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CyberNet Inc. takes Scarab, hires owner

CyberNet Inc. takes Scarab, hires owner

CyberNet Inc. has named a new president and chief executive as part of a plan to redirect and stabilize the Medford company.

The year-old Internet company hired Andy Spliethof and merged with his company, Scarab Media, it announced Monday. The deal closed last month.

We were looking for somebody who could bring the greatest amount of integrity and technical expertise, said Bob Rood, one of the company's two majority owners. He brings together all the elements that are necessary.

Spliethof spent two years working for Infostructure and Medford Internet before founding Scarab late last year. He replaces Rico Randle, who left the company in January. Rood said Randle and the company parted on good terms; Randle could not be reached Monday.

Spliethof said he joined the company because he was impressed with the commitment to quality shown by Rood and Bob Robertson, the other majority owner. He said he was hired to stabilize the company and expand its focus.

Early on, CyberNet essentially had a dual focus: Web page development and an Internet search portal called Spydersearch.com.

The company began offering Internet access last summer on a limited basis. Spliethof and Rood said the company has started ramping up its Internet access business and will make that a staple as well.

CyberNet has less than 500 Internet access subscribers but Spliethof said it is adding 60 a week, a pace he said far exceeds the growth rate he saw at Infostructure and Medford Internet.

The company offers dial-up Internet connections in Jackson County and recently added service in Grants Pass. It offers high-speed digital subscriber line service, or DSL, in Medford and Ashland and cable-based access through the Ashland Fiber Network. The company is testing its wireless Internet access and hopes to be ready to offer it next month.

It is redeveloping Spydersearch.com, which is essentially a search engine of search engines. The Web site runs searches on popular search engines and then collects the best results for users. A simplified version, called gowillie.com, also is being developed.

CyberNet has 11 employees. Though it has yet to turn a profit, Rood said he believes it will reach profitability later this year.