Red Light stops: Capshaw's own ISP bids adieu

One of the first local companies to enter the market for home Internet service has hung up its dial-up service– except for clients of its sister company, Musictoday, who will stay connected.

In a July 27 email, management at Internet provider Red Light Communications, owned by DMB manager Coran Capshaw, notified many of its customers that as of September 1 they would need to find another source for web-hosting and dial-up Internet access.

In fact it's the success of another of Capshaw's companies, Musictoday, that led to Red Light's redirection, says Musictoday's new COO, Del Wood.

"Ultimately, we need to continue to focus on what we do best," says Wood, "so we decided to get out of the hosting environment for those clients who were not related to our mission– connecting artist to the fan."

Taking a break from a recent real estate ground-breaking, Capshaw reflected on the whirl of business that led to his decision. "In the music biz," he explains, "there's so much going on."

There's plenty happening at Musictoday. The company he founded as a simple music-related pack-and-ship has grown to handle tickets and websites– and now boasts 230 employees in three locations west of town. Red Light's attention, says Wood, was increasingly taken up by the needs of Musictoday's customers, who include the Dave Matthews Band, the Grateful Dead, and hundreds of other groups that rely on the company for marketing merchandise.

Wood says he believes the switchover has gone well.

"We tried to assist in every way possible," Wood says. That included giving all terminated customers the last month of service for free, while directing them to two other local companies– Blue Ridge Internetworks and BNSI. Both companies offer web hosting and fast connections, and BNSI also offers the option of traditional (i.e. slow) dial-up service.

Baylor Fooks, president of Blue Ridge Internetworks, lauds Red Light for getting out when it realized it couldn't keep up with customer service.

"Some of Red Light's [nonmusic] customers," Fooks explains, "were not getting the attention they needed."