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New Edge Picks Up GST Frame Relay Customers

New Edge Networks is picking up the frame relay business dropped by Time Warner Telecom after its purchase of GST Telecommunications, officials announced Wednesday.

TWT bought the bankrupt competitive local exchange carrier Aug. 25 for $690 million in cash and debt assumption, but decided not to support or sell frame relay services to GST customers.

Located throughout the Western U.S., GST had approximately 300 businesses using frame relay technology, considered a mid-range service between ISDN and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).

Data is placed in units called frames and retransmission is left for the routers at the end points to handle, speeding up overall data transmission on the network. The technology is used by businesses that want dedicated lines, using a frame relay's permanent virtual circuit, without having to pay for a full-time leased line like T-1.

Frame relay is a data transport technology considered unsuitable for video and voice over IP traffic, services TWT deems important to its future operations.

GST, which racked up more than $1 billion in debt before going to the District of Delaware to file for Chapter 11 protection, could have kept its frame relay business but opted to sell off the customer base instead.

Similar to arrangements typically made between Internet service providers, New Edge will pay GST an undisclosed sign-on bonus for every business customer that switches over its service.

GST customers have until Jan. 10 to switch services to New Edge or a competing provider in the area.

New Edge, a national CLEC focused mainly on digital subscriber line resell services, has recently expanded operations to provide business services. Earlier this month the company bought out West-Net Inc., an advanced broadband services provider, for its expertise with Local Area Networks, Wide Area Networks and Virtual Private Networks.

Keith Rinne, former West-Net president and current New Edge WAN services group president, said his team plans to work closely with GST to provide a smooth transition to legacy customers.

"GST and New Edge Networks will work closely together to seamlessly transition existing service so customers avoid any service disruptions or the need to find a new service provider before service is discontinued in a few weeks," Rinne said. "Customers can expect improved network reliability and faster access to new competitive services in more locations around the country."