Nearly 20 years ago, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 spawned an industry of competition and innovation that has enabled the creation of an incredible array of communications services for businesses and other customers. The act was clear in its requirement of incumbent providers to provide open access to the existing network infrastructure to spur market competition. At the time, most of those networks were traditional copper-based networks.
Nearly 20 years later, as networks are increasingly being upgraded to TCP/IP technologies, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has again addressed competition and access issues. The FCC’s recent order requires telecom providers to offer wholesale telecom services to competitors at reasonably comparable rates, terms and conditions during the transition from traditional copper to newer IP-based networks.
While this is great news for business and other customers, because it maintains the competitive landscape, what does it mean for channel partners? For starters, it ensures that channel partners will continue to be able to offer enterprise customers lower-cost telecom alternatives in partnership with competitive providers in the future. In such a competitive market, business customers will continue to have multiple choices in their service providers, can expect lower and predictable prices, and receive the improved and reliable service that competition fosters.
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