November 1, 2000
QoS Issues Stall Approval of Trading
By Bruce Christian
An agreement for the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel, www.comptel.org)
sponsored universal bandwidth trading contract, which was expected to be
approved during the organization’s Oct. 1-4 fall conference and exhibition in
San Francisco, did not come about.
Carriers who are part of a consortium calling itself the Bandwidth Trading
Organization were expected to meet on Oct. 4 after the conference ended to hone
an agreement that will satisfy the industry. CompTel’s president H. Russell
Frisby, Jr., who is spearheading the BTO efforts, disclosed on the conference’s
opening day that the holdup to reaching a BTO agreement has been within the QoS
Specifically, the problems relate to how the contracts will hold parties
accountable if what is bought is not delivered, according to Steve Simonte, vice
president of global development for Universal Access Inc. (www.universalaccess.net).
Simonte, who was a speaker on one of three panels focusing on bandwidth
trading during the conference, added that when the BTO finalizes an agreement,
it would be a template only, which will permit negotiating parties plenty of
flexibility for their specific needs.
Frisby said, "Hopefully we will be able to finalize the agreement during
a day session. We are making a lot of progress. In the meantime, we have to get
this done because some companies are already using the contract."
PHONE+ reported in October that OTC broker Amerex Bandwidth Ltd. (www.amerexbandwidth.com)
was quoting more than 60 citypair bandwidth markets using the unapproved BTO
master agreement as the foundation for each transaction.
The BTO will become the contract’s administrator once an agreement is reached
and the group incorporates. The coalition, with CompTel’s help, was formed last
May. Its membership includes carriers, online exchanges and operating telephone
When a final standardized contract is accepted, it will mirror a carrier’s
contract. Issues the covenant will address include how transactions are entered
into; exchange of demarcation point information; terms, duration and price; QoS;
and damages and payment procedures.
In its role, the BTO is expected to be the mechanism through which contract
modifications are made and technical standards related to bandwidth will be
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