From a revealing BusinessWeek interview with SBC CEO Ed Whitacre (Emphasis added):
Q: How concerned are you about Internet upstarts like Google (GOOG), MSN, Vonage, and others?
A: How do you think they’re going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe. Cable companies have them. We have them. Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain’t going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there’s going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they’re using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?
Notice what Whitacre said. He expects companies like Google to pay SBC for providing broadband applications. And he plans to build that function into the network.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.