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6 Quick Hits: Verizon Copper Retirement, New Vonage Channel Chief, More

Telephone Copper Wire

AT&T made a deal with the union, and Verizon announced plans for copper facility retirement.

The two large carriers joined a number of influential telecommunications companies that made the news this week. Our telecommunications reporting often features strikes, layoffs and other conflict, but that was not the case this week. Windstream, for example, reached a major milestone in its bankruptcy process. Moreover, Vonage announced a new channel chief, and Aryaka formed a partnership with a Chinese public cloud giant.

Each week we summarize the stories that impacted the channel the most. Check out these six before you start your July 4 weekend.

6. AT&T Southwest, CWA Reach Agreement on Contract Extension

AT&T wireline workers in five states will enjoy a new contract.

The company and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) extended their contract, which would have expired next April. The new four-year deal increases wages and boosts health care coverage.

“This agreement will allow us to continue to provide solid middle-class jobs with competitive wages and benefits, while maintaining the flexibility the company needs to operate in an extremely competitive industry,” an AT&T spokesman said.

Edward Gately has the scoop.

5. Alibaba Cloud Partners with Aryaka to Deliver Managed SD-WAN Service

Public cloud provider Alibaba Cloud teamed up with Aryaka bring SD-WAN to China and other global customers.

Aryaka will provide an on-ramp for Chinese customers who wish to expand their businesses beyond their borders. The same goes for businesses who work outside of Alibaba Cloud’s footprint.

Alibaba Cloud claims the title of China and Asia Pacific’s largest public cloud provider.

Learn more about the partnership.

4. Musical Chairs: Vonage Channel Gets Ex-Windstream, X4 Leader

Curt Allen is taking the helm of another large channel program.

Allen, who left the Windstream channel chief position in November, joined Vonage as senior vice president and channel chief. He replaces Mario DeRiggi, who recently landed at Fusion Connect.

Allen praised his new employer for fostering growth in its channel business.

“… I am looking forward to contributing to this ongoing success for the company, its partners and their customers,” Allen said.

Learn about the reshuffling.

3. Windstream Restructuring Plan OKed, Bankruptcy Exit Expected in August

The embattled carrier looks set to leave chapter 11 bankruptcy next month.

A bankruptcy court approved Windstream’s restructuring plan, which will help the company shed about $4 billion in debt. An August exit would end a year-and-a-half long journey that took Windstream from public to private.

See the latest story in the Windstream bankruptcy saga.

2. RingCentral Debuts Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams

The UCaaS provider said it gave businesses an additional communications choice with the release of its new integration.

Call queues, native recording and global coverage comprise just a few features of the RingCentral Cloud PBX. The integration allows Microsoft Teams users to access cloud PBX capabilities from within the Teams environment.

Learn all about the new offering.

1. Verizon Copper Retirement Planned in Numerous States

It’s the end of the line for certain East Coast Verizon copper facilities.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will retire facilities New England, Maryland and Virginia at the behest of Verizon. However, the carrier plans to replace the copper services with fiber. Verizon has scheduled fiber implementations for September.

Check out the story.


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