Moto Shuts Next Level Facility

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has finally taken the company that was Next Level Communications to the, uh, next level.

Motorola is closing the California facility that was home to the company, acquired by Motorola in 2003, say Motorola officials.

"As part of its decision to form a single Wireline Networks business focused on delivering advanced IP-access architectures and solutions, Motorola today announced the closure of its facility in Rohnert Park, California," the company said today in a statement emailed to Light Reading.

"The work sustaining the development program for the Multi-Service Access Platform (MSAP) will be moved to Motorola’s facility in Andover, Massachusetts."

Why Andover? That's the location of Motorola's other acquired fiber-access property, Quantum Bridge, which is now part of Moto's fiber to the premises networks group.

The Next Level facility's closure is the final chapter in a turbulent relationship between an independent access company and the controlling parent with which it once publicly sparred. (See Motorola Extends Next Level Offer, Moto's Next Level Offer to Expire, and Motorola Buys Rest of Next Level.)

Motorola acquired the remaining 26 percent of Next Level that it did not already own in 2003 for about $34 million after a prolonged period of biting public statements and rejected offers between the two companies.

"The decision to close a facility is clearly a difficult one, and it was not made lightly. It is entirely based on business factors," says Motorola, in the remainder of its statement to Light Reading. "The Wireline FTTN team has achieved more than a decade of innovation and delivered leading TelcoTV solutions to nearly one million video-over-DSL streams throughout North America.

"Today, Motorola serves a number of customers with FTTN’s MSAP solutions and is committed to becoming the telecommunication market’s choice for all IP access delivery architectures and solutions."

The company's fiber to the home products have been in the spotlight in recent months as the company is the secondary supplier in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s FiOS network buildout (See Moto Gets a Piece of Verizon FTTP.)

Motorola had no immediate comment as to how many employees were affected in the closure. A source close to the company says the employees were gathered at an all-hands meeting and told of the facility's fate this morning.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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