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    johnb is offline Verified 3-Star Forum General
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    Now this was a bit surprising....

    Once at odds over growth in Cary, Goodnight, Lang now teamed up
    Triangle Business Journal - January 26, 2007
    by Leo John

    CARY - When he left office as mayor of Cary in 2003, Glen Lang saw the future - and quickly prepared to face it.

    Lang, who as mayor drew the wrath of developers for his anti-sprawl stances, is now partnering with the same folks to stream Internet connections into high-tech homes.

    Making peace with builders has been fruitful for Lang's 4-year-old company, now called Connexion Technologies, which installs optical fibers at housing developments and then leases out capacity to Internet, cable TV and phone service providers.

    As ironies go, here's another: SAS founder and CEO Jim Goodnight, once a Lang archrival for his stance on growth, has turned supporter. Goodnight, through his real estate investment firm, Reedy Creek Investments, is one of several investors bankrolling Lang's company. SAS co-founder and Executive Vice President John Sall also is a co-founder of Reedy Creek.

    So, what does the master entrepreneur Goodnight think of Connexion's growth? Representatives of SAS said there would be no comment from Goodnight.

    As for Lang, he says: "Dr. Goodnight, not Dr. Goodnight himself - Reedy Creek Investments - his company, has been extremely helpful." As for his earlier rivalry with the SAS co-founder, Lang will say only," We have a business relationship, and it hasn't come up."

    Lang says Reedy Creek and several individuals are invested in the company. He won't disclose how much the company has raised, but a January 2003 securities filing by Lang shows the company was aiming to raise $1 million from investors.

    And the investments appear to be good bets so far. Connexion has grown to 200 employees from just a handful four years ago. The company, previously named Capitol Broadband, expects to end 2007 with 200,000 connected homes at 90 housing developments. At the end of 2006, Connexion's cable wired 40 developments.

    Lang won't say how much Connexion generates in revenue, but growing demand for cable TV, phone and broadband Internet service means the company probably will find a ready market.

    "It's not a part of the (telecom) business that generates a lot of news," says Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst in Atlanta. "But, increasingly, there's plenty of demand because new forms of technologies require a lot of bandwidth."

    True to form, Lang says Connexion is the largest company of its kind in the country. Yet, he points out, "We're tiny in comparison to Time Warner." Lang expects to organically grow his company by less than 100 employees in the next year.

    Connexion's clients, spread over the Southeast with about 70 percent of them in Florida, are builders establishing new housing developments that need spiffy telecom connections.

    Research has shown that new home buyers are willing to pay an additional $5,000 for homes equipped with broad Internet pipes, says Joe Savage, president of the Fiber-to-the-Home Council, an industry trade group.

    To further entice builders, Connexion divvies up residents' monthly subscription revenue with developers, delivering an annuity stream to builders long after the homes have been sold. Connexion does not provide any of the services. It just contracts broadband capacity out to local providers.

    "Glen is doing a fantastic job," says David Falk Jr., co-owner of apartment management company Drucker & Falk and a Connexion shareholder. "They have figured out a niche that developers are attracted to."

    Legislation passed in 2006 in North Carolina allows video providers to obtain one statewide franchise instead of separate county approvals - thus easing the way for new entrants. Lang says his company may seek such a license.
    Last edited by johnb; 04-25-2012 at 09:26 PM.

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