TCA Chooses New President

rob_butler.jpgDraper, Ut. - The Technology Channel Association (TCA) today named Rob Butler as its new president. The TCA board is made up of industry leading master agents, leadership from one of the country's largest VAR's, the past Editor-in-Chief of the leading telecom and cloud industry magazine, an author and consultant for sales enablement and marketing, the founding President of the Women in the Channel, and the best direct agents that the industry has developed.

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Channel Partners Show Keeps Evolving

venetian.jpgLas Vegas - By all accounts, the 2016 Channel Partners Conference and Expo this past week was a hit with a growing number of vendors and attendees. A list of exhibitors from one year to the next says a lot about where the state of the industry is headed and how much things have changed in only a few short years.

What originally started off as the Phone+ Magazine Agent Trade Fair in 1997 has morphed from a gathering of agents, master agents and upstart long distance carriers and resellers to a much more matured group of Channel Partners and variety of data and information providers.

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News From Channel Partners Show

las_vegas.jpgLas Vegas - This year's Channel Partner's Show in Las Vegas has apparently set a new record for attendance at well over 5,000 attendees, with a wide variety of new exhibitors and technologies taking to the floor for the first time. 

There were quite a number of new announcements made by vendors at the show. We will cover a few of them here:


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Mediacom Plans Gigabit Upgrades

mediacom.pngMediacom Park, NY - Nationwide cable MSO Mediacom today announced that it will be making $1 billion in network upgrades over the next 3 years to offer gigabit broadband service to the 3 million customers currently in its footprint. The upgrades will include both gigabit internet service to residential customers as well as to business customers in its 1,500 local rate centers. Areas not already served should start seeing gigabit service deployed in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Currently priced at around $150 per month, its "Project Gigabit" service will largely be expanded to residential customers through the use of Docsis 3.1 technology utilizing its existing copper network. For businesses and metro customers the company plans on delivering direct "deep" fiber connectivity and greatly expanding the number of "lit" buildings that it passes.  

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New Cloud Conferencing Service From Grandstream

granstream-3200-conferencing.jpgBoston, Mass.  Grandstream Networks, connecting the world since 2002 with award-winning SIP unified communications solutions, has announced the launch of IPVideoTalk, a cloud-based video, audio and Web conferencing service. This subscription service allows any video conference held on a Grandstream GVC3200 or GVC3202 to become a virtual online meeting that can be easily attended by any other GVC320x devices as well as any Web browser users anywhere in the world.

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Global Capacity Adds Telarus As Partner

Adam_Edwards_wTitle.jpgCHICAGO, Ill. -  Global Capacity, the leading connectivity as a service company, announces it has signed a strategic channel partnership agreement with award-winning distributor of business data, voice and cloud services, Telarus. As part of the agreement, the network of agent partners, value added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs) of Telarus is able to offer Global Capacity's robust portfolio of Internet, private line and MPLS services to their small, medium and large customers nationwide and internationally.

"We are pleased to be a master agent in Global Capacity's Channel Partner Program," said Adam Edwards, president of Telarus. "Global Capacity's brand promise of Connectivity Made Simple, combined with its differentiated products, like Asymmetrical Ethernet, provide our agent partners another viable alternative to compete and win more network sales opportunities."

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Momentum Adds Training Resources

miles_fields.jpgBIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Momentum Telecom, a premier provider of Business Voice, Broadband Management and Unified Communications solutions, has successfully introduced its new comprehensive online training platform, Momentum University. Designed with the goal of providing easily accessible and comprehensive access to informational and training resources, Momentum University will serve as an active and progressive tool for Momentum Telecom to aide its customers.

While Momentum Telecom already boasts robust training practices, Momentum University will enhance the already extensive curriculum, which includes on-site training, webinars and materials library.

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Google Launches New Wireless Service

project-fi.pngSan Jose, Calif. - On Monday Google quietly launched the nation's newest wireless service for customers across the United States. Acting as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) the new service is available exclusively to owners of the newest versions of its Nexus smartphone using a special SIM card.

Branded as Project Fi, the service initially became available to beta testers in 2015. Starting this week, anyone owning the compatible hardware can subscribe though. Currently, Google uses proprietary technology in its Nexus phones to switch customers seamlessly between wi-fi and the 4G LTE networks of either T-Mobile or Sprint.

