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Wholesale/transport services

Electric Lightwave Takes Back Its Brand

Ten years into its life as a unit of Integra, fiber-optic network operator Electric Lightwave is re-asserting itself and its brand, becoming a totally separate business unit and resuming use of its title as the corporate brand.

The move, announced today, comes after four years of commercial sales of Electric Lightwave's 12,000 route-mile fiber network in the Northwest, and is intended to better establish and leverage the operator's standing as a service provider to enterprises, the government/education market and wholesale network operators. The former company brand, Integra Telecom Inc. , will operate as a separate business unit under Electric Lightwave , selling managed services and Unified Communications to the small to midsized business markets.

"This will establish Electric Lightwave and what we have been doing as a pure-play, fiber-based network services company," CEO Marc Willency tells Light Reading in an interview. "We think it will accelerate the progress we have made with medium and large businesses, wholesale carriers and web content customers and the government/education market."

While Electric Lightwave will continue to focus on the Northwest and West Coast markets where it has fiber assets, Integra will be offering services in markets such as Minnesota, North Dakota and Colorado, where the company doesn't have fiber assets

Electric Lightwave has been actively growing its fiber optic assets, both organically and through acquisition, focusing on adding commercial buildings, connecting to data centers and building strategically significant routes, says Dan Stoll, president. (See Electric Lightwave Doubles Long-Haul Routes and Electric Lightwave Doubles Long-Haul Routes.)

"Last year we added almost 500 buildings to the network and this year, we will be adding 650," Stoll said. "Our sales are up 40%, and we are focusing on the fiber asset, where we are seeing a 50% sales increase."

The name change reinforces the value of that growth, Stoll says. He points to the data center connections in particular, as the wave of the future for Electric Lightwave and the industry in general. The carrier is less interested in entering new markets than in expanding its network reach in those it already serves, which includes the Pacific Northwest, and now fiber links down to the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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