Friday, January 08, 2010

Communications Giant, Verizon, Quits

The nation's oldest independent phone company is about to throw the towel in on wired phone service. Founded in Wisconsin in 1918, Verizon went through many name changes and mergers throughout the subsequent years. Three accountants from the Wisconsin Public Utilities commission got together and formed a corporation. They promptly bought the Richland Center Telephone Company, serving 1466 customers in Southern Wisconsin. Eventually, they expanded acquiring 340 smaller companies serving over 437,000 customers.
The company reorganized after the Great Depression, renaming themselves General Telephone and Telegraph, or as we knew it, GTE. The year 2000 found GTE and Bell Atlantic merged and became Verizon.
Citing the arrival of both cell phones and Voice over Internet, land line use by individuals has become a flood, reported a mid-level manager, who asked not to be mentioned, as they didn't have authority to speak for the company. Business use, of course, at least in the near future will still be using wired lines. One large factor in addition to the above, is the free long distance that most all cell users enjoy, as well as the VOIP such as Magic Jack, Skype, Vonnage and others. Among those state affected, are portions of Washington and all of Idaho.
The surviving company in this sell off will be Frontier Communications, bases in Connecticut. They will control all wired equipment and continue to serve voice, broadband and video services. Below, is the original press release from Frontier:
STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 13, 2009-- Frontier Communications Corporation (NYSE: FTR) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) under which Frontier will acquire approximately 4.8 million access lines from Verizon. The all stock transaction is valued at approximately $8.6 billion. The transaction will create the largest pure rural communications services provider and the nation’s fifth largest incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) with more than 7 million access lines, 8.6 million voice and broadband connections and 16,000 employees in 27 states. Frontier will offer broadband, new bundled services and expanded technologies to customers across its expanded geographic footprint.
Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon will establish a separate newly formed entity (“SpinCo”) for its local exchanges and related business assets in 14 states. SpinCo will be spun off to Verizon’s shareholders and simultaneously merged with and into Frontier. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of Frontier and Verizon, and is expected to be completed within approximately 12 months.
The transaction is extremely compelling for all stakeholders of Frontier. It will provide Frontier with enhanced scale and scope, improved positioning, a strong balance sheet, and greater cash flow generation capabilities. For the fiscal year ended 2008, the combined company would have had on a pro forma basis revenue in excess of $6.5 billion, EBITDA of approximately $3.1 billion, free cash flow of approximately $1.4 billion and would have had leverage of 2.6 times EBITDA at December 31, 2008.
Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier Communications Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “This is a truly transformational transaction for Frontier. With more than 7 million access lines in 27 states, we will be the largest pure rural communications provider of voice, broadband and video services in the U.S. Frontier is committed to providing our customers with state-of-the-art technology and innovative products. We are confident that we can dramatically accelerate the penetration of broadband in these new markets during the first 18 months. We know that broadband is a catalyst for a healthy local economy and job growth.”

Retained by Verizon In the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE were the following companies.The merger is on hold while each state's public untility commissions review approval of the sale.

Verizon California, Inc.
Verizon Florida, Inc.
Verizon Northwest, Inc.
Verizon South, Inc.
GTE Southwest, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Southwest
Verizon North, Inc.
Contel of the South, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Mid-States
Sold/transferred/shut down
GTE Arkansas, Inc., sold to CenturyTel in 2000
GTE Midwest, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Midwest, Inc., sold to CenturyTel
GTE Hawaiian Telephone Company, Inc., later Verizon Hawaii, Inc., sold to The Carlyle Group in 2005
GTE Alaska Inc., sold to Alaska Power and Phone Company in 2000
Contel of the West, Inc. d/b/a GTE West - discontinued in 1996
Contel of Minnesota, Inc., sold to Citizens Communications
GTE of Iowa - Spun off to Iowa Telecom
Verizon Dominicana (CODETEL), sold to América Móvil
Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico d/b/a Puerto Rico Telephone, assets sold to América Móvil
GTE Government Systems to General Dynamics (The Information Systems Division of GTE Government Systems was sold to DynCorp.[34]
GTE Wireless (assets in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, South Carolina and Texas) sold to Alltel.[35]
compiled from Wikepedia

Ninety-one years of tradition, starting with crank phones, dial phones, push button dialing and now, the beginning of the end.What next? Perhaps they will hard wire a communications modem to our brains.Then we would be on-line 24/7.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice story you got here. It would be great to read a bit more about that theme. The only thing I would like to see here is a few photos of some gizmos.
Katherine Trider
Cell phone jammers