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Cisco speeds up Internet access with acquisition

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Cisco is shelling out $56 million in stock for the purchase of the grandly-named American Internet Corporation, a developer of software that makes it easier to hook into the Internet. Not bad for a company set up in 1995, and currently employing just 50 employees. But at least AIC –unlike many start-ups in this sector – is something more than a R&D shop. The Bedford, Mass company even has two products, in the shape of Network Registrar and Access Registrar, and it has an OEM agreement already in place with Cisco. Using AIC’s products, Cisco can supply automatic Internet connections through set-top boxes and cable modems. Cisco plans to extend the product line into its Service Provider line of business. "Cisco is trying to transform themselves into an Internet company and so far they're succeeding," said Barry Hyman, an analyst at Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum, in an interview with Bloombergs. "Speed and hookups are a most important part of the process." AIC CEO, Bob Brennan, will continue to run the company and will report to Herb Madan, vice president and general manager, in the service provider line of business. ®

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