A New Beginning — This Time With Margin!
Midwest ISP Eliminates Fixed Costs
It wasn’t long ago that Osprey Network Technologies teetered on the brink of financial disaster. Gone were the go-go days of 30 easy signups a month. Major telcos now competed in the same arena as the small ISP. And the workdays? Wracked with worry about what could happen, Osprey owner Robert Lowery spent many sleepless nights worried that a server might go down.
But since migrating his subscribers throughout Kansas and Texas to visp.net, Lowery has begun to fight back, and targets 100% growth during the next year because he’s able to focus on marketing and aspects of the business that he’s passionate about, such as Wireless Internet and WiFi Hotspots.
“Visp.net is ideally equipped to manage an ISP’s back office much more effectively,” says Lowery. “Since they’re able to provide 24/7 customer care, I have time to do what I want, and increase my subscriber base.”
The Rocky Road of Being a Facilities-Based ISP
When Lowery and former partner David Morton started Osprey in 1998 it seemed that fate was with them. Customers from a previous ISP where they worked followed them into the new venture.
Using a total of 400 modems connected by Frame Relay in 10 towns, Osprey grew to 2,500 subscribers in 2003. Business was good. But then, things took a turn for the worse.
First the phone company began raising prices on its lines, reducing profit margins. However, the resourceful Lowery dodged that bullet by outsourcing his modems and buying low cost toll-free access. Profits rose by $13,000 a month.
That was until AT&T and Level3 turned off the toll-free numbers. Lowery lost 45 percent of his customer base in less than a month.
“I was shocked,” says Lowery, adding that AT&T helped pass legislation that effectively locked out toll-free numbers for data access. “I was ready to pack up the bags and lock the doors. If the phone companies can turn us off like this, we’re in trouble. There’s probably hundreds of ISPs that have been affected like this.”
Enter visp.net: The World’s Most Powerful Wholesale ISP Solution
Lowery was now bone tired of being “on” day and night for a declining business. And he was torn. He wanted to sell Osprey, yet he felt personally responsible to his loyal subscribers, many of whom had been with him since the beginning.
“Selling the business felt like I was abandoning my customers,” says Lowery of his dilemma. “That’s why I wanted the best solution for them. Part of the reason I decided on visp.net was that I was able to keep my customers.”
Nightmares such as these are nothing new to visp.net.
“Our virtual ISP technology and industry relationships help us solve ISP’s problems and keep operating costs low,” says visp.net CEO Todd Grannis. “We’re able to help ISPs deliver personal, world-class, service to their subscribers without world-class overhead.”
Lowery is well aware that the old ISP business model is a losing proposition. visp.net’s Pay-as-you-Go billing model provides ISPs with immediate profit margins by eliminating fixed costs. ISPs simply pay for what they use.
Osprey now enjoys visp.net’s powerful ISP in-a-box™ Management & Billing software [now UBO Billing and Management Software™]. “This is the best software for managing an ISP that I’ve seen,” says Lowery, adding that his customers also enjoy his new ISP Web Portal that integrates seamlessly with the Billing and Management software. “It’s a big improvement. visp.net is an all-in-one solution for us.”
Setting up subscribers and transferring domains has been easier than Lowery expected, too. “This has been the smoothest migration we’ve ever made,” he says, adding that the solution is ideal for facilities-based ISPs. “The few issues we’ve had have been addressed immediately by visp.net.”
Gone is the insanity of trying to manage a barrage of calls from frustrated subscribers while struggling to bring up a downed server.
Lowery now sleeps like a baby. “I no longer go home at night with the lingering concern that a server will go down,” he says. “I have my life back.”