Sales of data-related services surged in 2004, helping propel US LEC past the 23,000 customer mark.

Thanks in part to the acquisition of two data-related firms and offering of additional data services, US LEC now has 13,000 customers using one or more data products.

“Throughout 2004, we saw our data revenues steadily growing each quarter and experienced significant growth during the fourth quarter,” said Aaron Cowell, president and chief executive officer of US LEC, in a statement. “At year’s end, $92 million, or 26 percent of US LEC’s total revenue, was generated by our data services as more and more customers added enhanced data, dedicated Internet and managed data solutions to their communications portfolios.”

US LEC acquired Fastnet and StarNet as part of its strategy to offer more data services across its 15-state coverage area that includes the Carolinas and Georgia.

The telecommunications firm offers a variety of bundled voice and data services, including Voice over Internet Protocol, managed routing services, server hosting and server co-location offerings.