In 1907, Vail returned to what was essentially his previous job, though now the company was known as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, or AT&T. AT&T was in some trouble because its phone patents had expired and other small companies were getting into the business. Suddenly, AT&T had competition. Vail solved this problem in three ways. First, he decided AT&T must have the very best phone system available: he committed the company to building a long-distance system that would cross the entire US. To do this he knew he would have to invest in scientific research, and he encouraged the development of AT&Ts own laboratory, Bell Labs. Second, he cooperated with the competitors, leasing them the use of AT&T's phone lines. Third, he managed to convince the public and the government that the best possible phone system was one that could provide "universal service" around the country -- in essence, the best phone system would come from a monopoly like AT&T.I discovered today that when I canceled the DSL service that at&t/SBC was unable to provide to my new residence, after two weeks of frustration and confusion, they decided to cancel POTS service too. As of yesterday. Without notice. Does this company actually want me as a customer?
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Theodore Vail is spinning in his grave
This is not Mr. Vail's AT&T: