Author Topic: The Breakup of Ma Bell.  (Read 6217 times)

Offline Tonyrotary

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Re: The Breakup of Ma Bell.
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2010, 07:30:55 PM »
I was a young teenager when the Bell system broke up. In a way my parents both liked the idea but also dreaded it. Prices went down as competition went up but service started to slide. Also now if any phone wiring went wrong in your house, you had to get it fixed as it belonged to you now. I guess as with anything in life there were pluses and minuses. One thing is for certain though, the phones we all love would've gone by the wayside either way.

Offline McHeath

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Re: The Breakup of Ma Bell.
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2010, 10:14:59 PM »
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I'm going to have to say it's a good thing without Bell. I wasn't alive when the Bell System existed, but our phone company, AT&T isn't bad at all. We never have any issues, and the one time it did they fixed it the same day.

Now we have many providers to choose from. Some are good, and then some are bad. If the Bell System continued, we may not have internet as we know it today. You might have to use WE computers and any unapproved software would be an "unauthorized attachment". There'd probably be no voip, so no free long distance with Google Voice or being able to use C*NET. Plus it'd be ridiculously expensive for a house to have a PBX, and none of us here would have nearly as many phones since they'd be so expensive. That's like collecting 56" plasma tvs! Towards the later years you could buy phones, but that was tricky for the average person and I think they had to be WE only

All interesting and valid points to be sure, but the problem remains that we just don't know what would have happened had the Bell System remained intact.  Perhaps all the technological innovations would have happened anyway, the Bell System remains basically behind them all, they only got implemented by the later Telecom world of post-Bell.  Perhaps innovations would not have happened, or been rolled out, at the same pace. 

We can compare service and quality of products, and the current era is lacking.  We can also compare wastefulness, and we far exceed the Bell System era again.  I just think it's hard to predict if we would be using smart phones to surf the web in 2010 if they were all Bell System labeled phones instead of the diverse market of today. 

Offline Brinybay

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Re: The Breakup of Ma Bell.
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2010, 05:03:55 PM »
I just got done reading THE RAPE OF MA BELL.  Required reading for all phone collectors, especially if you were never in the telecommunications field (like me).  The book is well written and gives you a good understanding of how the phone system in this country worked and specifically why the breakup had a negative impact.

This all happened in my recent memory.  When I was in High School (early 70s), one teacher had a chart on the outside of his classroom door called "The Wonderful World of AT&T", that listed all the "evils" of Ma Bell.  I don't remember exactly what was on it, but I read it many times as I passed it in the hallway.  He wasn't one of my teachers so I never got a chance to ask about it.  I do remember being confused because all the alleged "evils" listed just seemed to me like models of efficiency and success.  ???  So what was wrong with all that?  Not a thing.  The system worked and it worked so well people took it for granted, e.g. during the 1965 NY blackout, the phones still worked and nobody gave it a second thought.  The biggest alleged "evil" of vertical integration worked well with a natural (and regulated) monopoly.  Breaking up Ma Bell was like making water, sewer, and electric utilities compete.
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