One More Time With Feeling
case you havent heard it by now, youll read in our review of the
ASCENT 2003 Spring Conference & Networking Center on page 60, that ASCENT
and CompTel are talking merger. Again.
The groups have discussed a combination at least
twice before. While its hard to hold ones breath after the many false
starts such talks have had over the years, this time I personally am hopeful the
union will happen. The timing is as good as its ever been.
In the past when both groups were thriving
with the meteoric rise of the telecom industry there was little incentive to
settle disagreements over control and structure. Today, the organizations
recognize a need for solidarity both in mission and in fiscal support.
Together, the groups would have CompTels
lobbying muscle and prowess and ASCENTs broad member services portfolio. The
interests of the largest facilities-based competitors would meld with the
smallest of switchless resellers.
the leaderships have the selflessness to choose from among themselves a strong
merged team, the most difficult but surmountable task that remains is
reconciling ASCENTs egalitarian dues structure with CompTels tiered model.
Frankly, even if the groups are unable to strike
a deal, the need for a more cooperative, coordinated relationship is
overwhelmingly apparent. The negotiators representing each side would do well to
make sure, at a minimum, an alliance of equals is formed. There is too much at
stake for the competitive industry for its strongest advocates to be handicapped
by an internal power struggle.
However they do it, coming together is a good
Editor in Chief