Flexible Products, Lower Prices
Friday April 19, 2013,
06:54 am ET
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Apr. 19 /Patrick Oborn/ --
Business broadband, its price, and who can afford it, are changing. Every day an increasing number
of business are finding the new broadband services made available to them by the "new" telecommunications
companies that are emerging from the latest round of mergers and acquisitions. Overlapping networks
are being consolidated into bigger and leaner footprints, lowering the cost of dynamic integrated
digital signal 1 (DS1) service to the price range of about five regular phone lines. Small to medium
size business can now afford services once reserved for the Fortune 1000 companies.
Min Lieu owns a small insurance agency in Texas. Five years ago he signed up with
XO Communications for a TDM-based integrated T1 line for $870/month, which did not
include local or long distance calling. Recently, he was offered XO's version of
a dynamic circuit called "XO Flex" for half of the price he was already paying.
"I would have been a fool not to take the deal" stated Mr. Lieu. "I'm able to
add headcount with additional voice lines, without any increase in expense or
degradation in high-speed Internet performance."
According to a recent study conducted by PK Communications Telecom Brokers Inc., the average
cost of a POTS (plain old telephone service) line serviced by the Bells (AT&T, Verizon,
and Qwest) have changed very little over the 10 year span from 1996, the year the
Clinton Administration signed into law the Telecommunications Act, to 2006. The real
change in the industry came in the T-carrier class of products, where customers can
get up to 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth and 24 digital phone lines all in one package. Some
CLECs like XO, TelePacific, Nuvox, One Communications, and even Covad are now offering
rates well below the $550/month level, making the change seem like a no-brainer to
thousands of customers.
"I am very satisfied with my new XO dynamic T1" added Mike McLoude, a small business
owner in Santa Monica, California. "The flexible nature of the system allows me to
conduct business with the same efficiency as many of my bigger competitors, for less
than what they pay." Mr. McLoude is not alone - many Californians are seeing the
technology light and taking the leap of faith away from traditional TDM.
Will this train of innovation, lower prices, and services that add value to SMB's continue
to roll down the tracks of progress? It's all up to our government - and which political
party controls the FCC. Without the deregulation act of 1996, we would have never known
just how much the CLECs were capable of.
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.