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Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: You Are Being Overcharged: Let Us Count the Ways
- Chapter 2: The Seven Diss-Connects: AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink Control Public Telecom Utilities; The Telcos Are Public Telecom Utilities
- Chapter 3: Monopoly Breakup: The Fall and Rise of Humpty Dumpty
- Chapter 4: Competition, Net Neutrality and Open Access: A Cautionary Tale
- Chapter 5: Broadband Scandal: Bait-and-Switch After Bait-and-Switch
- Chapter 6: Wireless & the 5G Con
- Chapter 7: Bad Data Equals Bad Laws and Bad Public Policies
- Chapter 8: How the Game Is Played: Regulatory Capture
- Chapter 9: How AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink Created the Digital Divide
- Chapter 10: Biden’s Broadband Plan: It Will Not Close the Digital Divide
- Chapter 11: Follow the Money: The Trillion Dollar Broadband Scandal
- A Clean Sweep Agenda for America
- Bios of David Rosen, Chuck Sherwood and Kenneth Levy
- Exhibit 1 Verizon … Created the Digital Divide
- Exhibit 2 Mark-up of Verizon New York City, FiOS Double Play, 2021
- Exhibit 3 Aunt Ethel’s 1980 Phone Bill
- Exhibit 4 Basic Local Phone Service, Verizon, 1980-2021
- Exhibit 5 FCC Nutrition Labs Cover Up
- Exhibit 6 Ma Bell Before Breakup
- Exhibit 7 Baby Bells in 1977
- Exhibit 8 Original Regional Bells by State
- Exhibit 9 AT&T, Verizon & CenturyLink, 2022
- Exhibit 10 AT&T Loses From Media Mergers
- Exhibit 11 Verizon Sales, Mergers & Losses
- Exhibit 12 AT&T and Verizon Staff Cuts, 2015-2021
- Exhibit 13 U.S. Internet Service Providers
- Exhibit 14 Will America Repeat History:Broadband Bait-&-Switch?
- Exhibit 15 Partial List of Video Dialtone Closures, 1995
- Exhibit 16 Digital Divide
- Exhibit 17 The Trillion Dollar Accounting Scandal
- Exhibit 18 Broadband Scandal, 1992-2018
- Exhibit 19 Accounting Scandal, 2002-2021
Two additional one-page summaries.
- The Other Set of ‘Cooked’ Financial Accounting Books Used by AT&T, Verizon & CenturyLink that Created the Digital Divide.
- The Bait & Switch History of Broadband in America Timeline
The Book of Violations & Egregious Acts: Trillion Dollar Broadband Scandal summarizes 30-years of research, legal and regulatory challenges. Written by Bruce Kushnick and David Rosen, with inputs from the IRREGULATORS, this 2022 book is the the 4th book in the original “The Book of Broken Promises” trilogy. With over 12 million combined downloads, it is now one of the most popular group of books in telecommunications.
A trillion dollars of overcharges is a lot a money — a litany of egregious acts. And this is the low estimate. We are about to take you on a ride on the information super highway that became a dirt road. The big telecom cartel — AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies), the caretakers of our critical telecommunications infrastructure — have let this infrastructure deteriorate. Since 1992, they got paid about $500 billion by their local service customers (claiming tax breaks, along the way) to upgrade the aging copper wires of the state public telecom utility networks and have not done so. The misappropriation of this money is a huge scandal.
But, this is only a small part of the overall violations and egregious acts. Americans have institutional amnesia. Through a series of bait-and-switch tactics used repeatedly, the big telecom companies were able to overcharge customers in many ways that fostered one of the largest accounting scandals in American history at an estimated cost of $1.3 trillion and counting. This book analyzes the grift, overcharging, and diversion of funds that the companies have perpetrated on the American public for several decades.
Over the last 30 years, the New Bell companies repeatedly claimed that they would roll-out a new technology that would transform telecommunications if they got more money. These technologies ranged from video-dialtone to ISDN, then to fiber-optics, including Verizon’s FIOS and AT&T’s U-verse. But it became a bait and switch to finance the construction of , instead. 3G, 4G and now 5G wireless networks — a massive wireless confidence (con) game.
US Congress recently approved, and Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Bill that included $65 billion to solve the Digital Divide. The telecom companies are lining up to line their pocket by claiming that this time they will deliver high-speed fiber optic broadband and close the Digital Divide. Only this is just another bait and switch and the subplot, in the decades-old, rinse, lather, repeat con game.
