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Broadband Monopoly Fears Justified

August 10, 2003

SBC Communications said not to worry about an SBC broadband monopoly because cable companies hold more than two-thirds of the market and cable companies compete with SBC ("SBC Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit as DSL Sales Soar," July 25).

Although that statistic may be true nationwide, it is not the case here in California.

On behalf of California's independent Internet service providers, I would like to set the record straight. According to a report from the California Public Utilities Commission, only 39% of Californians get their high-speed Internet access from cable companies, not two-thirds. High-speed DSL, not cable, is the dominant form of Internet access in California.

Moreover, only 1 in 4 California communities has access to both a cable provider and a DSL provider.

Smaller, competitive ISPs play a valuable role in the market by providing consumers a choice. Real choice is the only defense consumers have against overpriced Internet service.

Mike Jackman

Executive Director

California ISP Assn.

Mill Valley, Calif.

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