Birch Opposes Harmful Broadband Consolidation, Pushes for Policy Reform

Company takes stance on lack of broadband service options for communities, competition is key.

Jul 06, 2015, 06:00 ET from Birch Communications, Inc.

ATLANTA, July 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Birch Communications, Inc., ("Birch") a leading nationwide provider of communications, network and cloud services to small, mid-sized, enterprise and wholesale businesses, announced today its ongoing opposition to the significant broadband provider consolidation that has alarmingly left U.S. businesses and households with inadequate internet service options. The FCC published rather staggering results in 2014, finding that over half of all American households – 55 percent – have access to only one broadband provider and 80 percent have access to only two providers.

The absence of true broadband competition in the marketplace has prompted Birch to support The Broadband Coalition, a group advocating for competitive broadband providers to unite to preserve innovation, competition and connection for future networks. The coalition launched a new campaign called Stop BOB (Big Old Broadband), calling for more choice and competition in broadband services, which includes a video and a petition directed at the FCC and Congress to support policies that give Americans more choice in broadband service. Birch urges businesses and consumers alike to participate in the campaign by signing and sharing the petition and to promote awareness via social media, all in a collective effort to help end monopoly and duopoly control in support of competition.

Birch's Director of Industry Relations, Greg Darnell, fervently supports the campaign's objectives, including its drive to encourage legislators to insist on transparent dealings by incumbent phone companies, stating, "Transparency is the key to fair and effective competition, economic growth, job creation, innovation and efficiency.  Incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) are required to publicly file, and make available for opt-in, all agreements for the exchange of voice traffic where another entity can assume the same contractual rates, terms and conditions. This requirement of transparency exists to keep incumbent phone companies from discriminating against competitive carriers and new companies wanting to enter the market to provide options for customers."

Birch Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Christopher Bunce added, "With the enforcement of transparency, innovative new market entrants, such as Birch, will be able to bring more competition to big old broadband (BOB) in more areas and will enable more choices to consumers."

Recent consolidation has contributed to a lack of choice for broadband service, which has frustrated consumers and businesses for far too long. "Customers want more choices and better prices for broadband service, both at home and at work," said Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for The Broadband Coalition. "Only having one or two broadband options results in a decline in customer service, higher prices and less investment. Competition is the cure and our campaign to Stop BOB is designed to foster more broadband choice."

About The Broadband Coalition

The Broadband Coalition's mission is to bring more competition to the broadband marketplace.  Competition brings more choices, better customer service and more affordable prices. The coalition promotes and defends policies that encourage more competition and the connection of networks across all technology platforms. They urge policymakers to reaffirm the bi-partisan 1996 Telecom Act's commitment to access and competition as America's broadband networks evolve. Please encourage your company, friends and customers to sign and share the petition.

About Birch Communications

Birch Communications, Inc. is a leading nationwide provider of communications, network and cloud services. Recognized for its award-winning customer care, Birch manages a nationwide footprint that services small, mid-sized, enterprise and wholesale businesses. Its industry-leading product portfolio includes: managed communications, broadband, cloud solutions, Metro-Fiber, Metro-Ethernet, unified communications, data center and IT Services.  For more information, visit birch.com.

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SOURCE Birch Communications, Inc.



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