Unholy Marriage Betwixt AT&T and Bellsouth Nearing FCC Approval

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin seems to be close to inking his rubber stamp for a merger between AT&T and Bellsouth, a move that would create the world’s largest telco company.

Among the war spoils, the merger would grant AT&T control over the Cingular cellphone service.

Wait a second, didn’t Cingular buy AT&T’s cellphone service? And then there was a flood of consumer complaints over unreasonable surcharges and poor service? And a class-action suit started? And Beckie got her service cancelled because Cingular’s towers were too crappy?

Ah yes, the proverbial lube-up before the reaming. Ma Bell got the ill communication, indeed.

FCC Clears the Way for AT&T-BellSouth Merger” [ConsumerAffairs]


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  1. d0x says:

    Yes Cingular did buy AT&T’s cellphone service. Im sure it was just a ploy to make this deal go through easier…as if there was going to be resistence anyways. They knew that in short time they would get all those customers back yet they still put many of them through the nightmare that was the change over.

    The Monopoly is on its way back, the Goverment is undoing its own work and its only going to be bad for consumers.

  2. adamondi says:

    This is one of the many reasons that I avoid landline telephone service. I am sure that eventually all of the telcos will coalesce into the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse and we will all regret our casual attitudes.

  3. Yaotl says:

    Oh god, will that make us blue again or still orange? Or maybe we’ll all be blorange or orue? Maybe they’ll go back to treating us (my employer) the way they used to, nicely.

  4. Wait a second, didn’t Cingular buy AT&T’s cellphone service?

    ah, corporate incest. this story is one nipple twist away from a fleshbot post.

  5. GenXCub says:

    So should we all just get a Ventrilo server? I’m always surprised at its great sound quality while banging away on World of Warcraft.

  6. AcidReign says:

    …..Eeeee! I love it. They’d better not mess with my reliable DSL. It ain’t the fastest, at 1.1 Mbps, but it NEVER goes out! I’d so hate to give Charter any more money….

  7. Ben Popken says:

    Brandon writes:

    “Essentially all the phone companies are just one big monopoly as it is. Through the use of resellers, and capacity swaps, among other practices, the company that you think is providing your service, may not be running your traffic on the actual network of your provider.

    Not sure how ‘on the DL’ this is, but BellSouth entered in to an agreement with another provider to handle traffic and capacity. Besides the connection at the local level [local loop], there is a chance that trafiic never even touches BellSouth’s network, as that has been routed to the other carrier to handle. Once it gets to a Central Office [CO], it can take a myrida of routes across the country, or city.

    Another example is, say you’re a large corporation with offices across the country, and you want to have a dedicated circuit, that runs from Los Angeles to New York. Some providers have end to end network capacity, like Qwest, but others do not. When a provider does not have equipment in a specific area, in order to complete a point to point circuit, the provider will have to enter in to an agreement with a third party, to complete the circuit, who then charges the initial provider a fee, which gets passed back on to the end user/customer.

    To make matters worse, with all of the mergers, and the initial breakup of Ma Bell, different companies are using different vendor equipment [i.e. Cisco, Nortel, Fujitsu], and sometimes, these different pieces of equipment have issues talking with each other. While there is standardization of telephony and IP/ATM Frame protocols, it is up to each provider how they actually set up their equipment and/or their network.

    In conclusion, the phone/data companies are all just like pieces in one big puzzle, but those puzzle pieces charge each other for allowing their piece to touch. On top of that, the FCC mandates that companies providing local and long distance service, need to have each of those services ran as individual entities due to the Telecom Act of 1996. Telecom can be a mess.'”

  8. aquan25 says:

    The former CEO of AT&T wireless was a big supporter for splitting up the large telecom companies. it’s funny because right before he quit, he began trying to bring them together. but the real thing is AT&T wireless had no real connection with AT&T. They had the right to use the name but besides that they were a completely separate. with the merger of bell south and AT&T now, they are basically going to just be under one name. they have no need for cingular since sbc now owns the right to the AT&T name. the purpose is to just have one name.

    By the way, Great Beastie boys Reference.

  9. bbbolanos says:

    AT&T has been billing me for service that I no longer have established with them. I have repeatedly contacted them reguarding this manner with no results. They sure do just like Bush and write their own laws and follow what they want. If it comes to it I am going to file suit if anyone wishes to get aboard contact me at the following

  10. Beckie says:

    The office of the president had contacted me!!!!YEA! They said, Oscar said not my problem. So I called them back and asked to speak to the president. Guess what? He was in a meeting. So I left a message for him to call me last Friday. GUESS WHAT AGAIN? He never called.
    What’s the matter Mr. President? SCARED?????