Although not named in this article, the competing relay association was the Radio League of America, affiliated with Hugo Gernsback's The Electrical Experimenter magazine, which actually already had been setting up amateur relays for about a year. 

QST, February, 1917, page 34:

    Word comes to us that another RELAY ASSOCIATION is in the making. The intention is said to be to establish competing Trunk Line Relay Systems like our own. Our own members will be asked to join it on some pretext or other. A coast to coast or some other kind of a grand stand play is said to be contemplated in order to gain publicity and give the thing a start. Probably a pennant and a button will also be held out as an extra inducement, under the impression that these things appeal to us amateurs.
    We see danger lurking behind all these movements. There should not be too many relay associations, leagues, organizations, etc. There is not room for them. They will produce jealousy, animosity, and bad feeling, and the very first thing which will follow the arousing of such feelings, will be "willful interference." The minute this begins, the Government will take a hand and judging by what we have just seen in Washington with our own eyes, we have reason to believe that if Uncle Samuel is compelled to take a hand with us amateurs, it will be a very heavy hand. These are no idle words. We know whereof we speak. For example;--Our friend 5ED down in Houston, Texas wants his station license renewed when it expires in the near future. He tells Mr. Matthews, on whose Trunk Line he is, that he is informed his license will not be renewed, probably for no reason that he is responsible for. Mr. Matthews appeals to us to save one of the good stations in one of his important Trunk Lines. We take it up with the proper Federal authorities, and the result is the following which is an extract from a letter to Mr. Maxim:--
    "I respectfully inform you that by order of the War Department, this office cannot issue or renew amateur radio station licenses south of Austin, Texas--. In connection with this matter, I wish to state that I was very much disappointed in the behavior of the amateurs in that vicinity and sincerely hope that this will be a lesson to the amateurs, in general, for the future. I AM CERTAIN THAT THE WAR DEPARTMENT WOULD HAVE NEVER TAKEN SUCH ACTION IF IT WERE NOT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. I AM INTERESTED IN THE WORK OF YOUR LEAGUE AND TRUST THAT AN OCCASION OF THIS KIND WILL NEVER AGAIN OCCUR."
    The capitals are ours. Here we have "the handwriting on the wall," and fellow amateurs, seriously speaking, we must watch out carefully about getting into quarrels amoung ourselves. There will not be much to Amateur Wireless in these U. S. A. if we once arouse the Government. There will also not be much in the business of manufacturing apparatus for us if we misbehave. We positively must manage somehow to maintain PEACE among ourselves, and before we join other associations or do anything else likely to lead to quarreling, let us think twice.