Momentum Builds for CLECs
Tuesday May 14, 2013,
06:00 pm ET
CEDAR HILLS, Utah, May. 14 /Patrick Oborn/ --
Small businesses all over the country are discovering a whole new universe of broadband access.
As the price of commercial-grade telecommunication services continues to drop, more and more
enterprises are starting to drop their plain old telephone service lines in favor of all-digital
T1 trunks that deliver voice and data over the same connection. These new enhancements were
made possible by the increasing pace of consolidation in the telecommunication industry along
with the increasing value bigger phone companies can provide.
The irony of the new small business communications revolution is that it took so long
to gain traction. The whole idea of reclaiming inactive voice channels for data applications
is not new, and was introduced by many CLEC operators over five years ago. So why did
it take so long for SMB's to adopt the technology and make the change? One might argue
that the Internet bubble burst in 2000 shook many people's confidence in telecommunications,
one of the hardest hit industries. With so many telecoms going out of business, or merging
with other small players just to stay solvent, many customers took the "wait and see"
approach before making the decision to entrust their communications with a company not
associated with Ma Bell. Now that economic Darwinism has taken hold, the remaining companies
are attracting new customers who see the benefits of the new technology without the downside
risk of loosing service or not being able to get through to customer service in the pinch.
The question remains, if this new technology is so progressive, why did it take over five
years to gain broad appeal to SMB's across the country? One industry analyst from the
Telecommunications Research Institute observed that many customers who consume commercial-grade
phone service became very untrusting of telecom providers after the Internet bubble burst
in 2000 and the MCI bankruptcy proceedings full of allegations of fraud and embezzlement.
After all, no customer wants to come to work one day just to find out that their connection
to the outside world has been shut down due to financially unstable service providers not
being able to run a profitable or ethical business. Now, due to a series of acquisitions
and mergers, the "survivors" are offering great products at rates that SMB's can't continue
to ignore. The CLEC's and Bells are quickly gaining traction with the very important
"The real benefit I've seen since upgrading to a dynamic integrated T1 from Nuvox
Communications is simplicity" commented Johan Sebastian, a small business owner in
Clearwater, Florida. "My phones work great, my internet is fast, and the best part
is the reliability; I haven't had a single outage since I signed up for the new
service over a year ago. Before when we had DSL and POTS lines, every day was
Until deregulation allowed smaller, hungrier telecommunications companies the
ability to compete, the United States was stuck with technologies that were quickly
becoming out of date. Now that the Bells actually have to innovate to keep up with
the smaller CLECs, customer everywhere are reaping the benefits.
The only thing that can get in the way of future progress is the law. You know, the one
that requires the RBOCs to lease their local loops to CLECs at a reduced rate so that
the customer can get a dedicated connection between their office and the CLECs' network.
If the FCC decided to lift this requirement, this whole deck of cards could come down
in a hurry, and when it does, you can kiss dynamic integrated T1 service for under $500