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DIGEX was an early provider of Internet services in the United States credited with creating the "managed hosting" business. Its corporate predecessor, Digital Express Group, and then DIGEX provided dialup "Public Access Unix" shell accounts in the Baltimore-Washington region beginning in the fall of 1991. Digital Express Group, and thus DIGEX, was started by Doug Humphrey and Mike Doughney, in the basement of Mr. Humphrey's town house in Greenbelt, Maryland, in a fairly classic "Internet Startup" mode, offering dial-up access to the early Internet environment. DIGEX was a very early, if not the earliest, provider of "hosting" services, which would grow to dominate the company operations. The Digex logo seen below was created by Washington, DC-based advertising agency Don Schaaf & Friends, Inc.
By 1992 DIGEX had moved its base operations to above the Beijing Chinese Restaurant in Greenbelt, Maryland. With a team of hard working individuals the company grew to serve Dial-Up access in several regions including Atlantic City, New Jersey and Tappahannock, Virginia as well as built the very first known web hosting farm. By 1993 DIGEX had swelled again and needed to move to 6800 Virginia Manor Road in Beltsville, Maryland, continuing the trek of one of the only companies to IPO three times under the same name. The company grew early by offering enterprise web hosting services and Internet connectivity for businesses and government. Early investors included Grotech Capital and Venrock Associates.
In the late '90s, the company was acquired by Intermedia Communications, a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier based in Tampa, Florida. The enterprise hosting operations of Intermedia were carved out into a separate entity that operated as Digex. This business grew to over $200 million in revenue in 2000 and raised over $1 billion in two separate public offerings. In 2000, Microsoft Corporation and Compaq Computer Corporation invested $100 million in Digex.
In 2001, WorldCom acquired Intermedia Communications and gained a majority holding in Digex. In 2003, WorldCom (renamed MCI) acquired the remaining public shares of Digex. The company's products have since been renamed under the Verizon brand.
Digex was an early leader in streaming Internet video. In 1995, Digex launched ISP-TV, a network of linked CU-SeeMe videoconferencing servers from multiple ISPs to provide for large-audience webcasts. In 1996, ISP-TV began producing original video content in one of the first "cyberstudios" in Laurel, Maryland. Shows included "Head" (a beer show), "Wired For Cinema" (a movie review show), "Angry Girl" (a talk show hosted by Doug Humphrey's wife) "Meeks Unfiltered" with MSNBC correspondent Brock Meeks, and "Real Time" a cyber-issue interview show.
- Doughney, Michael, and Digital Express Group, Inc. Digex "Public Access Unix" advertisement posted to Usenet newsgroup dc.general, April, 1992
- Gibbons, Kent. "Above a Greenbelt Chinese eatery is an international Internet menu." The Washington Times, October 25, 1993
- Edwards, Tom. Nobel Prize Speeches on ISP-TV posted to Usenet newsgroup sci.chem, December, 1995.
- Mohney, Doug. ISP-TV Broadcast Schedule posted to Usenet newsgroup alt.politics, November, 1996.
- "DIGEX IPO Plans Stir Debate." Washington Technology, June 27, 1996
- Henry, Shannon. "Intermedia to Swallow Digex." Washington Technology, June 12, 1997
- Pappalardo, Denise. "Digex teams with Compaq and Microsoft to develop ASP services." Network World, January 13, 2000
- Olavsrud, Thor. "WorldCom Acquires Intermedia, Buying Into Digex." internetnews.com, September 5, 2000
- Ross, Patrick. "WorldCom nabs Web site manager with $6 billion buy." CNET News.com, September 5, 2000
- Creed, Adam. "Allegiance Telecom Buys Intermedia Business Internet Arm." Newsbytes News Network, January 4, 2002
- Verizon Communications. "Digex is now part of Verizon Business." Retrieved 2006-11-12.
- Grotech Capital Group. "Our Investments." Retrieved 2006-11-12.
- Venrock Associates. "Past Investments." Retrieved 2006-11-12.