How Cyber Mesa Became a Telecom


Phone Graphic
In the late 19th and early 20th century scuffles ensued among emerging telecommunications companies. Between 1913 and 1918 AT&T (started by Alexander Graham Bell) achieved monopoly status. The plus side was that telecommunications in the U.S. enjoyed standardization. The down side was the inherent characteristic of any monopoly to abuse its power to the detriment of its customers, not to mention a painful lack of innovation.

In 1984, after a lengthy antitrust suit, AT&T was forced to divest itself of its operating companies, thus creating seven independent entities referred to as the "Baby Bells". The Baby Bells still held monopolies, just on a smaller geographic scale. The bigger result of the antitrust suit was that the AT&T long distance monopoly came to an end. MCI and Sprint were given the go ahead to enter the market. The resulting competition led to considerably lower long distance rates for all.

Bolstered by the success of competition for long distance, Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The intent was to reintroduce competition for voice services. In essence, the Act provided that the Baby Bells would make their central offices available - for a price - to would-be competitors that registered as a phone company and negotiated an Interconnection Agreement. The ability to collocate equipment in existing central offices is key in that from any given central office, the competitor can connect to the phone lines that go to the homes and businesses in the area.

Cyber Mesa went through the process of receiving State approval to operate as a telecommunications carrier, and we negotiated Interconnection Agreements with Qwest and Windstream. We also purchased a voice switch and related gear that give us the capability to deliver voice services, DSL and larger circuits.

Intriguingly, we provide traditional voice solutions - not Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). While we are gradually investing in VoIP, to date it is not as robust as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS). From the consumer point of view, a basic requirement of VoIP is a high-speed connection to the Internet. Hence, the customer must purchase a regular phone line or cable access in order to take advantage of VoIP. We do see that VoIP will be imortant in the future, and in some ways, businesses can benefit today.

Our telecom pricing is very competitive with the Baby Bells and competition in general. In the case of large business accounts we generally provide a surprisingly impressive savings. As a regulated entity, we charge the same taxes and surcharges as other telecoms. The good news is that we can provide a quote inclusive of everything so that you can compare it with the phone bill(s) you receive today.