Part 3 - Interview with Dave Pistacchio, President of Optimum Lightpath

FierceTelecom: With all of the fiber that Optimum Lightpath has put in the ground over the years, I have to ask how is the wholesale business doing these days?

Pistacchio: That's an interesting business. It's not entirely our focus. Our focus for the last four years has been really on the enterprise. We consider ourselves much more of an enterprise company than a carrier's carrier company. While we have some wholesale business, it represents a fairly small percentage of our revenue stream. While we do have relationships with other wireless and wireline carriers, we're not seeing a huge amount of growth or a reduction of our business there either.

The wireless backhaul opportunity is a very interesting situation in our market because it's very expensive to build in our market. Then, there's this pressure between what the wireless backhaul guys want to pay and how much bandwidth they need versus what it costs to light all of these towers. That pressure continues. We do deals where it makes sense and walk away from deals where it does not make sense.

FierceTelecom: Along with providing traditional telecom services, we're hearing more about service providers offering more professional services to customers. Is Optimum Lightpath going down that path?

Pistacchio: There are a lot of things you can do when you talk about professional services. Some of those have been tried by lots of other companies and have not been successful. We're very interested in looking at those things and we have relationships with professional services companies to help with the deployment of our hosted and premise-based platform.  We continue to think about ways in which we can improve the product portfolio and offer new capabilities.

Honestly, we're very careful about not going too far afield into places where it has not been proven to be successful, unless we have secret sauce that will make us more successful than others have been. We do think we have a different philosophy and would not rule out a play in professional services, but I don't have anything on the product roadmap for the next 12 months related to professional services.

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