VOL. 13, NO. 14
April 10, 2017

April 19
LightRiver Technologies Collaborates with Industry Leaders on Telecom Infra Project

Attendees Let the Good Times Roll at The INCOMPAS Show 
Last week at   The INCOMPAS Show: Spring 2017, attendees let the good times roll - making important business connections during the Buyers Forum and networking events, sealing deals, learning about the latest industry trends impacting their companies and having a lot of New Orleans-style fun.

See highlights and breaking news in the Show Daily: Day 1 and Day 2, and in the photo essay below.

Uniti Group President and CEO Kenny Gunderman talks about fiber opportunities and the need for innovative business models with INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering during Tuesday's Industry Keynote. 

Bank Street Group's Rich Lukaj (left) discussed telecom and tech M&A trends with Masergy Chairman and CEO Chris MacFarland and GTT President and CEO Rick Calder.

Vendors meet with buyers during the Buyers Forum open meeting time.

The Deal Center buzzed with activity from morning to evening, as attendees hosted meetings and sealed deals.

Attendees networked and caught up with long-time friends and colleagues during Beers with Peers happy hour.

The INCOMPAS Show wraps up with the Big Easy Bash at Generations Hall. 
INCOMPAS Blasts FCC BDS Reversal as a Competition Killer 
On March 30, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai introduced a radically different proposal for business broadband, also known as business data services (BDS), that
threatens to reduce competition and raise prices on broadband lines used by small businesses, schools, hospitals and libraries.

In response, INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering said: "This is a competition killer pure and simple. Chairman Pai is taking an already broken broadband market, where 86 percent only have one choice for services at 50 Mbps and below, and making it worse. Based on past experience, this proposal will slap on average a 25 percent broadband price hike on small businesses, and a hidden monopoly tax on American businesses and consumers who will pay more every time they use an ATM machine or gas pump."

He added that "this is crony capitalism that favors broadband giants, is anti-business, and kicks consumers. Pai's proposal is the exact opposite of the pro-competition doctrine championed by the Trump
Administration and promoted by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill who have made increasing competition central to health care, insurance and education reform. One-third of the counties in the U.S. have only one health care provider. The business broadband market is even worse where more than three-fourths of business locations have only one provider.  As the Chairman's proposal is a radical departure from the Commission's BDS notice, we believe it deserves a full public comment period and an updated open and transparent review of
the data taking into account recent market consolidation that impacts business customers from significant competitive providers, including Level 3, XO Communications, and EarthLink.

"The Chairman's proposals are out of order. On the one hand, he wants to reduce barriers to entry and lower the costs of new network deployment. On the other hand, his BDS proposal will increase the cost of deploying fiber and 5G infrastructure. Deployment and competition should come first. Consumers want real choice, real competition and lower prices." 
Nine Members Elected to INCOMPAS Board of Directors
Members of INCOMPAS, the competitive networks association, elected eight companies to serve on the INCOMPAS Board of Directors for the 2017-2019 term during the annual membership meeting at The INCOMPAS Show. These newly elected board members join the others who are currently serving their 2016-2018 terms.

Last week, at its first meeting with the newly elected directors, the board re-elected Deborah Ward, CEO of TSI for her fourth term as chairwoman. The board also selected Eric Einhorn, senior vice president of Government Affairs and Strategy at Windstream, as vice chairman; and Dale R. Schmick, COO of TerraCom Wireless, as treasurer. Rounding out the Executive Committee are four at-large members: Michael B. Galvin, general counsel, Granite Telecommunications, LLC; Grey Humphrey, chief marketing officer, Spirit Communications; Charles McKee, vice president, Government Affairs Federal and State Regulatory at Sprint; and Alan Katz, vice president, Sunesys.

