Consolidated Communications has pledged to make good on where others could not: improve the operations and customer trust in the FairPoint markets it acquired in 2017. …
These new markets, particularly those in Northern New England that FairPoint itself gained via an acquisition of Verizon’s assets in 2008, initially became mired in turmoil and eventually drove the company to file for bankruptcy protection. The question now is: Can Consolidated make good on its promise to solidify consumer and business trust?
That’s the start of an article in FierceTelecom, an industry-watching publication (you can read it here) talking about Consolidated’s future.
As I’ve noted before, such as this article last July, the transition from Fairpoint to Consolidated has been hardly noticed, partly because it’s going more smoothly than the botched Verizon-to-Fairpoint handoff but also because landlines are much less important than they were a decade ago.
Of particular interest to GraniteGeek is its plans for broadband, which for most of its territory means DSL, although they have some fiber-to-the-home in southern N.H. that was built as part of the FiOS network before Verizon left town.
The service provider announced plans to increase broadband speeds to over 500,000 residents and small businesses across its new Northern New England territory by the end of the year. Bob Udell, CEO of Consolidated, told investors during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call that it has a lot of running room to enhance broadband availability in the former FairPoint territories. “Across FairPoint, we see a little over 15% penetration,” Udell said. “So, we see excellent opportunity for penetration improvements just by that comparison.”
The article also notes the business importance of a business invisible to most of us: providing “backhaul” to mobile carriers, meaning the wireline connections between cell phone towers and the phone network: “Consolidated is already seeing momentum from this purchase on the wireless backhaul end as it signed a deal to equip 68 new towers in Maine, replacing circuits that were previously supplied by a cable operator. This wireless operator also ordered upgrades to 114 towers in Minnesota and Illinois. After completing its latest wireless backhaul sale in January, the total number of connected towers Consolidated has under contract had increased to over 2,700.”