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Suddenlink Offers Agent Program

Suddenlink Carrier Services, a provider of local, metro and longhaul optical and Ethernet services focused on Tier 3 markets, announced an indirect channel program, which officially launched Aug. 1.

The provider has been operating a wholesale program and is now looking to add agents throughout its footprint. The agent program is for sales of Suddenlink’s fiber-based services, but the company also is working on a carrier-grade, SLA-based Ethernet-over-coax offering scheduled for rollout next year.

“Our new indirect channel program provides our partners with the tools and solutions they need to deliver their customers cost-effective local loop and metro Ethernet bandwidth,” said Jeff Brown, Suddenlink’s vice president of carrier sales. “This will allow us to increase revenue by expanding our reach through alternate channels that can sell our product for us.”

Suddenlink has not yet signed any agents, but Brown said the company isn’t going after the “traditional” agent, but rather smaller regional VARs, interconnects and integrators currently involved in SMB buying decisions.

In terms of compensation, Brown said upfront spiffs, residual and referral commissions were possibilities, depending on the needs of the partners.

No incentive programs have been set up, but volume discounts might be on the horizon if the sales support the effort, said indirect channel manager, Wayne Seltzer. “The biggest difference in us and a lot of other folks is that we are not putting any revenue commitments in place but merely looking to work with anyone that has a need for our services,” he said.

Partners need not go through training or certification by Suddenlink to join the agent program. Suddenlink will support partners with quoting tools, including access to GIS-based mapping topology. Additionally, sales engineers on the carrier team can help with RFPs.

Suddenlink has more than 9,000 route miles of fiber throughout its network and focuses its carrier and indirect channel efforts in Tier 3 markets. Although the provider has an 18-state footprint, the indirect channel efforts will be focused initially in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia. Suddenlink Carrier Services is a part of Suddenlink Communications, a U.S. cable broadband provider supporting approximately 1.3 million customers.

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