Transaction Will Strengthen Competitive Fiber Presence in the Gulf Region
Charlotte, North Carolina—August 21, 2018: Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, Inc. (“Conterra Networks”) today announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Network Communications Telecom (“Network Communications”), a Longview, Texas-based regional fiber-optic-based telecommunication services business.
This transaction will expand Conterra Networks’ fiber in two of its largest operating states, Texas and Louisiana. Network Communications’ network will significantly increase the fiber density in Shreveport, Louisiana and East Texas and add last-mile and regional transport access to thousands of enterprise businesses in the region. The acquisition is expected to close August 31, 2018 and is complementary to the recently completed acquisitions of Network USA and Detel that also provide fiber-based services to Louisiana and East Texas.
“As Conterra continues to strengthen its ability to serve large multi-site customers with fiber-based services, this is another important acquisition as it expands our fiber networks to adjacent communities and deepens our coverage in the East Texas and Louisiana region. Network Communications possesses a highly talented team of telecommunication professionals focused on providing business customers with exceptional services from a competent team who live and work in the communities they serve. In addition to their leading-edge fiber network, they bring an evolved set of efficient processes, a broad set of products and important systems to serve the enterprise segment” commented Craig Gunderson, Conterra’s President and Chief Operating Officer.
Across its purpose-built fiber networks, Network Communications delivers a broad suite of voice and data services. It has distinguished itself as a customer-focused organization during its almost 30 years of operation.
Network Communications’ President and CEO, Tony Cason, noted: “In the markets we serve, Network Communications is uniquely known for providing personal service by industry experts that are highly responsive to our customers and heavily involved in the local community. Our commitment is to preserve this hard-earned reputation and continue to grow our capabilities to our customers. This combination supports this commitment as Conterra shares a passion for customer service excellence and giving back to the communities they serve.”
Conterra Networks is one of the largest remaining independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its fiber assets and revenues. The company is majority owned by Court Square Capital, a private equity firm with approximately $6 billion of assets under management, with the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra Networks’ management team. The company’s other institutional financial partners include Toronto Dominion Securities, CoBank, Bank of America, ING Capital, Fifth Third Bank, Regions Bank, and Webster Bank. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions.
Pickens County schools are looking at internet service that is up to 100 times faster, thanks to a partnership between the school district and Conterra Networks. The School District of Pickens County has entered into a multi-year agreement with Conterra Networks to deploy an all fiber optical network to support the data, video, and voice requirements of its schools.
“We are thrilled we are able to give our students a network that is up to 100 times faster than our existing network without spending additional dollars,” said Dr. Danny Merck, SDPC Superintendent. “By rethinking how we spend existing funds and taking advantage of E-rate, we are bringing money Pickens’ residents pay in their phone bills back to the county’s students.”
In technical terms, the fiber optical network will provide 10-gigabit connectivity to each SDPC location when completed and is scalable to 100 gigabits with no additional construction. Conterra monitors, manages, and supports its networks on a 24x7x365 basis and guarantees network performance and reliability. Currently, the district has 100 megabits at most elementary schools, 500 megabits at most middle schools, and 1 gigabit at most high schools.
The network is set for completion in the summer of 2019.
The project is funded in large part by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) E-rate program through telephone fees. The primary goal of E-rate is to ensure affordable access to high- speed broadband in schools and libraries. The remaining funds will come from existing district dollars. According to Merck, the district is allocating money spent on the existing network toward this project.
According to Dr. Barbara Nesbitt, the Executive Director of Technology for SDPC, “Emerging educational and video applications are increasingly moving to cloud-based environments. With our one-to-one Tech It Home initiative and other innovative practices like project-based and personalized learning, it is critical we provide our teachers and students with a high-speed, secure, and reliable network.” There are many immediate benefits to increased bandwidth. Andy Coleman, Director of Technology Services for SDPC, noted, “With the new network, we will be able to administer state-mandated tests in one week instead of spreading testing out over several weeks. This means all students will have more instructional days prior to testing, not just those who are lucky enough to be scheduled at the end of the testing window.”
Ray Farley, executive director of Alliance Pickens, is also pleased with the infrastructure advantage this fiber brings to Pickens County. “Conterra Networks is building over 100 miles of fiber in the county. While the fiber network will primarily serve the county’s schools, local businesses can also benefit from the new fiber optical network.” Conterra’s EVP Van Snowdon notes, “We continue to offer school districts aggressive network solutions at affordable rates, while bringing fiber to rural areas that traditionally cannot access high-speed broadband for local business needs.”
The district worked with Polly and Ed Gifford of Education Partners Solution, Inc. to design and procure the fiber network. Education Partners Solution, Inc. is a technology consulting firm specializing in K–12 infrastructure design. “We’ve worked with schools in states like Texas for over 20 years to construct and lease fiber for wide area network and Internet connectivity such as the one Pickens is building. The availability of high capacity Internet has increased and cost of services in the entire state has dropped dramatically. We’re excited that Pickens is leading the way to competitive fiber and Internet pricing for their area and as a model for other schools in South Carolina,” says Polly Gifford, owner and principal consultant.
