Instead of relying on the prevailing breeze to deliver its services, Windstream makes use of more tangible connections, such as fiber optic cable. The company provides communications and technology services to business and residential customers in the US through a network of fiber and from 13 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 wireless carriers.
Windstream's enterprise business segment provides 36% of revenue with its consumer and Small Business - ILEC bringing in 28%. The company gets 12% of revenue each from the carrier business and regulatory and other revenue.
Windstream serves business and residential customers across 48 US states and the District of Columbia.
Sales and Marketing
The company's sales channels include online, national agents, and telephone and direct sales representatives. It also sells from it 27 retail stores as well as through third-party dealers who sell directly to customers.
Windstream posted its third straight year of declining revenue, but the 2015 revenue of $5.7 billion was just 1% less than 2014 revenue. Its businesses that used wireline phone service fell during the year due to fewer customers and competition from other companies and other forms of communication. The enterprise business posted a 3% rise in revenue on more demand for data and integration services.
The company rebounded from a 2014 loss of $40 million with a $27 million profit in 2015. The big difference was a $199 million gain on sale of data centers (14 data centers were sold to TierPoint) and lower selling, general and administrative costs.
Cash flow from operations was $1 billion in 2015, compared to $1.5 billion in 2014.
Windstream is betting big on broadband. The company is laying fiber optic cable in parts of its service area, bringing high-speed Internet service to enterprise, small business, and residential customers.
With its Project Excel the company plans to upgrade and modernize its broadband network by the end of 2016. By then 25 megabits per second (Mbps) speeds should be available to 54% and 50 Mbps speeds to 30%.
The company is expanding its fiber network in tier one locations to its tier two and tier three markets. It also built up the 100 Gbps-capable long haul express network, adding route miles and approximately 45 new access points.
To take advantage of high-speed Internet into the home, Windstream started a video entertainment service. Called Kinetic, it was available in Lincoln, Nebraska and Lexington, Kentucky in 2015 with plans to open in Sugar Land, Texas in 2016.
The company had more than $1 billion in capital expenditures in 2015 and expects another $800 million in capex for 2016. About $200 million will go to Project Excel.
In 2015 Windstream completed two transactions that will enable it to place more focus and resources on its broadband strategy.
It completed the sale of 14 of its 27 data centers to TierPoint for $575. TierPoint acquired data centers in Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. As part of the deal, Windstream and TierPoint can sell their respective products and services to each other’s prospective customers through referrals.
Windstream spun off its fiber and copper networks and other real estate in an independent, publicly traded real estate investment trust. The spin-off also included almost all of Windstream's consumer wireline business.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2016 Windstream agreed to buy EarthLink Holdings for $1.1 billion. The deal would add EarthLink's networks around the country to Windstream's operations and fill in some holes of Windstream's map of service areas across the country.
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.