Dakota Services, Ltd. entered into the broadband local access business using DSL technology. As a data CLEC, Dakota Services designed a national ATM backbone network with a goal of providing one million ports of DSL to business customers by 2000. The Company inked 80 interconnection agreements with every RBOC as well as with GTE and Sprint, and expanded its network coverage area over an eight-state Midwest region.
As a multistate certified CLEC, Dakota Services leased unbundled lines and provided data services over a private secured network to both residential and business customers. Although the company started out as a retailer of DSL to homes and small businesses, Dakota Services was planning on offering data and voice, the latter in the form of voice-over-DSL.
As the CLEC industry moved into a period of tighter capital in early 1999, Dakota Services sought out alternative financing sources to continue its expansion plans. In May 1999, the company merged with @link Holdings, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Madison Dearborn Capital Partners.