While the future of UNE-P might still be decided in the court room, we know that despite best efforts all major bells are seeing a loss of local access lines. In the third quarter of 2003, BellSouth and SBC cumulatively lost 1.3 million retail local access lines to the weak economy, competition, and substitution during 3Q03. Verizon lost almost 479,000 lines.
The bells are trying hard to bundle the services like wireless, DSL, local and long distance to stem the flow, but might encounter more problems going forward because a desperate MCI and AT&T have also recently started to offer the same kind of bundles. According to the Babcock Group, ” 4Q03 will be a critical period for the Bells as competitive activity from AT&T, MCI, and Sprint will escalate as a result of expanded local rollout plans that were announced following the FCC’s Triennial Review Order.”