The ‘Broken Promises’ Trilogy
The Broken Promises Trilogy started in 1992. New Networks Institute was launched in 1992 and, working with Probe Research, we embarked on “10 Years Since Divestiture: The Future of the Information Age”, which is the largest independent study project ever undertaken to examine the impact the breakup of AT&T and the creation of the Baby Bells had on telephone customers over the first decade. It covers what happened starting in 1982, the date of the first step that deregulated the phone and wire in the home, to 1995, just before the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Today, the “Baby Bells” have consolidated into AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink.
It consists of 14 volumes, over 1,900 pages, over 910 exhibits, a computer a database of telephone prices, as well as two computer databases with data from more than 2,000 consumer telephone interviews, (conducted independently through Fairfield Research). .
In 1998 we decided that instead of keeping the information in research reports, we would turn the data into usable information in plain English, and in 1998 we put out The Unauthorized Bio of the Baby Bells & Info-Scandal.
- The Unauthorized Bio of the Baby Bells & Info-Scandal, with Foreword by Dr. Robert Metcalfe, (co-inventor of “Ethernet”, networking computers) tells the history of the break up of the original AT&T in 1984 through 1997. It also documents how the companies changed focus from local utility companies to international communication conglomerates, where the local customer and networks no longer mattered.
- “Info-Scandal” refers to our initial findings that what is now AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink had gamed the regulatory system and got state laws changed to charge local phone customers more money and did this by making outrageous claims about fiber optic deployments which were all just made up. However, we didn’t know the entire story.
- Published as a paperback in 1998. Contained 508 pages, 664 footnotes
- On sale now as a PDF.
- $200 Billion Broadband Scandal was first published in 2005 and starts with the rise of the “Information Superhighway” in the 1990’s, when the phone companies made commitments to rewire America with a fiber optic future if laws were changed to raise customers’ phone rates and give the companies massive tax perks. By 2004, over $200 billion had been collected, but the networks never materialized — it was all just a bait-and-switch.
- Bruce Kushnick and the information in this book were featured on Bill Moyer’s Emmy-nominated PBS special, “The Net at Risk”, in 2006. This was the first major examination of Net Neutrality as well.
- The book has had over 730,000 downloads and counting. It is now on sale as a PDF.
- It was updated to $300 Billion Broadband Scandal in 2009, which was done on the 25th Anniversary of the break up of AT&T in 1984. We also created an event as well as and did a complete 25 year history of the financials, but with caveats as the FCC stopped publishing their Statistic of Common Carriers in 2007, and many states stopped requiring data on the incumbents’ financials.
- In 2012, author Bruce Kushnick and the research was center-stage in Pulitzer-Prize Winner and former New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston’s book, “The Fine Print”.
- The Book of Broken Promises; $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net, is the third in this trilogy spanning 18 years, Broken Promises starts with the each same first chapters that are in ALL of the books; we figured that sooner or later someone would actually notice and do something with the information. However, it is also designed to tell the entire story, adding not only information about Comcast and Time Warner, but also about municipality build outs, the entire history of the mergers that created what is now AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink, the new deployments of Verizon’s FiOS and AT&T’s U-Verse, (which didn’t start till 2005-2007), the rise of the ALEC-based deregulation bills from hell, and of course Net Neutrality, and continues through to mid-2014, though we added materials up through publication in February 2015. See the Fact Sheet and Table of Contents for details.
- The book is available on Amazon as a paperback, Kindle as an ebook as well as an inexpensive PDF.