News Briefs

Apples iPhone debuted this summer with lines of people clammoring for the sleek $500 device. Available exclusivley on the AT&T Inc. network, there are three new service plans, all of which include unlimited data, Visual Voicemail (which allows consumers to see a listing of their voice mails, decide which to listen to, then go directly to those messages), 200 SMS text messages, rollover minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling. Individual plans are priced at $59.99 for 450 minutes, $79.99 for 900 minutes and $99.99 for 1,350 minutes, based on a two-year service contract, plus a one-time activation fee of $36. iPhone customers also can opt to go with any of AT&Ts other standard service plans. The iPhone itself is available in a 4GB model for $499 and an 8GB model for $599.

A federal court heard oral arguments June 25 in the Vonage Holdings-Verizon Communications Inc. patent dispute. The judges are considering Vonages appeal of the March jury verdict that found Vonage infringed on three of Verizons patents covering the construction of its Internet phone system. The jury awarded Verizon $58 million, plus future royalties for continued patent infringement.

NuVox Communications and FDN Communications in mid-June closed their merger deal. Terms were not announced, as both companies are privately held. FDN and NuVox will operate under the NuVox name. Jim Akerhielm, CEO of NuVox, will keep his position. Mike Gallagher, former CEO of FDN, becomes president of strategic markets. Other executives for the new NuVox include Stephen H. Shoemaker, CFO; Charles J. Norris, COO; and Riley M. Murphy, general counsel and secretary. The combined company will specialize in IP communications, including voice, data, storage, private network and Web hosting. They will serve businesses in 16 states throughout the Southeast and Midwest. The headquarters will be in Greenville, S.C. Sales, customer service, and technical operations will be in Greenville, S.C., and Maitland, Fla.

EarthLink Inc. has named Rolla P. Huff as president and CEO. He succeeds Garry Betty, who died in January from complications of cancer. Mike Lunsford had been serving as interim CEO. The 50-year-old Huff most recently served as chairman and CEO of Mpower Communications, a facilities-based provider of voice and data services, from 1999 to 2006. He also has held executive positions at Frontier Corp. and AT&T. Huff said he has bought 100,000 shares of stock from the company, valued at approximately $750,000.

Justin McLain officially has been named president and CEO of Atlanta-based field force outsourcer Endeavor Telecom. McLain has served in that role unofficially since Endeavor spun off from SSI in 2002. From 1999 to 2002, McLain was vice president of sales for SSI.

Apple Inc.
AT&T Inc.
Cavalier Telephone and Television
EarthLink Inc.
Endeavor Telecom
FDN Communications
NuVox Communications
Telarus Inc.
Verizon Communications Inc.
Vonage Holdings

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