Friday
Oct162015

Broadband Coalition: Bell ‘Lock Ups’ Lock Out Competition

Washington DC (October 16, 2015) – Today the Federal Communications Commission launched an inquiry into ‘lock up plans’ used by large incumbent Bell providers, like AT&T and Verizon, in the market for broadband lines used by small and medium-sized business, schools, libraries, health and government offices.

 

Last month, several of the Broadband Coalition members –including Level 3XO Communications and Windstream -- sent letters to the FCC calling for action on lock up plans to encourage competition in the special access marketplace.

 

In response to the announcement from the FCC, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition, released the following statement:

 

“Broadband lock up plans are locking out competition. The large incumbent tactic of locking business customers into multi-year plans with extremely high volume commitments is bad for competition and terrible for the tech transitions.  Schools, libraries and government customers are also locked into the Bell’s deal of last century.

 

“Consumers and business customers are demanding more broadband choices. They want the freedom to choose their own service provider. But in markets controlled by large incumbent providers who charge monopoly-era rents, archaic lock up tactics in the terms and conditions to which their customers are subject are hurting competitors who want to bring new affordable options to the marketplace.

 

“These lock up contracts have exclusionary volume terms and conditions that force wholesale business customers to use up to 90 percent of their services each month or face steep penalties. Just imagine the consumer outrage if you were charged more each month for not using all your cell minutes.

 

“Competition is driving other markets forward, but the large incumbents lock up actions prove they are steering the business broadband market backward. It’s time for the FCC to step in and end these anti-competitive tricks and speed the transitions to advanced broadband networks. We commend Chairman Wheeler for his commitment to addressing anti-competitive lock up provisions.”

 

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The Broadband Coalition had led the effort to encourage competition in the tech transitions. Over ten thousand people have signed the #StopBOB (Big Old Broadband) petition, and hundreds of business customers have written the FCC as part of their Customers 4 Competition campaign.

 

About the Broadband Coalition:

The Broadband Coalition: Competitive broadband providers united to preserve innovation, competition and connection for future networks. 

To learn more, please visit: http://thebroadbandcoalition.com

and Customers 4 Competition: http://customers4competition.com

And follow us on Twitter: @bbandcoalition

Thursday
Sep172015

Customers Win with FCC Competition Data

WASHINGTON DC (Thursday September 17, 2015) – Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced the availability and process for reviewing for data collected in the special access proceeding. The FCC also announced a third party independent review of the data. 

From the FCC: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-takes-major-step-review-40-billion-special-access-market

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

“Special access data is competition data. Chairman Tom Wheeler and this FCC have shown their willingness to break down every barrier to competition, and the special access data will be an important arrow in their quiver.

“Business customers are desperate for the freedom to choose their own broadband provider. They want better customer service and affordable options in the marketplace.

“The availability of special access data, including an independent review, should allow for data-driven competition solutions that benefit business customers.”


About the Broadband Coalition:

The Broadband Coalition: Competitive broadband providers united to preserve innovation, competition and connection for future networks. 

To learn more, please visit: http://thebroadbandcoalition.com

and Customers 4 Competition: http://customers4competition.com

And follow us on Twitter: @bbandcoalition

Wednesday
Sep162015

Comcast Business Move Validates Need for Competitive Access Reform

WASHINGTON DC (Wed Sept 16, 2015) – This morning the Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast was seeking to provide business and data services to customers outside their footprint.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/comcast-to-sell-data-services-to-big-firms-nationwide-1442376240?mod=rss_Technology

In response, Jeff Sharp a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition – a collection of the nation’s leading competitive Internet and data providers - released the following statement:

“Comcast’s announcement today validates what the members of the Broadband Coalition have been saying all along—it is simply uneconomic to build out infrastructure to serve the location of every business across the country.  Wholesale access is a bridge to connecting customers to competition.

"We invite them to join our efforts to end the onerous terms and conditions imposed by AT&T and Verizon to help expedite more broadband competition across America.  Reforming these anti-competitive practices will help all competitors and customers alike—even a company the size of Comcast.”

About the Broadband Coalition: 

The Broadband Coalition: Competitive broadband providers united to preserve innovation, competition and connection for future networks. 

