Amid the rapid consolidation of broadband service providers, there are still new companies launching with innovations designed to entice enterprises away from incumbent operators. This week, Masergy Communications, Inc., lit up its IP/MPLS network to give enterprises the advantages of user-controlled private networks with the benefits of shared infrastructure.
The Dallas companys services are targeted to businesses with heavy data, voice and video traffic demands that do not want to build private networks.
CH2M Hill Inc., a construction and consulting firm in Denver, plans to use Masergys services to prioritize bandwidth use among employees, partners and clients of a new business division scheduled for launch in January. The company, which has 160 offices and 12,000 employees worldwide, expects to make more use of video-conferencing, distance learning and online product demonstrations with Masergys services.
"We will have a very broad network, and there will be very high demand on it," said Susan Hedges, vice president of technology at CH2M Hill. "Well be able to prioritize traffic in four-hour or eight-hour blocks of time. You might have a completely different set of users with priority in the morning than in the afternoon."
Masergys inCONTROL IP service allows businesses to prioritize their own traffic flowing over MASERGYs private network. Another service, inCONTROL Link, delivers guaranteed bandwidth, and inCONTROL Video for video-conferencing over IP enables companies to run video-grade images over existing data networks.
"We can potentially commit to a lower level of bandwidth usage and distribute it to our regions as we need to," Hedges said. "Our overall commitment is lower and it should be easier to manage and more cost-effective."
Masergy has deployed hubs in nine U.S. cities and plans to expand to 30 next year, according to Michael Beaton, senior vice president. It co-locates in Level 3 offices, using Level 3 networks. It is also operating in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, with plans to cover 12 European cities in 2002.
The company touts its Web-based service portal, which allows customers to view account information and manage traffic in near real time, increasing or decreasing bandwidth and re-arranging priorities. "The idea is that if you cant measure it, you cant improve it," Beaton said.
Among Masergys main competitors are AT&T Corp. and WorldCom Inc. Despite the tough economic times, the start-up shows that telecommunications ventures remain capable of attracting financing, having just secured $57.4 million in funding from Meritage Private Equity Funds, Centennial Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in September.