A Special Summer Edition of Entrepreneurs Unplugged: Executives Leading the Front Range's Resurgence of Telecom and Internet Infrastructure

Presented by: Silicon Flatirons Center, Zayo Group, CTP, the CU Interdisciplinary Telecom Program, and eSHIP

Tags: Entrepreneurship

Presented by: Silicon Flatirons Center, Zayo Group, Communications Technology Professionals, and the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program

Demand for telecommunications and Internet infrastructure is surging. Video over wireless devices, entertainment over the Internet, and cloud computing are among the trends driving 40% annual growth in bandwidth demand. Several companies in Colorado’s Front Range are vying for industry leadership as the sector expands to accommodate a broadband age.

Join us as six of Colorado’s leading executives discuss telecom-oriented entrepreneurship and industry insights. These leaders will consider opportunities amid exploding broadband usage and disruptive innovation. The strategies of area companies will be analyzed. And the discussion will identify ways in which students can get involved with area companies. Confirmed guests include (see bottom for bios):

  • Dan Caruso, President and CEO, Zayo Group
  • Jim Anderson, Vice President of Corporate Development, Qwest Communications
  • Mike Rouleau, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy, tw telecom
  • Jack Waters, President of Global Network Services, Level 3 Communications
  • Art Zeile, CEO, Hosting.com
  • Grant Van Rooyen, CEO, IX Investments, LLC
  • Moderator: Don Detampel, Executive Chairman, New Global Telecom (recently sold to Comcast)The Front Range has long been one of the nation’s hotbeds for telecom and Internet infrastructure. In the 1980s, Denver emerged as the home of the CATV industry. John Malone grew Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) into the largest cable company in the United States, ultimately selling to AT&T in 1999 for $54 billion. Other Denver-based CATV companies that developed in the 1980’s included giants like Jones Intercable (which sold to BCI Telecom Holdings). And Charlie Ergan built Echostar Communications Corporation into a national leader in the satellite industry.The 1990s witnessed the Front Range’s continued emergence as a vibrant region for competitive telecom and Internet infrastructure companies. ICG Communications grew to over 900 people in distributing phone, voice, and data services. Other notable Front Range-based companies included Level 3 Communications, Verio, SP Telecom, Raindance Communications, and Carrier Access. The telecom meltdown of the early 2000s, however, altered the area’s landscape. Major players experienced turmoil while smaller telecoms, such as Rhythms and MediaOne, went bankrupt or were acquired by other out-of-state carriers.Today, the Front Range is experiencing a resurgence of companies vying to be the next generation telecom and Internet infrastructure leaders. The June 22 Special Edition of Entrepreneurs Unplugged, Executives Leading the Resurgence of Telecom and Internet Infrastructure in the Front Range, will feature several of the companies who are leading this charge. Tw telecom is a successful enterprise-focused fiber-based telecom. Level 3 Communications remains one of the largest competitive telecoms and continues to provide industry leadership. Pending its sale, Qwest remains the incumbent carrier in the Northwest. Zayo Group is an upstart that is consolidating smaller fiber-based telecoms throughout the United States. Hosting.com is a managed server hosting company that is the platform for an industry consolidation strategy. IX Investments, LLC is active in private equity sponsored investments and is led by Grant Van Rooyen.Panelists:Dan Caruso
    Dan is President and CEO of the Zayo Group and chairman of Envysion. He is a board member of GTS Central Europe and, until recently, sat on the board of New Global Telecom. NGT was sold to Comcast in February 2010. Between 2004 and 2006, Dan was President and CEO of ICG Communications. In 2004, he led a buyout of ICG and took it private. He then engineered ICG’s turnaround which resulted in a total return on investment of 25x. Prior to that, Dan was one of the founding executives of Level(3) Communications where he worked from 1997 to 2003.

    Jim Anderson
    Jim is Vice President, Corporate Development for Qwest Communications where he leads the corporation’s introduction, development, evaluation and implementation of key corporate strategies. Jim’s development of strategic relationships has led him to architect, negotiate and execute partnerships with Microsoft, DirecTV and Verizon Wireless. He has over 24 years of experience in the technology and telecommunications services industry.

    Mike Rouleau
    Mike serves as Senior Vice President – Business Development and Strategy, and has been with tw telecom since November 1999. His extensive experience in the telecom and data communications industries resulted in the successful implementation and delivery of many advanced and innovative products. In his current position, Michael is responsible for developing tw telecom’s strategic direction and integrating new services and technologies over the next several years. Prior to joining the company, he spent 15 years with US WEST where he was responsible for the development, deployment and management of data, Internet and DSL businesses.

    Jack Waters
    Jack joined Level 3 Communications in 1997 and is president of Global Network Services and chief technology officer with responsibility for global network architecture, engineering, and operations. His operations responsibilities also include service activation and management, planning and deployment, access management, as well as field operations across the company. Under his leadership, Level 3 has achieved numerous milestones in Internet Protocol (IP) communications, including Softswitch networking, Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), and advanced optical networking. Previously, he served as an executive staff member for MCI Communications, Inc. with responsibility for network architecture, design and implementation.

    Art Zeile
    Art is CEO of Hosting.com, a managed server hosting company that is the platform for an industry consolidation strategy backed by Wachovia Capital Partners. This is his most recent role in a information technology service career which spans 22 years. His previous roles include CEO of QTC Management, which delivered over 2.5 million medical examination reports each year for government and private clients through a network of 32 clinics. He also was the CEO and co-founder of INFLOW which delivered application hosting services to enterprise customers through a system of 14 internet data centers across the US. Inflow was acquired by SunGard Availability Services in 2005. And Art was also a founder of LINK-VTC, which he grew to become the second largest videoconferencing services company in the world. LINK-VTC was acquired by Global Crossings in 1995.

    Grant van Rooyen
    Grant has over 12 years operating experience in the communications, Internet and video distribution industries. Grant is currently CEO of IX Investments, LLC and is active in private equity sponsored investments. Previously, Grant was President of the Content Markets Group at Level 3 Communications, where he joined in early 1999. He has managed businesses operating throughout the telecommunications spectrum, including CDN, broadcast video, colocation, submarine, optical transport, fiber and IP products. Prior to Level 3, he was an advisor to British Telecom in London and worked as an analyst for Tokyo – Mitsubishi Bank in Japan.

    Moderator:Don Detampel
    Don has over two decades of senior executive experience within Internet infrastructure, telecommunications and web technology companies. Currently Don serves as the Executive Chairman at New Global Telecom, the largest wholesale provider of VoIP services in the United States which was recently sold to Comcast. Prior to that, Don served as president and CEO of Raindance Communications, Inc (NASDAQ: RNDC), and he served as Chairman and CEO of OneSecure, Inc., an innovative provider of network security products (now part of Juniper Networks).

Know What’s Next