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Table of Contents
The Book of Violations & Egregious Acts: Trillion Dollar Broadband Scandal is a summary of 30-years of research, legal and regulatory challenges and it is the 4th book following an overstuffed trilogy beginning in 1992.
A trillion dollars of overcharges is a lot a money, a litany of egregious acts. And this is the low estimate. We are about to take you on a ride on the info-highway that is a dirt road where the big telecom cartel — AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies), the caretakers of our critical telecommunications infrastructure — have let it deteriorate. Since 1992, they got paid about $500 billion by their local service customers (as well as tax breaks) to upgrade the aging copper wires of the state public telecom utility networks and have not done so. Where that money went is a true scandal.
But, this is only a small part of the overall violations and egregious acts. Americans have institutional amnesia. Through a series of bait-and-switch tactics used repeatedly, the big telecom companies were able to overcharge customers in many ways that fostered one of the largest accounting scandals in American history at an estimated cost of $1.3 trillion and counting. This book analyzes the grift, overcharging, and diversion of funds that the companies have perpetrated on the American public for several decades.
Over the last 30 years, the New Bell companies repeatedly claimed that they would roll-out a new technology that would transform telecommunications if they got more money. These technologies ranged from video-dialtone to ISDN, then to fiber-optics, including Verizon’s FIOS and AT&T’s U-verse. But it was all a bait and switch to use wireless as a substitute and to get the construction budgets of wireline to pay for it, just like the current 5G wireless con game.
And this book is not a history lesson. Now, as if by magic, Congress approved, and Biden signed the Infrastructure Bill that included $65 billion to solve the Digital Divide. The telecom companies are lining up to line their pocket by claiming that this time they will deliver high-speed fiber optic broadband and close the Digital Divide. Only this is just another bait and switch and the subplot, in 2022 on, is the wireless vaporware known as 5G wireless, it’s 4G with a lot of hype. Meanwhile, the cable companies have a collusive deal with the telcos to have cable resell wireless so that they have no serious competition for wireline broadband, and both can continuously raise rates or add fake, made up fees. Spectrum is reselling Verizon Wireless.
This book is grounded in a series of core questions such as: Why do Americans pay a great deal more for their telecom services than people in other advanced countries yet get inferior service?
- Triple Play: Overseas $35 per month avg. vs $215 month in America.
- Wireless: Overseas $10 for 5G with100GB ($.10GB) vs US: $8-$20 per GB.
But, at the core, AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink have been able to hijack common wisdom, literally. We have identified 7 basic diss-connects; seven facts that have been manipulated where the public has been punked. Even the experts are quoting a fictional history of broadband and virtually no one can answer basic questions– such as the fact that all of AT&T’s 21 state ‘footprint’ is a collection of the original wired, state telecom public utilities which were to be upgraded to fiber, circa 1990’s.
Violations & Egregious Acts covers:
- The Fiber Optic Broadband Scandal: By 2015, America paid AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink over $500 billion for fiber to the home (FTTH) networks, that should have replaced the existing copper wires, but they never built.
- Merger after Merger Scandal: AT&T et al. were created via mergers that were supposed to bring competition out-of-region for broadband services, lower prices and provide choice. They failed even to comply with the FCC’s softball merger conditions, much less vigorously competing with one another.
- Wireless & 5G Con Game Scandal: Since 1993, wireless service was claimed to be a substitute for fiber to the home. Verizon et al. took the funding for wired broadband and illegally diverted the budgets to build out wireless.
- Digital Divide Scandal: AT&T et al. let the entire US wired infrastructure deteriorate in every state, never competing and never upgrading their state wired public utilities. They made fiber upgrades selectively, mostly in affluent areas that would generate the most revenue, rather than provide universal service as required by the Communications Act. They nevertheless obtained valuable rights-of-way and other concessions by claiming the new construction was for ‘Title II’, common carrier services.
- The Largest American Accounting Scandals : AT&T et al. were able to get the FCC and state utility commissions to manipulate the entire Uniform System of Accounting, (USOA) to dump an inordinately large share of corporate operating expenses into local telephone service costs, enabling them to increase rates while diverting the construction budgets to be used by
wireless and other unregulated services, and at the same time neglecting to maintain or upgrade the deteriorating wired local network. In short, there has been a failure of oversight to protect the public interest.
- Overcharging Scandal: By the end of 2021, we estimate that $1.3 trillion was overcharged to local service customers, now at $70-90 billion annually.
- The Pricing Scandal: From ‘’made up’ fees, like “cost recovery”, or services that were not ordered but were ‘crammed’ onto customers’ bills, not to mention the ‘harvesting’ of customers (which is the continuous raising of rates), prices in America are multiples of what overseas countries charge.
- Regulatory and Legislative Capture Scandal: We document the takeover of the FCC’s advisory committees, the use of the AT&T, et al., ill-founded model legislation created with ALEC where many state legislatures are now owned by these companies, and it is all reinforced by biased data.
- The 7 Diss-connects: Be warned: You may be shaken by the fact that you have been quoting the Telcos make-believe, fictional history that has allowed the companies to pull off all of these violations and egregious acts — and they continue today, unabated.
What Makes This Book Different:
- Go After the Violations & Egregious Acts. The book lays out a ‘Clean Sweep’ agenda, a roadmap for taking legal and regulatory challenges in the states, as well as at the federal level.
- Go After the Money: We believe that there is a treasure chest of funding that should be used to solve the Digital Divide without additional government subsidies. Each state needs to go after the cross-subsidies of wireless as well as the addition of corporate operations expenses that have been added to the state public utilities, among other financial machinations caused by the accounting manipulations.
- Nationwide resource library and database is now under development covering 30 years of broadband and accounting failures and history, by state.
- The IRREGULATORS is an independent consortium of telecom experts, lawyers, and expert auditors. The group, formed in 2014, has helped to create this new book and the plans for fixing the digital divide.
Written by Bruce Kushnick and David Rosen, with inputs from the IRREGULATORS, it is the 4th book in the original “The Book of Broken Promises” trilogy, but other editions were added since 1998, and so the total includes $200, $300, $400 and $500 Billion Broadband Scandal. With over 12 million combined downloads, it is now one of the most popular group of books in telecommunications.
Here are 2 critical pages of details: SEE PDF.
- The Other Set of ‘Cooked’ Financial Accounting Books Used by AT&T, Verizon & CenturyLink that Created the Digital Divide.
- The Bait & Switch History of Broadband in America Timeline