About the Author

Mark Nichols

Most notably, I have contributed to leadership roles with many exceptionally talented people who together accomplished what became twelve prominent internet milestones:

  1. I co-founded Digital Island, where I architected, negotiated, contracted for, and managed the provisioning of the first TCP/IP/WWW global wide area network that made the web worldwide in 1996.
    • The Digital Island network included internet serving infrastructure in: England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Russia, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Honolulu, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara.
    • Our 881 customers included the following enterprises: Cisco Systems, Stanford University, Microsoft, Visa, Intel, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, eTrade, Charles Schwab, Novell, National Semiconductor, MasterCard, Sun Microsystems, Google, Sandpiper Networks, Candle Corp, NetGravity, Canon, AristaSoft, Universal Music Group, ABN Amro, UBS Warburg, Digital River, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, EBSCO Publishing, Fox Broadcasting, ZDnet, Reuters, Kenneth Cole, MSNBC, Major League Baseball, Time Warner-Road Runner, and AOL.
  2. I initiated contact and then travelled to Beijing to meet with the Minister of Telecom where I negotiated the services to contract with them for the first internet connectivity with the People’s Republic of China.
  3. We built the network platform that enabled the first global Content Delivery Networking (CDN), which became the de facto standard for internet hosting, caching, and dynamic QOS broadcasting aka “Local Content Manager”, two years before Akamai was founded.
  4. We enabled the globalization of eCommerce with VISA, MasterCard, eTrade, and Charles Schwab.
  5. We enabled the globalization of eLearning and ePublishing with Stanford University.
  6. We enabled the globalization of the first Network as a Service (NaaS) platform that launched the industry’s first service that let IT managers allocate bandwidth over the web on demand aka “Bandwidth Manager”.
  7. We built the largest media streaming network in the world.
  8. We built the network platforms recognized and awarded by Cisco Systems for the first “Cisco Powered Network” worldwide (Digital Island, 1999) and the first “Virtual (VoIP) Cisco Powered Network” worldwide (Dialpad, 2002).
  9. We provisioned and managed the network operations for the fastest-growing web portal in the history of the internet—faster than Yahoo! and AOL combined.
  10. We provisioned and managed the telecom operations for the first 1 billion minutes of VoIP worldwide, two years before Vonage and Skype were founded.
  11. We provided the internet services network platform that the founders of Google used for the upstream ISP connections to build the first repository of Google search results while graduate school students at Stanford University in 1998 (google.stanford.edu).
  12. In 1996, I contracted with Cisco Systems to host the Cisco.com website, whereas I productized and articulated the hosting services, calculated the financial modeling, negotiated the terms of service of the QOS metrics, and personally endorsed the document at the Cisco Systems HQ campus. At this time, Cisco ranked #587 in the USA Fortune 1000 for capitalization value. Three years later, while we were web hosting their online presence, Cisco became the world’s most valuable company. This was the first time in history an internet company was the #1 most valuable company in the USA, and even more distinguishing, Cisco next became the #1 most valuable company worldwide. A significant milestone achievement for them and their ecosystem of partners. During this time, we were their web hosting contractor adn ISP who provided that global scalability.

Consulting Experience

  1. Advised Adobe Systems for their data center facilities and eCommerce platforms prior to executive committee decisions. You can read the opinion here.
  2. Advised United Airlines on their $100 million internet and communications global expansion.
  3. Advised Verizon and Arbinet on their first VoIP trials.
  4. Advised Microsoft on the integration of the first VoIP client internally embedded into a computer operating system.
  5. Advised Genuity for the patent requirement for the system of establishing the availability of an internet gateway port to receive a VoIP call [US Patent 6940849].
  6. Advised Lucent on a patent co-op with the University of Paris for a $5 million technology share of the g.729 codec.
  7. Expert Witness to Federal Courts, and State Superior Courts in over $7 billion of financial exposure related to internetworking; including being retained by Sidley Austin Brown & Wood as an expert witness for the defense of the CEO, CTO, and CFO of AT&T in the largest telecom lawsuit in the USA since the divestiture of the Bell Companies.
  8. Entrepreneurial Spirit: A Case Study of a Technical Start-up Enterprise, Harvard Business School Press.
  9. The BellSouth and AT&T merger for Columbia University.
  10. Comcast is bidding for eChannel for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Expert Witness Casework

