Communications-related Headlines for 5/22/97

Local Monopolies Still Rule the Local Phone Markets

Study Sees Holes in Internet Security Plan

Broadcast TV's Viewership Fell In Latest Season

Cable Rates Not a Hit in Montgomery

In the Chips Now, But Maybe Not Later

ISPs Form Coalition to Make Internet More "Reliable"

David vs. Goliaths
Title: Local Monopolies Still Rule the Local Phone Markets
Source: New York Times (D1)
Author: Mark Landler
Issue: Competition (or lack thereof)
Description: A study to be released today by the Yankee Group, a
telecommunications research firm in Boston, finds that less than .5% of
American receive local telephone service from any company other than the
local Bell. The most likely competitors in this market -- long distance
companies -- seem hesitant to enter this market and seem more concerned with
convincing Federal regulators not to let Bells provide long distance. AT&T
seems like the only long distance company planning to build their own
facilities to compete with local Bells. Resale of services, a traditional
avenue into a telecommunications market, seems too unprofitable to spark
competition. The local phone market is $100 billion/year.

Title: Study Sees Holes in Internet Security Plan
Source: New York Times
Author: Steve Lohr
Issue: Internet Security
Description: A study coordinated by the Center for Democracy and Technology
finds that Government plans for unlocking
data-scrambling software to pursue criminals on the Internet could actually
increase security risks and raise the costs of online commerce.

Title: Broadcast TV's Viewership Fell In Latest Season
Source: Wall Street Journal (B5)
Author: Kyle Pope
Issue: TV
Description: Last night the broadcast TV season ended, and broadcast TV
(NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox) viewership has dropped by 1.7 million homes since last
year. This drop is the biggest the broadcast industry has seen in awhile.
Cable viewership is, in general, on the rise.

Title: Cable Rates Not a Hit in Montgomery
Source: Washington Post (A1)
Author: Manuel Perez-Rivas
Issue: Cable Rates
Description: Montgomery County, MD residents are facing a possible 9.5
increase in cable rates that could raise cable bills about $3 a month.
"According to the Labor Department, cable rates outpaced the inflation rate
last year by 2 to 1." County officials are going to appeal with the FCC
about the rate increase.

Title: In the Chips Now, But Maybe Not Later
Source: Washington Post (E1)
Author: Peter Behr
Issue: Economy
Description: At a recent summit, Virginia business and education leaders
argued that unless the state increases its investment in technology
training, the current technology boom may be short lived because of a
shortage of skilled employees. The president of Landmark Communications
said, "We cannot expect technology businesses to locate in Virginia if we
cannot supply qualified workers." According to recent surveys, tech
companies in Northern Virginia have about a dozen job vacancies, and "only
four of every 10 job applicants have the skills employers need."

Title: ISPs Form Coalition to Make Internet More "Reliable"
Source: Telecommunications Reports Daily
Issue: Internet
Description: Nine major US Internet operators formed a coalition "dedicated
to making the commercial Internet more robust and reliable." For more
information se . Founding members are ANS
Communications, AT&T, BBN, Earthlink Network, GTE, MCI, NETCOM, PSINet, and

Title: David vs. Goliaths
Source: The Villi age Voice
Author: Vince Bielski
Issue: Internet
Description: Whole Earth Networks (Wenet) CEO David Holub was fired when
insisted on fighting the Big Five ISPs -- MCI, Sprint, BBN (part of GTE),
ANS (part of America Online), and UUNET -- over new peering policies. The
Big Five control 80% of the market in online traffic. Instead of freely
swapping Internet traffic, the companies are now starting to charge smaller
Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Holub -- and now his staff -- is
protesting not over the money, but because the company's have not made the
criteria for charging public. Holub claims that these companies could apply
peering charges unfairly by refusing to peer with competitors that it wanted
to eliminate -- even if they meet criteria.