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A Publication of TeleTruth, January 29th, 2002, Volume 1, No. 1

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Welcome to TeleTruth News, the publication of TeleTruth, an alliance for customer rights. This newsletter brings you exclusive news and analysis of the issues that effect your phone and broadband service. In this issue:

  • The TeleTruth Act of 2002 --- What's Broken in Telecom and Why We Should Break Up the Bells. (The Bells: BellSouth, Verizon, (Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and GTE) SBC (Ameritech, SNET, Pac Bell) and Qwest (US West.)
  • STOP Tauzin-Dingell Bill!: A new Bill in Congress is coming this spring that will harm your Digital Future
  • Horror Story of the Week: Phone Number "Portability" Scandal in New York---- You can't take it with you.
  • You're Owed $200 by your local phone company.
  • TeleTruth: New group formed for customers who want their telecom and broadband rights protected.
  • Next Issue ---- Exclusives "Uncovering the Bell Companies' "Skunk Works", "Liar, Liar, SBC's Pant's On Fire", "Do 50% of phone bills have problems that should lead to refunds?"

The TeleTruth Act of 2002 --- What's Broken in Telecom and Why We Should Break Up the Bells. We believe the Bell monopolies stole your Diigital Future, harmed competitors that would have given you new services, overcharged you hundreds of dollars that should be refunded, and prices should be lowered immediately. The only way you may get what is yours may be to finally "break up" the Bell local monopolies. The Customer Costs of the Bell Monopoly:

  • Overcharging: We estimate that the Bell companies overcharged customers over $17 billion dollars in 2001 because of the lack of competition. --- That's about $200 per household for 2001
  • The Phonebill is a Mess: Customers still can't understand their phone bills.
  • Failed Broadband Rollouts: By 2002, more than half of America was supposed to have fiber-optic wiring to their homes and schools. Today, virtually none exists even though customers paid over $58 billion in added charges.
  • Competitive Harm: Competition in America is on life-support, with numerous bankruptcies, and the major problem has been the Bell companies, not competitor business plans.
  • DSL Chain of Pain: The entire DSL roll-out has been a nightmare for customers and competitors alike.

To read the entire article, click here.

To read more about "Breaking up the Bells" and a proposed Congressional bill by Senator Hollings, see

STOP HR 1542 ---"Tauzin-Dingell" Bill! In Spring 2002, a bill is going to be presented in Congress that is a corporate welfare relief bill, designed to help four very large Bell phone companies make more of your money in the name of Broadband. "This bill gives the Bells more power, less scrutiny, and even provides protection from investigations. The proposed bill would block competitors from using the networks, will raise customer Internet rates, and it doesn't address or fix any of the current DSL or competitor issues. It is also clear that this bill is an advertisement of why we need campaign finance reform --- So Congressmen, such as Rep. Billy Tauzin, who have extensive ties to the Bell companies, should not be able to use undue influence to do favors for companies they are supposed to be regulating. Click here to read "Eight reasons why the Tauzin-Dingell Bill is BAD for America's Telephone Customers" or visit our clearinghouse of articles, reports, testimony and background on this topic called Tauzin-Dingell is Evil.
Horror Story of the Week, Phone Number "Portability Scandal in New York---- You can't take it with you. Every year approximately 15% of the population moves from their current home or office to some new address. And even though everyone in America is paying a monthly "portability" charge, in most parts of the country, you can't take your phone number when you move. This Horror Story of the Week focuses on a customer who just wanted to keep her number in the middle of New York City and was quoted a ludicrous $558.00 and a monthly charge of $96.04 a month. But it is also a tale of how the monopoly controls a customer's ability to use a competitive local phone company. To read a tale of portability hell, click here.

To read about the portability charge and the detailed issues surrounding moving phone numbers, see the NNI filing with the FCC:

You're Owed $200 by your local phone company. The Bell companies are still monopolies. They control the wiring into customers' homes and offices and their services are supposed to be "fair and reasonable". However, with profit margins 250% above the recently released Business Week 500 and over 200% above their utility brethren, the questions everyone should be asking is:

  • How did the local phone monopolies become the most profitable companies in America? ---
  • More profitable than Exxon, Citicorp, GM, Ford or Wal-Mart?
  • Why are Congress, the FCC and the states allowing this to go on?
  • Why Does Call Waiting and other services have a 48000% profit margin?
  • What should we do to get immediate reductions and refunds?

To read a summary of the issues or our full report see:

Join TeleTruth: New group formed for Customers who want their telecommunications and Broadband rights protected This is a critical time for all phone customers. We all know that prices for local services keep going up, customer service keeps getting worse, competition is practically nonexistent, and the promise of high-speed DSL has been almost a joke. But new laws are now being proposed by the Bell-funded politicians that will make the current awful situation EVEN WORSE!

Forget about the regulators like the FCC or the state public utility commissions. They are under-financed, understaffed, overburdened, and politically controlled by the very companies they are supposed to regulate. And unfortunately, no consumer group has stepped forward to lead the fight against the incredibly powerful Baby Bells. To learn more about joining TeleTruth, or volunterring to work for change, click here.

Next Issue ---- Exclusives:

  • Uncovering the Bell Companies' "Skunk Works"
  • Liar, Liar, SBC's Pant's On Fire
  • Do 50% of phone bills have problems that should lead to refunds?
  • Your ISP May Become an "Endangered Species" --- Take Action


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