Founded in 1995, QST Communications, Inc. is one of three divisions of QST Enterprises, Inc. which is a subsidiary of CILCORP Inc. (NYSE: CER). They own and operate a 104 mile SONET network serving business customers in Peoria, IL and the surrounding area.
Capital expenditures over the last three years have exceeded $5 million. The vast majority of spending has been toward the placement of fiber, network transport electronics, and network maintenance and support systems. 1998 shows a capital budget estimated at over $6.2 million with the focus, again, being primarily for transport facilities.
Already in the business of providing energy monitoring and management services (QST Energy, Inc.), the move into end-user communication services was a natural one and has been very well planned. This is an excellent example of a Utility Company recognizing a market opportunity, understanding the capabilities of their infrastructure, and proceeding accordingly. It has been a cautious yet steady approach to providing some niche services at first, and then expanding into other areas of communications as their network and expertise grows.