A quick roundup of recent news items from the competitive side of the tracks that are worth a quick look:
Birch Communications has allied with Bank of America Merchant Services to offer its SME customers financial service solutions packaged with its usual fare. The relationship will include special pricing on debit and credit card processing. It's an arrangement we don't see many examples of, yet makes sense since much of the broadband needs of the SME relate directly to reliable payment processing rather than browsing and such.
After several years of a conservative strategy with respect to the channel, TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) may be expanding its options. According to Channel Partners Online, they have signed on with master agency PlanetOne in a new alliance naming the fiber operator as preferred vendor for 2012. tw has been hooking up buildings at unmatched rates lately, but is still looking for that boost to double digit revenue growth.
Up in Fargo, HickoryTech (NASDAQ:HTCO, news, filings) has completed its acquisition of IdeaOne. The deal brings 225 route miles and 650 on-net buildings to HickoryTech, hooking up directly to the company's Enventis regional network. Financially, IdeaOne had $12.3Mm in revenue in 2011, up 11% from the prior year. HickoryTech straddles the incumbent/competitive fence, but has been putting more of its money behind fiber networks lately.
Bandwidth.com's inetwork division bulked up its management team and reported 45% revenue growth in 2011. The wholesale division derives from Bandwidth.com's acquisition of dash Carrier Services a year ago, and has big plans to serve the growing OTT sector from here. They've brought in Brad Roldan and Bob Glosson as Director as R&D and VP of Sales, respectively, to help make that happen.
And sidera continued to add muscle to its management team, bringing in former Ciena and Safenet veteran Joe Cumello as VP of Marketing. Earlier in the winter, they had brought in former Intellifiber and PAETEC Fiber Services head Clint Heiden as President. Last year this time there were rumors of a sale, but this year they are looking more aggressive organically.
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