Verizon Communications: You Can Take the Boy Out of the Bell System but...

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on July 17, 2009

bell_logo.jpgThe surviving pieces of the old AT&T empire—Verizon Communications, the new AT&T, Qwest Communications—have spent the last quarter-century trying to transform themselves from dinosaurs that could only survive in a heavily regulated, monopolistic environment to modern, competitive communications company. Every so often, we see evidence of how far they still have to go.

My employer recently switched its long-distance service—the whole notion of long distance sounds very 20th century—from AT&T to Verizon. I got a shiny new Verizon long-distance credit card, which I only use on the relatively rare occasions when I am away from the office and need a landline, typically to get better sound quality for recording or broadcast.

For the past two months, Verizon has dutifully sent me a three-page paper statement describing my usage in great detail. The two bills have come to $1.50 and 32 cents. Each cost $1.05 to mail and who knows how much to process. I hope that somewhere in the bowels of corporate accounts payable these bills are being aggregated, so that we aren’t cutting, and Verizon doesn’t have to process, a big stack of checks for less than $1 each.

Reader Comments

Arthomis

July 17, 2009 1:40 PM

Wow this article left me looking for more. It feels very unfinished i had to guess as to what was the author looking to say with this peice.

Bob

July 17, 2009 2:29 PM

Verizon is in a horrible position due to bad labor agreements and poor managerial decisions. I predict that Verizon (and most likely AT&T if the mentality is the same) will be in front of congress in 10 years in much the same way as GM.

Bill

July 18, 2009 8:22 PM

Nice perspective, Steve. The heavily regulated ATT gave this country unimaginable wealth by inventing: Transistors, satellite communciations, Unix, The C programming language, microwave transmisson, Shannons law (heavy, dude), multiplexing, the laser fiber optics, photovoltaic cells, stereo sound, the first binary computer....

Post a comment

 

About

Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

Categories

 

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!