Archive for November 25th, 2009

TelephonyOnline wins Min’s award for USF audit column

We’re proud to announce that TelephonyOnline was the winner for best online column in min’s 2009 Editorial & Design Awards, which recognize excellence in content and design among consumer and business-to-business media.The award is for a December 2008 column titled What the FCC didn’t tell us about the USF audit. In the column, TelephonyOnline contributing editor Joan Engebretson questioned statements from the FCC, which estimated that small rural carriers had been overpaid by $970 million for providing phone service to high-cost areas.

Joan did her own analysis of the data and determined that the FCC’s estimate was too high, overstating the overpayment by a factor of five or more.

We congratulate Joan for her excellent work.

After Windstream buys Iowa, is Consolidated next?

What’s next for Windstream (NYSE:WIN)? As it announced its fourth acquisition in six months yesterday (its biggest buy yet, in fact), the company’s CEO, Jeff Gardner, maintained that, although he’d focus on execution and integration, he wasn’t done with M&A.

“A number of private companies could be opportunities for us in the future,” he told Connected Planet Tuesday. “There’s not a lot of public companies left out there, but there are a couple.”

A couple is right. In a note yesterday, Stifel Nicolaus analysts said Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) and Alaska Communications (NASDAQ:ALSK) are about the only publicly held acquisition targets Windstream has left. And given the unique integration challenges posed by Alaska’s geographic isolation, the analysts said, “We view Consolidated as the next, most logical potential target for Windstream.” more

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