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ShoreTel Adds Flexible Hybrid Options

eugenia_corrales.jpgSUNNYVALE, CA - ShoreTel, the leading provider of phone systems and unified communications (UC) solutions, has rolled out its new ShoreTel Connect HYBRID Sites in North America, which enables companies to mix-and-match Connect ONSITE and Connect CLOUD services and applications across multiple locations.

ShoreTel Connect HYBRID Sites provides a flexible communications solution that allows companies to move at their own pace and as their business needs dictate to full and mixed cloud deployments, while protecting existing communications investments. ShoreTel Connect can be configured multiple ways and across multiple geographies to fit with individual company growth and business models; ensuring that what companies select today will grow with them as their needs change in the future.

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AT&T Adds Collaboration Suite

rick_hubbard.jpgDallas, TX - AT&T today announced a new suite of collaboration tools named  AT&T Collaborate™ that will become available to business customers in late April 2016. Services will be offered on a per seat basis with basic voice services and calling features at the core of each offering.

"With AT&T Collaborate, you're able to design a collaboration solution that best fits your business needs – whether you need basic voice capabilities or a full unified communications experience," said Rick Hubbard, senior vice president, Networking Product Management, AT&T Business Solutions. "The solution provides a flexible way for you to connect your employees while helping control costs and complexity."

A number of enhancements will be available in the form of add-on packages which include:




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Comcast Ramping Up Broadband Speeds

comcast-business.jpgPhiladelphia, PA - Comcast Corp. is reportedly set to make upgrades in 2016 to its broadband infrastructure including the deployment of Docsis 3.1 modems to its customers. Deploying the new modems will allow Comcast to offer Gigabit speeds to customers living in areas that do not currently have access to its fiber network. Using Docsis 3.1 technology its existing copper infrastructure will be able to provide customers with download speeds of up to 10Gbps.

Currently, the company offers its GigabitPro service to business customers in areas where fiber has already been deployed. It currently offers download speeds of up to 2Gbps, but carries significant installation costs for customers that do not already have fiber deployed in their buildings. Its new service will allow customers to upgrade to Gigabit speeds by simply swapping out their existing modems.

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AT&T To Overhaul Streaming Service

att-directv.pngDallas, TX - Less than two weeks after reports of AT&T shuttering its ailing U-Verse video service the company today announced a slew of new video streaming options through its subsidiary DirecTV.

Unlike the company's existing U-Verse service the new plans will not require customers to subscribe to broadband via AT&T. Customers will be able to stream programming to any location or device, whether it be at home, work or accessing using a wi-fi connection. The service will not require any specific type of hardware, such as a home gateway, which was a staple of its former U-Verse service.


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Suddenlink Adding GigaSpeed

altice-suddenlink.jpgSt. Louis, Mo. - Cable television and broadband provider Suddenlink today announced plans to continue the rollout of its previously announced Operation GigaSpeed. The provider's new parent company Altice N.V. confirmed that the company will be investing approximately $250 million in upgrading its infrastructure to provide 1000Mbps connectivity to 90% of its customers by the end of 2016.

Suddenlink currently offers commercial and residential broadband service in 250 local franchises throughout the United States. It was recently purchased by Netherlands-based Altice N.V. for a reported $9.1 billion. Altice is a global telecommunications provider serving nearly 46 million customers worldwide. The company is also in the process of purchasing U.S. cable MSO and broadband provider Cablevision Systems.

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Verizon Buying XO Network Assets

xo_network_small.pngNew York - Xo Communications today announced plans to sell major portions of its network assets to Verizon for $1.8 Billion. Among the assets included are Xo's entire nationwide fiber network and fiber-based IP and Ethernet networks. Verizon is also agreeing to lease wireless spectrum licensed to Xo with an option to purchase it at a later date, pending FCC approval. The company currently owns 102 wireless licenses across the country in the 28 and 39GHz range, which covers 45% of the U.S. population. Verizon has stated that it intends to use the spectrum as part of its upcoming migration to 5G.


