Obama Supports Title II Classification for Internet Services

Earlier this week, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify Internet services under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. In his statement, Obama said, “The time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do.”

Responses from proponents and opponents to such a move were swift. ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast noted that Title II classification would hamper competition and continued investments, while consumer groups including Common Cause and content providers like Netflix praised the President’s stand.

In the midst of a comment period on the subject that has drawn over 3 million comments, the FCC (who will ultimately make a decision on a broadband regulatory framework) noted that no decision will be forthcoming this year. And regardless what ruling the FCC makes in 2015, it will no doubt be challenged in court or by legislative process, or both.

In other news, Mitel has increased the value of its initial offer to acquire ShoreTel, an offer that ShoreTel refused . The new proposal, now standing at $8.50 per share in cash and stock, represents a total equity value of approximately $574 million.

Mitel’s CEO Richard D. McBee explained his company’s reasons to continue with a proposed acquisition in a letter to ShoreTel, noting that based on Synergy Research's latest ranking, a combined company would create the number one global market share leader based on the total number of installed cloud seats, with over $45 million of recurring cloud revenue per quarter.

McBee also observed that based on recent financial quarter results, the combined companies could achieve $450 million in annual recurring revenue -- a move that “would be the single most effective means of creating scale and driving meaningful recurring revenue.”

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