About Bruce Kushnick
If you’ve ever used a telephone over the last three decades, odds are Bruce Kushnick had something to do with it.
Kushnick is the Executive Director of New Networks Institute (NNI), which was established in 1992, and a founding member of the IRREGULATORS, and has been a respected telecommunications analyst and visionary for over 35 years. During his career he has predicted that the addition of new technologies and networks would change the way we used the phone networks and he helped launch numerous interactive information markets and services that have now become commonplace. For example, in 1985, as Senior Analyst for Link Resources (now part of IDC), Kushnick predicted that “press 1 for this, press 2 for that” would be standard, as would voicemail and interactive voice, even though only 2% of US has a touchtone phone and answering machines with tape recorders were in use.
While president of Strategic Telemedia *(1986-1991) the company wrote the first major research reports, (sold through Jupiter Communications), which predicted the rollout of Caller ID (1988), the creation and growth of “700” and “900” number services (1986) and even 900’s stagnation (1990). He also coined such commonly used industry terms as “Intelligent 800”, “Telemedia”, and “Interactive Voice”.
Kushnick was a founding member of The Audiotext Group. Founded in 1986, the group created seminal reports and conferences on talking yelllow pages, which were the precursor to ‘location based’ services. The group morphed into the Kelsey group and is now Bia/Kelsey
During this time, he advised clients including American Express, AT&T, MCI, Sprint, The Weather Channel, NTT, Ogilvy & Mather, Northern Telecom, British Telecom, Pacific Bell, and BellSouth on strategic and tactical issues relating to implementation of enhanced interactive communications.
In 1990, Bruce was the telecom director for “Prime Time to End Hunger”, then the largest telecom campaign in history where major TV programs gave viewers a chance to get involved with local food banks, and was part of President George Bush’s 1000 Points of Light.
And in 1992, Kushnick helped to create with Cox Newspapers and rolled out the first 3 digit information service, “511”, which is now common in many US cities. He also created the ‘500” network, which was deployed by AT&T as ‘caller-paid’ in 1995, and his research was used to create the first flat-rate long distance service—Sprint’s $.10 a minute plan, launched with Candice Bergen– and the question in the beginning of the advertisement was based on Kushnick’s primary research.
In 1992, New Networks Institute, (NNI) was created to investigate, on a totally independent impartial basis, how the break-up of AT&T and the creation of Baby Bells had impacted subscribers and the future of “new networks”. Working with Probe Research and Fairfield Research, it was most comprehensive research project ever undertaken. Some of the reports were also published by Phillip’s Business Information (now PBImedia)
Some of Kushnick’s predictions have been highly controversial, such as his finding in 1992 that the Bells monopolies should be broken-up. He called it “Divestiture II”, and was called a “phonebill fanatic” by the Washington Times. In 1993 he predicted that the fiber-optic Information Highway was not going to be built. A Washington Technology cover story in 1994 stated, “If telecom analyst Bruce Kushnick is telling the truth (and we think he is) anyone involved in building the forthcoming National Information Infrastructure had better read his report word for word.” In 1995, Kushnick’s report “Internot” predicted the Dot.Com crash.
Over the last two decades, Kushnick and other individuals, small businesses, analysts, phonebill specialists and even phone and broadband customers formed Teletruth, to defend the public’s telecom and broadband interests. Kushnick and his associates have filed complaints with the FCC and various public service commissions, requested investigations by the IRS, worked with the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy to create a “Roundtable” for small competitors, and has help to create of “The Broadband Bill of Rights”, a proposed piece of legislation, and have helped to initiate multiple successful class action suits resulting in tens of millions of dollars. In fact, Teletruth was the first to complain about the multi-billion dollar ‘Spanish American War Tax”, applied to phone bills, which was put on the bill in 1891to fund that 19th century war and has since been repealed.
In 1999, NNI’s research has been encapsulated in the book “The Unauthorized Bio of the Baby Bells & Info-Scandal“, with Foreward by Dr. Bob Metcalfe. With over 400,000 downloads, (and counting), it has become a telecom classic.
In 2003, Teletruth was selected to be a member of the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee.
In 2005, New Networks published “$300 Billion Broadband Scandal” and the book and Kushnick was featured on Bill Moyer’s PBS Emmy-nominated “The Net At Risk”. The book has over 730,000 downloads and counting.
Over the last three decades, Kushnick’s research has been featured in almost every major media from the Washington Post and New York Times to CNN and FOX news and he has been keynote speaker at hundreds of events from Hong Kong and London to New York and Las Vegas.
In 2012, Bruce Kushnick’s research and analysis was featured throughout Pulitzer-Prize winner and former NY Times reporter, David Cay Johnston’s book, “The Fine Print”.
Mr. Kushnick graduated from Brandeis University, Magna Cum Laude, and was a Special Graduate Student at both Harvard and MIT. Bruce is an accomplished composer and pianist and has been playing the piano for 60 years.