Broadband Briefs for 07/08/09
• Verizon cable problems causing NYC disruptions
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) – Some Verizon customers in lower Manhattan are having problems with their Internet access. Company spokesman John Bonomo said Tuesday that the problem is centered around a cable, or cables, in the East 14th Street area.
He says between 1,500 and 3,000 customers are affected. Most of them are in lower Manhattan. Bonomo says the disruptions are primarily to Internet access. But he says some phone service may be affected.
Crews are at the scene of the problem.
• AT&T expects to close on acquisition in Q3
By The Associated Press
DALLAS (AP) – AT&T Inc. said Wednesday that it expects to close on its $944 million acquisition of wireless and broadband service provider Centennial Communications Corp. during the third quarter.
The transaction, which was initially announced in November and expected to close in the second quarter, will help AT&T expand its wireless coverage in areas of the Midwest and Southeast, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wall, N.J.-based Centennial has about 1.1 million wireless customers.
The deal gives Centennial stockholders $8.50 per share, a 3 percent premium to its Tuesday closing stock price of $8.24. Including debt, AT&T previously valued the deal at $2.8 billion. Centennial's shareholders approved the acquisition in February, but the transaction still needs approval from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.
• ERF seeks broadband funds
By Monica Alleven, Wireless Week
Add another one to the companies hoping to get a piece of the broadband stimulus package: ERF Wireless, which has been quietly building out fixed WiMAX in rural areas. The company believes it is eligible for stimulus funding for rural and underserved areas of the country, says CEO Dean Cubley. It’s taking a two-pronged approach: pursuing a multi-state application process and partnering with companies that don’t have existing operations.
“We’re making an active effort to go out and find companies that would like to partner with us,” he says. “We have extensive operational experience.”
ERF has more than 160,000 square miles of wireless broadband coverage in three states, mostly in New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. It’s under contract with oil and gas giant Schlumberger to provide wireless broadband and just finished its 15th acquisition about a month ago, picking up Frontier Internet and iTexas.net, both in Granbury, Texas.
The company is building out a wireless broadband network using a combination of acquisitions, partnerships and new construction, but ERF is deploying WiMAX almost exclusively in its newer networks, Cubley says. ERF went public in 2004 and has about 88 employees. It also provides a proprietary technology to the banking industry.