To learn more, please visit: http://thebroadbandcoalition.com

And follow us on Twitter: @bbandcoalition

Thursday
Aug062015

Praise for FCC: Tech Transitions Are the Future of Competition 

Washington DC (August 6, 2015) – Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to extend landmark competition policy to govern technology transitions to future networks.

The FCC has recognized – and competitors agree – that there are multiple technology transitions taking place in the communications industry; it has been examining all such transitions. 

The Broadband Coalition -- a collection of leading competitive providers -- has helped lead a multi-year effort to protect and preserve competition policy during and after the transitions. Efforts include:

In response to the vote at the FCC, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition, released the following statement:

“The IP revolution was created under competition policy, and now the future will be built on competition policy. The FCC’s forward looking tech transitions framework relies on market-based competition, and will enable new networks to open new markets for broadband customers.

 “The FCC’s vote today recognizes the important role competitive broadband providers have in providing business customers and institutions -- including schools, libraries, health care facilities and government offices -- with innovation, more choices, and lower prices.”

“For nearly two decades competitive providers have moved the communications marketplace into the future. They have deployed new networks and new technologies including VoIP, Ethernet and cloud technologies that have disrupted a long stagnant marketplace.

“With the ability to connect to business customers, large and small, over multiple locations and different types of broadband lines, competitors’ new network innovations have helped all sectors of the economy grow.

“We applaud the FCC’s, and in particular Chairman Wheeler’s, leadership on this important issue. Its commitment to making competition a core network value during the tech transition will define a new era of opportunity and innovation.”

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About the Broadband Coalition:

The Broadband Coalition: Competitive broadband providers united to preserve innovation, competition and connection for future networks. 

To learn more, please visit: http://thebroadbandcoalition.com

And follow us on Twitter: @bbandcoalition

Tuesday
Aug042015

Broadband Coalition “Stop BOB” Petition Breaks Ten Thousand Signers

Social Campaign to #StopBOB (Big Old Broadband) on FCC Tech Transition Vote

Washington DC (August 4, 2015) – A petition calling on the FCC and Congress to support broadband competition has quickly reached ten thousand signers.  In advance of a critical competition vote at the FCC this week on tech transitions, the petition signers are urging action to encourage more choices and more competition for broadband service.

To see the Change.Org petition, and read hundreds of comments from signers, CLICK HERE.

The petition is anchored by the viral video #StopBOB (Big Old Broadband). In the video, BOB only serves the meatloaf of broadband, presenting a lack of choice that has his customers feeling trapped and frustrated. Broadband prices rise, no choice. Customer service falls, still no choice. That’s BOB’s world, and customers want out.

To Watch the Video, CLICK HERE.

http://thebroadbandcoalition.com/bigoldbroadband

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUQbdVXnD7c

This week, BOB will make stops around Washington DC, where competition advocates and business customers will plead with BOB to provide more choice, and less of the meatloaf of broadband. You can follow BOB’s journey on Twitter and on the Broadband Coalitions Instagram, which launched today.

The “More Choice, More Competition” petition and campaign is sponsored by the Broadband Coalition -- a collection of competitive broadband providers who are united to preserve innovation, competition and connection for future networks.

“Customers want more choices and better prices for broadband service, both at home and at work,” said Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition. “Only having one or two broadband options results in a decline in customer service, higher prices and less investment. This week the FCC has the opportunity to enshrine competition policy for current and future networks during the tech transition. Efforts to encourage new network builders and more choices will unlock competitive providers’ fiber investments, helping reach more business, nonprofit, and government customers.”

Key Facts:

At higher broadband speeds, the type customers need for streaming Netflix or working from home:

-55 percent of American households have only ONE broadband connection.

-80 percent of American’s only have a choice of TWO broadband connections.*

In the business market: 70 percent of the wholesale access market – connecting competitive providers’ fiber networks to individual business, nonprofit, and government locations – is held by just three providers: AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink.**

*Source: FCC

**Source: ATLANTIC-ACM, U.S. Telecom Wired and Wireless Sizing and Share Report, September 2014 (estimating market share based on 2013 data). 

About the Broadband Coalition:

The Broadband Coalition is a collection of competitive broadband providers united to promote innovation, competition and connection for future networks. We are providing more choices and better prices for consumers and business customers.

Follow the Broadband Coalition: Twitter: @bbandcoalition / facebook/Instagram

 

CONTACT: Jeff Sharp, jeff@themanitou.co, 202 285 7040