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CompTel, ACTA Agree to Merge

January 1, 1999

22 Min Read
CompTel, ACTA Agree to Merge

By Charlene O'Hanlon

Posted: 01/1999

CompTel, ACTA Agree to Merge

By Charlene O’Hanlon and Khali Henderson

After years of rumors, failed negotiations and mounting vendor pressure, two of the
primary long distance industry groups–The Com-petitive Tele-communications Association
(CompTel) and America’s Carriers Telecommunications Association (ACTA)–have signed a
letter of intent to combine their memberships. Completion of the merger was expected by
CompTel’s convention and trade show in Atlanta, Feb. 7-10.

The transaction was scheduled for a vote by boards of directors of both groups on Dec.
8 during ACTA’s winter seminar in McLean, Va. Subsequent membership approval was expected
to follow by mid-January.

"We believe that the consolidation benefits both organizations," says CompTel
president H. Russell Frisby Jr. "It’s going to result in a much stronger organization
dedicated to serving the needs of the entire competitive industry."

The new organization, tentatively named CompTel/ACTA until the new board makes its
final decision sometime next spring, will continue that focus on small carriers as well as
larger carriers and Internet service providers (ISPs), Frisby says.

"We’re going to continue the notion of promoting a competitive organization. We
think we can be stronger together," he says.

The merger announcement comes after increasing pressure from vendors to consolidate
dues and exhibition dollars contributed to the two organizations, which have significant
crossover in membership. (In fact, four seats on each group’s board are held by
representatives from the same companies.)

Both ACTA and CompTel claim more than 200 company members apiece. A cursory review
shows crossover of 100 members.Talk of such a merger has haunted the long distance
associations for more than five years. Preliminary talks between ACTA and a third trade
group, the Telecommunications Resellers Association (TRA), stalled in 1994, 1996 and this
past September.

Despite recent increases in its membership roster, declining attendance at ACTA’s most
recent conventions may have been a deciding factor in the decision to unite with CompTel
at this time, sources say.

The merger would leave the industry with a carrier and a reseller organization. TRA,
which now has 780 members, would be CompTel/ACTA’s primary ally and competitor. TRA
President Ernie Kelly says he views the merger as positive for the industry.

"It’s very similar to our acquisition of NWRA [National Wireless Resellers
Association] in 1997," Kelly says. "It’s very good for the industry and totally
to be expected in an era of consolidation."

He says he expects that TRA and CompTel/ACTA will continue to gain members, but for
different reasons. TRA traditionally maintains a business focus, whereas CompTel and ACTA
primarily have been regulatory-oriented.

Under the terms of the agreement, CompTel’s 18-member board of directors will be
expanded temporarily to include six members from ACTA’s existing board, including Ken
Melley, WorldxChange Communications; Steve Wagner, Qwest Communications International
Inc.; Mike Newkirk, BTI Telecommunications Services; Deborah Barrett, Teltrust; James
Meadows, PrimeTEC Ltd.; and George Singer, US Tel Inc. Those members will serve for one
year, at which time the board will return to its original 18-member size.

CompTel also has agreed to expand its Washington operations to include a vice president
and assistant general counsel. Robert M. McDowell, currently executive vice president and
general counsel for ACTA, will be offered that position. In addition, Jennifer
Durst-Jarrell, currently ACTA’s executive director based in Casselberry, Fla., will be
offered the position of vice president for small-carrier affairs, responsible for
expanding and strengthening the group’s small-carrier membership.

Lockheed Martin Will Divest Number Administration
By Ken Branson

Lockheed Martin Corp., the Burbank, Calif.-based conglomerate, will divest itself of
the business unit that oversees number administration in North America, the executive in
charge of that unit says.

Jeff Ganeck, senior vice president and general manager for Communications Industry
Services (CIS), says his business unit will be sold by the end of the year. He says the
new owner will be announced in December.

The CIS business unit is part of Lockheed Martin IMS, based in Teaneck, N.J. Lockheed
Martin IMS manages many complex public systems, including toll collection and welfare
administration systems as well as telecommunications numbering.

The need to sell CIS arose when Lockheed Martin Corp. announced its intention Sept. 20
to acquire COMSAT Corp., Bethesda, Md., the satellite communications company, for $2.7
billion. The acquisition is part of a Lockheed Martin plan to become a global networking
services company.

