Telecom: Thrown for a Loop

In the name of competition, the Baby Bells say, they're forced to subsidize their rivals

For Will Harpest, a third-grade teacher who lives in Lisle, Ill., the ad campaign was the last straw. A longtime customer of one of the big phone companies known as Baby Bells, Harpest, 54, had grown weary of having to deal with separate phone bills for local and long-distance calls. But, like most Americans, he couldn't do much about it until recently. Sure, he could change long-distance carriers and chase the lowest rates as often as he pleased, but he was still a virtual captive of SBC Ameritech, the sole owner of the prized last mile of copper wire into his...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!