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Broadwing to Sell Corvis Business

Service provider Broadwing Corp. (Nasdaq: BWNG) announced after the markets closed that it is putting its Corvis equipment division up for sale so it can focus on being a service provider. In addition to putting its equipment arm up for sale, the carrier announced that its president, Jim Bannantine, is resigning to pursue other interests.

Scott Widham, currently Broadwing's president of carrier accounts, is being promoted to a new position, president of sales, which merges oversight of Broadwing's previously separate Carrier Accounts and Enterprise Accounts sales operations.

Broadwing isn't shedding all things Corvis-related. Its chairman and CEO, David Huber, is staying put. But Broadwing will sell its OCS digital crossconnect switch business, which contributed about 2 percent of Broadwing's revenues last year -- and which came from Corvis, the company Huber founded and later guided to the merger with Broadwing.

Bannantine's departure and the pending sale of Broadwing's equipment group complete the unraveling of an optical technology portfolio that Huber set up along with his venture capital firm, Optical Capital Group (OCG). (See Huber's OCG on Ice .)

Jim Bannantine was the former CEO of Dorsal Networks, a company Corvis bought for more than $90 million. Dorsal's two largest shareholders when it was acquired were David Huber and OCG (see Corvis Dorsal Deal: A Huber Spin-In?).

Corvis, the equipment company, set off to become a service provider back in 2003, when it acquired Broadwing, its largest -- and one of its only -- customers (see Corvis & Broadwing: Together At Last). In September 2004, the Corvis name started to take a backseat as the company made strides to put its equipment business in perspective (see Corvis Splits for Broadwing).

These days, though, Broadwing appears to be more focused on providing services to enterprise and carrier customers. "Our decision to explore strategic alternatives for our OCS product is reflective of the change in our corporate focus," Huber said in a statement released Friday afternoon.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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