[TUHS] V7 Addendem [ really lawyers and AT&T consent decree ]

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Tue Dec 12 04:39:44 AEST 2017

On Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 1:17 PM, Paul Winalski <paul.winalski at gmail.com>

> On 12/6/17, Jon Steinhart <jon at fourwinds.com> wrote:
> >
> > There's another aspect of this that I think that many people
> misunderstand
> > which is that Judge Green gave AT&T exactly what they wanted.  AT&T knew
> > that in the future the money was in data and were willing to trade their
> > monopoly for that business.  From their perspective, it worked.  For the
> > rest of us, not so good.
> Except that the new AT&T, liberated from the regulatory chains of the
> Bell operating companies, never learned how to compete in the free
> market.  They got their clock cleaned by the competition.  In
> desperation they bought Olivetti and only managed to run it into the
> ground

‚ÄčTo be fair you are both right.  I think at the time Charlie Brown and Team
at AT&T wanted to make a go at IBM and DEC (*i.e.* large systems) and
Paul's right, they missed.

But Jon is right that they had realized that it going to be a data centric
business and he and his team felt that the current consent decree we going
to keep them from being players in it.

To me there were a couple of issues.  The Phone System and 'TPC' was
centrally controlled (a lot like a communist country).   Where it worked,
it was fine.  But... the problem was that anything outside their view of
reality was a threat.  It's funny as the time, IBM, DEC et al were trying
to build centrally managed (closed garden networks) too, just like the
phone system, so it was not a stretch for them the think that way.

IP and datagrams were very much built on no central control, which was
something TPC thought was bad and fought.   I remember so, so many of those
fights at the time and trying to explain that IP was going to win.    In
the end, it was MetCalfe's law (which was formulated on observations about
the phone system) that caused IP to win, along with "Clark's Observation"
making everything a "network of networks" instead if a single managed
system - which made the plumbing work.

So while I find it sad to see Comcast, Current version of AT&T, Verizon
et al, all want to see the net neutrality go away, I do not find it
surprising.   Its the same behavior as before.

What would have happened if Judge Green had not broken them up?   I do
think broadband would be more universal, but .... I suspect AT&T would
have fought it and tried to use things that dreamed up (ATM, ISDN, et al).

My 2 cents....

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