At the beginning of 1987, Arunas Chesonis was the systems engineering manager at Rochester Telephone with responsibility for their 52 central office switches. We were about halfway through converting the network to 5ESS from older analog switches, he says. My boss, Tan Ganatra, had just left to go to a company called ACC to work for Rick Aab. Six months later, Tan would convince me to join him at ACC where I would spend the next 11 years, until we were bought by AT&T/TCG.
Today, Arunas is president and CEO of PAETEC Communications Inc., the CLEC he founded in 1998. The company is merging with USLEC to form one of the largest CLECs in the market with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Chesonis colleagues at ACC — Ganatra and Aab — are the co-founders of USLEC. It is interesting to see everything come full circle because I am working with Tan and Rick, and our industry is going through another massive conversion to IP technology, he says. The more things change, the more things stay the same!