"The character of Lockheed Martin’s aims in global network services raises
concerns about the neutrality of Lockheed Martin and the ability of the Communications
Industry Services Unit to operate in a neutral environment," Ganeck says. "…
Before any of the aims of the global telecom initiative are implemented, Lockheed Martin
is committed to divesting the CIS business unit. Lockheed Martin contends to divest CIS
before the end of this year."

Ganeck says Lockheed Martin is in "very, very serious" negotiations for the
sale of CIS, but he declines to say whether the corporation is negotiating with more than
one company. He also declines to say how much Lockheed Martin is asking for CIS.

Lockheed Martin IMS became the administrator of the North American Numbering Plan
(NANP) in January, after winning a complex bidding process than included the former
administrator, Bell Communications Research (Bellcore), Morristown, N.J. Bellcore
administered area codes, service access codes and other numbering resources after the
divestiture of the Bell System in 1984. The Bell System, which created the NANP in 1947,
administered the system before that.

Lockheed Martin’s task has been fundamentally different from its predecessors, however.
It took over the job at time when local number portability (LNP) became possible, and much
of its work has involved writing the implementing software for LNP and installing that
software in two redundant centers, called Number Portability Administration Centers
(NPACs), in Chicago and Tarrytown, N.Y.

Consumer Long Distance Household Market Share
26 Million Households Changed Long Distance Services, Report Shows

Image:Consumer Long Distance Household Market Share

In the last year, 26 million households changed their long distance service
provider–the highest consumer movement to date, according to a recent survey of 2,000
U.S. households conducted by Boston-based The Yankee Group.

In addition, the market share of the largest phone companies also has shifted (see
chart, "Consumer Long Distance Household Market Share"). As non-Big-Three phone
companies continue their competitive assault upon the consumer long distance business,
their market share has risen and now makes up more than 20 percent of this market.
Companies such as Excel Communications Inc., GTE Corp. and Qwest Communications
International Inc./LCI International Inc. now are showing strong performance.

Carriers, Vendors Form Multiservice Switching Forum

A group of carriers and equipment manufacturers have formed the Multiservice Switching
Forum, an open member organization committed to reaching and promoting consensus on
implementation of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)-capable multiservice switching systems
that support voice, video, private-line, ATM, frame relay and Internet protocol (IP)

The forum aims to help carriers to deploy open switching systems with components from
multiple vendors in order to accelerate deployment of a next-generation network supporting
advanced, integrated broadband communications services. Initial workgroups proposed
include Architecture, Switch Control and Voice.

Founding members are AT&T Corp., Alcatel N.V., Ascend Communications Inc.,
Bellcore, British Telecommunications plc, Cisco Systems Inc., Fujitsu Network
Communications Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc., MCI WorldCom Inc., Nortel Networks, Siemens
AG, Telecom Italia, Telia AB and US WEST Inc.

Additional information can be found on the web at www.msforum.org.

Level 3 Seeks Alternate Channels for IP Services

Level 3 Communications Inc., Denver, is looking for alternate channels to distribute
services offered over its international Internet protocol (IP)-based network. In addition
to its existing wholesale carrier agreements, the company announced in November its
Alternate Channels Program specifically for agents, resellers and value-added partners, or
systems integrators. The company expects to enter into a two- to three-month beta testing
phase with agents and resellers this spring. Rollout is expected by summer.

The reseller program allows for private labeling of Level 3’s products, including
point-to-point fiber bandwidth, national and international point-to-point and multipoint
private lines, collocation space, Internet services, managed modem services and, by second
quarter 1999, voice services.

Agents will sell the same services under the Level 3 brand in exchange for a commission
of 7 percent to 10 percent on switched services and spiff plus residual commission on
private lines. Final commission structures have not been determined as the company is
considering contributions to a cooperative marketing pool.

The company expects the program to account for 70 percent of the company’s revenues by

Resellers Unite Through TelecomAlliance

Wallingford, Conn.-based Profitec Inc. and Westlake Village, Calif.-based Coyote
Network Systems Inc. have combined forces to form TelecomAlliance, a joint venture
designed to develop and support member reseller operations.

TelecomAlliance members will create a homogeneous network combining voice and data
services and back-office support for billing, provisioning and customer care.

