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by Rick Grams


January 22, 2005

Ironically, after speaking about the business practices regarding Ketchikan city government management of local telecommunications during this past week, a new twist has arrived. On Thursday, GCI began offering cellular phone service here in Ketchikan.

If we look at how a free economy is supposed to work, competition in a market should provide lower rates for similar products. If we can buy cell phone, cable, and Internet access from GCI what does that do to the value of KPU telecommunications? Suddenly, I no longer have a "need" to be a KPU telecommunications customer at all.

"Local telephone service by CLECs was provided over 3.3 million coaxial cable connections at the end of June 2004. These lines represent about 45% of the 7.5 million switched access lines that CLECs reported providing over their own local loop facilities, about 10% of all switched access lines that CLECs reported, and about 2% of total switched access lines." (

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to see a company come to town with some version of voice over IP phone service. A small adapter from GCI and they could offer local and long distance phone service with long distance rates 1/10th of what they are now! They would not have to go through any local government or any other regulatory agency to get this approval - the FCC has already ruled the subject as a "hands-off" issue when it comes to local governments.

I'm wondering if anyone else sees the picture yet. Where is KPU Telecomm in all of this? Reinventing the same wheel.

Rick Grams
Ketchikan, AK - USA


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