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Ira Todd Klein 'IRA'
on Comptel Association history page.


































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CompTel/ALTS can trace its roots back more than two decades, beginning in 1981 as the leading trade association for the competitive telecommunications marketplace.

CompTel originated as the Association of Long Distance Telephone Companies (ALTEL) to promote competition with AT&T. In 1984, ALTEL merged with the American Council of Competitive Communications (ACCC) and expanded its services to include local service providers, wireless communications companies and Internet service providers. At that time, the association's name was changed to the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel). Then, in 1999, CompTel merged with America's Carriers Telecommunications Association (ACTA).

More recently, in March 2005, the association merged with the Association for Local Telecommunications Services (ALTS). ALTS was created in 1987 to represent companies that build, own and operate competitive local networks.

This merger was preceded by the November 2003 union with the Association of Communications Enterprises (ASCENT). ASCENT was formed 1992 when the Telecommunications Marketing Association and the Interexchange Resellers Association ("IRA") merged to form the Telecommunications Resellers Association ("TRA") in an entrepreneurial effort to promote switchless long distance resale. In November 1997, TRA merged with the National Wireless Resellers Association, creating a trade association designed to serve the entire telecommunications industry. In May 2000, TRA changed its name to ASCENT.

CompTel/ALTS has long served as the strong, unified advocate for the competitive telecommunications industry before Congress, the White House and federal and state regulatory authorities. The association was a particularly effective lobbying force during the development and implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Through the mobilization of its membership, the association was instrumental in improving the language of the legislation in order to advance the interests of competitive telecommunications carriers. The association's most significant victory was ensuring that the Act included opportunities for its members to compete in the local telephone market through resale, the purchase of unbundled network elements, and/or facilities-based interconnection.

The association has spent the years since the Act's passage working to ensure that these opportunities to provide competitive local services become a reality. Today CompTel/ALTS is continuing its pledge to fair competition and fighting any and all barriers that stand in the way. CompTel/ALTS members are helping forge a new era of competitive communications for telecommunications organizations worldwide.


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