Meanwhile, the cable companies have a collusive deal with the telcos to to resell wireless services so that the cable companies face no serious competition for wireline broadband, and both wireless and cable cos. can continuously raise rates or add made up fees to customer bills.
The Book of Violations & Egregious Acts: Trillion Dollar Broadband Scandal answers a series of core questions such as:
Why do Americans pay a great deal more for their telecom services than people in other advanced countries yet get inferior service?
- Cable Co. Triple Play Deals: Overseas pays $35 per month avg. vs $215 month in America.
- Wireless Co. Overcharging: Overseas pays \(10 per month for 4G/5G service with100 GB of data per month (\).10 per GB) vs. US rates of $8-$20 per GB.
AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink have been able to hijack common sense. We have identified several basic disconnects: seven key facts for which the data have been manipulated and the public has been punked. Even the experts are quoting a fictional history of broadband.
AT&T’s 21 state ‘footprint’, for example, is a collection of the original wired, state public telecom utilities which were supposed to be upgraded to fiber in the 1990’s.
The Book of Violations & Egregious Acts covers:
- The Fiber Optic Broadband Scandal: By 2015, America paid AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink over $500 billion to upgrade the aging copper wires to fiber optics to the home (FTTH), the three pocketed the money, ignored their commitment and simply did not hold up their end of the deal.
- Merger Scandals: AT&T et al. were created via mergers that were supposed to bring competition for broadband services, lower prices and provider choice, but the merged companies failed even to comply with the FCC’s softball merger conditions, much less actually compete with one another.
- Wireless & 5G Con Game Scandal: Since 1993, wireless service was claimed to be a substitute for fiber to the home. Verizon et al. took the funding for wired broadband and illegally diverted the budgets to build out its wireless footprint, instead.
- Digital Divide Scandal: AT&T et al. let the entire US wired infrastructure deteriorate in every state, never competing and never upgrading their wired State Public Telecom Utilities. They made fiber upgrades selectively, mostly in affluent areas that would generate the most revenue, rather than provide universal service as, required by the 1934 Communications Act, as updated in 1996 by the 1996 Telecommunications Act. AT&T et al. obtained valuable rights-of-way and other concessions by claiming that their new construction was for ‘Title II’, common carrier services, which it is not.
- The Largest American Accounting Scandals: AT&T et al. were able to get the FCC and state public utility commissions to manipulate the entire Uniform System of Accounting, (USOA) to dump an inordinately large share of corporate operating expenses into local telephone service costs, enabling the Telecom cos. to increase rates while violating U.S. Code Title 47 Section 254 (k) which states : “A telecommunications carrier may not use services that are not competitive to subsidize services that are subject to competition.” But that is exactly what happened. The Telecoms diverted regulated wireline construction budgets to unregulated wireless infrastructure, and then neglected to maintain the deteriorating wired local networks. In short, there has been a massive failure of oversight to protect the public interest.
- Overcharging Scandal: By the end of 2021, we estimate that $1.3 trillion was overcharged to local service customers and this still continues today.
- The Pricing Scandal: From ‘’made up’ fees, like “cost recovery”, or services that were not ordered but were ‘crammed’ onto customers’ bills, not to mention the ‘harvesting’ of customers (which is the continuous raising of rates), prices in America are multiples of what overseas countries charge.
- Regulatory and Legislative Capture Scandal: We document the takeover of the FCC’s advisory committees, the use of the AT&T, et al.’s, ill-founded model legislation created by The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — bills which were handed to corrupt state legislators and passed in about 30 states in America from 2017 through 2022.
- The 7 Disconnects: Many have been quoting the Telcos make-believe, fictional history that has allowed the companies to pull off all of their violations and egregious acts — and they continue today, largely unabated.
The Book Includes an Action Plan to Correct The Digital Divide
- Make the Perpetrators of these Violations & Egregious Acts accountable. The book lays out a ‘Clean Sweep’ agenda, a roadmap for making legal and regulatory challenges at the state and federal levels.
- Follow and Recover the Money: We believe that there is a treasure chest of funding that should be used to solve the Digital Divide without additional government subsidies. Each state needs to recover the cross-subsidies of wireline to wireless businesses, stop letting these Telecom cos. to charge their corporate operations expenses to the State Public Telecom Utilities, and end the rampant accounting manipulations.
- Create a Nationwide resource library and database is now under development covering 30 years of broadband and accounting failures and history, by state.
- The IRREGULATORS is an independent consortium of telecom experts, lawyers, and expert auditors. The group, formed in 2014, has helped to create this book and the plans to finally fix the Digital Divide.