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ARCHIVED  September 10, 1999

BeWell.Net purchases Cheyenne, Eaton ISPs

EATON –BeWell.Net, a low-cost Internet service provider, has recently purchased Pawnee Net of Eaton and Cheyenne Web of Cheyenne as part of a company strategy to acquire 200 ISPs by the year 2000.

BeWell.Net, based in Parker, acquired Cheyenne Web June 8 and completed the Pawnee Net acquisition shortly afterward, said Clem Connolly, marketing director for the company.

Another Weld County ISP, Clark and Thompson Online Services Inc., plans to merge with an undisclosed company, Steve Clark, company president, said.

Pawnee Net ranks among the top 10 ISPs in Colorado, as do two other companies BeWell.Net has purchased in the last three months, Planet Internet and Denver Internet Access.

Outside Colorado, BeWell.Net has acquired four other Internet providers in Atlanta, Dallas and Wichita, Kan. The objective to purchase 200 ISPs by 2000 was set with the intent to increase the company’s subscriber base to 100,000, which would place it in the top 10 ISPs in the United States.

Connolly said that at the rate the previous eight acquisitions have occurred, the goal is very achievable.

The company has no plans in the immediate future to acquire more Internet providers in Northern Colorado, Connolly said reiterating that the company’s objective is to become a nationwide ISP.

The company declined to reveal terms of the deal, including the fate of the employees and operations in Eaton and Cheyenne and the number of Internet accounts and subscribers gained in the acquisition.

BeWell.Net, a privately held company, opened as a local Internet provider in January 1997. The company has more than 40,000 subscribers and 60 employees. Connolly said that BeWell.Net plans to maintain its corporate headquarters in Parker irrespective of its push to become national in scope.

Two local Internet providers in Weld County, Clark and Thompson and GreeleyNet, don’t expect that the presence of BeWell.Net in their market will affect them materially.

“BeWell.Net and our company compete on different levels, at Clark [and Thompson],” Clark said. “We are not the lowest-cost provider, but we strive to have the highest-quality customer service.”

A trend toward pooling together small ISPs with 2,000 accounts or less has developed, Clark said. These companies can benefit by sharing resources and technological capabilities and by providing better service to more customers by connecting on a regional level, he said.

Clark and Thompson is taking part in the consolidation trend, although Clark emphatically denied rumors that the company was being acquired.

“We will be merging with another company,” Clark said. “We will also then be interested in making acquisitions.”

Frank Whiteley, owner and general manager of GreeleyNet, said the Pawnee Net acquisition does not threaten his company’s position in the market, either. GreeleyNet follows a different ISP model, which is much more focused on customer service than the typical provider, Whiteley said.

For example, GreeleyNet, which has a few hundred accounts, provides onsite technical support. Whitely has found that by going to the customers’ homes, setting up the connection and showing them how to use the software, the company has saved in terms of technical support and hasn’t had to spend as much time on the phone with bewildered customers.

GreeleyNet has picked up a few “refugees,” maybe six or so, from BeWell.Net since the acquisition, Whiteley said, though he hasn’t noticed customers leaving GreeleyNet for BeWell.Net.

EATON –BeWell.Net, a low-cost Internet service provider, has recently purchased Pawnee Net of Eaton and Cheyenne Web of Cheyenne as part of a company strategy to acquire 200 ISPs by the year 2000.

BeWell.Net, based in Parker, acquired Cheyenne Web June 8 and completed the Pawnee Net acquisition shortly afterward, said Clem Connolly, marketing director for the company.

Another Weld County ISP, Clark and Thompson Online Services Inc., plans to merge with an undisclosed company, Steve Clark, company president, said.

Pawnee Net ranks among the top 10 ISPs in Colorado, as do two other companies BeWell.Net has purchased in the last three months,…

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