75 Coolest Telecom Service Providers: The Mavericks

The Mavericks

Cloud computing and managed service models are changing the telecom game. In the third part of our 75 Coolest Telecom Service Providers, meet the mavericks in the telecom channel that are meeting those trends heads-on.


AboveNet’s metro, long haul and IP network solutions are regularly seen in the Fortune 100 and plenty of large enterprises and vertical markets. Its agent program and AboveNet E3 strategy are highly regarded in the channel.


Accel’s fixed wireless broadband has helped boost its profile and win it some big-name partners. Programs are tailored to wholesale partners, resellers, aggregators and more, and many include residual compensation and no monthly commitments.


Access2Go runs the gamut of all sizes of business, offering T1, T3, Ethernet, MPLS, Frame Relay, ATM, OCn (Sonet), Voice, Directory Assistance and conference calling through sales and referral agents and partner companies.


Telecom service pro-viders often find themselves scorned for their customer service. Not Broadview. The company, whose OfficeSuite service features a complete cloud-based phone system, this year won the Stevie Award for Customer Service Team of the Year, besting AT&T, among others.


It would be hard to find a more channel-friendly company than Broadvox, which won plaudits from VARs for its inaugural Partner Summit. VARs say the company is more focused on partners than competitors. Broadvox CEO Andre Temnorod has a simple philosophy: give partners innovative products to sell.

BullsEye Telecom

BullsEye Telecom’s premise: provide a better business telecom solution. And that’s just what it has done for 11 years. ’Partners can count on us to provide world-class solutions: comprehensive training, tools and capabilities to make sure you are competitive in the market,’ says its Agent Program Overview.


Cavalier is stepping up its channel game. The company in March hired 20-year telecom veteran Michael Gough, who Cavalier CEO Danny Bottoms says has the ’experience and commitment’ to take the channel program to the ’next level.’ He calls the program key to expanding service offerings.


Granite’s partner program is right in line with its name: rock solid. Partners applaud the company’s flexible contract terms and straightforward pricing. That has helped make the company a perennial pick for Inc. Magazine’s Top 500 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies.

Integra Telecom

There are few telecom vendors as responsive as Integra Telecom, which places a premium on making sure its technicians, account managers and customer care reps are available 24x7. The Oregon company’s mantra is ’responsive, reliable, local.’ When you call, a ’real person’ will answer the phone.


You would be hard-pressed to find a more robust end-to-end Internet business services line than that provided by Internap. Research firm Current Analysis recently ranked Internap’s Content Delivery Network second in its 2010 CDN Product Assessment Report.


Data center service provider Latisys acquired Pryme Technologies and its 72,000-square-foot data center in Ashburn, Va. Latisys in May closed a $3.4 million deal with the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services for data center co-location disaster recovery services.


Lightyear not only became a publicly held company this year, but promoted 20-year telecom veteran Stephen Lochmueller to president. Now it’s on the acquisition trail, purchasing the assets of SouthEast Telephone in a deal valued at approximately $7.3 million.


Mediacom, the nation’s seventh largest cable TV company, reported a 10.6% first-quarter increase in high-speed data revenue vs. the year-ago period. That amounts to a gain of 56,000 high-speed data customers. Look for it to continue its high-speed data and phone service march.


MegaPath, which is in the midst of a blockbuster merger with Covad and Speakeasy, hasn’t missed a beat. In fact, MegaPath has continued to expand and enhance its channel program and in April the company hired Darren Chamberlain, an 18-year telecom veteran, as director of channel sales.


For the second year in a row, Nitel was named the fifth fastest-growing company in Chicago. As a single-source provider of telecommunications network services nationwide, Nitel gives its customers and its partners a new level of ease when it comes to procurement, billing and maintenance.

O1 Communications

Sacramento’s O1 Communications serves California enterprises and global carriers with its VoIP peering solutions. With its blockbuster Agent Program, O1 lets partners in on the action, bolstering their offerings and providing aggressive compensation, recurring revenue and an agent Web portal for quotes.

PowerNet Global

When it comes to partner benefits, PowerNet is the one to beat. PowerNet Global, founded in 1992, offers online customer reporting; dedicated agent managers and support; access to multiple carriers; a referral program; flexible domestic and international rates; and no buy-in or quotas.


McLean, Va.-based Primus is so confident in its partner and agent programs that it dares prospective partners to find a better one. Primus boasts more than 2.4 million customers leveraging its data and voice services and stretches beyond McLean and into Canada, Australia and Brazil.


Founded in 1994, Speakeasy hit the big time in 2007 when Best Buy for Business scooped it up for $97 million. Speakeasy’s goal is to give companies VoIP without them having to ditch their PBXes or buy expensive equipment. It is now combining its business with Covad and MegaPath.

Stage 2

Founded in 2004, Stage 2 has taken the hosted PBX market by storm. The company integrates a robust and redundant network with connectivity, quality of service and local number portability. It also offers business phone system solutions, SIP trunking and more and is a founder of the Cloud Communications Alliance.


STS has more than 5,000 businesses in its stable using its converged managed services and IP telephony offerings. Since it was founded in 1994, privately held STS has aimed at SMBs nationally with its suite of data, voice and managed services. STS also boasts more than 200 authorized channel partners.


Telesphere is a nationwide business phone and Internet service provider, specializing in the convergence of office PBX phone service, cellular phones, PCs and UC features. The company, which has been providing its services only since 2003, closed funding rounds totaling $32 million in the past few years.


TNCI has been providing local, long distance, VoIP, data, and audio and Web conferencing services since 1991 and products and services through agents for 17 years. TNCI also provides its agents with an equity stake in the company in addition to recurring commissions.

US Signal

US Signal provides a variety of network services over its debt-free 6,000 miles of fiber-optic lines stretching throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The Grand Rapids, Mich., company provides carrier-class services to carrier, wholesale and retail customers.


XPEC provides Ethernet, IP and broadband services technology for unified communications and more. It works with channel partners such as domestic carrier account, government bid and cloud computing specialists as well as referral companies to provide services from about 800 vendors across 60 countries.