Communications business to boost service here

Maryland Watch

June 30, 1998

The company named by Network World magazine last year as the fastest-growing telecommunications network company said yesterday that it will spend $150 million to reach four new markets and boost service in 15 others, including Baltimore.

Over the next year, e.spire Communications Inc. of Annapolis Junction will expand its fiber-optic voice, data and Internet infrastructure to Atlanta; San Antonio; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Washington. The Washington expansion allows e.spire to connect that city with its existing Baltimore network.

"It's going to be beneficial for our business customers because they can get reliable, state-of-the-art transmission of voice and data and high-speed Internet access," said company spokeswoman Peggy Disney.

The company, founded in 1993 as American Communications Services Inc., plans to have the systems operating by fall.

Its stock rose 37.5 cents yesterday, to $19.875.

"When they actually penetrate these markets and start offering service, that's what's going to drive the stock price," said Todd W. Scott, an analyst with Furman Selz LLC.

Pub Date: 6/30/98

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