The FCC has wisely extended the comment deadline on big telcos’ proposal to change the rules on providing UNEs to competitors at wholesale prices. This delay imposes a much-needed ‘cooling off’ period for parties on both sides of the argument. It gives USTelecom, representing those in favor of the change, time to reevaluate its position and present a more realistic proposal—one that reconsiders the significant impact that the price increases and impossible timelines embedded in their current proposal will have on customers. Moreover, it gives companies like Windstream and its partners in INCOMPAS, the trade group representing competitive providers of telecommunications services, adequate time to review and respond to their updated arguments by the new September 5 comment deadline.
During the interim period, Windstream will continue as an active participant in this debate to keep competition alive and well in the marketplace. Let me assure you that this is not a battle we relish, but believe it is worth fighting when the stakes are as high as they are. Competition enables choices in products, solutions and prices, and it’s a big reason Windstream is where it is today. For us, competition is a matter of principle, and we won’t let the heat off those who put their best interests ahead of our loyal customers and partners. You have our word on that. To read more, click here.
Tony Thomas is president and CEO of Windstream, a position he has held since December 2014. Thomas has more than 20 years’ experience in the communications industry. He was instrumental in the development of Windstream’s REIT spinoff and served as president of real estate investment trust operations at Windstream from October to December 2014.
Thomas previously served as Windstream’s CFO. During his five-year tenure, he played an integral role in Windstream’s expansion by completing seven acquisitions totaling more than $5.6B in transaction value. Thomas also has deep capital market expertise, having led almost $10B in debt transactions.
Thomas joined Windstream as controller following Windstream’s spinoff from Alltel Corp. He held a variety of financial and operational leadership roles at Alltel after joining the company when it merged with 360 Communications in 1998. Before entering the communications industry, he was with Ernst & Young in their telecom practice.
He holds an MBA from Wake Forest University and a bachelor’s in accountancy from the University of Illinois.
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