"TSCNet, Sinclair Communications join forces"

"In the days of giant mergers between corporate behemoths such as America Online and Time Warner, consumers commonly voice their concerns about reduced levels of customer service.But the recent merger between two local Internet service providers has the former presidents of both companies vowing that customers will receive increased service.TSCNet and Sinclair Communications - both headquartered and operating in Silverdale - began the merging procedures early this year, and now operate under the name TSCNet. They provide Internet access to more than 800 locations across the United States, including Kitsap County.The two companies had previously shared resources and collaborated on various projects, so merging was a relatively easy process, said Danley Franks, former president of Sinclair and now president of TSCNet.We had been working together and doing joint services for the last year, he said. We just took the logical step and brought the two together.Because both companies had their origins in Silverdale, and the new business continues here, Franks said the staff at TSCNet is determined to keep their local customers - both businesses and residential - as satisfied as possible.We're truly Kitsap County homegrown, he said.Originally begun as a bulletin board system in 1986, the infant form of TSCNet became a full-service ISP in 1993, with e-mail and newsgroup service.That's something that wasn't very common around that time yet, said Mike Jackson, former president of the previous version of TSCNet, and now vice president of the new company.With 7,000 customers in 28 states, Franks said the company is using its combined staff and equipment to better serve its subscribers with services such as scanning e-mail for viruses before it reaches its destination.Those things certainly come about from increased resources from the merger, he said.The merger also will provide subscribers with higher amounts of bandwidth and additional modems to answer customers' calls, which can eliminate busy signals, Jackson said.But we've never really had a problem with that, he said.Along with additional dial-up numbers obtained from the merger, customers also will have access to their accounts throughout the nation and even overseas, Jackson said.By combining the two companies' staffs, Jackson said their ability to provide technical support to customers has greatly increased. It gives us a lot more people to answer the phones and a lot larger knowledge base to work off of, he said."

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