CopperCom Offers UNE-P CLECs Rent-to-Buy Switch Program, Support

CopperCom has launched a softswitch rental program and related professional services for CLECs that need to find new business models in light of regulatory changes outmoding UNE-P.

Under the program, CLECs can rent CopperComs CSX next-generation switching system, and can opt to put those rental fees toward the purchase of the switch should they elect to at a later date.

Its all about conserving cash and minimizing risk, says Chuck Harris, vice president of marketing for CopperCom, noting that rentals can be of any duration and that the company offers otherwise favorable financing terms. CopperCom is able to do all this, Harris adds, because of the significant financial resources of its parent company, The Heico Companies, a diversified organization with revenues exceeding $2.5 billion.

As for the professional services piece, CopperCom Consulting Services can assist CLECs in getting their switches up and running, and offer support on all that entails including being involved in negotiations and filing required paperwork.

Weve got an operations consulting services arm that will do everything from project management to training CLECs in operations and processes, says Harris. For example, if a CLEC is moving to a facilities-based model, CopperCom can advise and assist that company in getting interconnection agreements with ILECs, SS7 certification, blocks of numbers and the like. They can buy a group of services one or two at a time, or they can by a complete turnkey approach, he adds.

On average, CLECs using the services can save 50 percent of the time it takes to migrate to a facilities-based model that would be required if they did it alone, Harris says.

Kathie Jewitt, CLEC manager for sales support, who runs the program, says CopperCom can help CLECs get a handle on what it will take and how much it will cost them to go facilities-based. One of the other things theyre interested in is, as a facilities-based provider, What kind of revenue generation do I have? she says. What kind of advantages do I have as far as collecting access and getting them a good understanding of how their CABS billing system is going to enable them to be able to collect that revenue. Basically, theyre looking for cost and revenue.

While CopperCom has been offering CLECs these kinds of services over the past year or so, Harris says the announcement today puts it together in a complete, menu-based package for those moving away from UNE-P.

CopperCom Consulting Services gives CLECs access to trained technical professionals and regulatory experts whose counsel can reduce startup time by up to 50 percent.

CopperCom has been an instrumental partner to New Frontiers in our transition to a facilities-based operation, says Clint Wiley, president of New Frontiers Telecommunication, a Hagerstown, Md.-based CLEC. The guidance and flexibility of the CopperCom team, combined with the ability of the CopperCom softswitch, was critical to making our network deployment a success.

The CSX provides Class 4, Class 5 and IP services. The product offers a complete set of features including residential CLASS and custom calling features, business group, CALEA, LNP and Centrex.

Harris says CopperCom, whose product is RUS-listed, has been focused mostly on the IOC market recently, but was serving CLECs early on in its history.

Today, CopperCom has a total of 115 customers, with 150 switches in the field. That customer list now includes several tier 2 IOCs such as Chillicothe Telephone and Iowa Telecom, Harris notes, adding weve really moved up the food chain in the past year.

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