Broadband Briefs for 05/11/09
• Cablevision: MSG division not for sale
By The Associated Press
BETHPAGE, N.Y. (AP) – Cablevision says it has no plans to sell Madison Square Garden, home of the NBA's New York Knicks, or any other Cablevision business.
In a statement Monday, Cablevision Systems Corp. said it wanted to "make clear" that it wasn't considering the sale of MSG or any Cablevision business at this time. In addition to the Knicks, the NHL's New York Rangers play at the Garden. Cablevision also operates Radio City Music Hall.
Last week, the Bethpage, N.Y.-based company said it was looking into spinning off MSG to its shareholders, triggering speculation of a sale (story here).
• U-verse Voice launches in central Fla.
By Traci Patterson
AT&T U-verse Voice is now available in parts of central Florida near Orlando.
U-verse Voice merges home phone, wireless, broadband and TV services – all on one bill – with features including: a single, combined voice mailbox for AT&T U-verse Voice and AT&T wireless messages; an online portal to manage call preferences and settings from any PC; an online address book; Click to Call and Call History on the PC and TV; and several other integrated features.
U-verse Voice customers can choose from two calling plans: AT&T U-verse Voice Unlimited for $30 per month and AT&T U-verse Voice 250 for $25 per month.
• EchoStar posts 1Q loss, declining revenue
By The Associated Press
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – EchoStar Corp., a satellite service and TV equipment company, posted a first-quarter loss Monday on falling revenue.
The company said it lost $645,000, or a penny per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with a profit of $5.7 million, or 6 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue slipped 13.5 percent to $480 million from $555 million.
EchoStar is headed by Charlie Ergen, who is also CEO of Dish Network Corp. EchoStar sells equipment to Dish Network satellite television subscribers and operates fixed satellite services. It was separated from Dish Network in January 2008.
• Windstream snags D&E Communications
By Traci Patterson
Windstream has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire D&E Communications – based out of Ephrata, Pa. – in a transaction valued at approximately $330 million. On Friday, the company’s first-quarter profit dropped 29 percent (story here).
Windstream adds complementary rural properties in Pennsylvania under the transaction. Windstream currently has approximately 200,000 access lines and serves 85 exchanges in Pennsylvania. D&E has about 118,000 ILEC access lines and about 44,000 high-speed Internet customers. High-speed Internet service is available to 100 percent of D&E’s ILEC lines, nearly half of which can offer speeds of up to 10 Mbps. D&E operates as a CLEC in Altoona, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pottstown, Reading, State College and Williamsport and serves approximately 47,000 lines.
D&E Communications’ shareholders will receive 0.65 shares of Windstream stock and $5 in cash for each D&E share under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by the board of directors of both companies. Windstream expects to issue approximately 9.5 million shares of stock valued at $86 million, based on the company’s closing stock price on May 8, and pay approximately $73 million in cash as part of the transaction. Windstream said that it will also assume estimated net debt of approximately $171 million.
• Clearfield serves up WaveSmart PowerNode for optical signal relay
By Mike Robuck
Clearfield recently introduced its WaveSmart platform of powered optical signal products. The WaveSmart PowerNode 1550 EDFA, which is first in the series, offers custom wavelengths and user-defined power output levels for the distribution of optical signals and long distance transmission relay in conjunction with the 1550nm optical transmitters for cable TV and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) systems. WaveSmart is designed to complement Clearfield’s FieldSmart Platform of fiber management offerings.
The WaveSmart PowerNode 1550 EDFA features low noise figure, high gain, optimized structure and high reliability for 1550nm optical transmission networks. The internal microprocessor is designed to provide real-time monitoring and control for the operating status of the pump and input/output optical power.
“The delivery of triple-play services is forcing service providers to look for ways to deploy custom configurations in a nimble and cost-effective manner,” said Johnny Hill, COO of Clearfield. “We’re pleased to partner with some of the industry’s best suppliers of optical transmission gear to package these cost-effective alternatives.”