Integra Telecom is taking a leverage-and-extend approach in bringing its IP service portfolio to Montana by using the fiber network facilities that it purchased from Eschelon in 2007.
With this expansion, which extends its backbone national IP network to the Montana metro network, the CLEC will now be able to deliver all of its IP-based services including Ethernet, MPLS/VPN, managed cloud and hosted voice services to local businesses in Billings and Bozeman.
Montana customers will also be able to get nationwide high bandwidth connectivity.
Like its purchase of Electric Lightwave, another deal that immediately expanded its footprint in 2006, Montana was another market where it did not initially make a major investment as it targeted larger markets such as Phoenix.
"Since Integra did the Eschelon acquisition the Montana market was left a bit out on the fringe," said Joseph Harding, chief marketing officer of Integra, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We had a very strong fiber footprint in the Billings market, but it wasn't adequately enabled in conjunction with the rest of our network."
One of the drivers of this expansion is to fulfill new demands from various verticals such as education, health care and the energy industry for carrier Ethernet services and other enterprise solutions.
One area that Harding said where their services could potentially resonate with is the electric utility industry.
"Billings has become increasingly a jumping off point for the energy industry and the Northern Dakotas and Southern Canada, which are hard to reach areas and remote areas, but there's a lot of effort to extract oil in those areas," Harding said. "The closest metro market is Billings so a lot of energy companies are establishing offices in Billings and require the services we provide."
As it has done in other markets it currently serves, Integra has extended its Ethernet services in Montana, with a mix of Ethernet over Copper-based services supporting speeds up to 100 Mbps and fiber-based services offering speeds up to 1 Gbps.
The CLEC said that in Billings alone, the expansion puts nearly 100 business locations on or near Integra's fiber-based network.
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