What Telecom Reform?

The merger negotiations between AT&T and SBC Communications reflect the dawning truth that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is turning out to be a colossal failure. It has not opened up local phone service to competition. Indeed, it appears to be actually bolstering the monopoly power of the regional Bells. AT&T's decision to buy into the huge local phone company that includes the former Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. and Pacific Telesis Group is an admission of defeat. AT&T doesn't think it can successfully compete locally so it is simply buying into the monopoly.

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