RealTime IT News

New Edge Acquires West-Net

New Edge Networks Inc., is stepping into the business services arena with Wednesday's acquisition of West-Net Inc.

It's a change of pace for the digital subscriber line reseller, which caters to DSL provisioning to small and rural cities throughout the U.S. The company is using the buyout to leverage West-Net's experience in wide area networks and virtual private networks to business customers in these under-served areas. According to New edge officials, the acquisition pushes up its timetable for these business services by six months.

The company will retain the services of former West-Net president and founder Keith Rinne, who will head up the WAN services group. His sales and service teams will stay with him. West-Net's 600 business customers in 22 states will follow Rinne to New Edge headquarters in Vancouver, WA.

Dan Moffat, New Edge co-founder, president and chief executive officer, said Rinne's management of the day-to-day operations of the WAN group gives his company much-needed expertise in enhanced broadband services for businesses.

"West-Net jump-starts our foray into advanced broadband services we want to deliver through our national (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) network," Moffat said. "We plan to leverage West-Net's broadband expertise and provide Keith and his team access to resources necessary for quickly building this segment of our business. Having an end-to-end broadband strategy is critical for us becoming a successful broadband services provider."

The announcement marks a change in strategy for New Edge, which, until today, has been primarily one focusing on DSL equipment provisioning at central offices located throughout the U.S.

New Edge currently operates more than 430 DSL Access Multiplexers out of central offices in 21 states, with another 130 DSLAMs nearly ready for start up.

West-Net's assimilation gives companies in the smaller markets New Edge caters another option when looking at broadband solutions. Most companies need to go through the incumbent local exchange carriers and competitive LECs for advanced business solutions like VPNs and WANs.

Many ILECs and CLECs in these small communities don't have the necessary infrastructure to handle the needs of these businesses. West-Net, on the other hand, has been providing these business services to Baby Bells for years now. The company's telco customer list includes Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell. It's unsure whether West-Net, in its current incarnation, will continue to honor these contracts.

Rinne said his former company's experience and New Edge's network makes for a good fit.

"Our agreement with New Edge Networks bodes well for our customers and employees," Rinne said. "We eliminate substantial network costs by using the excess capacity on New Edge Networks' unique network architecture, and we provide a strong team with vast experience in selling, provisioning and maintaining advanced VPN services."