IC&C Sells Dial Up Customers To EarthLink
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EarthLink, with 4.7 million dial up customers, was unavailable for comment on the specifics of the acquisition of IC&C's customer base.
The deal, gives the second-largest ISP in the nation a net add of nearly 100,000 dial up customers and lets IC&C pursue its own path to profitability: managed services for businesses and high-speed Internet connectivity.
Customers with dial up and Web hosting services at IC&C will be able to retain their accounts with both companies, officials said.
"We are happy to be working with a company of IC&C's reputation," said Cliff Bryant, EarthLink director of acquisitions. "This arrangement will give IC&C customers the best of both worlds. EarthLink will provide IC&C subscribers Internet access and special features, while at the same time allowing them to maintain a relationship with IC&C for other services."
Tuesday's deal is the latest step by Denver-based IC&C in its climb to profitability.
Originally a dial up access provider named Rocky Mountain Internet, Inc., the company scored a string of acquisitions over the years that brought in both dial up customers and sundry Web hosting accounts.
As the profit margins for dial up accounts dwindled, the company found it had more to offer with its managed services and dedicated Internet connections like T-1 and digital subscriber line service, mixed with managed services for small- to medium-sized businesses, prompting the company to switch gears.
The decision paid dividends, landing them accounts they wouldn't have made providing just dial up Internet connectivity.
Last July, IC&C (then-called RMI.net) landed a five-year contract with the New York Metro Library Council to provide broadband and application services. The company, through another acquisition, extended its presence overseas providing all-in-one Internet services for Japanese businesses.
Douglas Hanson, IC&C chairman, said Tuesday's announcement is the next step in its decision to adjust its business plan.
"This is a great opportunity for both companies, our shareholders and the IC&C dial up customer base," Hanson said. "As we shift our focus to Web solutions, Web hosting and broadband connectivity for small- and mid-sized businesses, this transaction with EarthLink will give us greater flexibility to achieve our goals in the future."