123.net acquires ZING Networks, looks to hire more

Dan Irvin started 123.net in 1993 as a way to work from home and spend more time with his young family. Today the Southfield-based firm is becoming a family of companies, now that it has bought ZING Networks as part of its growth plan.

123.net (Irvin choose the name because it was easy to remember) is a communications service provider. It wanted ZING Networks, a wireless Internet service provider, because it is the sole 4G WiMAX network provider in Metro Detroit.

“It gives us another path to our customers,” Irvin says. “We see it as a technology that has matured over the last 4-5 years.”

Southfield-based ZING Networks’ four employees will be folded into 123.net’s operations, which already employ a dozen people, a summer intern and about half a dozen independent contractors. 123.net hired five engineers within the last year.

“I expect we’ll double again in the next year,” Irvin says.

The company has been on a tear in recent years and expects it to continue. It averages 30-40 percent annual revenue growth and has acquired more than 700 miles of fiber optics across the state. It has scaled up to the point where it doesn’t have a problem competing here, or even on the West Coast.

“The last couple of years have been really exciting because the price points, size of our business, and demand for the Internet have made us very competitive,” Irvin says. “We are big enough to compete with anyone around here.”

Source: Dan Irvin, owner of 123.net
Writer: Jon Zemke