Recently I have reported on how Packet8, Nuvio and OneSuite are all looking to have SunRocket customers switch to them. Now there is another company looking to get in on the action… USA Telephone. I had a chance to interview the company’s CEO Bill Fogg today.
This is what he had to say:
Tell me about USA Telephone. Who are you?
USA Telephone is a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) that has, since 1999, been delivering national Telephone, Internet and Television service to residential and small business customers. We have a heavy Northeast footprint from Maine to Maryland, but continue to expand geographically throughout the U.S.
What is TeleBlend?
TeleBlend is a nationwide broadband phone service and the VoIP Business Unit of Unified Communications Corp. TeleBlend is offered by Unified, and being managed by USA Telephone. TeleBlend has been around as a localized VoIP offering, but we viewed this as an opportunity to extend TeleBlend nationally and introduce the brand to consumers that previously had not been familiar with it.
How big is the company?
USA Telephone has 200 employees and serves 130,000 customers with 155,000 lines deployed. We've been in business since 1999.
How does it relate to SunRocket?
As a preferred provider for former SunRocket customers, we have tried to present a plan that will offer these customers a seamless way to maintain service at a strong price point ($12.95 per month for the remainder of their SunRocket annual plan). By working with Sherwood Partners, the company handling the SunRocket wind down, and network providers, we have put in place a system so SunRocket customers transitioning to TeleBlend can keep using their existing equipment and maintain their phone number. We hope this makes the transition as pain-free as possible, given the undesirable circumstances.
How did you become a preferred SunRocket replacement?
Sherwood Partners wanted to provide former SunRocket customers with more than one option for replacement phone service, and after approaching them and communicating our experience and dedication to providing a long-term solution for customers, we were able to come to this agreement.
Why should customers depend on your company to be around in the long run?
TeleBlend is managed by executives with a proven track record in the telecom space. USA Telephone has been around since 1999 and has 200 employees. We are a growing company, saw an opportunity to expand our VoIP footprint, and possess the necessary resources, infrastructure and people to scale for the long term.
I'll add that former SunRocket customers rightfully feel pretty burned right now. The entire VoIP category has some heavy lifting to do to restore faith and try and not let this situation cloud enthusiasm for VoIP in the long term. For that reason we understand that customers who transition to TeleBlend are putting their faith in us, and we are fully committed to returning that faith.
What is your company's track record?
USA Telephone has been around since 1999, and, as mentioned above, reliably serving 130,000 telephone customers. We continue to strengthen and grow our organization. For example, we recently acquired the MobilePro CLEC and ISP assets which, in combination with the existing USA Telephone assets will enable the company to extend our reach and footprint.
What is the future of USA Telephone/TeleBlend?
Our immediate goal is to successfully transition former SunRocket customers and keep their line active to minimize the tremendous inconvenience the demise of SunRocket has placed upon them. That process is going well and in the coming weeks our plan is to roll out an offering for non-SunRocket customers, continue to expand our footprint nationwide and present a compelling VoIP alternative to the marketplace.