seeing the 'googleisevil' tag, posted by some lefty groupthink tool. Evil as defined by a moral-relativist is always a moving target target!

The lack of critical thinking applied to economic, social, and political topics on /. reminds me: this place is becoming less about technology and intelligence, and more about the lowest common denominator, bitter partisanship, and attracting the diggers.

Anyone recommend a new tech site or two? /Saw 'republicansarefuckingfascists' as a frontpage tag the other day. Petulant children running amok here.

Inhibit? (3, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851335)

"inhibit the growth of wireless broadband in the country"?

It didn't think it could get much more inhibitted than it already is.

Oh, Google, how could you? (3, Funny)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851365)

Yesterday, AT&T weighed in. In a letter to the FCC, AT&T said Google's "eleventh hour request" was self-serving because [bleat, bleat, bleat]

Google, you scamps.

Say it ain't so! I'm ashamed of you. Do no evil, indeed. How can you not follow the example of fine, upstanding, generous, social-minded, humble, helpful, concerned, responsible, AT&T?

AT&T - now there's who you should take your cue from. They've never had anything other than the general welfare and the good of the little guy in their warm, altruistic hearts. I can't believe the FCC would even deign to hear the recommendations of anyone else, since AT&T has proven time and time again that all they want - all they've ever wanted - is what's best for everyone, even at great peril to their bottom line.

Google already has the network (3, Informative)

Chatham (1127743) | more than 7 years ago | (#19851385)

Let us not forget that Google has been quietly constructing a massive network that would put most telecommunication companies to shame: http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/s tory.html?id=0d0fa453-8a22-4dd0-b244-53f03146da8e& k=11216 [canada.com] Google just needs permission to illuminate all of that dark fiber.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>