cr!> Tennant: ALT.COM(tm) Concept for Discussion


Richard Moore

Date: Sun, 25 Feb 1996
To: •••@••.••• (Richard K. Moore)
From: •••@••.••• (Marty Tennant)
Subject: ALT.COM(tm) Concept for Discussion

[ This message came in response to a query I sent Marty.  He's proposing a
"franchised co-op" scheme for telecommunications and other services.  Seems
well thought out.  I hope it generates some discussion on the list.

-rkm ]

1.  We come up with a name for a nationwide economic/social/information
movement.  I am toying with the idea of ALT.COM(tm).  Our inital target
market is existing computer users, preferably with a modem and an email
address.  This is the preferred method of communication and invoicing for
services.  Billing is done electronically too.  This is used as a marketing
angle and benefit.

2.  We organize it as a franchised co-op business entity (this concept,
which I think is new, will require some legal research).  Franchised in that
the companies involved must be responsible for contributing to the initial
capital necessary to get it off the ground.  A co-op in that the members
have a stake in the enterprise too.  It is for profit, in order to get
existing businesses seriously involved, and to allow for expansion in
services offered.  Membership co-ops have annual meetings and issue stock,
so member participation is encouraged and wanted to maximize member
satisfaction.  Each state would have a master co-op coordinator or master
franchisee.  This person would be responsible for monitoring and influencing
legislation and PSC/PUC activities that would be central to the success of
the overall operation.  He or she would be responsible for bringing new
co-ops on board.  Each individual co-op would contribute a percentage of
revenues to this entity to fund these critical statewide functions.

3.  The individual franchisees would be responsible for marketing, sales and
support functions, for a manageable number of users that I'm guessing would
be in the range of 2000-4000 homes and small businesses.  At these levels,
even with only a dollar or so of profit from resale of basic telephone
service, you've got the opportunity to make a decent income just from the
telephone service resale segment of the business.  I see this person as
being able to run this enterprise out of their home, which is important to
the profitability equation.

4.  I feel that the offering of Internet services is crucial to the service
mix.  The franchisee would be responsible for offering listservs for the
discussion of community issues, local and state politics, and other issues
of interest to the  user community.  Home pages for community organizations,
schools, etc.., are offered for free.  Commercial space is made available
too, but at a fee.  This is part of the marketing and support angle.

5.  In addition to resold telecom services (analog and digital) and internet
services, long distance telephone service would be offered, and later, the
franchisee would be a broker/marketer/reseller of deregulated utility
services such as electric power, natural gas, etc.

6.  In the spirit of consumer co-ops, member credit cards and electronic
banking, insurance, and any other services and products that could be
profitably offered using the purchasing power of the group to offer
additional bottom line member benefits, would be offered.

7.  From a technical and legal standpoint, each co-op would be considered to
be telecommunications carrier, which allows them, under the new law, access
to network elements, such as the local loop, to implement new last mile
technologies that will allow implementation of high bandwidth services.
This could be in conjunction with telco resale activities, or as part of an
ALT.COM nationwide strategic rollout of alternative communications technologies.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

This is ambitious.  It will take investments from fifty people/businesses
that want to participate in an alternative to large corporate control of the
technological future.  Legal and technical issues and challenges will need
to be tackled immediately.  A focus on the critically important State
PSC/PUC activities surrounding the new law will be need right away.

More importantly, it will require a dedicated core group of individuals with
the time, talent and resources to hone the concept and bring it into reality.

Who are these people?  Can they make a commitment now to it's success?

Craig Johnson seems to think there are people that are ready to make this
happen.  I hope so.  What do you think?

Hope to hear from you soon.  Feel free to distribute this to others with
like minded ideas.

Marty Tennant
Myrtle Beach, SC

803 497-2898 voice
email •••@••.•••


 Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
   CyberJournal:  (WWW or FTP) -->
 Materials may be reposted in their _entirety_ for non-commercial use.