RealTime IT News

@Work Bid Pays Off In A Big Way

The federal judge presiding over the @Home bankruptcy proceedings accepted New Edge Network's $1.5 million bid for the purchase of all the defunct broadband Internet service providers business customers and equipment, officials said Friday.

Greg Mycio, director of research and analysis at Chicago-based New Paradigm Resources Group, said they have just now started looking at the specific equipment the purchase brings and his initial impression is New Edge saved money "by orders of magnitude."

"Just by looking at how much equipment is out there (throughout the country), we were looking at $8-9 million at a bare bones, conservative estimate," he said. "But it will likely be much more than that, because, in addition to just equipment, you need to add the cost of installation and maintenance to this equipment. The (price tag) could well exceed $14 million."

According to Sal Cinquegrani, New Edge spokesperson, roughly 1,300 @Work customers will begin the migration to their new provider in the next couple weeks. @Work was the business-services division, handling everything from fractional T-1s to OC-12 Internet connectivity, of @Home's residential cable service.

Hemant Vaidya, @Work senior vice president and general manager, expects a smooth transition for his outgoing customers.

"We are pleased to be able to provide our customers continuing service with New Edge Networks while serving the interests of the estate - a true win-win-win," he said.

He also said there would be little to no service interruption in the switch from @Work's network, which shuts down at the end of February, to New Edge. The provider will also honor all existing contracts penned with @Work.

Not since AT&T walked away with bankrupt NorthPoint Communication's digital subscriber line (DSL) equipment for $135 million has a service provider gotten so much for so little.

In addition to it's new-found customer base, New Edge gets the networking and ancillary equipment used by @Work, which had a presence in 33 Internet hub locations around the U.S.

"In addition to the $18 million in yearly revenues these 1,300 customers bring New Edge," Cinquegrani said, "there's the value of the customer premise equipment (CPE) that customers are holding and there is the value of the equipment that's already set up and running (at the data centers)."