Instead of relying on the prevailing breeze to deliver
its services, Windstream makes use of more tangible
connections, such as fiber optics and copper wire. The company
provides communications and technology services to business
and residential customers in the US through a network of fiber and
from 27 data centers. Business services include multi-site
networking, Internet access, cloud computing, colocation, online
backup, and other managed services. Along with Internet and voice
for its residential customers, it also offers video services.
Call connection and backhaul services are offered to phone
companies and wireless carriers.
Windstream's enterprise and small business segment provides 51%
of revenue with its consumer unit bringing in 22% of revenue and
the carrier business accounting for 13%. The remainder is from
wholesale, other, and product sales.
Windstream serves business and residential customers across 47
US states and the District of Columbia.
Sales and Marketing
The company has about 200 business sales offices throughout the
US and more than 2,300 sales employees focused on meeting the
needs of the company's business customers. Windstream's consumer
sales and marketing strategy is focused on driving top line revenue
performance through bundled product sales and value-added account
revenue growth. The company's advertising expenses totaled $96.8
million, $79.3 million, and $99.5 million in 2014, 2013, and 2012,
After peaking in 2012, Windstream's revenues decreased in 2013
(down 8%) and in 2014 (down 3%). The 2014 drop was evident across
all the company's segments, none of which improved over the
previous year. Enterprise and small business was near even, ticking
down 0.19% while the consumer business dropped nearly 2% and
carrier was off about 6%. The company attributed lower revenue to
voice line losses, declining demand for dedicated copper-based
circuits, and the impact of intercarrier compensation reform.
Windstream's bottom line showed a loss of about $40 million in
2014 after posting a profit of $241 million in 2013. Higher
expenses helped drive the company to the 2014 loss. Cash flow from
operations nudged 3% lower in 2014 from 2013.
Technology advances have made its consumer business prospects
increasingly difficult, as wireless carriers have siphoned off
wireline customers and cable companies have been able
to effectively woo voice and Internet customers. The
expanding need for data services from the enterprise customer side
has become the company's new focus.
The company in 2015 spun off its fiber, copper, and other assets
into an independent, publicly traded real estate investment trust
called CS&L. The move is to help the company speed up
investments in its network and reduce debt. Windstream leases the
infrastructure assets it formerly owned from CS&L.
To reach new customers, Windstream has received funding through
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Connect
American Fund to expand broadband services to rural areas with
little or no broadband. The work enables Windstream to build and
maintain its broadband network while bringing services to
In 2014 the company opened new data centers in Chicago and in
Charlotte, North Carolina.
To cut costs, in 2014 Windstream reduced its workforce by 400 to
increase operational efficiency and produce annualized savings of
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2014 the company acquired Business Only Broadband,
Chicago-based fixed wireless provider with operations in Chicago,
New York City, northern New Jersey, and Milwaukee.