Internet America has hired Rauscher Pierce Refsness as its investment banker.
"In our opinion, 1997 is the year when our industry consolidates and we believe that the time has arrived for us to consider a variety of options on both sides of the merger/acquisition table," said Robert Maynard, cofounder and chief executive.
The company hired an investment banker after finding itself increasingly involved in merger talks where it was either the buyer or the acquisition target.
The company's moves comes at a time when ISPs are facing increasing competitive pressure from new players such as the telecommunications companies and smaller boutique providers. Internet America, formed in 1995, serves more than 40,000 customers.
For example, Broadwatch Magazine estimated the number of ISPs jumped to 3,100 this year, doubling over the previous year.