New CompTel Chief: Internet is the New PSTN

Four months after his appointment to lead CompTel, Earl W. Comstock is set to address his first convention of the association membership today at 1:15 p.m.

As the competitive industrys chief advocate before Congress, the FCC, the White House and other federal and state agencies, Comstocks primary message will be the fight to keep networks open.

The reality is that e-commerce is thriving today because common carrier regulation keeps the phone networks open to all. The Internet is the PSTN of the 21st century increasingly all traffic flows over it, he says. What industry CEOs need to tell Congress and the FCC if they want a competitive future is: The Internet is the new PSTN. Keep open networks by requiring common carriage.

In his remarks, Comstock also will discuss a new initiative called ACTION Advancing Communications Through Innovation and Open Networks. As the new CEO of CompTel, I am excited by the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, says Comstock. Working with our members, CompTel is a strong advocate at the FCC and Congress on behalf of our members.

Comstock joins CompTel after serving as a partner at Sher & Blackwell LLP, a Washington, D.C., law firm that represents ISPs, applications providers, wireless carriers and CLECs. Prior to joining Sher & Blackwell LLP in 1998, Comstock worked for 10 years for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, where he was involved in every major piece of communications legislation enacted from 1991 to 1997, including the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996.

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