**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q2 2013.**
Atlanta-based CLEC Birch Communications announced Monday that it closed its asset purchase of the client base, accounts receivable and physical assets of Ernest Communications – the company's 19th acquisition since 2005.
Details of the transaction, first announced in June, were not disclosed, since both companies are privately held. However, Birch said it now provides service to business customers in 50 states, the District of Columbia; Canada and Puerto Rico.
"The suite of solutions Ernest provided to their former business clients – voice, data and hosted/managed services – are a perfect match with the current Birch business product offerings," said Vincent M. Oddo, Birch president and CEO, in a press statement.
Birch Communications provides IP-based communications and cloud services to small and medium businesses. The company's services include local and long-distance voice, broadband Internet access, T1, PRI, bonded T1/PRI, DSL, ADSL 2+, SIP Trunking, hosted PBX, hosted email, hosted applications, colocation services, visual voice mail, wireless voice, wireless data and many other communications and cloud services. Birch voice and broadband services are, in most cases, delivered using VoIP technology on the company's secure IP network rather than over the public Internet.
In addition, Birch told Channel Partners in early September than 90 percent of Ernest's indirect sales partners have signed new agreements to represent Birch.