rivalry heats up as SBC enters tri-county market
global telecommunications company is looking to expand into the South
Florida market by offering competitively priced phone service and
creating up to 80 jobs here.
arrival of San Antonio-based SBC Telecom, a subsidiary of SBC Communications,
means the tri-county area will soon have a new company to choose from
other than BellSouth for local phone and Internet connection services,
says Pete J. Hernandez, regional vice president of external affairs
for SBC Telecom Miami.
is one of the Baby Bells that were born in the break-up of AT&T. The
company employs more than 208,000 and has revenues of more than $50
billion, Mr. Hernandez says.
week SBC Telecom will start offering services in Miami-Dade, Broward
and Palm Beach counties, he says.
far, 55 people have been hired in Miami-Dade and up to 30 more hires
are expected soon in the two other counties, he says.
will be a competitive local exchange carrier yet in some instances
we will be co-locating with BellSouth," Mr. Hernandez says. "We
will also offer Internet service at rates that will be competitive
if not lower than other carriers."
company will be offering phone and Internet services to residential
areas, small businesses and large companies.
has started to develop a strong presence in South Florida. Last week
the company leased 17,000 square feet at Waterford Centre, 6205 Blue
Lagoon Drive, Mr. Hernandez says.
company also has a switching station in Doral and Pompano Beach and
will soon open offices in Palm Beach.
is working with FPL Fiber Net, a subsidiary of FPL Group, to establish
its telecommunications infrastructure, he says.
says FPL Group will lease dark fiber to SBC in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale,
Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach
a contract valued at $110 million.
fiber refers to fiber that does not yet have the electronics for communications
transmissions. SBC provides the electronics or "lights"
the cable to make the fiber customer ready.
wanted to get to market quickly," Mr. Hernandez says. "If
we had to build our own infrastructure it would take us years."
Fiber Net operates 1,600 miles of fiber optics in Florida and is building
1,500 more miles of fiber in the state's metropolitan areas, says
Neil Flynn, FPL Fiber Net president.
are particularly gratified to have been chosen by SBC," Mr. Flynn
says. "This transaction validates our strategy and reflects the
growing demand for fiber and capacity in metropolitan areas. The growth
is fueled by the exposition of the Internet and by new telecommunications
Canton, BellSouth spokesperson, says BellSouth welcomes the friendly
competition that SBC Telecom will bring to the local market.
welcome them to the fray," Mr. Canton says. "There is enough
room here for people to compete on an ongoing basis. The strongest
companies the ones that provide good service to customers
will stay. And there will be some that will not be successful. This
is a very fertile competitive environment."
Canton says BellSouth co-locates with SBC Telecom and several other
local exchange carriers.
he says, is a regulatory mandate given to incumbent local exchange
companies to allow other similar companies to use their switching
has 27 stations in Miami-Dade County alone that are rented to local
exchange carriers, he says.
gotten to the point that there is a great deal of traffic there and
very little of it is BellSouth's," Mr. Canton says.
100 companies in Florida are doing business as alternative local exchange
carriers, he says. "Competition is alive and well and active
in Florida, although there is a lot of talk it's not."
is aggressively expanding throughout the US and plans to enter 30
new markets, including Seattle and Boston, by October 2001, Mr. Hernandez
month the company will open a call center in Tampa, he says. So far,
200 employees have been hired to work at that center and about 550
are expected to be hired by next year.
SBC Telecom, (786) 388-1110; FPL Fiber Net, (305) 552-3888.