2006 marks COMPTELs 25th anniversary and the association is celebrating that milestone with pomp and circumstance as it also trains a watchful eye on pending telecom legislation reform.
The organization has grown considerably since 1981, but the basic issues remain the same namely how to ensure a competitive environment in which entrepreneurial companies can offer consumers the products and services they want, said Earl Comstock, president and CEO of COMPTEL. The fact that COMPTEL is still here is a testament to the strength and resiliency of the competitive sector.
Some of the competitive industrys greatest challenges are yet to come, Comstock predicted. The FCC has significantly altered the rules which previously governed our industry. Congress is considering legislation that could further change the regulatory environment, either for better or worse. Now more than ever the competitive industry needs to speak with a unified voice, and COMPTEL is the forum through which the industrys voice will be heard.
Comstock will share these thoughts and more with COMPTEL PLUS members and attendees during his remarks ushering in the associations 25th Anniversary Conference + Expo today. He also will be joined by J. Sherman Henderson III, COMPTELs chairman of the board, and president and CEO of Lightyear Network Solutions LLC, who has been instrumental in the competitive carrier industry.
Comstock said that as policymakers craft updates to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, COMPTEL and its members must work to preserve the laws pro-competitive principles that are under assault from the incumbent telephone and cable operators. Comstock especially wants to work with legislators to make sure transmission network operators have an incentive to build and operate broadband networks, while at the same time ensuring the nondiscriminatory interconnection of competing networks, and a level playing field for all of the content and service providers, including the network operators, that seek to use those networks to reach consumers.
On Sunday, March 19, COMPTEL held its Champions of Competition Awards dinner, during which time leaders recognized Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Comstock said Sensenbrenner has helped ensure that consumers benefit from communications competition and choice. During todays afternoon break at 1:45 p.m., which is sponsored by Progress Telecom, COMPTEL will serve cake to celebrate its 25th anniversary.