CenturyLink may exclude service to minorities, critics say [telecom]

By Harry Colbert Jr.

Competition is good, right?

Of course it is. Competition in business is so needed that there are rules in our nation that guarantee a competitive marketplace. So it may come as a shock that when CenturyLink announced it wants to compete against Comcast - Minneapolis' only cable provider since 1983

- the communications company was met with opposition. But those opposed to CenturyLink say they agree with competition in a free marketplace, what they don't agree with is CenturyLink being able to cherry pick where to compete - especially if CenturyLink chooses not to service areas of lower income that tend to be minority concentrated.

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Reply to
Bill Horne
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In a free marketplace, a business is free to NOT participate in a marketplace if feels it won't be profitable for it. For example, a store selling senior citizen health and comfort supplies (e.g. adult diapers, walkers, canes, support hoisery, etc), won't find much business across the street from a high school, and a high school malt shop* won't find much business near a senior center.

If we are going to impose demands onto providers that cost them money, then obviously we have to impose them on all providers. But first, we need to closely look at the demands to see if they're truly worthwhile.

For instance, IMHO, it is reasonable to mandate a restaurant have sanitary inspections because that benefits all customers. However, IMHO, it is not resonable to demand the restaurant stay open at 4 a.m. "just in case someone is hungry".

If a business, carrier or otherwise, does not think a neighborhood location will be profitable for them, then I don't think they should be forced to serve that neighborhood.

We must remember a BIG reason we got rid of the old Bell System business model was to eliminate the cross-subsidization that Bell was doing.

In a competitive marketplace, some people will pay more. For instance, the only gas station in an isolated area will charge high prices, not the prices charged elsewhere. People can't have it both ways.

Another example: from time to time an old house of worship (any denomination) announces it's closing due to lack of members. Usually there are a few senior citizens who are upset as they still regularly go to worship and would have trouble getting to a more distant location. But those few seniors are not enough to support a congregation and are basically out of luck, harship or not.

*or whatever you call a place teens hang out at these days.
Reply to

As I noted in a previous post:

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Neal McLain

Reply to
Neal McLain

Yes, but.... in the end this has resulted in poorer service for many customers and I believe many people are waking up to the fact that this cross-subsidization was a very good thing for the system in general.


Reply to
Scott Dorsey

From: snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey)

I don't at all miss paying $1.45 a minute for a phone call across the (eight mile away) county line.

Reply to

Precisely the point.

But if we did, in fact, require that Restaurant A stay open at 4 a.m., and Restaurant A did, in fact, agree to that demand, then can we change the rules for nearby Restaurant B and allow it to close before

4 a.m.?

But if we did, in fact, require Carrier A to serve that neighborhood, and Carrier A did, in fact, agree to that demand, then can we change the rules for Carrier B and allow it to serve only certain neighborhoods?

But if we did, in fact, require Bell to serve a designated service territory, and Bell did, in fact agree to that demand, then can we change the rules for a CLEC and allow it to serve only a portion of that territory?

This argument is irrelevant. Governments do not designate service territories to gas stations.

This argument is irrelevant. Governments do not designate [a church's] parish boundaries.

Neal McLain

Reply to
Neal McLain

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