Integra Telecom names Comcast exec Martha Tate as its new wholesale chief

Dallas -- Integra Telecom on Monday named Martha Tate as the vice president of its wholesale services unit, one of many moves the CLEC is taking to revamp its wholesale business.

In her new role at Integra, Tate will be charged with driving the growth of the CLEC's wholesale sales organization and expanding its wholesale customer base.

Tate brings plenty of wholesale experience to Integra, including a recent stint at Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), where she served as the vice president of Enterprise Sales for the cable MSO's West Division.

Prior to her job at Comcast, Tate held various senior management roles at Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) and the former MFS Communications, which was later purchased by WorldCom and is now part of Verizon Business (NYSE: VZ).

"Martha is a wholesale veteran, who for the last three years was at Comcast," said Kevin O'Hara, CEO of Integra Telecom, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Prior to Comcast she was at Level 3, and prior to that she was at MFS Wholesale, so she has a heritage of fiber-based and wholesale activities."

Complementing the new wholesale leadership change, Integra has also renamed its Electric Lightwave (ELI) subsidiary Integra Wholesale.

In addition to realigning its wholesale business, the CLEC is enhancing its ability to deliver both its fiber-based and Ethernet over Copper (EoC) services to more customers by establishing a number of new Network-to-Network Interconnection (NNI) agreements with more service provider partners.

With fiber being the preferred access method, the service provider has introduced a Loop Qualification tool that it says can target new service opportunities by determining serviceable on-net locations, supported products and network capacity.

O'Hara said the Loop Qualification element helps its EoC and fiber-based customer base in two ways: It provides capabilities to monitor and optimize their Ethernet networks and provides a network operations center-like experience for its E-Line services.

"Our preference is to accelerate our on-net fiber reach, so we came up with some on-net location tools," he said. "With this location tool we have pre-qualified literally thousands of near-net locations so if you're a wholesale customer or an enterprise customer or a sales guy, you can roll over the map and it will pop up which one is a green, yellow, or a red."

O'Hara added that if a building comes up red, it does not mean the company won't build out fiber to it, but the cost to extend fiber facilities to that building is very high.

"If, for example, there's $10,000 available spend in a building, it's a pretty a high hurdle to overcome," he said. "But if you're in a big shiny building that has $200,000 in telecom spend and it's a cheap build, we have rules to pre-approve you."  

No less important is the expansion of its off-net relationships with other service provider partners.

Since the middle of 2012, Integra has established 10 new NNI agreements with other carriers, a move that enabled it to bring Ethernet access to almost 40,000 buildings and 1,400 partner collocations in several key metro markets including Minneapolis, Denver, Colorado Springs, Boise, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Northern California, Seattle and Portland. Throughout the rest of the year, it plans to establish other agreements with other new partners.

"Our NNI strategy is very targeted in terms of going to carriers individually instead of going to exchanges," O'Hara said. "We're working on relationships with those individual carriers and getting wholesale customers to use our network where possible."

Although its NNI partnerships are key for growth, Integra continues to aggressively build out its own fiber network. With that ongoing fiber build-out, the CLEC has also added a new wholesale Dark Fiber offering to complement its Ethernet and Wavelength services targeting wholesale carrier customers.

 For more:
- see the release

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