FCC to approve AT&T and BellSouth merger

It’s funny how things just end up. A long long time ago, Ma Bell was broken up. But soon, the giant will be back at full force again.
Consumer Affairs reports that the AT&T and BellSouth merger is said to be blessed by Kevin Martin, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Consumer groups are worried that this merger will increase fees proven in the latest telco USF scandals where telcos did lobbying to the FCC to pull the fees claiming that it would help decrease costs to the consumer. When the FCC pulled the USF fees from DSL, the fees were replaced by both BellSouth and Verizon as recovery fees. Due to consumer outrage, this was stopped, but this sets a precedence on the business practices modeled with the Baby Bells.
From a more local perspective, we note that currently with BellSouth, it costs $30.20 a month here in NC to have a local phone line. No long distance, no local-long distance (that’s where you call another city in the same area code but certain prefix ranges are considered LLD in other prefix ranges). That’s pretty hefty considering that a basic mobile phone plan can cost $29.99 a month plus fees and has a lot more coverage and perhaps even more minutes depending on the plan.
Tsk tsk. Shame on the FCC for endorsing putting two of the biggest Baby Bells back together. Consumers be ready to take the brunt of the impact on your walletbooks.