I had the honor of
being selected as the telecom legal subject matter expert (SME) for a
recent Channel Partners Conference and Expo. I moderated a
roundtable discussion about telecom contracts at the Peer-to-Peer
Networking Mixer. Most of the participants wanted to discuss the
typical concerns (evergreen, termination, non-solicitation, etc.).
However, there were 3 other interesting issues which stick out in my
was a master agent who warned about the dangers of signing an
agreement without the assistance of an experienced telecom
lawyer. He said his company had been burned by a CLEC who
took advantage of the one-sided language in their agreement. He
highly recommended using an experienced telecom
lawyer in the contract negotiation process and called it "money
well spent". As you might expect, I completely agree with his
An independent agent was concerned about the possibility of being
labeled an employee of a carrier he represented for income tax and
payroll tax purposes. He said the state where he lives is cracking
down on independent sales agents from different industries - the
state is claiming they are really employees rather than independent
contractors. I don't think this is a very big issue in our
industry, particularly because most independent agents seem to
represent more than one carrier or master agent, but it's certainly
something about which independent agents should be careful.
A small agent
who is new to the business expressed frustration about the
affordability of obtaining legal assistance from an experienced
lawyer. He wondered if there was an association of small
agents who pooled their resources together to assist each other with
contracts. I understand this agent's concern, but the good news is
that I can help any agent (large or small) in an affordable manner.
In addition, I can help any small agent work wit master agents who
may have more clout and financial resources to negotiate favorable
contract terms with carriers.
Need to keep current
on legal issues affecting telecom agents, channel partners and their
carrier suppliers? Connect
with me on LinkedIn.
Want to learn more about telecom agent agreements, cloud agreements and
other telecom contracts and issues? Join
my discussion group on LinkedIn which
has over 1,100 members and is growing rapidly.
If you have a telecom contract that you need an experienced telecom
lawyer to review or need help with any other telecom legal issue,
call me at 888-469-0579.
I provide a broad range of legal services with regard to specialized
telecommunications contracts, regulatory and compliance matters,
commercial/transactional matters, litigation and other specialized
I represent a wide
variety of clients, including agents, master agents, cloud service
providers, IP telephony or VoIP providers, wireless service providers,
facilities-based long distance carriers and resellers, prepaid
companies, competitive local exchange carriers and trade associations.