David Showalter figures that the time is right to match
buyers and sellers of broadband-network equipment via computer software and the Internet.
This week, Showalter, formerly a lead executive at
distributor Jerry Conn Associates, will officially launch his new company, Broadband
Joining him in BRI's Chambersburg, Pa., headquarters is
Trav Neumann, as vice president of marketing and network operations. Neumann and Showalter
were colleagues at JCA, which was purchased by the parent of its competitor, TVC Inc.,
earlier this year.
Now, the duo will use an internally developed software
database and Web program -- which was developed for BRI by software expert Don Rice,
another former JCA employee -- to electronically link equipment-needy buyers with sellers
of used and refurbished cable equipment.
"If it's done anything, [BRI has] gotten people
talking," said Fred Rogers, president of Quality RF Services Inc. Rogers said he will
likely sell product through the BRI network.
BRI is not alone in the equipment-resale category. There
are many sellers of used equipment, but Showalter said he's aware of that. It is BRI's
"technology-led model" that makes it unique versus its competitors, he added.
Showalter said BRI will also "provide services to
address both urgent and long-term issues for the remarketing of cable operators' devalued
assets, manufacturers' excess inventory and unanticipated product surplus."
BRI has already forged affiliate-partner agreements with
B.E. Duval Co., Comsource Broadband Technologies Corp., MegaHertz Inc., Spectrum Inc. and
Rogerson Johnson Associates, extending BRI's sales reach beyond the United States and into
Canada and Mexico.
BRI essentially serves as an electronic Internet middleman
between sellers of cable product -- whether they are vendors or MSOs with unwanted
inventory -- and buyers, internationally.
It works like this: Users to go BRI's Web site and browse
through an "international network" of available broadband products. They enter
search criteria, including manufacturer, manufacturer part number and type of equipment
needed. A listing pops up, with all available information on the equipment, including any
notes, Neumann said.
For starters, BRI will not offer electronic-commerce
capabilities, so users still need to phone in any orders. The company is likely to add
that feature in the future, however, Neumann said.