"The network will consist of the areas in which members currently are functioning
tied together with the Coyote switches they will be purchasing as a function of the
alliance, along with the current Coyote network," says TelecomAlliance spokesman Tom
Wright. An exact idea of what this network will look like cannot be determined until all
alliance members have been selected.

This equity investment in the Coyote network will allow members to discontinue leasing
capacity for their long distance and Internet services.

"Not only does it allow [members] to increase their margins by having their own
equipment," Wright explains, "but the bigger network allows them to move the
calls on their own network rather than leasing it from someone else." Also, it will
eliminate the appropriation of funds for letters of credit required of switchless
resellers, he adds.

Support for back-office functions from Profitec has been included specifically to make
post-sales operations easier for members.

"Billing agencies cater to large telephone companies and basically leave the
entrepreneur in the lurch," says Dick Minervino, TelecomAlliance chairman and CEO.
"TelecomAlliance’s job is to address these issues and free up the entrepreneur to
grow the business."

The bottom line for resellers will be an opportunity to bring service prices down.
"Whether they elect to lower their prices is up to the individual business [as] each
of them will maintain their full independence and autonomy," Wright says.

Membership has been limited to 30 reseller companies. By the end of November, Memoranda
of Understandings (MOUs) had been signed with 14 resellers based on annual billing and
sales of minutes.

Williams Flexes Frame Relay Offering

The company that pioneered frame relay service in 1991 through its former WilTel
business unit is going back down the innovation trail.

Williams is expanding its wholesale frame relay service platform to provide increased
national coverage from 40 cities to approximately 95 cities in 2000, and unveiling a new
product that allows wholesale frame relay customers to create their own recurring network
bandwidth schedules, essentially giving them–and their end-user customers–the ability to
expand and contract the speed of their frame relay connections on a daily or hourly basis.

Generally, when wholesale or retail customers buy frame relay connections they have to
specify a speed or committed information rate (CIR). That rate is typically locked in and
doesn’t change, so they are stuck with the same bandwidth, regardless of whether they
utilize all of it. Williams’ new offering, called the Time-of-Day/Day-of-Week Flex-CIR, is
the first frame relay offering to change that, according to Williams frame relay product
manager Mark Heaton.

"There are alternatives like usage-based private virtual circuits (PVCs)," he
says. "But then the customer doesn’t know how much the bill will be at the end of the
month. With the Flex-CIR, customers have the ability to boost available bandwidth during
peak hours and reduce bandwidth during off-peak hours, based on a schedule they provide
us. That means they won’t be getting any surprises relating to costs. We can tell them
what their recurring monthly charge is going to be. Of course the other advantage is that
customers don’t pay for bandwidth they don’t utilize."

According to Jonathan B. Haller, an analyst with Sterling, Va.-based Current Analysis
Inc., Flex-CIR is an innovative approach to bandwidth scheduling and pricing that could
become the industry standard and grab scores of customers held hostage to PVCs that are
insensitive to swings in volume. Haller even predicts that Williams’ model likely will be
imitated relatively quickly by competitors.

Williams’ frame relay network expansion–which includes both conventional and enhanced
services such as frame-to-ATM service internetworking, customer network management system
and the above-mentioned Flex-CIR–comes via an agreement with Intermedia Communications
Inc. Williams teamed with Intermedia in part because of the density of Intermedia’s
enhanced data network (164 switches), the compatibility of its switches and because
Intermedia’s network offers end-to-end service. Both networks utilize Ascend’s latest
carrier-class frame and ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) switches to support their

–By Bob Titsch Jr.

Teleglobe, Excel Complete Merger

Teleglobe Inc. and Excel Communications Inc. announced Nov. 10 the completion of their
merger, giving the new Teleglobe Inc. the No. 4 seat in the U.S. long distance industry
and marking Teleglobe’s entrance into the retail market for domestic and international
long distance services.

The combined company’s headquarters will be in Montreal; global telecom operations will
be based in Washington and retail operations in Dallas.

Initial action from the new Teleglobe will be the launch of retail telecom services in
the Canadian market with the formation of Excel Telecommunications (Canada) Inc.

–By Jennifer Knapp

Billing Company Mergers Signal Consolidation Trend

elecommunications billing suppliers OAN Services Inc., Northridge, Calif., and Billing
Concepts Corp., San Antonio, have separately announced merger agreements with competitors,
enhancing their positions in the growing convergent billing arena and pointing to a larger
consolidation trend in the billing industry.

