Just one phone company in the U.S.?

If your heartburn is not acting up now, it probably will be after you read this analysis by Om Malik. Malik, like me, see the phone companies as running scared, and part of the emerging phone landscape will be the re-monopolization of the existing "old" telephone network.

SBC, one of the Baby Bells, is reportedly trying to buy AT&T. Verizon may get into the game to keep SBC from becoming a competitor. If SBC succeeds, thinks Malik, Verizon is likely to try to buy MCI. And part of Sprint could end up in Qwest's hands.

Twenty some years after the 1984 breakup of the phone company into AT&T and seven regionals, we could back down to two giants withering on the vine before we know it.

All the more reason to get busy and build some community infrastructure not under the control of the incumbent phone company.

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