From dinosaur bones to IP backbones

Dead, decades-old trees are processed in a sawmill, and then shipped to the newspaper printing plant. And your newspaper is delivered to you in a vehicle that runs on dinosaur grist from 70 million years ago.

Dead, decades-old trees are processed in a sawmill, and then shipped to the newspaper printing plant. And your newspaper is delivered to you in a vehicle that runs on dinosaur grist from 70 million years ago.

IP telephony isn't 70 million years old. In its present incarnation, it isn't even 70 months old. But we do believe it is the wave of the future.

This paradox between the old and new makes it real interesting when a newspaper company operates a telecommunications subsidiary that offers hosted IP services.

That company would be Journal Communications, Inc. Best-known as publisher of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the firm owns Norlight Telecommunications, Inc., a 32 year-old company that offers hosted IP telephony services and managed networks.

On Friday, Norlight bought the customer base and some related assets Netcom Group, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-firm with more than 1,000 business customers. When those customers are integrated with Norlight's service set,Norlight's flavor of hosted IP will be available to them.

One more thing: how many companies have "Netcom" in their name? If you've been in the tech world as long as I have been, maybe you will remember the proto Netcom NetCruiser Web browser, the one with the spinning globe. Different company, differentera - almost back to the age of the dinosaurs who diedso your Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel delivery truck could live.

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