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Remonopolizing Local Telephone Markets: Is Wireless Next?

The exit of AT&T Communications, the largest competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) and provider of long distance service to residential customers, from the residential market is the strongest evidence to date that the decision of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the White House not to defend the Triennial Review Order spells the end of landline competition for local residential telephone service. The political decision of the Administration and the business decision of AT&T place an immense amount of pressure on nascent competition from other technologies – wireless and voice over the Internet. Even though these technologies have done little to erode the Baby Bell monopoly, they must now carry the whole burden of competition for residential consumers.