Billing Concepts signed a letter of intent to merge with New York-based Communications
Software Consultants Inc. (CommSoft), bringing local and wireless billing solutions to
Billing Concept’s plate. Also, OAN agreed to purchase Vancouver, British Columbia-based
EXL Information Corp., launching OAN’s local exchange carrier (LEC) clearinghouse business
into direct convergent billing. While these companies jockey for position in the
convergent billing marketplace, their acquisition strategy points more toward a
consolidation movement among billing companies than a rise in convergent service
offerings, analysts say.

"Convergence is still a future goal of most carriers," says telecom analyst
Brian Murphy of Boston-based The Yankee Group. "It could be years before average
consumers see a converged telephone bill."

There are more billing companies in the market than telecom carriers can support,
Murphy says, which is why he predicts the industry can expect to see more merger activity
before 2000.

OAN will integrate EXL’s UniCom convergent billing and customer care system into the
billing provider’s least-cost billing application for interexchange carriers (IXCs), local
wireline services providers and resellers. OAN’s traditional LEC billing customers now
will be able to use the billing provider for merged direct bill accounts as well.

Billing Concepts, on the other hand, will integrate CommSoft’s flagship product,
CommVergence, to bring local and wireless billing to the company’s existing automated
convergent platform.

–By Jennifer Knapp

SilkRoad Won’t Obsolete DWDM Yet
By Peter Lambert

Even if it works perfectly, the apparently revolutionary optical technology revealed
this autumn by San Diego-based startup SilkRoad Corp. won’t obsolete more expensive, but
more mature wavelength multiplication approaches any time soon, according to analysts.

Still, SilkRoad will introduce its first product in the first quarter of 1999, and it
will pursue partnerships to integrate its SilkRoad Refractive Synchronization
Communi-cations (SRSC) technology into the largest optical networking vendor and carrier
systems as a low-cost alternative to dense wave-division multiplexing (DWDM).

"We want this to become a de facto standard, and the only way to do that is with
the support of major players in the industry," says SilkRoad Vice President of
Operations Bob Freeman. "Larger organizations sometimes move slower, but we’ll try to
make it happen as fast as possible, and hopefully their own needs will accelerate the

Those needs–to accommodate exploding Internet capacity demand–have in the past year
accelerated deployments of DWDM, which uses multiple optical lasers and wavelengths to
multiply the capacity of a single fiber optic cable up to 96 times.

SilkRoad says its SRSC optical modulator can match DWDM capacity without the need for
additional lasers. That, the company claims, will translate to equal performance at
one-twentieth the cost of DWDM. On Nov. 3, SilkRoad demonstrated 840 channels of video
programming delivered over a single-laser, 100 kilometer (km), 93 gigabits per second
(gbps) fiber link.

Yet "every new technology needs to persuade a lot of manufacturers and customers
that this is the next thing to shoot for, and even with wide support, it takes several
years to make standardized components available," notes Mark DiMaria, director of
product engineering for DWDM vendor Osicom Technologies Inc., Santa Monica, Calif.
"The question is whether SilkRoad is enough to put everyone back into assessment mode
for another three years."

Scott Clavenna, principal analyst for Pioneer Consulting LLC, Cambridge, Mass., agrees.
"For a decade, WDM has gone through lots of component, subsystem and systems-level
trials, so even if SilkRoad is successful, it’s only at the beginning of a long process
that includes developing interfaces to enormous, unified management systems used by
carriers." With all that work ahead, he foresees early SRCS deployments limited to
closed, dedicated networks.

Not so, says SilkRoad’s Freeman, who argues that SRCS’ simple operations translate to
simple management. "We’ll target up to 70 percent of dark fiber out there for which
WDM costs can’t be justified," he says.

DCA Raises Bar for Reseller Billing

CA, the Oklahoma City-based telecommunications billing service bureau, has raised the
bar for reseller billing by shortening the billing cycle from five to seven days to 24
hours with the November release of its 24-hour Ironclad Guarantee. The company promises to
process and distribute resellers’ bills within 24 hours or that month’s service is free.
While analysts say the offer is not likely to catch on with larger service bureaus, it may
be a successful sell for DCA, which competes for smaller carrier and reseller customers.

