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Windstream Acquires MassComm for CLEC, SD-WAN, Managed Services

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Windstream Communications is acquiring MASS Communications (MassComm), a CLEC that offers voice, data, risk management, SD-WAN, managed security and network monitoring services, according to an FCC filing. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal is a potential positive sign for Windstream, which suffered layoffs and a surprise dividend cut in 2017 that rocked shareholder confidence in the company. Windstream spent much of last year trying to accelerate synergies from the EarthLink merger of 2016, and the Broadview tuck-in deal of April 2017. But the moves hit plenty of turbulence, and Windstream was one of the four worst performing tech stocks of 2017, according to Motley Fool.

Looking ahead, much of Windstream's strategy depends on accelerate MSP and SD-WAN services. MassComm, based in New York, could fit in nicely with WindStream's strategy, ChannelE2E believes.

Indeed, MassComm had a 97 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 to 2016, and annual revenues surged to $25.6 million, according to the annual Inc. 5000 report. MassComm, founded in 2007, also had roughly 42 employees at the close of 2016, Inc.'s survey revealed. We haven't seen more recent financial figures for MassComm's business, nor do we know if the company is profitable.

MassComm's managed services portfolio includes voice and data, SD-WAN, security and ALBIE -- a proactive monitoring service for data circuits. According to the company, "ALBIE’s watchful eyes constantly track the mission critical interfaces of your data network 24/7/365. ALBIE notifies you when any sign of trouble is detected, while our Network Operation Center Engineers take corrective action with your carriers to resolve the issue."

Potential Windstream and MassComm Synergies

Windstream and MassComm run in somewhat similar circles.

According to the FCC filing, Windstream offers advanced network communications and technology solutions for consumers, businesses, enterprise organizations, and wholesale customers across the United States. Windstream’s subsidiaries provide voice and data services, MPLS networking, and cloud communications and computing services to businesses, non-profits, and government agencies, both in areas in which it is the incumbent local exchange carrier (“ILEC”) and outside of its ILEC service areas with its operations roughly balanced between its ILEC areas and all other areas. To carriers and network operators, Windstream provides special access services, Ethernet and Wave transport, fiber-to-the-tower connections, and wholesale voice and data services.

Windstream's customer footprint include a local and long-haul fiber network spanning approximately 150,000 route miles, which provides services over fixed wireless infrastructure in 40 markets. As an ILEC, the company also delivers phone, broadband, Internet security services, and online backup to approximately 1.4 million residential customers primarily located in rural areas. In four markets, Windstream has launched an IP video entertainment platform called “Kinetic,” which is currently available to approximately 192,000 households, the FCC filing says.

Additional MassComm Managed Services

Meanwhile, MassComm works with leading hardware and software technology vendors and managed service providers to design, implement, and supports custom networks to deliver a suite of voice (local, long distance, POTS, voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”)), data (dedicated internet, MPLS, Ethernet), risk management and security solutions to midsized global enterprise customers in the financial, legal, healthcare, technology, education, and government sectors, the FCC filing says. Moreover, MassComm is authorized to provide CLEC and/or interexchange service in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, the filing adds.

Windstream expects to complete the all-cash buyout of MassComm in the second quarter of 2018.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.