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Telarus Adds Barrios

ken_barrios.jpgSANDY, UT - Telarus, Inc. today announced that it has hired Ken Barrios as a Director of Solution Sales. In this role, Barrios will leverage his 12 years of experience as a Regional Channel Manager for tw telecom and later Level 3 Communications, to work with Telarus partners who need full service assistance designing, proposing, selling, and/or project managing large and complex network and hosted voice sales. 

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AT&T May Dump Video Service

AT&T U-VerseSan Antonio, TX - According to a number of reports AT&T may already be in the process of phasing-out its troubled U-Verse video service. Bloomberg News reports that the carrier has halted manufacture of the company's set-top boxes and is hoping to migrate existing U-Verse customers to recently purchased satellite TV provider DirecTV.

The company's U-Verse service has had a troubled history, which includes a steadily declining customer base and a variety of technical problems. These have included nationwide service disruptions lasting days at a time. The service has also suffered from its reliance upon legacy DSL technology in most areas.

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Robert Fish Joins Intelisys

robert_fish.jpgPetaluma, CA – Intelisys Communications, Inc., the nation’s leading Technology Services Distributor, has hired former Windstream channel manager Robert Fish as Senior Channel Manager, Southeast Region. Based out of Atlanta, Fish will manage Intelisys Sales Partners throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

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Powernet Certified by WBENC

Allison-Stevens.jpgCincinnati, OH - Powernet is pleased to announce it has earned national certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), as a women-owned business. 

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BigLeaf Partners With Telarus

john_hogan.jpgSANDY, UT. — Telarus Inc., master agent and owner of VXSuite and national distributor of voice, data and cloud infrastructure services, today announced that it has entered into a partnership with BigLeaf Networks, the intelligent networking service that optimizes Internet and cloud performance by dynamically choosing the best connection based on real-time usage and diagnostics.

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2015 Awards Share Common Threads

partners-choice-2015-winner.jpgThe 2015 Telecom Association Partners Choice Awards were announced earlier today and a look at the results seems to show some common threads for the biggest winners, a few of which are worthy of mention:

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2015 Partners Choice Award Winners Announced

Telecom Association ("TA") announces the 123 vendors that TA's 3,800 members selected as their 2015 "Partners Choice" in 83 telecom, internet, data and network managed service categories.  

The most highly coveted category, "Top Overall Master Agency/Technology Services Distributor" was won by Telarus.  "The annual voting was tight in the Master Agency category," stated Dan Baldwin, TA Executive Director, "but Telarus' 2015 acquisition of VXSuite which provides NOC based circuit monitoring for any circuit sold through Telarus gave them the edge with our partner member voters this year." 

To view a full list of all 123 vendors winners ...

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POTS is Dead?

van.jpgI read (yet) another article earlier this week about the imminent death of Plain Old Telephone Service and how VoIP has developed over time to become just as resilient and reliable as the original Public Switched Telephone Network. Perhaps POTS will eventually be relegated to the dust bin of history, but from a practical point of view the fundamental argument against POTS and for VoIP-type services is really more economic than a question of reliability.

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Hilary Gadda New President of Women In The Channel

hilary_gadda.jpgSANTA ANA, Calif. – Women in the Channel (WiC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of female channel leaders in technology, announced today its new leadership team for 2016, including a new president and two new board members.

Hilary Gadda, Director - Telepartner Channel at TelePacific Communications, served for the past year as WiC Co-President alongside Nancy Ridge, Executive Vice President of Telecom Brokers.  Ridge will remain in an advisory role as past president as well as Co-Chair of WiC’s Outreach Committee and a member of the Technology Committee.

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Bright House Adds Telarus

po.jpgTampa, Fla.  - Bright House Networks announced today that it has signed a strategic channel partnership agreement with Telarus, an award-winning distributor of business data, voice and cloud services.

"We are excited to join Bright House Networks Channel Partner program," said Patrick Oborn, co-founder, Telarus. "Bright House Networks offers industry-leading advanced communications services delivered over an extensive and secure fiber network, as well as top level customer service, and we are thrilled to add them to our portfolio of strategic partners."

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Five9 Expands Channel Program

SAN RAMON, CA, FIVE9, Inc. (NASDAQ: FIVN), a leading provider of cloud contact center software for the enterprise market, today announced a significant expansion to its channel partner program along with the appointment of industry veteran Wendell Black as vice president of channel sales.

Part of this expansion includes ... 


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