Although all of the Baby Bells
do have wireless operations, they generally operate as separate entities that don't affect the economics of the traditional fixed-line business.
would completely free the Baby Bells
to offer long-distance service to residential and business customers, eliminating restrictions that were established in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
AT&T would handle long distance service; the Baby Bells
, local service.
Alcatel said the DSC acquisition would bolster its presence in the US telecommunications equipment market and open doors to potential clients such as the Baby Bells
, which are scrambling to upgrade their networks to handle increased voice and data traffic.
In 1997 alone, the Baby Bells
and three major long-distance carriers spent more than $30 million on donations to political action committees, political parties and individual candidates.
The money flows again: According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in the 1996 election cycle the cable companies contributed more than $2 million to candidates and parties, the long-distance companies gave nearly $4 million, and the Baby Bells
coughed up an astonishing $6.
For the seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) - popularly known as Baby Bells
- the new law is also the opening gun in a race to become full-service providers of telecom services to homes and businesses across the country - especially in each others' previously protected markets.
That is today's reality while we await a new era of competition as the Baby Bells
line up against TCI and Time Warner.
The Baby Bells
have enjoyed a decade-long monopoly, albeit a heavily-regulated one.
Then comes the ironic news that the Baby Bells
, the biological "sons or daughters" of Ma Bell, who were divorced from their parent by the antitrust decision and placed under the custody of Judge Greene, are now fighting the buyout in the courts and at the FCC on grounds that AT&T is re-establishing a dominantt position in the telecom industry.
By any measure, the issue of whether the regional Bell operating companies, as regulated monopolies, should enter the unregulated business of providing information services has produced a great deal of argument but little in the way of resolution since a federal judge reluctantly freed the Baby Bells
from the information restriction.
See the Figure for the initial makeup of the Baby Bells