A Rural Super Carrier?

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

A Rural Super Carrier?

With VZ shedding its last bit of rural landlines to Frontier, the blogosphere is alive with talk about Super RLEC's - Frontier, Fairpoint, CenturyTel, Windstream and maybe Qwest.

CenturyTel's coming merger with Embarq will give it the title as a top 5 ILEC is size. But these are declining assets as landlines are being shed for cellular and to some extent VoIP. How Super is that?

Telecompetitor writes, "For carriers that lack wireless assets, building the scale that can create  operational efficiencies and provide the means to profitably build and leverage broadband applications is paramount for future survival."

Building Super isn't easy. Fairpoint has been a flop. Huge debt. Broken promises. Increasing consumer complaints. Lots of line losses.  That's not Super.

I can't think of a single telecom merger that resulted in the synergies or integration that was promised. For the most part, it's just a CEO and Banker feast of bonuses. The consumers lose.

Look at Frontier. It isn't exactly innovation nation now. Sure it does some VoIP, but it's TV service is DISH TV resale.  And this RLEC has seen years of complaints at state PUC's, which means poor service. How will the integration with Verizon landlines improve that? I keep see the nightmare coming. Unfortunately, the regulators can't (or won't). (The same for the Embarq-CenturyTel deal. C-Tel's systems that I have interfaced with are older than dirt or PAPER!).

None of the RLEC's have a nationwide or even a fairly large cellular footprint. So it's just a matter of getting big and hoping to ride out the cash cow of wirelines, like EarthLink is doing with dial-up.

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