My Quiet Life My Quiet Life

We Don't Care

Lily Tomlin

“We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the phone company.”
– Lily Tomlin

So, as a followup to my prior diatribe about the historical development of the telecommunications monopolies, I present a more modern example of monopoly mixed with disgusting arrogance. Edward Whiteacre, the CEO of SBC, was interviewed recently by Businessweek:

How concerned are you about Internet upstarts like Google (GOOG), MSN, Vonage, and others?

How do you think they’re going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe. Cable companies have them. We have them. Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain’t going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it.***** So there’s going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they’re using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?

***** Had I been doing the interview here, this is where it would have ended, because at this point, I would have karate-chopped him right in the adam’s apple.