AT&T: The Path Not Taken

Siuck, Bart; Weingarten, Michael
March 2005
Business Communications Review;Mar2005, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p12
Trade Publication
This article focuses on AT&T Corp., as a declining annuity. Certainly, had AT&T gone down that path, it would have been the owner of all 23 Bell Operating Companies, competing with a substantially weakened CLEC industry. AT&T should have taken a cold-hearted look at the Modified Final Judgment's (MFJ's) legal separation of telephony into local telephone monopoly and competitive IXC businesses, and recognized that this was a legal construct that eventually would disappear. In the case of long distance, while transport was still expensive in 1983. technical advances in fiber, not yet commercialized but well understood at Bell Labs, would dramatically reduce costs in a manner analogous to the way that microwave relay had supplanted coax within the Bell System. Ultimately, the problem and the solution at AT&T was not in the technology itself. Instead, the issue more typically is a combination of organizational vision (or lack thereof) from the top and dysfunctional organizational dynamics from below.


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