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Monday
Aug182014

Broadband Coalition Statement on OMB Approval of FCC Special Access Data Collection

Washington DC (Monday August 18, 2014) – Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) special access data collection request. This decision clears the way for the FCC to conduct a comprehensive review of incumbent telecom providers’ market power in the provision of business broadband services.

This data will provide the FCC with information on the extent to which incumbent telecom providers are able to charge monopoly prices for business broadband, while locking up demand to prevent competitive alternatives from expanding their presence in the marketplace.

In response, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition, released the following statement:

“Special access data is competition data. More competition drives better prices and better customer service in the business services marketplace. We applaud the OMB and FCC for taking this important step forward in collecting data that will measure the level of competition in this marketplace.  This data collection will help empower the FCC as it ensures that small businesses, schools, libraries and governments are able to obtain broadband service at affordable prices. 

“Making policy in the dark is a bad idea. Collecting competition data will help the FCC and the policymakers on Capitol Hill bring more competition and choices to business customers. The limits in choices and higher prices available today are the result of market manipulation by incumbents who have exploited their market power to block competition.

“Deployment of IP technologies, innovation and job growth have all fallen victim to this market power abuse. The data the FCC will now be able to collect will help them identify and stop the anticompetitive practices of the incumbent telecom providers.  The ultimate result will be more competition, investment and innovation in broadband for American businesses and consumers.”

 

New video on Customers, Competition and the 1996 Telecom Act
www.thebroadbandcoalition.com
http://www.customers4competition.com

Thursday
Jun192014

Broadband Coalition Launches "Customers for Competition"

New Website, Effort to Focus on their Customers' Issues: Choice, Price, Service

Washington DC (Wednesday June 18th, 2014) – Today the Broadband Coalition, a collection of the nation's leading competitive providers of voice, broadband and cloud services, launched a new effort to highlight the needs of their business customers in the debate over the future of broadband networks.

The new effort, called Customers for Competition, was announced during an event sponsored by the Broadband Coalition and COMPTEL at the historic Library of Congress. The site was also the location of the signing of the landmark bipartisan 1996 Telecommunication Act which enabled choice and competition in the telecom industry, launching a wave of innovation that has helped business customers and non-profits expand. 

“We will be building stories from all over the country, from customers who benefit from competition,” said Chip Pickering, CEO of COMPTEL announcing the website and new effort. “There is a broad group of business, individuals and communities that believe in the same principles of competition.”

The new Customers for Competition website, www.customersforcompetition.com, collects testimonials from dozens of customers who appreciate competitive providers like tw telecom, XO Communications, Windstream and TDS Metrocom.

“Businesses of all sizes are flocking to competitive providers for three simple reasons: choice, price and service,” said Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition.  “While much of the policy conversation has centered around technology transitions in the home, Customers for Competition will help tell the story of our business customers and how they depend on advanced broadband services.”

These companies customers range from small mom-and-pop run storefronts to airports and restaurant chains with multiple locations and nationwide footprints.

Customers for Competition features the slogan, “the customer is always right,” as a reminder that business customers want a choice in how they tailor their broadband needs to match their growth.

Since 1996, new innovations from competition have transformed the business marketplace. New technologies like VoIP, Cloud services, and Bandwidth on Demand have provided business customers with more flexibility and better pricing to fit their needs.

For more information, please visit the Broadband Coalition at www.thebroadbandcoalition.com and the new Customers for Competition website at www.customersforcompetition.com

**The Broadband Coalition is a collection of the nation’s premier business broadband competitive service providers, advocating for innovation, connection and competition. For more information, please follow us on Twitter @bbandcoalition and learn more at http://thebroadbandcoalition.com 

**About COMPTEL: Based in Washington, D.C., COMPTEL is the leading industry association representing competitive communications service providers and their supplier partners. COMPTEL members are entrepreneurial companies driving technological innovation and creating economic growth through competitive voice, video, and data offerings and the development and deployment of next-generation, IP-based networks and services. COMPTEL advances its members’ interests through trade shows, networking, education, and policy advocacy before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the courts. COMPTEL works to ensure that competitive communications providers can continue to offer lower prices, better service, and greater innovation to consumers. For more information, visit www.comptel.org or follow on Twitter @COMPTEL.

