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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

February 14, 2007 at 10:48 AM

Integra Telecom boosts network

Portland-based Integra Telecom, which provides telecom services to small and medium-size business, said today that its merger with Electric Lightwave of Vancouver, Wash. is allowing it to serve a larger customer base with a wider variety of services.

During its existence, Electric Lightwave invested about $1 billion in building a fiber network across a number of Western U.S. states. It built a long-haul network connecting all of them, in addition to extensive metropolitan networks, said John Nee, Integra’s vice president of marketing.

Integra plans to continue investing in the network and has $50 million committed to this year’s capital budget.

Integra can now provide telephone and Internet services over a fiber network — in addition from DSL lines it leases from Qwest in the last mile. With the addition of fiber, Integra can offer faster speeds and more bandwidth, allowing it to serve much larger companies than it could before.

Integra purchased Electric Lightwave for $243 million. In addition to purchasing the company, it also raised $207 million in working capital to expand and upgrade the combined network.

Nee said Integra, which has 1,100 employees, has about 11 percent marketshare in the Puget Sound area, with an even higher penetration rate in the downtown core. Its largest competitors are Qwest, Verizon, Time Warner Telecom and XO Communications.

It provides service in eight states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Minnesota, North Dakota, Utah, California and Arizona.

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