New Book: Violations & Egregious Acts

Bruce Kushnick
8 min readSep 12, 2022
Violations & Egregious Acts

Violations & Egregious Acts: Trillion Dollar Broadband Scandal is a summary of 30-years of research, legal and regulatory challenges and it is the 4th book following an overstuffed trilogy beginning in 1992. This is not a history lesson. We detail one of the largest accounting scandals in American history that is underway; enough money to solve the Digital Divide without government subsidies. Moreover, we focus on the violations and egregious acts of AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink — the three holding companies, the progeny of the original AT&T, that created the Digital Divide.

A Flood of $100 Billion in State and Federal Government Subsidies.

Violations & Egregious Acts was written to halt America from giving the bulk of $100 billion dollars in state and federal government subsidies that are currently available to those who created the Digital Divide without any oversight, accountability or enforcement. America should be going after all of the violations and egregious acts; the hundreds of billions in overcharging that continues today, unabated, as well as the funds that should have been used to upgrade America to a fiber optic future to everyone, with lower rates, and with a choice of internet access providers.

And yet, in 2022, a floodgate of state and federal government subsidies has opened and at this point, the incumbent phone and cable companies will most likely get the bulk of the funds, estimated at over $100 billion.


No state has called for any investigation of how the state telecommunications public utilities were left to deteriorate, or how state laws have been changed over and over to give Big Telecom — AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink — billions per state to do fiber optic upgrades that never happened, yet were charged to local phone customers. And this is only part of the egregious acts.

How Did They Pull Off a Bait and Switch after Bait and Switch?

History tells us what will happen next. Over time, they will have pulled off a massive bait and switch, yet again. The Big Telcos will claim that they will be solving the Digital Divide and claim the new infrastructure will mostly be fiber to the home upgrades. But instead, they will make excuses and roll out fiber optics networks that will be used for the wireless build outs and will even charge local phone customers for this illegal bait and switch, since this will be an illegal cross subsidy, and because they have a massive lobbying budget, they will block cities and states from actually receiving grants to build competing networks to deliver to their citizens in rural and low-income areas. In year 2+ they will hamper the municipality and competitor progress, and they will set outrageous fees to connect these networks to the critical infrastructure known as ‘backhaul’, which is controlled by AT&T et al., and complain that they need more government subsidies.

Violations & Egregious Acts: You Can Fool All of the People All of the Time… Until They Know the Truth.

A trillion dollars of overcharges to wired local residential and business customers is a lot of money and is just one of the litany of egregious acts. And this is the low estimate. We are about to take you on a ride on the info-highway that is a dirt road where the big telecom cartel — AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies), the caretakers of our critical telecommunications infrastructure — have let it deteriorate. Since 1992, they got paid about $500 billion by their local service customers (as well as corporate tax breaks) to upgrade the aging copper wires of the state public telecom utility networks and have not done so. Where that money went is a true scandal.

By 2010, America should have already been upgraded to fiber, with each state having varying commitments and all states were able to change state laws to fund upgrades that would replace the copper wires with fiber optics.

Verizon New Jersey should have had 100% of their territory covered with fiber to the home by 2010; AT&T California should have had 5.5 million households upgraded to fiber by 2000 (and should have spent $16 billion), while Connecticut should have had the state covered with fiber by 2007. Virtually none of this happened, but customers paid for these upgrades, over and over.

Institutional Amnesia and the Ability to Rewrite History

But, this is only a small part of the overall violations and egregious acts. Americans have institutional amnesia or just never understood what was happening since our telecom infrastructure and its services are “out of sight and out of mind”. Through a series of bait-and-switch tactics used repeatedly, the big telecom companies were able to overcharge customers in many ways that fostered one of the largest accounting scandals in American history at an estimated cost of $1.3 trillion and counting.

Violations & Egregious Acts analyzes the grift, overcharging, and diversion of funds that the companies have perpetrated on the American public for several decades.

