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October 1996

AT&T No-Cents Wants The Internet As Own


     First Sprint did it with the dime a minute promos featuring actress
Candice Bergman.  Then MCI came along with a 14.5 cent per minute flat
rate service.
     Something told us AT&T would not be far behind.
     AT&T who has always had a rate higher than its competitors unleashed 
a new "no catch" ten-cent per minute rate.  
     Many experts foresee a price war being waged in the latest round
of promotions.   
     AT&T for well over a year has been funneling money into Internet
companies, Internet advertising, and other Internet functions.  One can 
hardly travel far without being splashed by one of their lucrative 
ads.
     How lucrative are the ads?  Some offer free Internet access, others
proclaim they support educational efforts and various other campaigns
have been waged to at least distract net viewers for a second.
     AT&T's latest round of competition shows just how beaten AT&T
is becoming.    No longer is service a matter.  All long-distance companies
for the most part provide decent connections and adequate service.
     AT&T's days of the friendly operator are gone, replaced by the friendly
computer.  The True Choice is becoming the fews' choice.
     AT&T's market share has shrunk in one year from 58.3% of the market 
share to 56 percent.
     In response AT&T has waged a furious fight taking on local phone
companies in some areas after pumping gross sums of money into the last
TELECOM REFORM BILL.
     Now AT&T wants the Internet as their own.  It only took so long but
AT&T is everywhere connecting individuals to the Internet.  And hey it can
be pretty lucrative - if you are a AT&T long-distance subscriber AT&T 
is offering up to 3 months of free net connectivity.
     One communication analyst said "We are in an age of bundled services,
consumers are looking for a one-stop place to shop for all their services.  
Whichever company gets the best package out to the public first will profit
greatly and control a large share of the market."