Electric Lightwave Inc. likes to link its corporate history to the growth of the competitive telecommunications industry.
The Vancouver, Wash. company was one of the first competitive access providers, companies that sold bargain long distance services to businesses. As it rolled out its strategy nearly a decade ago, it helped usher in the age of the competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs).
Now, Electric Lightwave managers are transforming the company from a single-service telecom provider to a multidimensional provider. If they are able to pull off the transformation, ELI will have a shot at what could be a $270 billion market by the year 2007.
But there remains a major unknown ahead for ELI: Are the customers really out there? And if they are, does ELI have what they want?
One analyst who follows the company, Geoff Stricker, said ELI has "a good long-term strategy," bolstered by a strong network and an attractive, large and concentrated market. And it doesn't hurt that ELI has a deep-pocketed parent which hasn't shied away from bankrolling the company's past ventures, said the Lehman Bros. telecom analyst.
Dave Sharkey, Electric Lightwave's …