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Integra Telecom expands wholesale portfolio with dark fiber service

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Integra Telecom on Tuesday launched a new dark fiber service, adding another piece to its growing wholesale service puzzle.

The CLEC is targeting the new service toward both wireless and wireline carrier customers and large enterprise customers that are willing to pay a premium for their own private network facilities.

A wireline operator that needs to fulfill a customer need outside of its own territory, for example, could purchase Integra's dark fiber service to ensure control and quality of the connection. It would also be applicable to a data center operator that needs necessary backhaul for its locations.

No less important are the healthcare, government and education vertical market segments. A large enterprise customer could purchase a dark fiber Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRU) to increase network redundancy and support business continuity and disaster recovery initiatives.

Customers that want to purchase Integra's dark fiber service have the option of signing a capital lease and IRU, while the lease-to-own option is also offered on an individual case basis.

Introducing dark fiber service is part of Integra's move to ramp up its wholesale product line by leveraging the fiber assets it purchased from Electric Lightwave (ELI), which had been redirected for interoffice transport to support the CLEC's SMB customer base.

"One of the things we wanted to push on was reenergizing our focus on the wholesale space," said Kevin O'Hara, CEO of Integra Telecom, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We realized we had a lot of capabilities in the network, but we weren't well positioned to take advantage of them."

Dark fiber service adds to a growing wholesale product line that includes both the optical wavelength service it launched in April and Ethernet services. A lot of this drive to create new products out of its fiber assets came as Integra started to venture into the medium and large business markets.

"We had inherent capabilities in the network that hadn't been productized," O'Hara said. "Carrier Ethernet was not a product even though we already deployed the technology. We inherently had wave technology in the network, but we never productized it, and we inherently had Dark Fiber in the network, but we never productized it.  

But developing the right product set was only the first step. Integra had to get the right leadership in place to oversee the division.

In October, Integra renamed the ELI division as Integra Wholesale and appointed former Comcast executive Martha Tate as its new Vice President.

"For the past three years, Martha had been with Comcast which is probably the most aggressive in how they are rolling out services so it's a nice bridge," O'Hara said.

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