Wheelings & Dealings: Otelco Snags Maine Web Hoster

By Doug Barney

Otelco, a telecom provider, just snagged Maine-based Web hoster Reliable Network.

At $500,000, the deal is relatively small potatoes, but it does allow Otelco to expand its footprint and range of services.

Otelco primarily provides wireline-based telecom services. Current locations include Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia. Services will also expand based on the Reliable Networks portfolio, and will now include database hosting, email and VoIP.

Why is this important? Deals like this are a lifeline for small providers, allowing them to survive and continue to innovate.

“Our business customers increasingly are turning to us to expand our hosting and managed services capabilities to be able to provide seamless, turnkey services anchored by our high-quality connectivity offerings,” said Mike Weaver, CEO of Otelco. “Over the years, we have successfully collaborated with Reliable Networks on larger, more complex VoIP telephone infrastructure deployments. Leveraging the networking and application hosting expertise of Reliable Networks by acquiring the company is a natural, evolutionary extension of our current product and services offerings to support the substantial growth of our Hosted IP Voice PBX Product.”

Besides VoIP, Otelco also has Internet, broadband, long distance, and television, and goes after consumer and business customers. Many of the markets the company serves are rural, a source of great pride for Otelco. Besides the services, Otelco also provides volunteers and community sponsorships.

“We have always focused on clients who demand superior quality and high levels of client service,” said Mark Stone, Managing Member and founder of Reliable Networks. “As a high value-added provider, our ‘measure twice, cut once’ approach resonates with clients for whom downtime is expensive and disruptive. What could be better than to formalize a relationship with a company that also provides carrier-grade services complementing our own, and with whom we have successfully worked in the past?”

Otelco has three regional operations, and Reliable Networks will fall under the New England OTT Communications division. The Reliable Networks’ Web site has already been taken down and replaced with news of the Otelco deal.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

MSPToday Editor at Large

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