By Andrea Harwood Palmer
PrimeLink Fiber Optic Internet and Phone Services is being acquiring by FirstLight, a fiber-optic data, internet, data center, cloud computing and unified communications services provider.
Vicki Marking, marketing manager for PrimeLink, said the sale would be complete later this year.
“We are really excited about it. It will be our local team and FirstLight’s extensive resources. FirstLight’s infrastructure goes all over New York state. It’s a great compliment to them. The local team will remain in place. The transition will be slow and over a long period of time,” she said.
For now, PrimeLink and FirstLight are operating as two separate companies. The agreement has been signed, but the contract has not yet been closed. The company will go through the state regulatory process for communications companies. Marking anticipates the approvals taking at least four to six months.
The agreement was signed on Feb. 11.
“This transaction reinforces our commitment to ensuring that businesses throughout New York have access to the fiber-based broadband services needed to keep pace with technological innovation,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, president and CEO of FirstLight. “The acquisition will deepen our fiber footprint in the North Country and provide additional fiber capacity on a unique route from Albany, New York up into Montreal, Canada, which will help facilitate cross border communications.”
“I am excited that PrimeLink and FirstLight are joining forces. The companies have a complementary footprint and service portfolio as well as a shared philosophy of offering high quality, locally-based service and support to the communities in which we serve,” said Trent Trahan, CEO of PrimeLink. “Now as part of FirstLight, our goal of enhancing the region’s economics and improving the North Country’s quality of life and business climate can be better realized.”
“Since acquiring FirstLight in 2018, our goal has been to ensure that it has the guidance and resources necessary to support its organic and strategic growth initiatives. This acquisition is ideal in that it enhances FirstLight’s already strong capabilities in a region it currently serves, with a client base that it is familiar supporting. We look forward to realizing the promise that this acquisition presents,” said Kevin Genieser, senior partner at Antin Infrastructure Partners.
Marking stressed the commitment both companies have to make the transition as smooth as possible for clients.
“Once the contract closes, we have a transition agreement with FirstLight. It’s a minimum of six months and a maximum of 24 months. There’s so much to change over and so much in connecting the networks. We don’t want to rush anything for our clients. It will be seamless, behind the scenes. We’re purposely giving ourselves an abundance of time to make that happen,” she said.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on our personal service. Our account managers aren’t going way. We’re still going to have the same contacts and technicians. We will get the additional resources that a large company like FirstLight brings. We’ll bring all of these things together for our customers. It’s a win-win all the way around,” said Marking.
Since its inception in 1997, PrimeLink has carved its niche in the North Country, specializing in business communication solutions and catering to delivering voice and data services to small and mid-size businesses.
PrimeLink is a subsidiary of the Champlain Telephone Co., which has over 100 years experience in the telecommunications industry.
By Andrea Harwood Palmer