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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Monday, November 10, 2003


Oregon: CLEC growing by focusing on underserved small towns

CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers) are (or were) those companies that sprung up in the 1990s to offer local telephone service in competition with incumbent phone companies (known as ILECs) like the Bells. Most ultimately encountered financial difficulty due to many factors, but for those that were focused on business rather than residential customers, the biggest problem became the oversupply of bandwidth in the business districts of the big cities that most of them targeted.

As we've said before, however, that there's no bandwidth glut in most small towns -- a good business can be built by serving businesses in all of the smaller towns the Bells seem to have forgotten. Two CLECs we've noted before are Aeneas Internet and Telephone in west Tennessee and Big River Telephone in southeastern Missouri and western Kentucky.

Another successful CLEC serving underserved markets is ComSpan USA Communications in Roseburg, Oregon. ComSpan's 4,000 lines are primarily in the Roseburg area; the company has plans to expand to 16 other Oregon towns, including Coos Bay and Klamath Falls.


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