VoIP Provider SunRocket Disconnects Customers

Without much warning, customers of VoIP provider SunRocket found themselves without phone service Monday as the company shut its doors.

Calls to the Vienna, Va. based company's customer support line were greeted by the message, "We are no longer taking customer service or sales calls. Goodbye."

SunRocket had about 200,000 customers, and was one of the oldest VoIP providers, having started in 1994. It was also the second largest provider of Internet telephony services behind Vonage -- although a tenth of that company's size.

Signs of trouble may have first appeared late last month. On June 28, SunRocket's Chief Technology Officer Mark Fedor and Chief Information Officer Robert Kramer were fired. This was followed by the resignation of Chief Financial Officer David Samuels on July 2.

A significant number of employees were laid off the next day across the company. The Springfield News-Leader reported Monday that SunRocket laid off 200 workers at its call center, confirmed by Internet reports from employees.

In a internal memo, it looks as if the company at least tried to save itself before closing down.

"We have just been informed that any and all last ditch efforts to keep operations running as well as a potential sale of the company have not gone through and that SunRocket will cease operations at COB today," Director of Routing and Carrier Services Sonya Jefferson said.

It is said that if customers of the company act quickly, they may be able to port their telephone service and keep their number, according to reports and company employees.

As the story began to develop, one employee wrote about his feelings on Friday. "Congratulations to the ex-AOL management (you know who you are!) that took over for a new record in running a company into the ground, and congrats to the board of directors for yet another successfully mismanaged venture," he wrote to his blog.

"Internally, SunRocket's politics went further and further in preventing effective execution of the technology vision. But can be expected when you mix telecom and dot-com?"

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