Channel Partners

October 1, 1997

9 Min Read
AT&T Leads in Telecom Advertising

Posted: 10/1997

AT&T Leads in Telecom Advertising

NEW YORK–According to Competitive Media Reporting (CMR),
AT&T spent $105 million to MCI’s $104.8 million on
advertising during the three-month period ending March 31. The
two companies were followed by Sprint and GTE. Sprint’s Long
Distance Residential service was the top-spending brand during
the first quarter of 1997, with advertising expenditures totaling
$52.4 million.

The CMR information reflects advertising dollars spent in
television, newspapers, magazines, radio and outdoor advertising

Qwest Continues Network Expansion

DENVER–Quest Communications International Inc. has activated
a 1,277-mile section of its high-capacity fiber optic network
between Sacramento, Calif. and Denver, Colo. This extends the
Qwest network from Los Angeles through the Silicon Valley to
Denver. Traffic over this portion of the network is managed
through electronic switching centers in Denver and Los Angeles.
With the completion of this segment, Qwest now has over 2,100
route miles of its network in service.

The system connecting Denver to California uses a cable
containing Qwest’s 48 optical fibers. Each pair of fibers can
carry telephone calls, video signals, computer data or Internet
traffic at 80 gigabits per second. At full capacity, Qwest’s
network will be able to transmit trillions of bits per second.

New Name for Hershey Consultants

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.–Hershey Consultants Inc. has changed its
name to P3 Millennium Corp. The company has been providing
billing systems and services for long distance resellers since
1988. Proprietary technology enables P3 to rate 1 million calls
in two hours on a standard PC. That includes a full complement of
lookup of ANI, customer, distance and rate tables for each call.
The company’s strategy is to provide its software to all
interested resellers, supplementing P3’s billing service

Sprint Supports Benchmarks for International Settlement Rates

WASHINGTON–Sprint recently stated that it supports the
Federal Communications Commission’s adoption of benchmarks for
international settlement rates. Sprint believes that the rates
for exchanging international traffic should be based on costs,
and that the FCC’s benchmarks will move the market in that

The company also noted that many industrialized nations
already have international settlement rates that are within the
range of the FCC’s benchmarks and others have made great progress
in recent years. When all countries base their rates on the cost
of exchanging traffic, the correct economic conditions will exist
in the global marketplace to stimulate competition, and rates for
consumers will go down, Sprint believes.

Bell Atlantic Awarded FEMA Contract

WASHINGTON–Bell Atlantic has been awarded the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) telecommunications services
contract to provide telecommunications support to FEMA operations

The company’s federal systems unit will support FEMA’s
emergency management system and its day-to-day telecommunications
operations within the United States and all of its territories.
It also will provide centralized acquisition, ordering and
coordination of local telecommunications services and equipment
during both non-emergency and disaster conditions. These products
and services include pagers, cellular phones, dedicated circuits,
T-1 lines, satellite uplinks and basic telephone lines.

New President for TRA

WASHINGTON–Ernest B. Kelly III has been elevated from
Executive Director to President of the Telecommunications
Resellers Association (TRA). "Under Ernie Kelly’s
leadership, TRA has become one of the fastest-growing and
influential associations in the telecommunications industry.
TRA’s board and its membership all owe Ernie a debt of gratitude
for his guidance, vision and hard work over the past four
years," said TRA’s chairman of the board, Sherman Henderson
of UniDial.

Kelly was selected as TRA’s first
executive director in 1993. In addition to being the
association’s primary spokesperson, Kelly advised TRA’s
seven-member board of directors on its federal, regulatory,
industry, press and member relations programs. Kelly also directs
TRA’s staff and consultants.

Frontier Expands in Illinois

ROCHESTER, N.Y.–Frontier Corp. now offers local telephone
service to business customers throughout most of Illinois as a
result of a resale agreement with Ameritech. "We can provide
everything necessary to do business, from local to long distance,
from cellular to data and from paging to Internet. And unlike
other carriers, we can simplify things even further by billing
everything on one invoice," said Jerry Carr, president of
Frontier Telephone Group. Customers can also take advantage of
other savings such as free business line installation as well as
free setup of calling features.

FCC Appoints ALTS President to Co-Chair NANC

WASHINGTON–The Association for Local Telecommunications
Services (ALTS) announced that the Federal Communications
Commission appointed ALTS president Heather Gold to be co-chair
of the North American Numbering Council (NANC). NANC is the
federal advisory committee that reviews issues related to
telephone numbers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

"In the coming months, NANC will address a number of key
concerns including implementation of local number portability,
the transition of the North American Numbering Plan to
administration by a neutral third party and the more efficient
use of existing numbers," said Gold. "It is vital to
the future of local competition that all affected parties be
actively involved in resolving these issues."

LCI Files Against Ameritech

MCLEAN, Va.–Citing "anticompetitive activity," LCI
International filed a formal complaint with the Michigan Public
Utilities Commission against Ameritech. The issue is an Ameritech
practice that locks its business customers into long-term
contracts for Ameritech local toll services, preventing those
customers from choosing LCI as their alternative local phone
service provider. The complaint points specifically to
Ameritech’s ValueLink Calling Plus Plan, which locks customers
into lengthy contracts that are expensive to terminate.

Relief requested by LCI from Ameritech in the complaint

  • Order Ameritech to allow customers of LCI’s local exchange service to select Ameritech as their provider of intraLATA toll service.

  • Order Ameritech to allow its local toll ValueLink customers to maintain the ValueLink services without termination penalties if they elect to change their local service provider or terminate their ValueLink plans without penalty if the customers elect to change their local service provider.

