Digex

Digex

Digex was an early provider of Internet services in the United States credited with creating the "managed hosting" business. Its corporate predecessor, Digital Express Group, provided dialup "Public Access Unix" shell accounts in the Baltimore-Washington region beginning in the fall of 1991. Digital Express Group, and thus Digex, was started by Doug Humphrey and Mike Doughney, in the basement of Mr. Humphrey's town house in Greenbelt, Maryland, in a fairly classic "Internet Startup" mode, offering dial-up access to the early Internet environment. Digex was a very early, if not the earliest, provider of "hosting" services, which would grow to dominate the company operations.

The company grew early by offering enterprise web hosting services and Internet connectivity for businesses and government. Early investors included Grotech Capital and Venrock Associates. The company was first acquired by Intermedia Communications, a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier based in Tampa, Fl.

In 1999, the enterprise hosting operations of Intermedia were carved out into a separate entity that operated as Digex. This business grew to over $200 million in revenue in 2000 and raised over $1 billion in two separate public offerings. In 2000, Microsoft Corporation and Compaq Computer Corporation invested $100 million in Digex.

In 2001, WorldCom acquired Intermedia Communications and gained a majority holding in Digex. In 2003, WorldCom (renamed MCI) acquired the remaining public shares of Digex. The company's products have since been renamed under the Verizon brand Verizon IP Application Hosting

Video leader

Digex was an early leader in streaming Internet video. In 1995, Digex launched ISP-TV, a network of linked CU-SeeMe videoconferencing servers from multiple ISPs to provide for large-audience webcasts. In 1996, ISP-TV began producing original video content in one of the first "cyberstudios" in Laurel, Maryland. Shows included "Head" (a beer show), "Meeks Unfiltered" with MSNBC correspondent Brock Meeks, and "Real Time" a cyber-issue interview show.

Digex also streamed the infamous Bud Bowl during the Super Bowl for Anheuser-Busch for two years.

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