Media Center

Media Center

How The BOCs Work Washington And Why It Matters

  • Lobbying has always been one of the telcos’ core competencies. They’re looking to build on past successes
  • Business Communications Review
  • 8/1/2007
  • Hank Levine and Jim Blaszak

Enterprise user IT/telecom executives understand networks and technology, but they often don’t appreciate the influence of government oversight on the availability and prices of services. As a consequence, they often can’t distinguish a vendor telling the truth from a vendor “blowing smoke.”

In subsequent columns we’ll take a look at the major telecom issues actually pending in Washington. But we start with a tutorial on how Washington makes telecom policy,and how the BOCs (the Bell Operating Companies, once seven in number but now reduced to AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest) ”help” the process. The focus is on the federal government simply because enterprise users typically spend a lot more on interstate and international telecommunications (both federally regulated) than on intrastate telecommunications.

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