Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. (Shentel) has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire certain cable assets from Rapid Communications that serve customers in Virginia and West Virginia.

The 17,650 customers affected are located in 50 franchise areas and are mostly clustered around Covington, Va., and Summersville and Weston, W.Va.

Shentel said that it plans to consolidate and upgrade the cable networks within the next few years to be able to offer its smaller-community customers expanded triple-play services, including high-definition television (HDTV), video-on-demand, high-speed Internet and voice.

The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close prior to the end of 2008, Shentel said.

Shentel provides telecommunications services through its operating subsidiaries, which offer local and long-distance telephony, Internet and data services, cable TV, wireless voice and data services, alarm monitoring, telecommunications equipment and other solutions in the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions of the U.S.

Earlier this week, Shentel reported a net income of $7.3 million in its second quarter of 2008, up 22 percent year-over-year. The company’s total revenues were $39.1 million, an increase of 12 percent compared with the year-ago quarter.

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