RICA, ANPI Bring VoIP to Independent Telcos

Two telecom groups are partnering in a deal that will give members access to a nationwide, independent VoIP network. The Rural Independent Competitive Alliance (RICA), one of the United States largest CLEC associations, has made a deal with Associated Network Partners Inc. (ANPI), a consortium owned by more than 300 independent telephone companies, for its members to provide VoIP.

Thanks to the agreement, ANPI becomes RICAs exclusive VoIP provider. The organization will design and support a facilities-based approach to VoIP. RICA members also will receive aggregated pricing and specialized training from ANPI.

“Both RICA and ANPI recognize the strength that independents gain when working together, says RICA Chairman Paul Schuetzler. We see VoIP becoming an expansion/growth strategy for many RICA member companies. Having the expertise, experience and innovative approach of ANPI as a resource is a tremendous benefit.”

ANPI executives say long-term collaborations are key to independent telcos continuing to successfully bring innovative services to rural America, says ANPI CEO Dave Lewis. RICA is recognized for its progressive leadership, and we’re looking forward to jointly developing products and training curricula that help the independents realize the opportunities that are clearly before us through technologies such as VoIP.”

RICA claims 78 voting members and works with small rural CLECs. In addition to VoIP, ANPI also provides independent telcos with wholesale long-distance, toll-free service and more.

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