The fragmentation of telecom: Half of Nashua area isn't in the Nashua phone book because they're Comcast subscribers
Posted by David Brooks | Friday, April 5, 2013
The AT&T telephone monopoly dates back to 1913 (more history here, if you're a telecom wonk). Before that, the nation was served by a patchwork of somewhat connected local telephone systems, which made it impossible to find contact information for everybody in your town. For the subsequent decades, telephone directories were univeral - you could find anybody's contact information just flipping through a book.
No longer: For listing information, cell phones are invisible, Internet phones (Vonage, Skype, etc.) are invisible ... and this year, at least, telephone numbers via cable companies are invisible. As I report in The Telegraph today, FairPoint's latest directory for Greater Nashua is missing more than half of the white-page residential listings - because it didn't include Comcast listings.
There was disagreement between company spokesmen last night as to exactly why this happened. I've even got the NH Public Utilties Commission scratching their heads a bit over it.