  1. AT&T Shareholders vs AT&T Corp, CEO [C. Michael Armstrong], CFO [Dan Somers], CTO [John Petrillo] (Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood) $2.4B – I was paid $100K to research this case and write my opinion in 2004—not inflation-adjusted. You can read the opinion here.
  2. WorldCom Shareholders vs. WorldCom & Officers, Bernie Ebbers (Curtis, Malley-Prevost, Colt & Mosle) $1B
  3. Global Crossing Shareholders vs Arthur Andersen (Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle) $1B
  4. C2 vs AT&T, Verizon, Level 3, Qwest, Global Crossing, BellSouth, and Sprint-Nextel, [US Patent No. 6,243,373, the foundational patent of VoIP] (Sussman Godfrey, Monts & Ware) $1B
  5. Genuity Bankruptcy Committee vs. Nortel (Lovells) $263M
  6. Qwest vs. Novo, AxisTel, and eVentures (Brownstein, Farber, & Hyatt) $250M
  7. Lucent vs Network Access Solutions (Lowenstein Sandler) $54M
  8. Lucent vs Telephony International (Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe) $50 million
  9. MicroAge vs AT&T Global Network Services, GE Interlogix (Gleaves, Swearington, Potter)
  10. Cogent vs eBroadBandNow (Law office of Byron Fleck)
  11. TKTel vs Ericsson (Altman & Company)
  12. La Touraine vs Navisite
  13. Laci & Scott Peterson murder trial

Enterprise Awards

  1. Digital Island was named the “Most Innovative Service Provider of the Year” in Network Computing for the year 2000 by CMP Media.
  2. Data Communications Magazine: “Data Communications’ Hot Products Award,” announced in the January 1998 issue, for our new Managed Bandwidth Service. The Hot Products Award acknowledges “The Brightest Ideas in Networking.”
  3. Computerworld magazine selected Digital Island as one of 100 Emerging Companies to Watch in 2000, awarding its e-Network Services’ innovative approach to enabling e-Business for Fortune 1,000 corporations.
  4. Internet World Industry Awards, Industry Access Services Category, 1998. “The Best Service Enabling Internet or Intranet Functions Beyond Basic Connectivity.” Examples of services measured included website hosting and transaction processing.
  5. Dialpad was awarded Internet Telephony Magazine’s “Product of the Year Award.” Internet Telephony’s Product of the Year Award is presented to companies whose products exemplify innovation, a commitment to quality, and have had a significant impact on moving the IP-based telecommunications industry forward.
  6. Dialpad was named the “Best Internet Telephony Site for 2001” by Yahoo! Internet Life.
  7. Dialpad was ranked “Number One in Internet Telephony Traffic” by Nielsen Net Ranking.
  8. Dialpad maintains “Number One Ranking Among VoIP Service Traffic,” according to Frost & Sullivan.
  9. Dialpad Communications was named the “Best of Show” winner at the 2001 Internet Telephony Conference & Expo.
  10. ITU ranks Dialpad Communications “Market Share Leader” among VoIP carriers.
  11. Dialpad was awarded Internet Telephony Magazine’s “Product of the Year” award for 2000.
  12. Awarded by Cisco Systems as their “2011 Global Service Provider Partner of the Year.”

Federal & State Telecommunications and InterExchange Carrier (IXC) Licenses

  1. FGD Carrier Identification Code (CIC): 1225
  2. ACNA: YMN
  3. FCC 499 ID: 824344
  4. FCC 214
  5. Also licensed in 35 of the 50 states which required telecom carrier registration, i.e. PUC of California: U-6754-C
  6. HAM Radio: KZ7MAX [requires FBI background investigation]


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