Light Reading

Consolidated Gains Fiber, Cloud Focus With Enventis

Jason Meyers

Consolidated Communications continued to live up to its name Monday when it announced it would acquire Enventis for $350 million, expanding its fiber network footprint and potentially strengthening its focus on business customers.

Consolidated Communications Inc. acquired SureWest Communications in early 2012, adding Kansas City and Sacramento to its territory. Now the Illinois company is folding in Enventis (NASDAQ: ENVE) of Mankato, Minn., which has a 4,200-mile fiber network that spans Minnesota and portions of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. (See Consolidated, Enventis to Merge.)

Just last week, Enventis rolled out several enterprise-focused cloud services aimed at the small and midsized business market, which is also an area of focus for Consolidated. To date, Consolidated has offered cloud-based services only through partners on a market-by-market basis, but Bob Udell, the company's president and chief operating officer, says it sees cloud offerings as a way to be more competitive in the business sector. (See Enventis Strengthens Its Cloud Position.)

"This gives us a more nicely packaged way to consider that," Udell says. The service provider believes the network of Consolidated and Enventis will be the strongest asset of the combined company. "There are some great fiber assets there, in addition to their experience in the equipment and data segment."

The expansion into cloud services could give Enventis (and now Consolidated) a stronger business focus. However, this is a hotly competitive market -- and the smaller businesses in the combined company's territories are not necessarily ready for it.

"Cloud services are more important in a multi-location world than they are to smaller businesses, and they can't really serve those companies on a nationwide basis," says Craig Clausen, executive vice president and principal analyst of New Paradigm Resources Group Inc. "What's the difference between a small business and residential users? It's more profitable, but it doesn't get you to those grand levels you need to be to achieve economies of scale and add value-added services."

The expanded fiber footprint Consolidated gains, along with employees with more experience serving the business sector, are the most interesting aspects of the merger, Clausen says.

"It's a market expansion -- though I can't say that expanding into Minnesota, northern Iowa, and part of the Dakotas is really where the money is," he says. "But it does bring together a lot of assets and give them more strength. And depending on the people who come with the deal, that could be where the real value lies."

— Jason Meyers, Utility Communications Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/30/2014 | 11:41:44 PM
Re: Small businesses and the cloud
Any SMB (or start-up) needs an edge.   It seems from having see what they've done, they are indeed able to provide SMB's the edge especially as the "revolution" continues which we've been deliberating throughout the month.  I would be curious, though, to see how they would stack up against say" Amazon" with the free services it provides for start-ups.    
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/30/2014 | 3:48:44 PM
Small businesses and the cloud
I'm not sure I agree with Craig on small businesses not being ready for cloud services. There is significant thinking in the cloud world that small businesses want the same IT services and sophistication as larger companies if they can get it without capex and staffing investments and cloud services represent one option for doing that. A year ago, a Forrester survey showed more than half of SMBs were already using cloud services in some way. 

This is a market that Enventis knows well and could help Consolidated address. 

If you look at Consolidated's acquisitions -first SureWest and now Enventis - these are companies that have done some pioneering of advanced services in smaller markets. As Craig notes, if Consolidated retains that expertise, there could be significant benefits for the company and the areas it serves. 
User Rank: Blogger
6/30/2014 | 3:29:35 PM
What's next
It will be interesting to see where Consolidated goes next, both geographically and strategically -- whether it will extend the cloud focus Enventis started throughout the combined network, extend more of its fiber network to homes and businesses to combat Google and potential competition from municipal and utility networks in certain markets, or maybe all of the above.  
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.