II4A hired 2 lobbyists to write 7 template letters each, so that the 14
templates would sound and look different.
Just download, sign and fax to your Congress Critter. How many people downloaded them? Less than 15.

How many people were aware of them?
I'd argue that could also be a communication problem (method of letting people know its an available resource.)

At ISP-CEO, you could not concisely explain what the lawsuit purpose or goal was. (Maybe you announced too early).
Then when pushed you said: Physical Separation.

As much as I like Structural Seperation idea, its like going back in history to day 1, and starting over, forgetting all legislation and negotiation thathas happened to date. Not likely going to be a possibilty ever again. The reason is major changes kill momentum, and the country is clearly with a gaol to gain broadband to every where quickly to keep up with the other countries. They aren't going to favor major disruptive solutions.

Part of me worries that the lawsuit will render all ISPs obsolete.


A little Anti-Trust history. The US vs. GE anti-trust case was dismissed after 9 years. "Assistant Attorney General in charge of the department's antitrust division, said the case had been dismissed because the passage of time had reduced the significance of the case and any court order the Government might win."

Microsoft had over 130 private anti-trust suits filed against it. Did anyone win one?
The US vs. MS lasted 5 years.
Covad filed against VZ, but that was just a bargaining move.
Covad is still suing BST, filed in 2002.
NorthPoint tried to sue VZ for $4B in anti-trust, but settled for a 5% ownership.
Sun has been suing Microsoft.
SCO is suing IBM.
Do you see the pattern here? Lots of big cases that take lots of time, energy, effort and money. And the only winners are the lawyers.

Allthough you are making a good point, you leave out one very significant case. The Monopoly battles that led to the seperation of the Bells in the first place. A victory of epic proportion was made once, and therefore it is possible to make it once again.

I say expend the energy building a business based on Layer 1 or Layer 7.

Building a business model on Layer7 is risky until Net Neutrality is defined. Building a business model on Layer 1 is risky when Someone else already owns masses infrastructure with the advantages of economy of scale, time to market, and no cost pre-existing (The Bells). I argue you have to hit them from all sides. And encumber the competition in every way possible, and not let go of any thing that you have or want to have, while building layer 1 and 7 solutions.

Ultimately, I believe the arguement is that... American legislation, policy makers, and law inforcement (courts) are constantly ruling in favor of destroying American businesses and enterprise. The destruction and hinderence of the majority of American Internet related businesses is the cause of low penetration rate within the country. We need to support any effort that sends home the message that support must be given for independant small businesses. And the beauty of the Internet was a cooperate effort of network operators that inter-connect. The path now, os that the Internet will eventually be controlled by a handfull of goliath companies instead. This is not only a threat to the vision of the Internet but to national security as well. What we can not forget is... Once we send the message that we accept that the Monopolies are untouchable and make the rules, it will become a never ending never winning battle lossing to them until we are extinct. When you give, people take. When you bow, people push you down. The bells should never be left off the hook for their wrong doings. Why because, whats keeping them from relicating their practices to kill Layer1 and layer7 competitors as well. Isn't the real goal, to take over the Internet? Do you think they will stop at being happy that they do not have to share their copper?

I applaud the efforts of those like Frank, regardless of wether a possible victory is realistic or likely. There is a lot of new legislation being debated this upcomming years, and the message needs to be sent that we are NOT giving up, and we will NOT go away. And that is the best way to help ensure that we will be considered amicably in upcomming legislation. Quite honestly I think the the ISP community needs as many bargining chips as possible for the future.

I no longer hate the telcos and cable companies. I've grown (matured) past that. I actually respect them for their persistance and strategy that appears to be working for them from some perspectives. After all they managed to delay American broadband expansion to a low 17th place, to keep the cash cow telecom revenue comming in as long as possible. Instead, I've directly my emotion to support for the Small business and independant provider, that need protection. Instead of hatred, there is now love, or I should say "Cause". To protect an industry moving towards extinction. And the way to protect them, is to stop the ones that are eating them. So I say change the message. The industry needs restitution, for the harm that has been done to it. What better way than the courts, to go after damages to those that were harmed. The focus should NOT be to kill the Bells, thats a no win battle. The focus should be restitution. Let the Bells be held accountable and be forced to pay back TO THE ONES THAT WERE HARMED.

Wouldn't it be ironic if their could be a sudden surge in Independant competitive Broadband growth and layer1 buildout, that was funded by LEC's profits? Only a law suit could make that happen.

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc



For history's sake:
Former Member of FISPA on Vendor Committee and Legislative Committeee (even chaired the LC) One of the Founders of the Independent ISPs for America (www.ii4a.org) and currently part-time director.
Search the FCC comment site: 17 filed comments

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