PSINet Buys Panamanian ISP

PSINet Inc. is continuing its push into Latin America, announcing today the acquisition of Sinfonet, Panama's largest Internet service provider (ISP).

PSINet has purchased 15 ISPs worldwide since the beginning of the year, and seven of those were in Latin America. PSINet did not disclose the financial details of the Sinfonet deal.

Sinfonet has more than 15,000 Panamanian consumer and business customers, with a market share of just over 50 percent in that country, PSINet said in a statement today announcing the acquisition. Once the acquisition is complete, Sinfonet customers will have access to PSINet's range of dial-up and dedicated connectivity services.

PSINet also has promised to provide electronic commerce, Web hosting, global roaming, intranets, Internet faxing, voice-over-IP (Internet protocol) and security services to its Panamanian customers in the next few years, the company said.

Approximately 16 percent of Central America's population owns computers, according to PSINet, and the company estimates that there are now 120,000 Internet users in that region. With Internet use expected to continue to grow.

PSINet, which is based in Herndon, Virginia, also has named Antonio Rihan, founder of Datanet SA de CV of Mexico, as general manager of its Mexico and Central America division. Rihan founded Datanet SA de CV in 1994 and that ISP was acquired by PSINet earlier this year.