Friday, March 19, 2010

No More Human Support

News from CenturyLink (formerly Embarq) is that CenturyLink has done away with the ISP Division and eliminated all positions. CL is currently "still working on a plan for account management."

Also, this week Verizon closed the ISP Market's Office in Tampa. There is an 877 call center but it goes straight to voicemail and messages are not returned.

So to recap: ILEC's are starting to make it even harder for ISP's to resell the DSL circuits - even though the wholesale rate is much greater than the retail rate.

Not making fun of this, but this should be a clue. Examine that clue and your business. What's Next?

The ISP's have been getting the short shift in DSL resell since 2005, which is when you should have seen the writing on the wall and starting plan for What's Next. (That was the theme of the ISP Expo in Tampa in Dec., 2005).

The ISP owners that took a careful examination made choices - -either to be like AOL and EarthLink to ride it out until it ended or to get into another service business like wireless, managed services, VoIP, etc.

It's no accident that in 2004, FISPA had about 33,000 DSL lines with Bell and has a fraction of that today.

Or that in 2004, we had 6 ISP owners at a monthly meeting in Tampa and today there are just 2 left.

Some sold out. Some went bust. A couple were just poor business people (anyone can make money in the heyday, ask a realtor).

What's Next?

ISP Owners have a conference in Orlando where the more successful service providers will be. Is that an accident that the successful ones actually attend conferences? I think not. You have to work ON your business as well as IN your business. You have to take ideas and implement them.

It's not just you either. As an agent, I have had to constantly morph my business as the carriers have constantly cherry picked my commissions over the years.

- Peter

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