The members of CompTel/ASCENT and the Association for Local Telecommunications Services (ALTS) voted last week to approve the merger of the two organizations. The merger, which will be completed March 1, combines more than 350 companies in support of the development and deployment of competitive communications networks and services for consumers and businesses. CompTel/ASCENT on Dec. 3 announced plans to merge with ALTS the third such combination for the group over the last few years. CompTel merged with the Americas Carriers Telecommunications Association (ACTA) in spring 1999 and ASCENT in fall 2003.
The new association will operate, in the short-term, under the name CompTel/ALTS, while its board of directors explores alternative branding strategies. The staffs of the associations will be combined and headquartered at CompTel/ASCENTs offices in Washington, D.C.
The merger of CompTel/ASCENT and ALTS will enable facilities-based carriers and their partners to work together to promote pro-competitive policies, as well as develop and strengthen the vital business relationships needed to be successful in todays dynamic marketplace, says CompTel/ASCENT Chairman J. Sherman Henderson III, president and CEO of Lightyear Network Solutions LLC.
We met our goal of quickly closing this merger and we are excited to work together, says ALTS Chairman Jim Geiger, president and CEO of Cbeyond Communications. Our member companies continue to bring consumers and small businesses the innovative broadband services that drive our nations economy. We have a powerful pro-competition, pro-innovation message to take to policymakers and leaders across the country, and we are ready to hit the ground running.
Henderson will serve as chairman of CompTel/ALTS. Geiger and Richard E. Burk, president and CEO of nii Communications Ltd., will be co-vice chairmen of the new association. Joseph Ambersley, president of PAETEC South at PAETEC Communications Inc. will be co-vice chair/treasurer.
H. Russell Frisby Jr., who announced in late November that he was stepping down from his post as president and CEO of CompTel/ASCENT, will continue as the associations interim executive officer until a successor is found. The ALTS presidency has been held on an interim basis by Julia Strow, chair of the ALTS Operating Board, since October when John Windhausen Jr. resigned after serving the group for five years.
The CompTel/ALTS board of directors will consist of 32 members, 11 of which will serve on the boards executive committee. Elections for a new board will be held in October at the groups fall meeting.