Friday, May 2, 2008


Working out of Grand Rapids, MI, US Signal is a relatively new carrier that has been in business for only 20 years. Currently managed by president Barry Raterink and maintained by around 100 employees, US Signal operates on a small regional network yet offers a robust variety of services.

US Signal offers standard network services, private lines, specialize in wholesale data and fiber products, offer collocation services all while operating on a CISCO network. Their collocation facilities are complemented by their ability to connect offices across metro networks only where there is coverage with their collocation equipment.

US Signal has 60 on/off sites throughout the Midwest as their site mentions that they own and maintain 2,500 miles of existing lit long haul and metro fiber serving 14 markets in the regions of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. This guarantees solid access to the Midwest region and those close by. US Signal are able to provide lit service or dark fiber leases.

US Signal has one of the strongest SLAs in the business that promises the following: 30 days on provisioning (have been able to install some circuit types in 5 days), 99.99% On/Off network availability, 4 hours maximum time to restore service, 99.99% data delivery commitment, latency of less than 55ms, max packet loss of 0.05%, however they do have scheduled downtime.

The company specializes in IP services (point-to-point, MPLS, T1 Ethernet, etc.). Since US Signal specializes in wholesale customers, they are able to offer QOS enhanced service level agreements that allow them to offer four distinct classes of data performance making it ideal for VOIP customers.

As another one of the many regional domestic networks, it’s not surprising that they offer competent customer service. Technical support is quick to respond and competent. Quality is not an issue with smaller companies. You can argue that there is less to maintain compared to bigger providers, or that it’s stressed to stand out of the crowd of larger companies, but whatever the case, they will deliver to the customer, backed by their SLA. US Signal is relatively new, so you can bet that they are going to work harder for your business.

The Good: Accurate billing, high quality variety of services, strong SLA, offer online payments, competent & quick tech support

The Bad: Smaller network, as they are a regional domestic network.

The Bottom Line: Though they operate on a small network, US Signal is a dedicated provider that does not disappoint with its quality and range of services. A customer’s business is important to US Signal. They treat you well.