TeleTruth: The Alliance for Customers' Telecommunications Rights
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  The TeleTruth Mission
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  • Defend the public interests in telecommunication and broadband issues.
  • Educate and inform the public to combat monopoly control of critical telecommunications infrastructure.
  • Promote fairness, innovation and competition.
  • Accelerate (encourage) the deployment of advanced networks and new forms of communications.

TeleTruth is a national, independent, customer advocacy group, dedicated to fixing the problems in telecommunications -- from customer overcharging and harm to competitors, to the customer issues surrounding Broadband deployment and competition.

We believe America’s telecommunications infrastructure are essential facilities to the collective economic health and growth of business in America and important to the quality of life for individuals. Like our roads and water systems these facilities are a public good and so should remain free from private control and manipulation. This was recognized in the ’96 Telecom Act as well as the original regulated monopoly creation.

Unfortunately we’ve inherited a legacy of private monopoly control of telecommunications infrastructure. For 85 years this monopoly was known as Ma Bell, AT&T. The breakup created seven so-called Baby Bells, each with a monopoly of local phone services in their region. These have now consolidated into 4 companies: SBC, Verizon, BellSouth, Qwest.

These 4 consolidated incumbents local exchange carriers (ILECs) have used their monopoly control of the physical infrastructure to not merely maintain revenues from existing telephone customers but to unfairly leverage to dominant positions in new businesses like cellular, PCS and DSL. The American public has already paid in full for this infrastructure through regulated rates over the last 100 years!

Despite the ’96 Telecom Act that mandated that this critical infrastructure be accessible to competitors, the Baby Bells have resisted these requirements. Unfortunately the enforcement mechanisms are woefully inadequate – the FCC as well as the state Public Utilities Commissions do not have sufficient resources to consistently monitor these vast companies. More importantly, the statutory punishment for wrongdoing are fines (in $ millions) too small to matter to multi-billion dollar companies like the Bells. Therefore it is cheaper for these monopolies to ignore the law and pay the fines, than to comply!

Consequently these companies now hold this infrastructure hostage and charge monopoly rates to use it. They have a well documented, long-standing and widespread pattern of manipulating regulators, legislators, the press and public opinion by promising to deliver new services in exchange for reduced regulatory burdens and lower rates. We need stronger regulations, penalties and enforcement to counteract this monopoly until competition can be nurtured and market forces become self-sustainable without regulation.

Teletruth’s mission is to coalesce a constituency articulating public interests in a fair and dynamically competitive marketplace for telecom.

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