Rural Cellular Association has changed its name to the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) as it broadens its scope to represent all players –– not just rural –– who wish to coexist in a competitive wireless marketplace.
“We tried to change our name to be more reflective of our membership and what we are trying to accomplish,” Stephen Berry, president and CEO of CCA, told AGL Bulletin. “It has a broader connotation, which is indicative of the entire ecosystem that these policy issues impact.”
The organization’s new brand will serve as a platform for launching advocacy campaigns that enhance the competitive wireless marketplace. With a broader membership focus, CCA hopes to have a greater impact on wireless policies nationwide – not just in rural areas.
“Over the past several years, the wireless industry has seen increased consolidation and the emergence of a market duopoly. The two largest carriers pursue policies that perpetuate their dominance in the marketplace,” Berry said. “CCA will continue to work with policymakers to ensure competitive policies are adopted, which will benefit consumers, the economy and job growth.”
The CCA membership comprises wireless carriers and associate members, many of whom are involved in wireless infrastructure. For example, American Tower is on the CCA board, and other members include Crown Castle, Clearview Tower Company, CTI Towers and Tower Systems.
Berry said that tower companies and other wireless infrastructure venders and suppliers benefit from a market with multiple healthy carriers that want to build out their networks and provide wireless services. He called on more companies in the infrastructure industry to take up his association’s competitive carrier cause.
“If you are a wireless infrastructure provider and you only have two customers to sell to, you may or may not get the sale,” Berry said. “You should damn well be interested in the policies that the competitive carriers think are absolutely necessary for them to continue to survive and thrive.”
CCA’s new tagline is ‘rural, regional, nationwide’ ties in with one its key issues the lack of roaming agreements between rural carriers and AT&T and Verizon. Without nationwide roaming agreements, a rural or regional carrier cannot compete with the nationwide carriers.