AT&T and Verizon to Offer New Pricing Models

Whenever a new product or service is released by a new vendor, especially if it comes from a large company like Microsoft, the impact, whether negative or positive, is immediately felt by both new and existing customers. Such is the case in the telecom and cable industries. Just as in the software industry, there are only a few giants that have monopolistic control over this particular market, especially when it comes to pricing for internet-based services.

One such juggernaut in this realm is AT&T. Already, there are concerns as to how the small to medium-sized business (SMB) sector will be impacted as this giant switches over to offering new IP based services to its existing customers. One such business entity, which has been raising red flags about this plan, is Windstream Communications, Inc.

This telecom/cable carrier is also a provider of IP based services, and there are fears already brewing that if AT&T and Verizon both increase the price of their new IP services, the SMB sector will be negatively impacted. A prime example of this is the University of Arkansas Medical Service (UAMS). This organization already has an extremely low budget and, if AT&T and Verizon do, indeed, raise their prices, the UAMS will have to shift funds from other critical resources to pay these higher bills.

As Windstream has pointed out, “. . . the public at large will not be well-served if the University of Arkansas Medical Service (UAMS) must divert more of its limited telemedicine budget toward telecommunications costs, and away from delivering medical services to Arkansas’ rural communities.”

Even non-profit entities could be greatly impacted by this move, as these organizations already have extremely limited staff and budgets. In order to find protection for the SMB sector throughout the United States, Windstream Communications has specifically asked the FCC to grant its Petition for a Declaratory Ruling as soon as possible.

It is expected that this major issue will be discussed at the FCC’s next open meeting, which will be held on August 6, 2015.

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