July 1, 2000
ATC Teleports Buys General Telecom for $30 Million
By Ken Branson
It’s Big Bang Day for Melissa Craig. ATC Teleports Inc.
(www.atcteleport.com) will buy Craig’s company, General Telecommunications Inc., for $30 million, she has announced.This is not like Bell Atlantic Corp.
(www.bell-atl.com) buying GTE Corp. (www.gte.com),
but in the corner of the telecom world Craig occupies, it’s significant. General Telecom’s business is as simple and straightforward as it gets. It rents ports on switches in Los Angeles, Miami and New York to whomever wants to buy them. The core of her company consists of three DMS-250/300 switches and the technicians who take care of them. In her position as CEO, Craig says that in recent months General Telecom has added VoIP capability to those switches. The company’s customers range from fairly large international carriers who need a place to land in one of the three cities, to entrepreneurs with laptops who rent the minimum eight ports. That’s what attracted ATC Teleports, according to a spokeswoman.ATC Teleports, a subsidiary of American Tower Corp.
(www.americantower.com), provides satellite uplinks and downlinks for broadcasters and ISPs and PTTs in countries that haven’t deregulated yet. General Telecom has some competitors, though none that do switch partitioning–renting ports–as their main business. Her competitors sometimes refer to General Telecom as “Melissa’s,” as if Craig ran a café. This is very homey, but when Craig is asked if General Telecom will lose its boutique aura, she is unsentimental. “God, I sure hope so,” she says. “This deal allows us to do what we’ve always wanted to do, which is open up carrier-neutral facilities in the 10 or 12 major telecom hubs in the world.”Craig, who is a part owner of General Telecom, expected the deal to close sometime in June.
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