Hosted Services - Dangerous Waters Ahead? By Melissa Swartz

The growth predictions and enthusiasm of today's hosted services marketplace reminds me of the CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) environment in the late 1990s. New companies were springing up everywhere, offering local and long distance services as a result of the deregulation mandated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The legislation had the goal "... to let anyone enter any communications business -- to let any communications business compete in any market against any other."

New offerings hit the market, and the landscape became cluttered as new and existing companies competed for customers. Many companies began putting fiber in the ground and hardware in Central Offices to build their own networks. Sound familiar? Today I did a Google search on "Hosted VOIP" and there were over 9 million results.

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