About Paetec Holding, LLC

Windstream Holdings offers a range of telecommunications services to consumers, carriers, and businesses. The company's business services include multi-site networking, internet access, cloud computing, colocation, online backup, and other managed services. For residential customers, Windstream offers high-speed internet (including gigabit speed in several markets) and voice services as well as video and bundles of several services. The company provides infrastructure services such as call connection and backhaul connections to wireless carriers. Windstream operates a fiber optic network that measures nearly 150,000 route miles, mostly in the Eastern and Midwest US.

Operations

Windstream Holdings' operating segments are Enterprise, ILEC (Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier) Consumer and Small Business, Wholesale, and CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) Small Business.

The Enterprise business, which generates about 40% of revenue, provides integrated voice and data services, multi-site networking services, cloud computing, and colocation and managed services. Windstream classifies enterprise customers as those that generate at least $1,500 a month in recurring revenue.

The ILEC Consumer and Small Business segment, about 30% of revenue, consists of incumbent local exchange carriers that offer traditional local and long-distance voice services and high-speed internet services. It also offers consumer video services through Dish Network LLC and owns own and operates cable TV franchises in some of service areas. The segment offers Windstream's Kinetic video entertainment service in Lincoln, Nebraska, Lexington, Kentucky, and Sugar Land, Texas.

Wholesale operations, about 12% of revenue, sell Windstream's infrastructure and related services to other telecom companies. Leveraging Windstream's fiber network, the segment provides wave transport services, carrier Ethernet services, fiber-to-tower connections to support backhaul services to wireless carriers, and high speed internet access.

The Small Business CLEC segment, about 10% of revenue, is composed of the company's competitive local exchange carriers. Their services include integrated voice and data services, advanced data and traditional voice and long-distance services, as well as value added services including online backup, managed web design and web hosting, and e-mail services.

Geographic Reach

Windstream Holdings is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. It manages more than 10 data centers, and it has operating authority in 48 states and the District of Columbia. The company maintains more than 60 offices throughout the US.

Sales and Marketing

Windstream Holdings sells its products and services through several channels. It has a direct sales force; an account management team; an indirect sales channel, in which the company partners with third-party dealers who sell directly to customers; and third-party agents, who refer sales leads to the company.

Financial Performance

Windstream has posted declining revenue for the past four years and has lost money for two of the past four years.

In 2016 Windstream's revenue fell about 7% to $5.4 billion from about $5.8 billion in 2015. The company had lower sales in all segments, led by a 13% drop in the Small Business CLEC segment. Customers continue to abandon voice services in favor of voice and data services through high speed internet. But Windstream customers aren't necessarily switching to its internet offerings. While voice-only service dropped in the Consumer and Small business ILEC and Small Business CLEC in 2016, the growth in high-speed internet bundles didn't keep pace. The company cited competition as a road block to growth. The Enterprise segment has fared better in the service transition. Revenue from voice and long distance service fell more than 30% in 2016 from 2015, but revenue from data and integrated services rose about 46%.

Windstream's bottom line veered to a loss of $380 million after posting $27 million in net income 2015. The company reduced expenses in most areas in 2016, but it suffered a loss on its investment in CS&L, had higher interest expenses, and paid taxes instead of receiving a tax benefit in 2015.

The company's cash flow from operations dropped to $924 million in 2016 from about $1.3 billion in 2015. The decrease started with Windstream's net loss and was compounded by additional interest expense, and changes in working capital attributed to timing differences in the collection of trade receivables and the payment of trade accounts payable.

Strategy

Windstream believes has the pieces of services and products in place and now it needs to connect them to customers. In the ILEC Consumer and Small Business segment, the company is rolling out its premium high-speed internet service to more markets, including its gigabit service. The Enterprise business is expanding its fixed wireless service to dozens of new markets and it is moving its networks to software-defined networking, which is to improve design and management of the networks. The technology was to be available for network management in more than 50 locations in 2017.

The Wholesale segment is expanding its long-haul network in the western US, which increases access to established technology companies and startups. The CLEC Consumer and Small Business segment is working to keep its most profitable customers, get new customers in select markets, and managing customer-level profit margins. The unit is using the Enterprise infrastructure to improve costs.

The acquisition of EarthLink enabled Windstream to open five new fiber routes in 2017, which can offer cloud connectivity between major interconnection points in Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 markets in the US. At the same time, Windstream is working to integrate EarthLink's operations into its own. The company expects to save more than $150 million over three years.

With its Project Excel the company has upgraded its broadband network to offer faster speeds, Most of the physical plant work was completed by the end of 2016 with testing going into 2017. That means Windstream should have improved internet speeds to sell to consumer and small business customers in 2017.

To take advantage of high-speed internet into the home, Windstream started a video entertainment service. The service, called Kinetic, is available in several Windstream markets.

Before embarking on the EarthLink deal, Windstream divested some of its real estate holdings. It sold 14 of its 27 data centers to TierPoint for $575 million. As part of the deal, Windstream and TierPoint can sell their respective products and services to each other's prospective customers through referrals.

Windstream also 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

Windstream Holdings acquired Broadview Networks Holdings for nearly $230 million in 2017. Broadview provides cloud-based unified communications services for small and medium-sized businesses. Windstream plans to aggressively push Broadview's cloud operations and deploy its salesforce to compete across the country with companies like Vonage and RingCentral as well as cable companies. The deal was expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.

In 2017 Windstream completed its acquisition of EarthLink Holdings for $1.1 billion. The deal added EarthLink's networks around the country to Windstream's operations and filled in gaps of Windstream's map of service areas across the country.

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Paetec Holding, LLC

One Paetec Plz
Fairport, NY 14450
Phone: 1 (585) 340-2500
Fax: 1 (585) 340-2801

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Executive Managing Director: Ronald Decamella
  • Executive Managing Director: John Knettles
  • Pres-central Region: Jeff Rowe
  • Employees: 4,546

Major Office Locations

  • Fairport, NY