BellSouth Can Force DSL Customers To Buy Local Phone Service

from the no-anti-trust-violations-here dept

Just a few months after the Georgia Public Utilities Commission told BellSouth that they can’t force DSL customers to buy local phone service, a federal court has ruled (in a separate case) that BellSouth isn’t violating anti-trust laws by requiring DSL customers to have local phone service. The article doesn’t have many details, but it sounds like those who filed the lawsuit did a very bad job explaining their case. The judge simply tossed out the case saying that “the customers lacked legal standing to pursue the lawsuit and failed to state any valid legal claims” against BellSouth. It would be nice if there were more details, because on the face of it, you would think the case would at least get heard. If BellSouth is the only way to get DSL (thus, a monopoly) and they’re then forcing customers to buy local phone service (something they don’t want), it certainly sounds like an anti-trust violation.

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Comments on “BellSouth Can Force DSL Customers To Buy Local Phone Service”

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deekayen (user link) says:

that happened to me

The local fiber-to-copper remote terminal in my front lawn. I’m stuck with BellSouth because they won’t let anyone else use the RT, just the CO, which is 4000ft too far away from my house. When I call someone else like Speakeasy, their records show that I don’t even have a RT and that fiber runs right to my house so they will only sell me IDSL at $129/mo. So I tried to call BellSouth and get a different local phone provider since I pay $33/mo for dialtone, call waiting, and an unlisted number with BellSouth and they would cut off my DSL if I changed local service, and that was before the ruling even came down from this case. Anyone who says BellSouth isn’t being a bit monopolistic is a liar.

Mom says:

Re: that happened to me

I’m not sure how long ago that you requested that another local provider, but Bell now offers resellers the ability to offer local customers this service. Most likely another carrier will be reselling Bell service. Regulators determine what services can and cannot be bundled for resell, Bell doesn’t.

Another provider may not have access to information for this RT, if you qualify for DSL with Bell, then you would qualify with a reseller.

Belinda says:

Re: Re: that happened to me

Where Bellsouth is responsible is in the situation where they are unable to provide home phone service without DSL feedback present on the line yet won’t allow me to drop the useless phone service and keep the DSL, especially since DSL is my only high-speed internet option in this area. They said that the phone feedback is a direct result of “sub-standard” phone lines installed in the building. Although this could be the problem, this could also be a case of blaming the other person. What do I do in that situation?

Marty Fried says:

BellSouth forcing phone service on DSL customers

I think the issue is that it cost them money to maintain the physical line, and if you don’t have phone service, they don’t make the money that enables them to maintain it. I guess they could raise the price, then give a discount to those that have phone service. There are precedents for this. Our cable service does it for TV subscribers, I think.

Tim Perry says:

Technological Requirement?

I’m probably about to talk out of my ass for a minute but I always thought that in order to have a working DSL connection one needed a “home phone” connection. I thought DSL operated over the standard phone line, much like VOIP services run over the Internet. I guess it is possible to run a phone line without providing voice service but I am not an expert on this.

Besides, can someone tell me what the practical difference is between DSL and “Cable Internet,” (is that the correct term?) and by difference, I mean to the end user. I guess my point being, if they don’t want to do business with Bell South then they should get “Cable Internet” and forget about DSL.

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