The message is the same, even though the Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) of the past, who pushed for change in how the telcos behaved, have been subsumed. Today the telcos are challenged by both cable operators targeting the telcos’ small-medium business (SMB) customers, and emerging, nimble over-the- top (OTT) players delivering better services over newer broadband networks.
Government intervention in the form of The Telecommunications Act of 1996, transformed the telecom landscape by encouraging competition for basic telephone services. This introduced new players and changed the habits of established players who learned how to compete. Today, government intervention is being felt by the EPA’s desire to address the threat of climate change. Telco power consumption has drawn the attention of the federal government and the EPA’s focus to cut down on energy waste, “especially from power plants working hard to run more telecommunications devices and the network and back office equipment that drives those devices.”
David Walsh, Genband’s President and CEO, presented in May 2015 how a new telecommunications infrastructure could be introduced that significantly reduces power consumption and saves real estate (floor and rack space) for the telcos. He suggested that the telephone companies could realize $31 billion in annual power savings by modernizing their infrastructure.
Déjà vu indeed.
The large telcos are still slow to change, but today’s version of government scrutiny may once again compel them to change for the better. Genband is highlighting how the telcos could achieve this.