"It’s pretty ambitious," says Brian Murphy, a telecom analyst with The Yankee
Group, Boston. "The question is can it scale? Can you do it with millions and
millions of bills?"

DCA President Bill Bricking says the company, which spent more than $4 million
retooling its hardware, software and internal culture, currently is geared up to rate 60
million calls per hour. By adding systems and using parallel processing, he says the
company’s ability to process incremental carrier bills is unlimited. "Whether a
company handles 1 million calls per month or per hour, we can meet its billing
needs," Bricking says.

There is a catch. DCA requires its clients to agree to basic guidelines, such as
providing good call records and returning calls promptly.

The primary benefit of the speedy service is the improved cash flow, Bricking says.
Trimming three days off a $10 million billing run can save $1 million in float, he

–By Khali Henderson

Long Distance Carriers Have a Leg Up on ILECs, Survey Shows

A recent survey by The Yankee Group of more than 750 decision-makers in U.S.-based
small and medium-sized businesses suggests that long distance carriers may be able to
capture market share from incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) based on critical
issues such as customer loyalty, quality of service (QoS) and the need for new and
advanced telecommunications services.

The small and medium-sized business market comprises more than 10 million companies,
the average self-reported monthly spending of which ranges from $220 for small businesses
(two to 99 employees) to $2,800 for medium-sized businesses (100 to 499 employees).

Among these companies, Boston-based The Yankee Group’s survey showed a surprising lack
of loyalty to ILECs with between 29 percent and 46 percent reporting that their local
carriers had not earned their loyalty. Among the companies surveyed about satisfaction
with prices, customer care, reliable service and problem resolution, there was as much as
a 15 percent preference for long distance providers.






STAR Telecommunications Inc.,
Group Long Distance Inc. (GLD)

Nov. 16

STAR to acquire all assets of GLD in exchange for $3.7 million cash.

Subject to shareholder, board and regulatory approvals.

Wavetech International Inc.,
DCI Telecommunications Inc.

Nov. 6

Wavetech, DCI signed definitive merger agreement.

Will hold shareholder meeting in first quarter 1999 to approve merger. Subject to due
diligence, approval of NASDAQ.

ICG Netcom,
C3 Communications Inc.

Oct. 8

ICG Netcom will purchase 100 percent of C3’s interests in ChoiceCom.

Expected to close in 1999, pending regulatory approvals.

Bell Atlantic Corp.,
GTE Corp.

July 28

Merger agreement valued at $53 million.

Pending Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Department of  Justice (DoJ) and
Public Utility Commission (PUC) approvals.

AT&T Corp.,
Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI)

June 24

AT&T to buy TCI in an all-stock transaction valued at $48 billion.

Pending approval of FCC, DoJ and European Union (EU) commissions.

STAR Telecommunications Inc.,
PT-1 Communications Inc.

June 9

STAR to acquire PT-1. Renegotiated terms on Aug. 21. PT-1 stockholders to receive 15
million in shares of STAR common stock and $20 million.

Approved by regulators. Pending Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) approvals.
Shareholder meeting was scheduled for Dec. 22.

SBC Communications Inc.,
Ameritech Corp.

May 11

Merger agreement valued at $62 billion.

Filed with DoJ July 20. Received European Commission (EC) approval July 23. Under
review by FCC, DoJ and Illinois and Ohio PUCs.

Inc. 500 Ranks Telecom Companies Among Top 20

Telecom Vendors Create SONET/SDH Interoperability Initiative

Answering a need for more efficient ways to transport data across networks, four
telecom vendors have formed an initiative to facilitate the rapid implementation of
data-aware synchronous optical network/synchronous digital hierarchy (SONET/SDH)

The organization, called D.A.T.A. (data-aware transport activity), will work to ensure
standards-based implementations will interoperate with each other. Data-aware
infrastructure is required to support traditional fixed-bandwidth services while enabling
cost-effective delivery of virtual private network (VPN), Internet protocol (IP),
asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and other variable bandwidth services.

Participating members include ADC Telecommuni-cations Inc., Minneapolis; Atmosphere
Networks, Cupertino, Calif.; Fujitsu Network Communications Inc., Richardson, Texas; and
Nortel Networks, Richardson, Texas.

