Post-PAETEC, Windstream Serves Most Fortune 500s

Windstream Corp.’s $2.3 billion acquisition last year of PAETEC Holding Corp. strengthened the telecommunications company in three important ways, including boosting its position in the enterprise market, a Windstream executive said this week in a blog.

“First, PAETEC brought tremendous enterprise-level expertise and product offerings to enhance Windstream’s already robust business division,” wrote John Leach, executive vice president of business sales, with Windstream.

Windstream serves 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies and more than 450,000 business customers, said Leach, who noted in a separate blog earlier this year that the company’s customers range from higher education to government to financial institutions and health-care organizations. A spokesman for Windstream did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on the number of Fortune 500 companies and total business customers Windstream served before the company purchased PAETEC.

The acquisition also benefitted Windstream in two other respects by providing “first-rate customer care” and a service area that complemented Windstream’s, Leach said.

To meet the needs of its business customers, Windstream has expanded its set of products and services, including cloud computing, disaster recovery, managed services, networking and VoIP, according to Leach.

Mike Shippey, senior vice president of carrier services, said the PAETEC acquisition also benefitted Windstream’s carrier business by expanding its fiber network.

“PAETEC had significant assets on the East Coast and in the Midwest, bringing an additional 37,700 route miles of fiber into our network,” Shippey wrote in the same blog.

Shippey also noted Windstream now offers a VoIP origination product that allows carriers to establish a local presence in about 5,700 rate centers.

Investors may get more information on the impact of the PAETEC merger when Little Rock, Ark.-based Windstream reports its first-quarter earnings on May 10.

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