It is not often that you see the Director of a well established Telecoms company riding naked on horseback. It is the stuff of office pranks which never comes to fruition. But that is precisely what Jamie Hughes, CEO of Pace Telecom is doing as a result of an unfortunate punt.
Pace Telecom, based near Chester, has acquired eleven companies this year alone, and turns over 10 million pounds per annum. The company say they are in a rare position of having a waiting list for potential clientele, who apply on a daily basis.
Pace Telecom was one of the first company’s to market with BT OpenReach’s Wholesale Line Rental 3 (WLR3), and was the first to market with their innovative MILO 3 provisioning product. MILO 3 has been operational for 3-4 months with analogue line provision and Hughes was confident Pace Telecom could provide ISDN 30 lines by December.
“OpenReach has put a lot of investment into WLR3,” says Hughes. “They’ve got a roadmap in terms of getting the product ready for market, which is why I was so confident it would be usable by December.”
Hughes was so convinced that when Pace Telecom bought JK Telecom, Kevin Wright, the company Director, was sceptical that it would be ready by then, the opportunity for a wager proved irresistible. “Kevin warned me not to rely on BT delivering by December, and was so confident of this he said that he would do his Christmas shopping naked around Nottingham city centre. Due to my confidence in BT hitting their December deadline, I offered to also parade around Wrexham in the nude on horseback if I was wrong.”
It has since emerged that due to industry pressure, BT Open Reach’s ISDN 30 capability will not be available until early 2008. Which leaves Hughes exposed to the bet, in every sense of the word. “I am a man of my word, and at Pace Telecom, we always deliver on our promises, regardless of the professional or personal sacrifice.”
Despite the potential embarrassment factor (industry insiders are also keeping a watchful eye on the bareback event), Hughes is still positive about the potential benefits of being able to provision ISDN 30, giving Pace Telecom the opportunity for equivalence with the BT network.
“We’ve had a very busy 2007 and are looking forward to a very prosperous 2008 and this really is the only slight setback we’ve encountered. I am still very confident BT OpenReach will deliver and ISDN 30 provisioning will do great things for Pace Telecom, I just won’t be placing any more bets on it!”