About Conterra Networks
Conterra Networks is a national provider of managed fiber-based, carrier-grade telecommunications solutions for schools, healthcare providers, telecom carriers, municipalities and enterprises that require bandwidth intensive, network connectivity and Internet services. Conterra Networks, and its subsidiaries, currently provide these services to over 3,000 locations throughout the United States. For more information about Conterra, visit www.Conterra.com or call 877-365-6701.
About Education Partner Services, Inc.
Education Partners Solution (EPS) was founded in 1996 with the goal of providing vendor independent technology consulting and technology architectural services; strategic and tactical systems planning based on technology alignment with K-12 district goals; E-Rate planning, procurement filing and support; and technical project procurement with contract fulfillment and quality assurance management. For more information about EPS, visit www.eps4.com/about.
Transaction To Increase Company’s Fiber Operations to More Than 9,500 Miles
Charlotte, North Carolina—January 29, 2018: Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, Inc. (“Conterra”) today announced the signing of an agreement to acquire affiliated companies, Network USA, LLC and Sun America, LLC (combined, “NUSA”), both Louisiana-based regional fiber-optic network services businesses.
This transaction will increase Conterra’s fiber presence by nearly 3,000 miles in two of its largest operating states, Louisiana and Texas, expanding its regional fiber footprint throughout the Gulf Coast/East Texas region and providing entry into two new states: Arkansas and Mississippi. The NUSA fiber network is complementary to the assets of Conterra’s previously announced acquisition of Detel Communications, another significant Louisiana-based fiber-optic network services provider.
“This is another important competitive enhancement for Conterra as we densify our infrastructure in existing commercial markets and increase our fiber network connectivity and regional service offerings,” commented Conterra’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Leeolou. “This acquisition will connect and expand Conterra’s existing networks in the Gulf Coast/East Texas region, while simultaneously adding management, operational and product portfolio depth in dozens of communities in this part of the country,” added Mr. Leeolou.
Network USA is a rapidly growing builder, owner and operator of facilities-based lit and dark fiber primarily in Louisiana and Texas with a successful operating history of nearly two decades. NUSA serves the same industry customer segments as Conterra: wireless and landline carriers, healthcare organizations, government and mid-sized as well as Fortune 500 enterprises.
“Our team is really excited to become part of Conterra. Our service area in Louisiana and East Texas is a great strategic fit and our fiber assets in Arkansas and Mississippi will provide Conterra immediate access to new markets,” said James Davis Network USA’s president. “The combined network assets of our two organizations will significantly benefit our existing customers by enabling new technical capabilities and opening new growth opportunities including alternative transport options for wholesale carriers,” noted Mr. Davis.
Conterra is one of the largest remaining independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its fiber assets and revenues. The company is majority owned by Court Square Capital Partners, a private investment firm with approximately $6 billion under management, with the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra’s management team. The company’s other institutional financial partners include Toronto Dominion Bank, CoBank, Bank of America and ING Capital. Terms of the transaction, which is subject to pending regulatory approvals, are not being disclosed.
Transaction Increases Company’s Fiber Network to Approximately 10,000 Miles
Charlotte, North Carolina—April 9, 2018: Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, Inc. (“Conterra Networks”) announced today it has completed its previously announced acquisition of affiliated companies, Network USA, L.L.C. and Sun America Communications, LLC (combined, “Network USA”). Both companies are Louisiana-based regional fiber-optic network services businesses.
The completion of this transaction reinforces Conterra Networks’ position as a major fiber-optic service provider in the Gulf Coast and East Texas region. The acquisition adds nearly 3,000 route miles of fiber and increases Conterra Networks’ national fiber presence to approximately 10,000 miles further strengthening the company’s position as one of the largest independent providers of fiber-based network services.
“Our integration efforts are proceeding well ahead of schedule and we continue to find additional operational and network synergies, “commented Conterra Networks’ President and Chief Operating Officer, Craig Gunderson. “We have accelerated the merging of the two organizations to fully leverage the human capital and capabilities of both companies. The combined company will accelerate growth and strengthen Conterra Networks’ competitive position in the region.”
Network USA is a rapidly growing builder, owner, and operator of facilities-based lit and dark fiber primarily in Louisiana and East Texas with a successful operating history of nearly two decades. Network USA serves the same industry customer segments as Conterra Networks: wireless and landline carriers, healthcare organizations, government and mid-sized as well as Fortune 500 enterprises.
Conterra Networks is one of the largest remaining independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its fiber assets and revenues. The company is majority owned by Court Square Capital, a private equity firm with approximately $4 billion of assets under management, with the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra Networks’ management team. The company’s other institutional financial partners include Toronto Dominion Bank, CoBank, Bank of America, ING Capital, Fifth Third Bank, Regions Bank, and Webster Bank. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Craig Gunderson is former Chief Executive of Oxford Networks
Charlotte, North Carolina—May 31, 2017: Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings has announced the hiring of Craig S. Gunderson as its President & Chief Operating Officer. In his new role, Mr. Gunderson will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and consolidated financial results of the Company. He will report to the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Leeolou. After an appropriate transition period, Conterra’s Executive Vice President of Operations and Technology, Dennis Francis, will be retiring from day-to-day responsibilities but will remain an active advisor to the Company.