Bill LaPerch, President and CEO, AboveNet

Bill LaPerch, AboveNet


Since helping guide the service provider, which was once owned by the Metromedia Fiber Networks, out of bankruptcy, AboveNet's (NYSE: ABVT) president and CEO Bill LaPerch has been focused on growing the company from within.

LaPerch--a former MCI Communications and NYNEX executive--has honed AboveNet's strategy to provide fiber-based high private network products to Fortune 1000 companies and service providers in both the U.S. and London.

Its largest customer segment has been the financial industry, one that makes up a third of its revenue through sales of its low latency FinanceNet solution. However, in recent years, the service provider has begun to craft more solutions for the education and health care industries.

Thus far, this strategy has served it well. In Q2 2011, the competitive provider, whose clientele includes bandwidth hungry entities including financial houses, reported revenues of $118.3 million.

LaPerch isn't exactly worried about the state of today's economy, because he's seeing many opportunities for the service provider's high end bandwidth services.

One of the big opportunities LaPerch is most excited about is the burgeoning data center and cloud service opportunity both of which require large bandwidth pipes to connect their services and sites with customers.

LaPerch said in a recent Reuters interview that despite the state of the economy, "the growth in bandwidth seems pretty good and pretty constant, as does the migration to data centers."

Evidence of this trend was seen recently when AboveNet became one of Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Direct Connect Solution Providers.

Of course, the question on the industry watcher's mind is, what about acquisitions?

LaPerch admitted that while he has held a number of discussions with other service providers that AboveNet could buy, none of the potential acquisitions were financially feasible. Speculation has arisen that the company could benefit by purchasing another fiber-rich provider like Sidera Networks to help it fan out its domestic fiber footprint.

Regardless of any speculation about what the service provider will or won't buy, in 2012 LaPerch will apply his careful approach to see if he can get the right deal for the right price that complements AboveNet's growth strategy.  

Bill LaPerch, President and CEO, AboveNet