Spokane Journal of Business

Intermax Networks acquires Tel-West

Cd’A tech company gains stronger foothold in Spokane market with purchase

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Internet provider Intermax Networks, of Coeur d’Alene, has acquired Telwest Inc., which does business as Tel-West Business Communications, a Spokane-based company that’s long specialized in providing voice and communications services.

The transaction took effect June 1, says Mike Kennedy, Intermax president, who declines to disclose the terms of the acquisition.

Tel-West’s former owner and long-time director, Danette “Danny” Harmon, is retiring but will consult with Intermax to help facilitate a smooth transition. Tel-West was founded in 1984.

“Our customers and our team are going to be in good hands with Intermax,” Harmon says in a press release issued by Intermax.

Kennedy says Intermax will retain all three Tel-West employees if they want to continue working in the Spokane office at 7311 E. Broadway. The office will be led by Tad Thompson, Intermax’s vice president of voice division.

Founded in the early 2000s as an internet service provider, Intermax began providing voice-over-internet service a little more than five years ago, Kennedy says.

“We’ve been looking to add in that area, and this just made for a perfect opportunity,” he says. “Tel-West customers are entirely from a business platform.”

Most of Tel-West’s customers use Toshiba Corp. communications and hardware. But the Tokyo-based company announced in 2018 it was getting out of the phone business altogether, he says.

Intermax now will spend the next several weeks evaluating the needs of their new customers. The purchase gives Intermax about 5,500 total customers, up from 4,000 before the transaction, he says.

Kennedy and two others bought Intermax in 2006, roughly five years after it was founded. The company had three employees then. With the acquisition of Tel-West, Intermax now has close to 60 employees.

Intermax’s internet and voice networks range from as far north as the Canadian border to as far south as St. Maries, Idaho. Kootenai Health and the Coeur d’Alene School District are two of the company’s larger customers. The latest acquisition helps the company expand its footprint into Spokane County.

In March, Kennedy told the Journal it was about to begin enhancing its networks to create improved and safer internet connections to its customers.

To support the demand for the use of high-bandwidth applications, the company started unrolling internet protocol version 6, known as IPv6, to update the current protocol, IPv4.

The company has committed more than $2.5 million in the last few years in preparation for the arrival of the internet’s next version, according to Kennedy.

IPv6 is essentially the latest internet protocol version. Internet protocols provide identification and location systems for all online devices. A device’s IP address is used to route user traffic across the internet.

Kevin Blocker
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