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
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.