RBOCsRegional Bell Operating Companies (seven original Bell operating companies that were formed as a result of the AT&T divestiture)
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Although the unit was trying to attract new customers, the AT&T services unit and the RBOCs continued to be the dominant customers.
The authors of the aforementioned report asserted that the RBOCs, and possibly Sprint, traditionally focus on the more developed and urban markets and therefore have realized that their competency is not in serving the rural market.
Supply-side cost efficiencies were protected (in theory) by allowing rivals to access the RBOCs' existing infrastructure in such a way that all firms faced the same input costs.
We would not anticipate that incumbents in Europe will be offered the same degree of regulatory relief as the RBOCs have benefited from in the US (ie no unbundling on fibre assets).
Looking at the marketplace today and the changes that are underway, we finally have the facilities-based competition between the RBOCs and cable providers for voice, video, and data services that the authors of the 1996 Act had hoped for.
"The RBOC people are 'having at it,'" says Luther, describing the ferocity with which the RBOCs are competing against the cable companies.
Recognizing that the RBOCs have little incentive to unilaterally open their local exchanges to potential competitors, section 271 of the Act allows the RBOCs to enter the InterLATA (interexchange or long-distance) market (4) on a state-by-state basis conditional on their demonstration that the local exchange is open to competitors.
A bigger issue--and as it turns out a largely insurmountable one--is the financial incentive on the part of the RBOCs. They view the problematic mix of the installed base, service tiers, localized monopolies, regulations, and the potential for stranded assets as a rationale for indefinitely delaying FTTH adoption.
"With nearly 3 billion domestic and international voice minutes delivered for our customers every month, WilTel creates these solutions for providers requiring industry leading reliability and carrier-class services, from RBOCs to consortiums of independent telephone companies, such as ANPI."
North American service providers plan to stop buying ATM DSLAMs in the next few years; the RBOCs and Bell Canada have specified migration plans from ATM access to IP/Ethernet access."
With most RBOCs shooting trouble on 3% of their lines monthly - and having dispatches required on half of them - maintaining the ability to remotely test those lines is critical.