  • The Fiber Optic Broadband Scandal: By 2018, America paid AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink over $500 billion for fiber to the home (FTTH) networks, that should have replaced the existing copper wires, but they were never built.
  • Merger after Merger Scandal: AT&T et al. were created via mergers that were supposed to bring competition out-of-region for broadband access services, lower prices and to provide choice. They failed even to comply with the FCC’s softball merger conditions, much less they never vigorously competed with one another.
  • Wireless & 5G Con Game Scandal: Since 1993, wireless service was claimed to be a substitute for fiber to the home. Verizon et al. took the funding for wired broadband and illegally diverted the budgets to build out wireless.
  • Digital Divide Scandal: AT&T et al. let the entire US wired infrastructure deteriorate in every state, never competing and never upgrading their state wired public utilities. They made fiber upgrades selectively, mostly in affluent areas that would generate the most revenue, rather than provide universal service as required by the Communications Act. They nevertheless obtained valuable rights-of-way and other concessions by claiming the new construction was for ‘Title II’, common carrier telecom services.
  • The Largest American Accounting Scandal: AT&T et al. were able to get the FCC and state utility commissions to manipulate the entire Uniform System of Accounting, (USOA) accounting rules that permitted them to dump an inordinately large share of corporate operating expenses into local telephone service costs, enabling them to increase rates while diverting the construction budgets to be used by wireless and other unregulated services, and at the same time neglecting to maintain or upgrade the deteriorating wired local telephone network. In short, there has been a failure of regulatory oversight to protect the public interest.
  • Overcharging Scandal: By the end of 2021, we estimate that $1.3 trillion was overcharged to local service customers, now at $70–90 billion annually.
  • The Pricing Scandal: From’made up’ fees, like “cost recovery”, or services that were not ordered but were ‘rammed’ onto customers’ bills, not to mention the ‘harvesting’ of customers (which is the continuous raising of rates), prices in America are multiples higher than what overseas countries charge.
  • Regulatory and Legislative Capture Scandal: We document the takeover of the FCC’s advisory committees, the use of the AT&T, et al., ill-founded model corporate interest legislation created with ALEC that has been passed by state legislatures that are now mostly owned by these corporations. This is driven by politicians who benefit from AT&T et al. foundation grant money being funneled into their districts or pet projects. All of this is being reinforced by paid for, biased academic data.
  • The 7 Diss-Connects: Be warned: You may be shaken by the fact that you have been quoting the Telcos make-believe, fictional history that has allowed the companies to pull off all of these violations and egregious acts — and this corporate propaganda continues today, unabated.

In short,

No state has called for audits of these state-based telecom utilities, even though there is extensive evidence that the financial accounting rules have been manipulated, allowing billions to be illegally diverted to cross-subsidize and fund the other lines of business, including wireless. Moreover, billions in corporate expenses (corporate jets, lobbyists and lawyers) continue to be put into the state utilities that have nothing to do with offering service — and somehow, all of this has been charged mostly to wireline customers — for decades.

What Makes this Book Different:

  • Based on 30+ Years of Research; This is the 4th book in the original “The Book of Broken Promises” trilogy, but other editions were added since 1998, and so the total includes “The Unauthorized Bio of the Baby Bells”, as well as $200, $300, $400 and $500 Billion Broadband Scandal. With over 12 million combined downloads, this is now one of the most popular group of books in telecommunications.
  • Go After the Violations & Egregious Acts. The book lays out a ‘Clean Sweep’ agenda, a roadmap for taking legal and regulatory challenges in the states, as well as at the federal level.
  • Follow the Money: We believe that there is a treasure chest of funding that should be used to solve the Digital Divide without additional government subsidies. Each state also needs to go after the cross-subsidies of wireless as well as the dumping of excessive corporate operations expenses on the state public utilities, making local telephone service appear unprofitable and used to justify price hikes, among other financial machinations caused by the accounting manipulations.
  • New Networks Institute Nationwide Resource Library and Database is now under development covering 30 years of broadband and accounting failures and history, by state.
  • The IRREGULATORS is an independent consortium of telecom experts, lawyers, and expert auditors. The group, formed in 2014, has helped to create this new book and the plans for fixing the digital divide.
  • Bruce Kushnick and David Rosen, with inputs from the IRREGULATORS, created this book and it will be followed by a popular, shorter version in the Fall, 2022.

Here are 2 critical pages of details:

The Conclusion:

Most people reading this have no idea that they were punked, and states will continue to make the same mistakes if they don’t deal with what worked and what was just a corporate bait and switch. In short, America must stop the current corporate violations & egregious acts that are underway as it will corrupt any possible solution.

You can fool all of the people all of the time… until they learn the truth.

But it is the next step — to hold those who deceived you accountable for their violations and egregious acts — that has the power to un-divide us.

The book is available on Amazon and other outlets as a paperback and for download on your ebook/kindle.


MARKET POWER OF BIG TELECOM: AS OF SEPTEMBER 2022, NOT ONE STATE BROADBAND AGENCY EVER MENTIONS THAT THERE ARE STATE TELECOM UTILITIES THAT HAD OBLIGATIONS, OR CALLS FOR AUDITS OF THE ACCOUNTING. How can Maryland not mention Verizon MD that was supposed to cover the entire state, or Michigan not mention AT&T MI, or Washington state not mention CenturyLink WA, — or?



Bruce Kushnick

New Networks Institute,Executive Director, & Founding Member, IRREGULATORS; Telecom analyst for 40 years, and I have been playing the piano for 65 years.