VOL. 12, NO. 15
April 18, 2016



Equinox Provides Solution For United Wireless

Level 3 Provides Video Broadcast Services for EnterPlay

Joe DePetro Joins XKL's Executive Team to Lead Global Business Development


April 19
Reply Comments Due in NOI on Promoting the Availability of Diverse and Independent Sources of Video Programming

April 22
May 12

May 23
Reply Comments Due on Set-Top Box NPRM

May 27
Comments Due in NPRM on Privacy Guidelines for Broadband ISPs

Reply Comments, Oppositions to Petitions Due on Verizon Acquisition of XO Communications

June 27
Reply Comments Due in NPRM on Privacy Guidelines for Broadband ISPs
INCOMPAS, Verizon Offer Compromise Framework for Business Data Services
On April 8, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler introduced a new framework for business data services (special access) that enables competition and broadband access on a technology neutral basis, as well as an order on the FCC's Lock Up investigation for consideration at the FCC's April 28 open meeting

On the same day, INCOMPAS joined with Verizon on a blog post and letter to the FCC indicating their willingness to work together on a technology neutral approach that encourages network deployment and sets a framework for competition and access.

In a statement, INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering noted that "we have a business data revolution, and competition is the key. That is the message from Chairman Wheeler, who continues to remain steadfast in his support for competition policy. By ending anti-competitive lock-up provisions, the FCC is speeding the deployment of new, advanced networks and is providing relief to mobile and business customers hungry for more competition."
"Chairman Tom Wheeler and the FCC are setting a course for the future of broadband competition for wired and wireless networks. For over a decade, inaction and uncertainty have held back competition, investment and innovation," he added. "In fact, the Consumer Federation of America released a paper that shows that the total economic harm of overcharges for broadband access over the last five years was $150 billion. But the FCC's proposal has the potential to foster a competitive marketplace with more choices and lower prices for all consumers."

Pickering noted that the compromise outlined by INCOMPAS and Verizon is "critical for wired, wireless, as well as 5G networks and beyond. We look forward to working with the Commission to ensure the future is better for customers and communities who depend on advanced networks - both wired and wireless."
A Look Back at The INCOMPAS Show
Last week, The INCOMPAS Show brought together movers and shakers in the communications industry for four days of networking, dealmaking and insights on the latest trends and business strategies. See the news and photos from the Expo Hall in The Show Daily and in the photos below. 

If you attended The INCOMPAS Show, please take our  survey by April 27, and you will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Amex gift card.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler delivered the Monday afternoon keynote, where he where he set a course for Commission action on business data services, set-top box competition and the roll-out of 5G wireless. Following his remarks, INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering said in a statement that "the Chairman is addressing issues that are core to INCOMPAS members with a common sense approach. His proposed policies are based on the realities of our quickly changing marketplace and we appreciate that he is treating issues, such as business data services and set-top box competition, with the urgency they deserve."

Dennis Elwell, group vice president of Verizon Partner Solutions, kicked off Sunday night with a discussion about the innovations required to deliver on the promise of the digital age and trends and opportunities in the wholesale industry.

INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering (left) speaks with Tony Thomas, president and CEO of Windstream, about what it takes to remain competitive in the communications market during the opening session on Monday morning. 

Granite Telecommunications Founder, CEO and President Robert T. Hale Jr. shares his company's story and talks about how competition has resulted in real, tangible benefits for his company's customers.  

Michelle French (left) of Sales Tax Associates presents the grand prize - a $500 Amex gift card - to Paris Donahue of Communications Data Group.
13 Members Elected to INCOMPAS Board of Directors 

At The INCOMPAS Show last week, association members elected 13 companies to serve on the INCOMPAS Board of Directors for the 2016-2018 term. These newly elected board members join the others who are currently serving their 2015-2017 terms. 

During their first meeting, the Board re-elected Deb Ward, CEO of TSI, as its chairwoman; Chris Murray, senior vice president of Public Policy at EarthLink as vice chairman; and Jim Butman, group president at TDS as treasurer. Rounding out the Executive Committee are four at-large members: Robert Beaty, president and CEO of Impact Telecom; Michael Galvin, general counsel for Granite Telecommunications; Charles McKee, vice president of Government Affairs, Federal and State Regulatory at Sprint; and Dale R. Schmick, COO of YourTel America Inc. 

"I'm honored to be selected by my peers to serve a third term as chairwoman of INCOMPAS," said Ward. "INCOMPAS has accomplished so much during the past year - broadening our membership, enhancing our shows that give our members even more valuable networking time and achieving significant policy successes that encourage greater competition and new business opportunities. I look forward to working with the board to continue this positive momentum long into the future." 

Companies elected to the board for the 2016-2018 term include: 

Small Category 
  • ComSpan - Mark Scully, President 
  • Global Convergence Solutions - Chris Birdsall, Executive Vice President, Global Sales 
  • TeleQuality Communications Inc. - Tim Koxlien, CEO 
Medium Category 
  • Alpheus Communications LLC - Scott Widham, CEO 
  • ANPI - Randy Lemmo, Executive Vice President, Strategic Business 
  • FirstLight Fiber - Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO 
  • Inteliquent - John Schoder, Chief Marketing Officer 
  • Sunesys - Alan Katz, Vice President 
Large Category 
  • EarthLink - Chris Murray, Senior Vice President, Public Policy 
  • Granite Telecommunications LLC - Michael Galvin, General Counsel 
  • Level 3 Communications LLC - Joseph Cavender, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Federal Affairs 
  • Sprint - Charles McKee, Vice President, Government Affairs Federal and State Regulatory 
  • Windstream - Eric Einhorn, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
White House Calls for Competition in the Set-Top Box Market
On April 15, the White House released a blog announcing a new effort to promote competition in the set-top box market, following an NPRM from the FCC that proposes to unlock the box and promote competition.

INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering said that "competition is the key to unlocking the set top box and unleashing innovation. Ending monopoly policy and injecting competition policy is a proven way to create American jobs, new markets and investment. Entrepreneurs are eager and ready to build a better box and apps of the future, and the White House wants to accelerate that process.

"Like the rest of us, President Obama must be tired of having to switch remote controls every time he watches House of Cards or other streaming content," Pickering added. "New boxes from new companies will create a competition ecosphere that benefits consumers, innovators and content creators. A bi-partisan Congress directed the FCC to bring competition to the set top box market two decades ago. Today's action by the White House is in line with that law. Unlocking the set top box and ending monopoly policy is change consumers and free market conservatives can all believe in."