  • Release LCI from any ValueLink contracts LCI has assumed on behalf of customers since it began reselling service in Michigan.

EDS Offers New Suite of Services

WALTHAM, Mass.–EDS announced a new suite of services that
provide carriers with an advanced level of revenue protection,
optimum roamer record turnaround time and the ability to further
manipulate and customize data to meet carriers’ specific needs,
all within a paperless environment.

"Standard clearinghouses already provide basic data
management capabilities. EDS, through its years of service in the
wireless industry, believes that with the rate of change being
experienced by the industry, a clearinghouse needs to allow
carriers to manage complex roaming partner relationships in order
for carriers to survive and grow," said EDS’ Charles Ansley.

EDS’s core clearinghouse offering has been redesigned with
several features that enable carriers to manage their roaming
business. The company has developed Selective Editing to reduce
time costs associated with collections or adjustments on rate
errors. EDS also expanded its report portfolio to provide daily
information through a variety of formats, including InfoROAM and
ExpressLINK, an electronic file delivery of both data files and

Valley Public to Provide Prepaid Service

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.–Valley Public Telecommunications
announced it has been approved to provide local telephone service
to Coachella Valley residents on a prepaid basis. The company
operates as a reseller of GTE California local service.

Customers will prepay a one-time activation fee and the first
month’s service up front. Local service is guaranteed; no
identification or deposit is required and no credit checks will
be made. The company makes everyday calling available to
residents with challenged credit history and those attempting to
establish or re-establish credit.

The local service includes unlimited local telephone calls,
access to 911 emergency calling and 800/888 long distance
calling. The service does not include access to a live operator,
directory assistance or the ability to accept collect and third
party bill calls.

Korean Trade Investigation Comes to End

ARLINGTON, Va.–The Telecommunications Industry Association
applauded the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S.
Interagency team for concluding negotiations with Korea to end
the year-long priority foreign country investigation of Korean
discriminatory trade practices towards U.S. telecommunications
companies. The Korean Ministry of Information and Communications
agreed to issue a unilateral policy statement clarifying recent
revisions of government practices, procedures and objectives in
the telecommunications sector.

Issues addressed include Korean government intervention in
private sector procurement; national treatment and
non-discriminatory practices; equipment certification and type
approval; transparent procedures on services licensing; foreign
ownership limitations; protection of intellectual property
rights; technology transfer; satellite service authorization;
pro-competitive regulatory measures and strengthening the Korean
Communications Commission.

USTR will continue monitoring progress in the Korean telecom
sector to ensure Korean compliance to its commitments.

Bell Atlantic Gives ADSL Test Drive

PITTSBURGH–A group of 100 students, faculty and staff at
Carnegie Mellon University will help Bell Atlantic test the speed
limit on the information superhighway. During the next 10 months,
the group will be trying out asymmetric digital subscriber line
(ADSL), Bell Atlantic’s high-speed data communications service.

Participants in the trial will be able to hook up to Carnegie
Mellon’s on-campus local area network (LAN) from home at speeds
as fast as 1.5 Mbps.

Bell Atlantic will use the 10-month technical trial to analyze
ADSL’s ability to provide high-speed remote LAN access to large
corporate or institutional customers. In addition, the trial will
allow participants to experiment with and develop applications
that take advantage of having bandwidth of 1.5 Mbps to the home.

10 States to Fund Wireless 911

SEATTLE–Legislatures in 10 states have passed laws creating
funding mechanisms to pay for wireless enhanced 911, according to
an analysis by Xypoint Corp.

The 10 states with new wireless 911 statutes all impose a
monthly surcharge on wireless customers designed to fund new 911
services mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
These states and the surcharges are: Arkansas, 50 cents; Arizona,
10 cents; Colorado, 70 cents; Maine, 20 cents; Montana, 25 cents;
Minnesota, 10 cents – 32 cents; New Hampshire, TBD; Texas, 50
cents; Rhode Island, 47 cents; and West Virginia 75 cents.

With wireless 911, a wireless caller’s 10-digit phone number
and general location automatically appear on an emergency
dispatcher’s computer screen, much like enhanced 911 that is
available on landline phones.

Cost recovery legislation is essential to the full
implementation of wireless 911 because the FCC says wireless
carriers are not required to provide wireless 911 service if the
local public safety community does not have the necessary
cost-recovery mechanisms in place to reimburse carriers for the

The 10 states with new wireless 911 laws join 10 others that
already have either a surcharge on wireless customers or have
some authority to implement a cost-recovery mechanism to pay for
wireless 911.

North American Communications Announces Resale

MARCO ISLAND, Fla.–Jerry Wall, senior manager of North
American Communications Inc. (NAC), reported that the company has
entered the competitive local phone service arena with their
certification and approval by the Public Utility Commission in
Pennsylvania to provide local calling.

NAC, an independent telecommunications company, signed a
comprehensive resale agreement with Bell Atlantic. The company
now offers a single bill for local dial-tone service; long
distance outbound local, national and international calling;
800/888 inbound calling; and Internet, cellular and paging

Winstar Receives CLEC Certifications

NEW YORK–WinStar Communications Inc. announced it has
received authorization from the states of Indiana and North
Carolina to provide competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC)
services. This certification authorizes WinStar to provide a full
array of local voice, video and data services in competition with
the incumbent local exchange carriers. WinStar now has CLEC
certifications in 24 jurisdictions, representing 38 markets.

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