IXC Brings Bell Atlantic Customers Nationwide ATM

In yet another deal simulating backdoor entry into interLATA (local access and
transport area) services by a regional Bell operating company (RBOC), Bell Atlantic Corp.
has joined forces with IXC Communications Inc., Austin, Texas, to offer Bell Atlantic’s
customers seamless asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) cell-relay service beyond Bell
Atlantic’s East Coast service region.

The agreement will bring Bell Atlantic customers seamless nationwide ATM capabilities,
which consolidate voice, data and video on a single circuit at speeds up to 155 megabits
per second (mbps).

Bell Atlantic will provide the service within its LATAs and IXC will carry traffic
between LATAs. Each carrier will send a separate bill to end users for its portion of the

STAR Enhances Retail, Domestic Businesses

STAR Telecommunications Inc., Santa Barbara, Calif., created in November a National
Accounts Group (NAG) to bring commercial telecom services to large multinational
corporations. The international carrier’s retail offerings previously targeted smaller
companies with high international calling volumes. NAG sales offices are open in Germany,
London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Paris.

In addition, STAR beefed up its domestic network operations through a 20-year, $31
million capacity agreement with IXC Communications Inc., Austin, Texas. The fiber purchase
will allow the carrier to offer retail and wholesale domestic long distance, as well as
lower domestic transport costs for international calling customers. This agreement follows
STAR’s 20-year, $70 million fiber purchase in June from Qwest Communications International
Inc., Denver.


OSG Billing Services, Englewood, Colo., has named Ron Whaley vice
president of sales and marketing. Whaley joins OSG from Comvestrix with more than 15 years
of invoicing presentment experience.

Qwest Communications International Inc., Denver, has appointed Jack McMaster
executive vice president of international. McMaster, formerly vice president of AT&T
Corp’s consumer markets business, will focus on new business development, venture and
alliances, as well as sales and operations of network capacity to communications firms.

The Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel), Washington, has promoted Robert
Duke to vice president of finance and administration. Previously, Duke served as
director of business affairs, director of finance and administration, and assistant
treasurer for the Alliance for Higher Education.

Eldon Ward has been named vice president of technical operations for Teltrust
Inc., Salt Lake City. Ward will oversee Teltrust’s network technology, operations and
control center. Prior to joining Teltrust, Ward was director of information services for
Las Vegas-based Golden Tel.

Spirit of Communications Sweeps Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the
Year Awards

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards recognized three
communications-oriented entrepreneurs this year, including the overall 1998 award winner,
Edward Iacobucci, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Citrix Systems Inc., Iacobucci’s business, brought
wide area networks (WANs) to companies over traditional telephone lines.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award in Technology/Communications went to
Lancaster, Texas-based VarTec Telecom Inc.’s President and CEO Joe Mitchell Jr. The ex-oil
industry executive was recognized for his innovative plan using a nationwide network of
independent locally established sales agents to distribute long distance.

Mitchell’s oil background landed him a job with oil tycoon Clayton Williams to run a
telephone equipment venture. After taking the company fully into long distance services,
Mitchell moved on to head the carrier services division of Teleconnect. In 1989 he
resigned from Teleconnect to form VarTec, bringing dial-around services, flat-rate pricing
plans and prepaid phone cards to his value-added resellers.

The award for emerging entrepreneur was given to Yurie Systems Inc.’s CEO Jeong H. Kim.
The 38-year-old entrepreneur sold Yurie–a provider of network switching equipment for
transfer of voice, video and data over copper phone lines–to Murray Hill, N.J.-based
Lucent Technologies Inc. in April 1997 for $1 billion.

–By Jennifer Knapp

New Boss, New Name for Tel-Save

Tel-Save Holdings Inc., New Hope, Pa., has hired Network Solutions Inc. CEO Gabriel
Battista and changed its name to Tel-Save.com Inc. Battista took over as chairman,
president and CEO of Tel-Save.com, replacing Daniel Borislow after the company reported a
third-quarter loss of $41.7 million on $122.5 million in revenue. Excluding a one-time
gain, the loss would have been $92.3 million.

"The vision I see for the business is to take advantage of its good standing in
the telecommunications industry and its ability to sell on the ‘Net … by expanding
product, just getting in there and acquiring customers," Battista says.

Tel-Save.com has a marketing agreement with Internet service provider (ISP) America
Online Inc. (AOL), Herndon, Va., under which it can market its long distance services to
AOL subscribers.

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