DC-based Internet service provider stands out in a market dominated by large corporations.
Washington, DC – DC Access, LLC, is included on a list of 24 Telecommunications Service Providers in the Washington Business Journal Book of Lists 2010.
Founded in 1999, DC Access provides Wireless Internet (WiFi) to more than 500 residential and commercial clients in Washington, DC. Last year marked the 10th anniversary of DC Access, which is owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team of Matt Wade and Martha Huizenga.
The 2010 list of Telecommunications Service Providers is ranked by number of metro-area employees and is headed up by four telecom giants: Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp., and Comcast Corp. All four are headquartered outside Greater Washington, which is also the case with four other businesses on the list.
The list includes 16 companies that do have headquarters in Greater Washington, but only DC Access and two others are located in the District of Columbia. The other DC-based businesses are Cogent Communications (#11), which employs 233 people in the DC area out of 540 total employees, and Allied Telecomm Group LLC (#19), which employs 50 people, all in the DC area.
DC Access is at #24 on the list, employing just two people. Coming in at #23 on the list is partnerTel, Inc., which is headquartered in Atlanta and employs 15 people in the DC area, out of 52 total employees.
“When you look at the list, it’s obvious right away that ‘one of these things is not like the others’, and we think that’s a good thing,” says Huizenga. “We’re not a multi-billion dollar corporation. We live and work in the community we serve, and we only have two full-time employees: Matt and me. The things that set us apart reflect our ability to provide something truly unique in the broadband marketplace: friendly, personal service.”
Wade founded DC Access in 1999 when he was working as a computer-programming consultant and experienced how frustrating it was to deal with the large Internet service providers. The company began by offering dial-up services. In 2003, DC Access began offering WiFi, which now accounts for the bulk of its business. DC Access has been profitable since day one and has experienced steady growth over its 10-year history.
“Over the last few years, we’ve expanded into neighborhoods beyond Capitol Hill, largely through developing partnerships with property management companies that allow us to offer WiFi to residents in multi-tenant buildings,” Huizenga says. “Providing great customer service is our number one priority, so we always balance growth with our ability to maintain the level of service our customers expect and deserve.”
In addition to growing their business, Wade and Huizenga are committed to strengthening the community where they live and work, often donating or discounting their time and expertise to support high-impact projects. They are active members of CHAMPS, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, and also belong to Local First DC.
DC Access is a member of WISPA.