Spot Light on Telecommunications |

No one can deny the wondrous advances in technology and communication in the past one-hundred years. Nor, the convenience that modern computers, i-phones and video cameras bring to our daily lives. Our ability to create and display high quality pictures and information from our home office is nothing short of miraculous. We are living in a day of bountiful, streaming information and art. Despite all of this, there are questions in many of our hearts, like do we have guaranteed access to truthful information and do we do have opportunity for fair distribution and critique of our creative work? Conclusively we must ask, is our state-of-art telecommunication industry serving our best interest, or their own?Looking back in history we find some answers. In 1913 the ultimate telecommunication monopoly occurred. It was named AT&T. In the early stages of its growth, AT&T managed to convince U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and his deputy in the Justice department, to discontinue antitrust concerns initiated by the government. At the time, President Wilson and his administration were seeking legal paths to break up AT&T’s rapid accumulation of competitors, which included Western Un.Telegraph Company. It was Nathan Kingsbury, president of AT&T who wrote President Wilson an impassioned letter citing AT&T’s deepest desires to provide a great service to the citizens of the US. He said in his letter if was for the benefit and prosperity of the people. Ultimately, he requested a resolution with the government to prevent the legal actions planned against them. Not surprisingly, President Wilson felt inspired by the letter and agreed. The Kingsbury Commitment was signed.This Commitment however, did not settle all the differences between small independent companies and AT&T, but it did avert the federal takeover many had expected. It also insured AT&Ts rise to a position of influence and monetary success. Was President Wilson and his administration fooled? Did AT&T paint a false illusion of care and devotion to the citizens of the US? Was AT&T really invested in serving the people, or their own pocketbook? Were they supporting the people as they bought out every competitor and eliminated jobs in smaller towns? I will let you consider this on your own as you read about more recent progress in the telecommunication industry.Sixty-one years later in 1974, things changed, at least temporarily. It was during the Nixon/Ford administration that the U.S. Justice department opened a case, US vs. AT&T. Again, it was on antitrust violations. The investigation took six years, but the administration won and AT&T was ordered to split into seven separate operating companies known as Baby Bells. Today, when we review the path of those seven Baby Bells, we find they are being restored. Slowly and steadily they are being pieced back together. Here’s the break down for you:- 1995 through 2005: Four of the seven Baby bells acquired by SBC. Two were absorbed by Verizon and one became part of century link.2006- SBC rebranded itself as AT&T- 2012 Verizon purchased $3.6 billion worth of wireless spectrum in a joint venture with Comcast.- Recently Comcast and Time Warner (owner of AT&T) report they are now in discussion about a full merger.With the last merger complete, 6 of the 7 Baby Bells will reunite. Remember however, that AT&T will only be a small part of a greater monopoly, Comast-Time Warner!This means that today, we are living in the same illusion that President Wilson did. We have access to enormous streams of information, yet the majority of those streams come from very few sources. They control everything in our media: the TV shows, the news, the sports, the education, the movies, and they even influence what we eat, what products we use and what activities we participate in through advertising. They do it with the same false claim that it is for the greater good of all of us. They say that being big means they can provide improved access to information and reduced pricing to consumers.There could be nothing further from the truth! In fact, their giant size makes it extremely difficult for anything to be seen and heard except for their agenda. They don’t give us a choice of what we watch, they don’t poll or survey us to see what we like. Financial success and survival is the number one directive in their decision making for content and consumerism. It actually requires significant research to find anything other than what they want us to see and hear. You must go off the grid and dig deep to get other information.We have a government appointed group, called the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) which was setup for the purpose of regulating telecommunications. The FCC put into place to prevent this type of exclusive proprietorship. If you visit the FCC website, it says their primary objective is:ยท Promoting competition, innovation and investment in broadband services and facilities.Obviously, they have strayed from their purpose. In fact, they have eliminated fair competition in the telecommunication industry by allowing continual mergers and acquisitions to occur. One of many examples is Clear Channel. Just 19 years ago, in 1995 the FCC was suppose to block any company from having more than 40 stations for itself. But in 2011, Clear Channel owned over 1,200. Another issue is the integrity of the five FCC commissioners that are selected to approve or deny the application for mergers. Well known Maria Atwell Baker was the commissioner that signed off on the GE/Comast merger and then soon after left the FCC to become Comcast’s lobbyist. Where did her devotions really lie when she signed off on this merger? Did she live up to her obligation as a commissioner, or was she motivated by personal opportunity and greed?Destroying competition in any market limits creative motivation of individuals and thus effects the overall growth and advancement of society. What’s the point of creating something new, if very few will know about it, use it, or enjoy it? Was this great technology created so a small few could control the knowledge and ingenuity of the majority? And what about that survival I mentioned? These monopolies existence depends on controlling any negative truths that exist inside their own structure. Therefore, fair and truthful reporting is impossible. There is no doubt that they sensor important information about problems within the industry, for the purpose of protecting their great empire? Beyond that, they sensationalize less important things going on in the world, to distract us from real issues, to keep us focused on materialism and shallow happiness. With that great and powerful technology that we created, they have built the ultimate distraction machine. A machine that constantly feeds us only information that which benefits them, as long as we are plugged into it. The reasons for change are so far reaching; they are in every country and in every home.