A U.S. developer of international private network access points plans to break into the Canadian market by creating a Toronto hub to lure high-tech companies, financial firms and online media organizations.Atlanta-based Internap Network Services Corp. developed intelligent route control technology that allows it to become a de facto “traffic cop,” determining the fastest and best performing route across several backbones, said David Abrahamson, executive vice president of sales. Internap is on track to finish building a Toronto access point later this year.

Internap said it uses metrics important to customers – including packet loss, latency and jitter – to avoid congestion problems and outages.

At the same time, Internap has inter-connected all the main backbone providers so that a customer has access to four to eight networks rather than just one.

The company plans to hire in its Canadian operation three sales people, a pre-sales engineer to articulate its service to network engineers, and a customer accounts specialist.

“Toronto is probably one of the top 10 (markets) in North America from a metro perspective,” Abrahamson said, adding his company has been able to sell to financial services firms due to their use of the Internet for online banking, foreign exchange and trading.

Internap has garnered more than 2,100 customers using more than 32 private network access points in the U.S. and overseas but initially shifted Toronto to the “backburner” because customers had first demanded focus on the Asian market.

Internap anticipates no challenges in breaking into the Canadian market.

The company already has Canadian customers using international network access points, including Toronto-based Belzberg Technologies Inc., which provides the software and networks that enable global, direct access routing and execution of trades for financial institutions. Belzberg for two years has been tapping Internap’s private network access point in Chicago, said corporate controller David Evans.

“When my IT guys come to me and say, ‘You know what, let’s go out and price out SBC,’ which is a competitor of Internap,” Evans said he always refuses because he knows his staff will never secure the same price.

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