Aristotle wants to reach out and touch someone new.
In a filing with the Arkansas Public Service Commission on Friday, a recently formed entity, Aristotle Telecomm, LLC, filed an application to gain certification as an intrastate local exchange telecom.
Aristotle, Inc. President Elizabeth Bowles, who will manage the new LLC, says that CLEC – Competitive Local Exchange Carrier – status will help diversify the 15-year old Little Rock-based Internet service, e-mail and web development company.
"There are a lot of advantages that come with that status," Bowles tells Talk Business. She says Aristotle Telecomm will explore residential and business service for customers where it makes sense as well as a voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) product.
In its PSC filing, Aristotle says it intends to provide services in local exchange territories currently serviced by AT&T Arkansas, which would cover most of the state. It has proposed tariff rates and an interconnection agreement with AT&T similar to ones between the phone giant and its cable competitors, Comcast and Cox Communications.
Within two months, the PSC could grant or deny the application or ask for answers to questions to gauge the prospects of Aristotle’s new foray.
In the mid-2000′s, Aristotle began offering high-speed Internet to its customers through DSL (digital subscriber lines), but it found the product to not be "price-competitive with existing DSL providers," according to the PSC filing. By 2006, it was converting customers to a wireless Internet product built around four networks. It has since added five residential networks and operates in two central Arkansas counties serving approximately 500 customers.
"We’re definitely looking to go into new territory," Bowles says of the latest endeavor, particularly underserved areas of the state. "We’d like to expand these offerings beyond central Arkansas."