Verio Inc, less than two years old but growing fast through acquisitions, has bought two more locally managed internet service providers to expand its national presence. The Englewood, Colorado-based firm snapped up Communique Inc of New Orleans, which claims to be Southern Louisiana’s largest internet service provider, and Branch internet Services Inc, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a web hosting and technology development company. Terms were not disclosed for either deal. Communique has grown in three years from two people working out of a garage to a leading provider with a host of major business customers. Branch hosts web sites for over 200 companies, including Ameritech, Gateway 2000 and Comshare, and claims to have created the first World Wide web virtual mall, and the concept of Virtual Hosting, now widely adopted. Verio has so far received $250m in equity and debt financing with the aim of building a national network with a high speed backbone, along with local and regional services. Since its launch, Verio has taken over leading regional ISPs to create a network that it boasts serves 28 of the top 50 US markets.