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InfoWorld: My ISP is into Linux and wireless technology, but not inflated Internet stocks

Jan 10, 2000, 22:06 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bob Metcalfe)

"In April 1995, Philbrook was a sophomore at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His secret weapons were Pentiums running "shareware" called Linux. And he had a business plan for becoming midcoast Maine's first ISP...."

"By July 1997, Philbrook had 2,800 customers, nine employees, six points of presence (POPs), 85 percent of a market only 5 percent penetrated, profitable annual growth of 33 percent, and a used red Jaguar (see www.infoworld.com/metcalfe).

"Today, Midcoast prospers. It looks messy, but it's in new digs, offers local V.90 access to 4,500 customers from Bath to Belfast, and doubled its revenue during 1999...."

"What are Philbrook's secrets? He still uses Linux, by Red Hat, in which he owns stock. He offers two dial-in numbers, one for each of the slightly incompatible V.90 modems people use a lot. Midcoast makes a profit after installing customer PCs onto the Internet for free. And Philbrook helps out in surrounding communities."

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