"It is a privilege to be selected by my peers to continue serve as chairwoman of INCOMPAS," Ward said. "INCOMPAS continues to bring together a growing group of internet, communications and technology companies for whom open competitive markets are critical to continued innovation and economic development. As the association expands its membership, we remain true to our roots, creating an environment that fosters greater competition and provides the industry with a place to come together, share ideas, make deals and growth their businesses."

Elected to the board for the 2017-2019 term are:

Small Category
  • TerraCom Wireless - Dale R. Schmick, COO
  • TSI - Deborah Ward, CEO
Medium Category
  • Bandwidth - John Murdock, President
  • Global Capacity - Chris Birdsall, Vice President, Global Wholesale Carrier Services
  • Google Fiber - Milo Medin, Vice President, Access Services
  • Sonic Telecom - Dane Jasper, CEO and Co-Founder
  • Spirit Communications - Grey Humphrey, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Wave Business - Greg Palser, Vice President, Business Development

Large Category 

  • TelePacific Communications - Russ Shipley, Executive Vice President, Wholesale and Network Services
FCC Announces Agenda
for April Open Meeting
The FCC announced the tentative agenda for its April Open Meeting scheduled 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 20. Continuing Chairman Ajit Pai's pilot program, the FCC is publicly releasing the draft text of each item expected to be considered at the Open Commission Meeting: https://go.usa.gov/xX5Qn  
  • Business Data Services - The Commission will consider a Report and Order that claims strong competition is present in the business data services market and modifies the Commission's regulatory structure accordingly, eliminating nearly all application of dominant carrier safeguards across the country.
  • Connect America Fund - The Commission will consider an Order on Reconsideration that would amend the construction project limitation within section 54.303 of the Commission's rules to permit carriers to report, for universal service purposes, capital expenses per location up to the established per-location per-project limit, rather than disallowing all capital expenses associated with construction projects in excess of the limit.
  • Wireline Infrastructure Deployment - TThe Commission will consider an NPRM, NOI and Request for Comment that would propose to remove regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment, suggest changes regarding the transition from copper networks and legacy services to next-generation networks and services dependent on fiber, and propose to reform Commission regulations that they claim raise costs and slow, rather than facilitate, broadband deployment. 
  • Wireless Infrastructure Deployment - The Commission will consider a NPRM and NOI that commences an examination of the regulatory impediments to wireless network infrastructure investment and deployment, and how the Commission may remove or reduce such impediments consistent with the law and the public interest.
  • Reinstating the UHF Discount - The Commission will consider an Order on Reconsideration to reinstate the UHF discount used to calculate compliance with the national television audience reach cap.
  • Noncommercial Educational Station Third-Party Fundraising - The Commission will consider a Report and Order that would adopt rules permitting NCE stations not funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to alter or suspend regular programming in order to conduct fundraising for third-party non-profit organizations so long as such stations do not spend more than one percent of their total annual airtime on such activities.
  • Promoting Diversification of Ownership in the Broadcasting Services - The Commission will consider an Order on Reconsideration that would allow noncommercial broadcasters greater flexibility to use a Special Use FRN for ownership reporting purposes and avoid the need to submit personal information to the Commission.
Open Meetings are steamed live at www.fcc.gov/live and can be followed on social media: #OpenMtgFCC. 
Brown Bag Webinar Series: Sharetracker Shares Insights on Early Returns of IoT Research
Join INCOMPAS and ShareTracker for a Brown Bag webinar at 12:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, April 19 to learn more about the early returns of recent Internet of Things (IoT) research. 

The webinar will examine results from ShareTracker's quarterly research project, designed to track IoT emergence and market share trends. The Q4 2016 study found that traditional internet-connected devices, including PC,s, laptops and cell phones account for 56 percent residential IoT devices, once the most common connected devices (routers/access points) are removed from the calculation. Printers and smart TVs follow, both accounting for 14 percent of the device family share. Security, entertainment, energy management, gaming and automotive round out the devices the devices families measured.

ShareTracker will review the results of this research project in an effort to keep INCOMPAS members abreast of a topic that can impact their businesses. Register today.