Optical/IP Networks

Internet Photonics Leans on ADC

Call it a catapulting maneuver. Internet Photonics Inc. has signed a support and integration services deal with ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT) in an effort to hoist itself into the big leagues (see ADC to Integrate Internet Photonics).

Terms weren't disclosed, but there may not be many. Basically, ADC has agreed to furnish installation and integration services for Internet Photonics customers. Period. There isn't any resale of equipment involved. Both companies concede that a few bids are in the works, but no one's signed on for the services yet.

Still, the news gives the startup a way to service big MSO and telco customers, despite its relative newness and small size. Indeed, it's the latest in a string of alliances Internet Photonics has made with a view to leapfrogging intense competition in its chosen space -- multiservice provisioning, with a focus on Ethernet transport for cable MSOs and telcos.

Having a well known partner on hand for support can't hurt Internet Photonics as it aims to make itself known in venues like the upcoming Supercomm 2003, where it plans to exhibit and participate in a Metro Ethernet Forum demonstration (see Supercomm Demo Mania).

So far, Internet Photonics has technology licensing agreements with AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T), Bell Labs, and Path 1 Network Technologies Inc. (OTC: PNWK; Frankfurt: PNT) (see Path 1, Internet Photonics Team Up). It's got an equipment resale agreement with Aurora Networks Inc., whereby it resells that vendor's optical transport systems in Europe and North America (see Internet Photonics Resells Aurora). And it's struck interoperability agreements for video-on-demand applications with Concurrent Computer Corp., MidStream Technologies Inc., and SeaChange International Inc. (see Internet Photonics Delivers VOD).

"I think it's a major step forward for us... ADC gives us the vehicle to ramp up volumes," says Internet Photonics' VP of marketing Gary Southwell. Along with a recently announced line of credit (see Internet Photonics Earns $10M Credit), the ADC alliance has the startup in a favorable place to compete against players that loom large in this market segment, he says.

ADC agrees. "It's important for them," says spokesman Bill Fuesz. "Our advantage is that we have a presence with both telcos and MSOs, and domestically we have a very large footprint."

While ADC underplays the deal's importance to itself, it can't hurt to be involved with strategic technology newcomers, especially given the vendor's current slump (see ADC Q2 Sales Slip). Like other big players fallen on hard times, ADC is seeking to squeeze all it can from services. What's more, Internet Photonics has been chosen by at least one of ADC's customers, Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) (see Internet Photonics Touts VOD). Though ADC wasn't a part of why Internet Photonics won the RFP, Cablevision just may find the subsequent relationship convenient. (The MSO wasn't returning calls at press time to confirm, however.)

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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