A brand from the past is back with us today out west. Integra has moved to reorganize its business units to tailor its approach to different customer types. And in doing so it is bringing back a familiar face: Electric Lightwave.
After retooling itself over the past few years to take better advantage of its fiber assets, Integra is fine-tuning its approach to its markets. Integra Business will aim at the mid-market and general enterprise opportunities, while Electric Lightwave will aim at the wholesale, data center, content, government, and the largest enterprise opportunities. Each represents about 40% of the company’s revenue, while a third business unit will serve the remaining SME businesses that Integra used to focus on.
Electric Lightwave was the company Integra purchased from Citizens way back in 2006, and despite falling into formal disuse the brand name has endured. The old ELI was a carrier’s carrier, and while the new business unit will have a somewhat wider focus, so do all ‘wholesale’ models these days. The new ELI unit will have all the fiber operations under its umbrella, including the company’s growing portfolio of 3,000 on-net buildings. Integra plans to start expanding the footprint more aggressively, not just adding near-net buildings but building out new metro loops and such to expand the overall network reach.
Of course, a suspicious mind might also see this move as the first step toward splitting up the assets for a sale. After all, Integra has been talked of as a consolidation target many times over the past five years and continues to seem like a good fit for someone like Windstream with a need for a fiber footprint in the west. But in 2014 it was Integra doing the buying, albeit on a small scale with the ProTel and WCI deals.
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