Competitive telecommunications providers continue to drive innovation in the broadband age. Investing in the latest technologies, these industry leaders bring faster Internet and improved voice and data services to the enterprise market all while lowering costs.
A new report by The Broadband Coalition details how competition is an essential part of the telecom industry. It leads to reduced prices, higher broadband speeds, increased investment, better customer service and continued innovation within the sector. Since the 1996 Telecom Act, competitive carriers have helped spur the marketplace further ahead, and as of 2012, made up 43% of total U.S. wireline expenditures. That’s up from less than 40% just four years earlier.
Using networks that some of the nation’s largest telcos want to dismantle, competitive carriers have moved heavily into the Ethernet space. As the report shows, business Ethernet bandwidth exceeded legacy bandwidth for the first time in 2011, and it is expected to soar ahead in the years to come. Meanwhile, 63.9% of businesses still had no access to fiber networks as of last year.
Ethernet brings high-speed Internet to businesses large and small at increasingly faster speeds and affordable rates. Competitors are at the forefront of providing 100 megabit broadband service and beyond to the enterprise market. Besides the boost this service brings to businesses, it also helps fuel the bottom lines of other segments of the industry such as equipment manufacturers.
Competitive carriers are also at the forefront of voice innovations. Using Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies, competitors have been lauded for their products and services using VoIP over the existing copper network and leading the way on flat-rate VoIP service plans and online billing that have become the industry norm.
Customers benefit from the use of these competitive carriers not only through innovative technology but also through dedicated and customized support. Competitors lead the telecom industry in account support; consolidated billing and other customized reporting for customers. Put simply, competitive providers help customers save time and money when managing their telco expenses.
This history of innovation continues as services move increasingly to the cloud. Competitive telecoms are taking the lead in developing cloud services—creating new platforms and network management services that optimize the performance of critical applications in real time. Carriers also are involved in the ongoing development of software defined networking.
All of these advancements, however, could be threatened if the FCC makes the wrong move with its network transition plans. This nation needs advanced telecom services, and ensuring robust competition should be aim of policymakers working to undergird America’s pro-competitive telecom framework.