I came across an interesting article at WaPo this morning.  Cecelia Kang gives Fiorina and Boxer a chance to explain their stances on Net Neutrality. I would not ordinarily listen to anything Fiorina has to say, but something Kang wrote about her made my jaw drop.

Republican candidate Carly Fiorina is against, saying her background as an executive at AT&T and Lucent Alcatel before heading Hewlett Packard show that regulation of the telecom industry can be a disaster for business.

So I just had to look...

Here's Fiorina in her own words:

I grew up in the telecom industry, and I know how bureaucratic and frankly, antiquated the regulations in the telecom industry have been. I don't think we should take a regulatory structure that was created in the early 20th Century and apply it in the 21st.

There's just one problem here, Carly. We already went through a few rounds of Telecom deregulation in the late 20th Century.  Here's one of the things we got for our trouble:

(CBS)  The stock markets got another king-sized jolt Tuesday as WorldCom revealed what could turn out to be one of the biggest accounting scandals in U.S. history.

The telecommunications company said it had fired Chief Financial Officer Scott Sullivan, and accepted the resignation of senior vice president and controller David Myers, after an internal audit found improper accounting of more than $3.8 billion in expenses over five quarters.

The misstated billions are also very bad news for ordinary WorldCom workers: 17,000 of them will be fired, with layoffs beginning on Friday. [emphasis mine]

Remember that one? How about another one, from your old company Alcatel-Lucent:

Few stocks can rival the level of disaster Lucent inflicted on stockholders.


Lucent hurt investors so badly, it's nearly impossible to recover. You can  read more here about the Lucent stock-price crash.

Lucent investors who thought their pain ended in 2006, after the networking gear maker was bought by France's Alcatel, have also been sorely disappointed. Shares of the combined Alcatel-Lucent have been poor performers, too. While the stock is up an impressive 70% this year, Alcatel-Lucent shares have lost about half their value since the end of 2007.

And from Wikipedia:

Lucent was reduced to 30,500 employees, down from about 165,000 employees at its zenith.

(To be fair, I should mention that Fiorina left Lucent before the shit hit the fan. However, she was part of the management team that engineered the disaster.)

If that's not enough to refresh your memory, Carly, just take a look at your latest cell phone bill. Oh, I forgot. You have little people for that.

For the rest of us, here's Senator Boxer with the right idea:

Originally posted to Fish in Illinois on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:32 PM PDT.


Has telecom deregulation been good for

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