Something doesn't add up

San Jose Mercury News: “‘We have dramatically scaled down any further deployment of DSL,’ said SBC Senior Vice President Jim Smith. ‘We couldn’t make a good business case to go forward.'”

Two years ago, SBC loudly promoted the billions of dollars it would invest in rolling out DSL. What changed? All of the regulatory restrictions on the local phone companies were in place by 1996 or shortly thereafter in the rules implementing the Telecommunications Act.

What’s new is that competitors can use use deeply discounted “UNE-P” wholesale rates in many states. If SBC’s argument is that they can’t compete against the cut-rate DSL resellers, where are all those competitors? All I see is Earthlink and a few others offering broadband at rates similar to the incumbents, and a bunch of smaller players targeting business customers. There’s something that just doesn’t add up in the Bells’ arguments about broadband.