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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CNSG Carrier / Cloud Partner Program: End-to-End Support, Lucrative Residuals and Upfront Spiffs

patrice_watson2.jpgWe help IT / telecom professionals source voice, data, cable and cloud services for their customers. We strive to simplify and accelerate the quoting process, while increasing our partners' close ratio and maximizing their commissions. Some of the reasons over 1,000 partners have decided to work with CNSG:



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Vendor Neutral Office 365 Webinar "Making $$$ Beyond the License" Today at 1pm Eastern

You've likely attended a webinar from an Office 365 vendor extolling their own virtues without comparing themselves to their competitors.  Not overly useful, right?

Now attend THE Office 365 Webinar on 9/1/15 at 1pm Eastern delivered by two vendor neutral professionals who both earn a living helping businesses successfully navigate the Office 365 waters in search of the best complementary services and solution providers.  Here are all the details..... 

Event Information

Join Greg Plum, of PlumUC, and Robert Crane, of CIAOPS, to hear a different perspective on how to enhance your business with the sale and support of Office 365.  We will take a technical deep dive and discuss

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Switch from Telco Agent to Cloud Broker to Stay Relevant

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming an old friend, William "Van" Hefner back to the business of helping people like me create a career by performing the job of "trusted adviser" for businesses seeking telecom and technology solutions.

I met Van in the mid-1990's when we were both telecom agents - I had just started "One Plus Agent Association" and he was publishing the "Discount Long Distance Digest".

A lot has changed in 20 years. Van is launching his new "Telecom Sales Digest" at a good time because the job of "trusted adviser" has changed dramatically from when we could earn a living helping business customers switch their long distance from AT&T to MCI or Sprint.


What's a Cloud Broker and Do You Want to be One?

"Cloud Broker" is the name of the job title replacing "telecom agent" and yes, you definitely want to become one as business customers no longer have need for telecom agents.

Telecom Agents, like many other past job titles that helped customers sort through simple choices, have been replaced by

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"Van" Hefner Returns to Publishing with "Telecom Sales Digest"

William "Van" Hefner, the person who inspired me to publish the association's first website back in 1997 is returning to publishing after an 8 year absence with  

Van was know by everyone in the telecom sales industry in the late 90's because of his Discount Long Distance Digest web site that 1) did a great job of objectively reporting daily news items for the LD carriers, and 2) did an awesome job maintaining a Hall of Shame page to heap special scorn upon "telecom crooks".

Before Telecom Association (originally One Plus Agent Association) began advocating for agents, Van was putting the industry on notice that telecom agents were comparing notes and that "bad behavior" would most certainly be reported.

For his pioneering advocacy of the channel, 


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Top AT&T Partner Details the Top 10 Machine-2-Machine Apps They Provide Business Clients

Altaworx, a top AT&T partner, joined TA as a vendor member to help channel partners break into the lucrative business of providing machine-to-machine solutions to business clients. 

To learn what are the Top 10 M2M apps Altaworx is successfully selling to business clients from SMB to enterprise, TA's Dan Baldwin interviewed Altaworx CEO Rickie Richie.

Listen to the whole interview at his link. (the Top 10 list is at 20:57). 

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Is BroadbandNow the Best Bandwidth Provider Finder by ZIP Code?

As a professional business technology consultant, my multi-location clients expect me to generate local internet bandwidth solution options that at equal to or better than the ones they could generate by querying their own local branch managers. It never looks good to present my "best solution" proposal only to learn that I did not know about a new low-priced fiber provider that my client learns about from their local manager - but not me.

The "master agencies" and "cloud brokers" that most of us put our client orders through all have web-based "bandwidth finders" that let you know what the prices are of different service providers. Unfortunately all these master agency tools have one fundamental flaw - they only include the solution providers the master agency contracts with. As pirate Will Turner would say, "That's not good enough!"

Is BroadbandNow Good Enough?

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"WOW"...Tour of Boston HQ Shows Why Multi-Location Businesses Choose Granite

This summer I finally answered the question Granite Telecom's Charlie Pagliazzo has been asking me for years, "When are you going to come out to Boston to tour our headquarters? It really showcases how we're different from vendors who say they compete against Granite."

I was in Boston for a family wedding so I snuck off for a couple hours to have Granite managers Lauren Grenier & Russ Bishop give me the same tour they give business owners looking to do business with Granite. Three hours later all I could say was, WOW!

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