The Rape of Ma Bell: The Criminal Wrecking of the Best Telephone System in the World

Constantine Raymond Kraus, Author, Alfred W. Duerig, With Lyle Stuart $19.95 (270p) ISBN 978-0-8184-0468-9
In partisan and often sarcastic terms, two former Bell system engineers argue a strong case that the 1983 antitrust breakup of the AT&T-Bell-Western Electric ``natural'' regulated monopoly (exclusively integrating local and long-distance phone service with equipment manufacture and maintence) was a public-interest ``crime'' and communications ``disaster.'' Among the consequences Kraus and Duerig cite: a now-crippled Bell research lab, a much costlier and less efficient U.S. Defense communications network, and a $45 billion annual cost increase to private and business phone customers who receive equipment and service of greatly reduced quality. The authors make many additional charges, including a questionable ``conspiracy'' theory of media ``silence'' regarding the Justice Department's assault on Ma Bell. And, according to Kraus and Duerig, Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan were too involved in other crucial matters to intervene. (September)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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