Primus, Isterra, Telegroup, CWI News

Big changes are going on at Primus. First of all, the company recently announced that it would purchase the U.S. voice customer base of Cable & Wireless USA. That will bring thousands of new customers to the company, and greatly increase their overall revenues. We received a letter this week from Cable & Wireless, assuring us that current rates would stay intact, following the sale. Primus apparently does not intend to raise any of CWI's rates, at least in the near term. That's good news for customers and agents alike, who no doubt would see a mass exodus if Primus decided to make immediate rate increases. On another note of interest, the company currently known as Isterra, which is better known as Telegroup to most in the industry, has announced yet another name change. The company will now simply be known as Primus. The Isterra brand name will be retired entirely, which will likely be much easier to accomplish than extinguishing the Telegroup name has been. The Isterra name quite simply never really "stuck" with many of the company's agents, customers, or with the public. Although the company is 100% owned by Primus, the corporation decided (at first) that the Fairfield, Iowa-based operation needed its own identity and brand name. Apparently, that is no longer the case. This move should make the Primus name more marketable, and add some cohesiveness to their operations. Primus also announced today that there would be major improvements made to the company's website for agents. Known as RepLink, a variety of reports, order entry tools and other agent resources are currently available. It is one of the better online rep support systems in the industry, and it sounds like it will be getting even better. Isterra agents were recently given a new product to market, a $9.95 per month, unlimited Internet dial-up service. The rate drops to as low as $8.95 per month, if the customer subscribes to Isterra's long distance service as well. All programs are available with no monthly fees, if the customer agrees to online billing. Paper billing is available with a $2 monthly service charge.