Scott Widham, Alpheus Communications

Scott Widham, Alpheus

Widham (Image source: Alpheus Communications)

Scott Widham, CEO of Alpheus Communications, has never been an executive to shy away from taking on complex tasks.

Before joining Alpheus in 2011 when the Venture Capitalist Gores Group purchased the CLEC, Widham was probably best known in the competitive telecom industry as the CEO of the former Broadwing Communications, which was purchased by Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) in 2008.

With much of his experience coming from the cable industry--one that included stints at Cobridge Communications and the former Capital Cable--Widham is a natural fit for the ever-changing CLEC industry.

However, his dreams of success have a specific focus on the Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston (DASH) area, one that Widham said is seeing strong growth.

Unlike other CLECs that have grand dreams to go national, Widham told FierceTelecom in a recent interview at the COMPTEL Fall trade show in Dallas that he's got plenty of opportunities to chase in the DASH segment.

"When I first got into the company, I thought our growth would be by expanding into Louisiana and going into Oklahoma, but there's so much growth in the DASH markets that we can just play in our backyard and grow significantly," he said. "It's easier to operate in your back yard than far afield to support services that are a thousand miles away."

Inside of Texas, Alpheus recently launched an initiative to expand its service reach into the state's Rio Grande Valley area. Part of this expansion includes addressing the needs of Mexican competitive providers that need alternative cross-border interconnection points to serve their business client's expansion into the U.S.

On the product development front, a key driver has been, not surprisingly, Ethernet. Taking a two-pronged effort that includes both fiber and Ethernet over Copper, the CLEC can now deliver the service to 94,000 business addresses.

Already available in 123 central offices (COs), Widham said it will enable EoC in more COs in the South Texas region, and has set a goal to have the service in every CO it has a colocation agreement with AT&T (NYSE: T).

"We're putting in Overture's EoC gear into area AT&T COs so we now have enabled another 10,000 buildings with Ethernet service," Widham said, adding that they have up to 94,000 buildings qualified to get Ethernet service.

In addition to business customers, Alpheus has been aggressively pursuing more opportunities to sell its fiber and EoC services to other service providers that need an alternative provider to serve their multisite business customers.

But Ethernet is just one part of its growing product mix.

Building on its Ethernet foundation, Alpheus plans to embark on three new areas: managed services (i.e., VPN, firewalls and managed security); specialty products for the health care and retail chain verticals; and managed hosting services out of its data centers in select markets.

"In terms of additional product development, we're really looking at going up the telecom stack, and we're looking at managed security services, and then we'll get specific in our verticals offering Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance services for the healthcare industry and offering PCI security services for credit card transactions," Widham said.