RCN Metro relaunches as Sidera

US-based fibre network operator RCN Metro has relaunched itself as Sidera Networks, following the acquisition of parent company RCN Corporation by private investment fund Abry Partners.

Sidera said it will now expand into new markets while continuing as a provider of high-capacity transport services for carriers and enterprises, with services that include Ethernet, Sonet, wavelength, video transport, internet and dark fibre. As RCN Metro, it recently extended beyond the US metro market with a network deployment in Toronto.

“As a publicly traded company, RCN Corporation was split between the consumer-facing cable side of the business, which was three quarters of revenue, and RCN Metro, which was the other quarter,” said Mike Sicoli, the newly appointed CEO of Sidera. “RCN Metro had struggled to get the markets to recognise the true value of that part of the business, but with private equity ownership we’re now, as Sidera, separately capitalised. Customers will see everything that was good  carry on as before, in fact enhanced through more focussed resources. We’re now better able to bid for big contracts. We’ve also got plans to expand, putting around 100 new locations on-net over the next 12 months in north America and Europe.”

Of the health of the north American metro market, Sicoli said: “On a macroeconomic level, there’s a great deal of uncertainty. But metro is expanding at exponential rates. That’s the market we’re focussed on – transporting broadband traffic is what we do.”

Paris Burstyn, senior analyst for wholesale telecoms with consulting firm Ovum, agreed that the separation of the cable side of RCN Corporation from the B2B business is in the interests of all parties. “A few cable companies in the US have started separate operating groups to address business and residential customers,” he said. “Cable companies have not been very successful at winning large enterprise business. There are a number of reasons including branding and a poor service image. Rebranding the business service helps separate cable companies’ poor consumer customer service reputation from their struggle to create a responsive business brand. Sidera therefore is a step in the right direction.”

In addition to Sicoli’s appointment as CEO, Ed O’Hara has joined Sidera as CFO. The rest of the former RCN Metro management team stays the same, Felipe Alvarez remaining president and COO.

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