$100 is an important psychological barrier. That
was the level many investors thought would be a
stronghold bottom for AOL. Now that line of defense has been
overrun and there is no telling how far the stock can
fall. Once panic selling sets in, the drop will be
swift and devastating...
Market is down 75 tomorrow - give or take 25.
Here are the leaders ON THE DOWN SIDE
(1) AOL - promptly and forcefully to 91.
- promptly and forcefully to 120.
(3) EBAY -
promptly and forcefully to 88.
(4) AMZN - promptly and
forcefully to 90.
Or shall I call you
Portland, Oregon and Broward County, Florida have ordered
AT&T to allow any
of the worlds' more than 5,000
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to connect
cable systems and to use our cable capacity to serve
This issue has gained a good deal
of publicity lately, partly due to the
Coalition, a group made up of AOL, US WEST, MCI WorldCom,
ISPs and other competitors. These companies stand to
benefit if they can
convince regulators to go along
with them and attempt to regulate access to
Although "open access" may sound like a
good thing, what openNET and others
are calling for
is "forced access," and it is likely to reduce
choice, thwart competition, and dampen investment in
development of a
Here are a
few myths being created about the issue, and the
Myth 1: Cable
companies do not provide open access to the Internet.
Reality: Internet access via cable gives customers an
open, always on
connection to the Internet. They
reach web sites and other content with one
just as they do through a dial-up Internet Service
Provider, with no
barriers or additional fees. The price
is about the same as a standard
phone line and an
ISP's monthly charge. The big difference: cable access
much faster. Some providers, such as AOL, charge extra
for access to their
proprietary content. Most
others rely on advertiser support and charge
for content. AOL's "pay to play" business model is
unique and is
sustainable because of its dominant
position in the dial-up online market.
Myth 2: If
cable providers are not forced to give other Internet
service providers access to their
systems, they will monopolize high speed
access and consumers will pay more.
Exactly the opposite is true - in the absence of forced
both broadband competition and consumer choice are
increasing, while prices
for broadband services are
decreasing. In fact, cable companies are only
tap the market for broadband access. Cable operators
Internet services to fewer than 900,000 customers
nationwide; AOL alone has
about 20 times that many
High speed Internet access offers by
cable companies, such as AT&T, are
competition. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), a
based high speed alternative, has existed for about a
decade. But only last
year, with the prospect of
competition from cable, did phone companies get
about speeding DSL deployment - and reducing its price.
GTE and the
Bell companies now say their DSL
service will reach more than 30 million
the end of 1999. And they've dropped the average
more than $100 per month to less than $50
Myth 3: Open access is a
"no-brainer" - it requires little government
and is easy to implement and manage.
Forced access proposals are vague, ill-defined and
by rhetoric than by logic. But no matter
how you define forced access, it
costly, ongoing government supervision to
Technically, forced access is a thorny issue. Sharing cable
multiple providers would severely limit
each provider's capacity, leading to
reliable service and possibly the sacrifice of
services, such as cable telephony and some video channels
want and pay for today.