Mark Spencer founded Linux Support Services in 1999 while still a computer engineering student at Auburn University. When faced with the high cost of buying a PBX, Spencer simply used his Linux PC and knowledge of C code to write his own. This was the beginning of the world-wide phenomenon known as Asterisk, the open source PBX, and caused Spencer to shift his business focus from Linux support to supporting Asterisk and opening up the telecom market. Linux Support Services is now known as Digium, and is bringing open source to the telecom market while gaining a foothold in the telecom industry.
Spencer strongly believes that every technology he creates should be given back to the community. This is why Asterisk is fully open source. Today, that model has allowed Asterisk to remain available free of charge, while it has become as robust as the leading and most-expensive PBXs. The Asterisk community has ambassadors and contributors from every corner of the globe.
Spencer holds a degree in computer engineering from Auburn University, and is now president of Digium, Inc. He has also led the creation of several Linux-based open source applications, most notably Asterisk, the open source PBX, and Gaim Instant Messenger.