Bad Competition: Verizon Shuts Out Copper Competitors, Comcast Purchases More Rivals

Typical of monopolistic incumbencies, Verizon has cut off copper lines in homes with FIOS to prevent customers from "downgrading" and having the option of picking their service provider. Their reading of the Telecommuncations Act of 1996 is that they are not required to lease lines to competitors on the shiny new fiber optic network like they were with the old copper infrastructure. This has left CLECs in a position of a shrinking potential market as Verizon aggressively builds out the fiber optic network, now serving over a million customer in their service areas and passing over 10 million homes. Given their past of neglecting copper infrastructure, it seems like Verizon is hoping to get everyone onto the more expensive service while shutting down as much competition as possible.

Meanwhile, Comcast has started buying out small cable operators to take over the last few markets not served by themselves, Time Warner, or AT&T. They've purchased a pair of systems in Colorado and one in Pennsylvania to add a measly 3,000 customers. The Colorado acquisition plays well with their dominance in nearby Denver. It may come that the day of the truly local cable or phone company will be dead before too much longer.

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