PAETEC: Tapping into the fiber renaissance

Arunas Chesonis, PAETECArunas Chesonis, founder CEO and Chairman of PAETEC, knows a good opportunity when he sees one.

After spending a number of years with the former Rochester Telephone and then branching off to lead the former ACC Corp before it was bought out by AT&T/Teleport.

Since launching PAETEC, Chesonis and his team have been scaling up the business organically and through M&A. This strategy has been focused not only on scaling its business size, but also on expanding into various areas, including even the energy business.

Among its several achievements in 2010 was the opening of a 92,700 sq foot data center facility in Andover, Ma, expansion of telephone service to 92 additional rate centers in 19 states and expanded Ethernet local loop capability of up to 1 Gbps in six new cities.

But perhaps Chesonis' most ambitious move this year was to strike a deal to purchase fellow CLEC Cavalier Telecom.

When the deal is complete next year, gains nearly 17,000 fiber route-miles from Cavalier's Intellifiber Networks subsidiary, not to mention expanding its local presence in 86 of the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) .

In announcing the deal at this year's COMPTEL Plus fall show, Chesonis maintained that the real asset that the fiber assets will be the key element to tap into the burgeoning financial services market for one.

"Again, we could have picked a lot of different organizations to try to acquire right now, and we decided that it was more important to drive more of the fiber business than maybe acquire some of the data center opportunities or go overseas right away," he said. "I actually think there's a whole renaissance happening in the fiber business where people are looking at the low latency between destinations for certain reasons, a popular one is the Chicago to New York financial institutions, right?"

Despite all of his moves to ramp up the company through acquisitions, and certainly Cavalier won't be PAETEC's last purchase, Chesonis maintains that "we have a nice platform to grow the company organically and be opportunistic about what you do can do M&A, but don't let it drive your mission."

That attitude will serve him well as PAETEC moves forward the competitive provider on a continued growth path.

PAETEC: Tapping into the fiber renaissance