History of RNK Communications
Founded in 1997 by telecom entrepreneurs, the company began doing business as RNK Inc, a Massachusetts-based competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC). RNK initially set up operations in Stoughton, before moving the rapidly expanding business to its present headquarters in Dedham, MA.
The Straight Route to Success
During the economically turbulent decade that followed the breakup of Bell Atlantic, RNK distinguished itself from the many short-lived CLECs that rushed to claim a share of the carrier market. While most independent telecoms bet their business on speculative investments and marketing ploys, RNK took a different path. For RNK, the winning strategy was grounded in solid business principles: the pursuit of true market differentiation, rigorous cost accounting, and a steady focus on business realities.
A Rational Growth Plan
From the beginning, RNK’s leadership concentrated on running a lean and profitable company. To ensure healthy returns, RNK made prudent technology investments. The company’s initial purchase—a single switching facility, in Bedford, Massachusetts—seemed surprisingly modest during the booming 1990s, but it enabled RNK to serve its existing customer base—and make money.
Earning Trust to Build Value
Getting It Right
By maintaining strict control of its network and back-end operations, RNK soon established a reputation for reliable connectivity and efficient service that continued to attract new customers. To keep them coming back, RNK was equally meticulous about getting every detail of the customer experience—from phone calls to billing—exactly right.
Growing Market Reach
Over the next several years, the thriving company capitalized on new opportunities for growth by opening switching facilities in New Hampshire and Rhode Island to handle its surging network traffic. By 2000, RNK’s robust full-service network extended throughout most of Bell’s Atlantic’s New England footprint. Likewise, its market reach spanned far beyond its original base of business to include every sector from schools nonprofits, and residential subscribers to retail distributors, entrepreneurs, and multinational corporations.
The Strength to Survive; the Agility to Win
With loyal customers generating revenue and building company assets, RNK escaped the fate of debt-laden companies leveled by that year’s market collapse. One of a handful of CLECS to emerge from the crash with its financial soundness and its brand integrity intact, RNK stood poised to capture new markets when the industry rebounded in 2001.
As RNK continued to expand its service area, it stuck with its original strategy of going where the business was. To penetrate a burgeoning mid-Atlantic market, RNK began routing network traffic over a switch at 60 Hudson Street, a major collocation facility in New York City, in July 2003. As demand from customers in the tri-state metropolitan area and farther south increased, RNK continued upgrading its switching capabilities and extending its East Coast footprint into New Jersey in December 2005. In January 2007, RNK opened switching facilities at NAP of the Americas, 50 NE 8th Street, in Miami, Florida, to cover the LATA 460 market.
Cutting-Edge Resources and Expertise
During this period, RNK continued to sharpen its edge in the fiercely competitive wholesale market by staying ahead of the technology curve. In addition to increasing transport capacity, the deployment of next-generation Class 5 switches on its network provided the enhanced flexibility and functionality needed to meet the emerging requirements of voice carriers and broadband providers. With the technological resources and creative in-house talent to support a state-of-the-art development environment, RNK reached beyond its traditional carrier and prepaid calling card divisions into new business areas.
The Power of the New
VoIP Comes of Age
In the rapidly evolving Voice over IP (VoIP) market, RNK regularly beat competitors to market with leading-edge products and services. In addition to 911/E911, and 411 services, RNK VoIP offered customers an array of enhanced features, including caller ID, call forwarding, and e-mail voicemail alerts. RNK was also the first wholesaler to answer the global call for international direct inward dialing (DID) numbers. DIDs enabled customers to place inexpensive calls nationwide, as well as to dozens of countries, using an easy-to-dial local exchange. As a wholesaler that was also a fully regulated phone carrier, RNK was empowered to not only assign new phone numbers, but also port existing ones quickly and easily. Advantages like these boosted the efficiency and profitability of RNK’s business customers and proved to be key differentiators in the VoIP market.
The September 2006 launch of ReVoS, a family of five Internet calling plans, marked RNK VoIP’s entry into the direct-to-consumer market. Like RNK’s business VoIP service, ReVoS offered what customers weren’t getting from the stock long-distance packages of other VoIP providers—more choices, including economical and reliable international calling, free nationwide directory assistance, and the freedom to place calls from their landline, cell phone, or laptop.
Next-Generation Demands: Smarter Features, More Functionality, and Freedom to Choose
RNK continued responding nimbly to market trends with breakthrough voice solutions from its Innovation division. The October 2006 launch of SubjectTalk,™ for example, capitalized on the growing popularity of Internet chat rooms by enabling users to connect with their community through an interactive voice forum. RNK likewise addressed a darker side of the Information Age with the February 2007 introduction of MyTempNumber.™ The ability to post ads without making their own phone numbers public offered a variety of users a convenient way to share information while protecting their personal privacy or proprietary business information.
The company’s expanding portfolio of telecom solutions offered carriers seeking to differentiate their brand, the best of all possible worlds: an abundance of high-quality feature-rich products that could be custom-tailored to their needs and private labeled with their own brand. The result was a win-win situation. RNK continued to profit by advancing its customers’ goals.
RNK Goes Global
Between 2005 and 2007, this competitive strategy paid major dividends. A remarkable growth curve across the first three financial quarters of 2005 showed a 200 percent increase in RNK’s VoIP customers. In May of 2007, the number of network minutes processed monthly reached a milestone of more than 600 million, a 100 percent increase over the same month the previous year.
As its tenth anniversary approached, RNK marked its outstanding record of achievement by refreshing its corporate identity. In October 2006, the company unveiled a new logo, and to better reflect its global reach and breadth of services, adopted the name RNK Communications.