|| What Are the
Goals of Teletruth?
TeleTruth is a national, independent, customer alliance focusing telecom
and broadband issues. The organization was created to defend the public
interests, educate and inform the public to combat monopoly control of critical
telecommunications infrastructure, promote fairness, innovation and competition
and accelerate (encourage) the deployment of advanced networks and new forms
Who is a "Customer"?
Our definition of "customer" is broad and includes anyone who
uses the local Bell monopoly phone networks. It includes residential and
business customers, as well as the competitive local service carrier businesses
(CLECs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that depend on the local
telephone company's wholesale services.
Who is on Teletruth's Board of Advisors?
Teletruth advisory board is made up volunteers who have worked in and
reported on the industry and independent parties interested in protecting
the public rights and expanding competition in local and broadband services.
Some advisors, because they may be the targets of corporate retribution,
have chosen to be undisclosed, silent partners in this enterprise. TeleTruth
is a non-partisan association with no links or agenda connected to any
phone company, association or either political party. To see the public
board of advisors, go to: http://teletruth.org/About/boa.html
Why Launch Teletruth Now?
The Telecommunications Act of 1996, the current law of the land, was created
to open the local phone networks to competition that would lower prices
and bring in broadband services. Unfortunately, the Bell monopolies have
a stranglehold on the entire local phone networks. They own the copper
wiring into America's home and offices, even though customers paid for
these services 10 fold. The Bell companies have essentially been able
to block competition and, instead, prices have gone up and the 'broadband'
future turned out to be mostly a nightmare. And it will only get worse
if customers do not get involved to stop the Bell monopolists' control
broadband over the public telephone system.
What are Teletruth's Current Activities:
- On Protecting Customers' Phonebills, Teletruth has launched
the "Send Us Your Phonebill" campaign for New Jersey Verizon
customers to recover overcharges and document billing problems. This
information will be used as evidence against Verizon's entrance into
- On the Legislative Front, Teletruth has proposed "The
Broadband Bill of Rights", a piece of legislation that, if enacted,
would help remedy many of the problems all classes of customers have
had with the retail and wholesale broadband service offerings provided
by the Bell telephone monopolies.
- On the Legislative Front, Teletruth has and continues to oppose
the Bell-financed bill commonly called "Tauzin-Dingell that would
harm competitors and customers alike. Pushed by Congressmen Tauzin of
Louisiana and Dingell of Michigan, this piece of legislation would undermine
key pro-competition reforms.
- On Lowering Prices, Teletruth with New Networks Institute,
filed a petition to the FCC to block a recent rate increase or drop
the FCC Subscriber Line Charge all together, saving every household
$60 a year minimum and businesses would save hundreds of dollars a month.
- On Lowering Prices, Teletruth (with New Networks Institute)
has filed a $2.5 billion dollar complaint with the New York State Attorney
General's office to investigate Verizon-New York's' deductions for "vaporware"
--- equipment costs unaccounted for that have been included in service
prices and charged to customers.
- On Lowering Prices, Teletruth (with New Networks Institute)
has submitted claims of improper Bell Company tax deductions with the
IRS that are now under investigation and should lead to lower local
service prices. To date, TeleTruth has active claims totaling $15 billion
How is Teletruth Different From Other Consumer Groups?" a.k.a.
Many so-called "consumer groups" are nothing more industry-organized
and funded interest groups masquerading as genuine consumer friendly organizations.
They are dedicated to moving a company's political and policy agenda---
and the local Bell companies have a long and distinguished record of successfully
fooling the public and media in this area.
Today, there is no genuine national 'customer' alliance focused on competitive
local and broadband service issues. TeleTruth seeks to defend ALL customers,
from the residential user and small business, from those who purchase
service on a retail basis to those who purchase or lease Bell wholesale
networks and services, from the Internet Providers to the Competitive
Local Phone Companies. Teletruth believes it is the only alliance serving
the full range of customer interests.
Contributions are Welcome. But Membership is Free.
Any donation you make supports an number of important activities, from
of the creation of the newsletter and ongoing research to combat bad data
supplied by the Bell companies' organization, to on-going press and lobbying
efforts in Washington and other states, working with law firms for filings
and complaints, as well as continuous grass-roots building activities.
And though we can not compete in spending with against the Bell companies,
but instead, we can through volunteers and independent grass roots to
make changes in the laws and make people aware of the issues.
A great deal of Teletruth is donated services including our web-site
hosting, the web design and upgrades, a great deal of the research and
analysis, legal and accounting services, and phonebill auditing services.
Teletruth is a for-profit company, with all of the money going directly
to pay for the on-going efforts. This is unlike many of the Bell funded
groups that are "non-profit", even though they are functionally
lobbying firms that should be paying their fair share of taxes.
Who is New Networks Institute?
New Networks Institute helped to found TeleTruth and supplies continuous
critical information and analysis, as well as manages the TeleTruth activities.
New Networks Institute was founded in 1992 by the respected telecom analyst
Bruce Kushnick and it has been a leading broadband and telecom research
and consulting firm focusing on Public Interest. NNI has published numerous
research reports, worked with law firms to take class action suits, and
has filed numerous complaints with various state agencies, the FCC, as
well as the IRS. See their website http://www.newnetworks.com, which also
has the research bibliography, etc.
Who Are the Local Bell Monopolies?
In 1984, AT&T was broken up because of it's monopoly control over
US telecommunications. Seven very large companies were created, sometimes
called "Baby Bells" or RBOCs (Regional Bell Operating Companies)----
Ameritech, BellSouth, Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern
Bell, and US West. Since that time, these companies have married their
siblings and today, only 4 companies remain BellSouth, SBC (Southwestern
Bell, Pacific Bell, Ameritech) Verizon, (Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, GTE) and
Qwest (US West) For a complete history of the breakup and other materials
about the Bell companies see: http://www.teletruth.org/History/bbells/bb_history.html
What About AT&T, MCI and Sprint?
AT&T, MCI and Sprint are the best known "Long Distance"
companies. The price for Long Distance calls has dropped some 60% since
the Bell companies came into being. Conversely, local phone services increased
about 275% since the Bells took over. The difference is that phonebills
are so indecipherable how would you ever know what happened to your phonebill.
Therefore, the local companies have been the ones who have harmed the
American public, and they stand in the way of competition and broadband
services. However, we will make sure that Long Distance issues are addressed
when these companies do illegal acts.