Suddenlink Communications has put the finishing touches on a new 162-mile fiber-optic network that was designed to better serve its customers in Arkansas.

The new fiber connects directly with Suddenlink's national network, which means the company is less reliant on other carriers, and it can now offer improved video and data services. The new network provides Suddenlink with more flexibility and redundancy in case lines are damaged or other carriers experience equipment failures.

The project, which cost $4 million, was started in early 2010. Suddenlink said it had invested nearly $27 million last year in Arkansas, and by year's end, it had invested nearly $125 million since 2006.

Suddenlink provides TV, Internet, phone, home security and other services in Jonesboro, Pocahontas, Russellville, Mountain Home, Cabot, El Dorado, Batesville, Helena/West Helena, Hot Springs Village, Arkadelphia, Heber Springs, Newport, Malvern, Magnolia and several more Arkansas communities.

Separately, Suddenlink's parent company, Cequel Communications Holdings, announced yesterday that its subsidiary, Cequel Communications, intends to begin a process to refinance its existing $2.525 billion credit facility with a new $2.7 billion credit facility.

As part of its refinancing effort, Cequel released some preliminary information on Suddenlink's fourth quarter that closed Dec. 31.

On the subscriber front, Suddenlink anticipated losing 16,100 basic video subscribers in the fourth quarter while adding 13,700 digital video customers, 14,200 data subscribers and 12,500 telephony customers.

Suddenlink Communications is the nation's seventh-largest cable operator. It serves approximately 1.4 million residential customers and thousands of commercial customers, primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.