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IBBS, SinglePipe Tie the Knot

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Integrated Broadband Services LLC (IBBS) is looking to become the go-to for high-speed Internet and IP voice services for small and mid-sized MSOs after striking a deal to acquire fellow private firm SinglePipe Communications Inc. (See IBBS Buys SinglePipe .)

The deal, announced as The Independent Show gets underway in Baltimore, matches IBBS, a Kennesaw, Ga.-based OSS and cable high-speed Internet service outsourcer, with SinglePipe, a company that has specialized in providing managed residential and commercial VoIP services and hosted business applications.

The companies aren't strangers. Last year, they struck a deal to develop an integrated back-office platform for voice, video, and data cable services, an agreement that helped produce joint deals serving Northland Communications , Cable Management Associates (CMA), and other independent MSOs. Today's announcement takes the courtship to a marriage, though the dowry IBBS paid for SinglePipe's hand wasn't disclosed.

IBBS CEO Dave Keil said the deal was done because its customers were telling IBBS they were looking for a single provider to support multiple facets of their businesses. IBBS, thanks in part to its purchase of ParaSun in October 2008, had a firm fix on the data side, but it has lacked an equally strong VoIP play. (See IBBS Seals Parasun Buy .)

SinglePipe, he says, will fill that gap and give IBBS a more comprehensive service play for residential and business services, turning it into a stronger Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) player for the cable industry. By coupling in its OSS platform, Broadband Explorer (BBX), and its call center and network operations center, IBBS intends to give its MSO partners a more "holistic" view of their data and voice networks and eliminate a "swivel chair" approach at the network and service management levels, according to Keil.

Interest among Tier 2 and Tier 3 MSOs "has become accelerated in importance" since mid-2008, he notes. On top of that, those same MSOs are starting to embrace commercial services, which have lagged the residential end. Part of the reason is because commercial services are more complex. "We provide the roadmap to get [operators] there more quickly," says SinglePipe president and COO Cynthia Carpenter, who's staying on to head up IBBS's sales and marketing functions.

IBBS's commercial play, which includes hosted apps such as email, data backup, and security, will target businesses with between five and 20 employees.

That broader product menu will help IBBS shore up against some niche players that target similar markets, including Momentum , Net2Phone Inc. (Nasdaq: NTOP), and Big River Telephone. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has historically targeted managed VoIP services for cable operators but has, of late, been losing more business in that category than it's been gaining. (See Big River Tel Uses Cedar Point for UC, Mediacom Snipping VoIP Ties to Sprint , and Time Warner Cable to 'Go It Alone' With VoIP .)

Keil estimates that IBBS's current addressable market comprises about 5 million data subscribers. It's been able to notch about 800,000 data subs and now has about 200,000 VoIP lines, a figure that includes what SinglePipe brings plus separate integrations IBBS has completed with other VoIP service providers that have struck deals directly with cable MSOs.

Keil says the deal gives IBBS, a company backed by Pamlico Capital, a $10 million quarterly run rate, and that the company is "operating at a very good level of profitability."

IBBS intends to add most of SinglePipe's employees (about 20), giving it a total workforce of about 260. However, two that won't be joining the combined company are SinglePipe CEO Jeff Carr and chief financial officer Scott Edelen.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:28:57 PM
re: IBBS, SinglePipe Tie the Knot

Net2Phone, Momentum, and BigRiver may not be the only ones IBBS will be contending with following the acquisition of SinglePipe...  Suppose I'd better throw XCast into the competitive group, too, since it's also touting itself as a one-stop-shop for smaller operators, and just signed up an op from that category. JB

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