Friday
Jun132014

Customers, Competition and the 1996 Telecom Act

Wednesday June 18, 2014, 10:00 AM
The Library of Congress
The Jefferson Building

Welcome Remarks:

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)

Opening Remarks:

Former Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS), CEO of COMPTEL

Remarks by Members of Congress:

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)
Frm. Chairman Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. (R-VA)
Frm. Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ)

Broadband Leaders & Customers

Christopher Ancell, CEO of XO Communications
Auzzie Brown, Sr. VP, WestStar Mortgage *XO Customer
Michael Rouleau, Sr VP, Business DEvelopment, tw telecom
Oron Strauss, Chairman, Pantheon Software *tw customer
Deb Ward, CEO of TSI
Tim Koxlien, CEO of Rural Health Telecom
Jim Butman, Group President, TDS

Special Guests:

Gene Kimmelman, President, Public Knowledge
Michael Copps, former FCC Commissioner, Common Cause

 

Tuesday
May202014

Wheeler’s Competition, Competition, Competition meets Merger, Merger, Merger

Broadband Coalition Statement on FCC Chairman Remarks at House Energy and Commerce Hearing

Washington DC (May 20, 2014) – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today, continuing to deliver his message of competition and the need to make the network work for everyone.

In his prepared remarks, Chairman Wheeler continued to stress the core values of the network compact that will guide the IP transition. Core values that include: competition, consumer protection, public safety, national security and universal service.

In response to Wheeler’s testimony before the House Energy and Commerce hearing, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition, released the following statement:

“FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s drive for competition, competition, competition is running into merger, merger, merger. Just this week, AT&T announced its intention to buy DIRECTV, raising the possibility of an even bigger AT&T with even greater market power.

“Through all this merger mania, Chairman Wheeler has held strong to his commitment to competition and access. As our networks evolve in the Internet age, competition and interconnection will ensure that we never again handcuff innovation.

“The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was not based on monopolistic assumptions, but on the promise that communication monopolies would never return. It set forth a commitment to competition that has revolutionized the entire tech sector. The 96 Act set forth an explosion of innovation and investment. Those benefits continue to create new networks, new industries and new jobs in the United States."

Friday
Apr112014

IP Trials will be Travesty Without Wholesale Plan for Competition

Broadband Coalition Statement on FCC Filings Urging AT&T Trial Fixes 

Washington DC (April 11, 2014) – A series of problems with AT&T’s proposed IP (internet protocol) trials were identified this week by national survey data expert Joseph Lenski, consumer groups and leading competitive providers of voice, data and broadband services.

Earlier this year AT&T announced its intention to move forward with technology experiments in West Delray Beach, Florida and Carbon Hill, Alabama. However, AT&T left a number of critical issues unresolved, including technology migration solutions for TDM to IP that are critical to the future of the wholesale business marketplace. 

Upon extensive study of the proposed experiments, Joseph Lenski of Edison Media Research, found that AT&T will be unlikely to generate accurate and meaningful data about the impact of the TDM-to-IP transition on residential, business, and wholesale customers.  In a filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Lenski states that by failing to included wire centers that encompass the true challenges most markets face, and not providing sufficient information on the types of data and metrics used to test control groups, AT&T has presented an incomplete trial that will fail to yield real-world results that could serve as a guide for the FCC.

In response to FCC filings in opposition to the AT&T trials, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for The Broadband Coalition, released the following statement:

“By failing to address the future of the wholesale marketplace, AT&T risks turning its IP trial into an IP travesty.

“In his FCC filing, survey expert Joe Lenski wisely points out that the incumbent Bell company has neglected to include the wholesale market. By not selecting wire centers that encompass the complex challenges most markets face, the AT&T trial is doomed to produce insufficient information, data and other metrics that can truly guide a TDM to IP transition.

“The FCC was crystal clear in its goals for the IP experiments: preserve the enduring values of the network compact, including competition, consumer protection, public safety and universal service.  Unless changes are made to address the concerns of the wholesale market, AT&T’s trial will produce a road map to higher prices and less choice for business customers.”