Location: Richmond, Va.
Why it's so cutting-edge: The independent telco serves residential and business customers in 17 states, and while it is not the biggest of the telco bunch, Cavalier has been quick to enter the competitive Ethernet market with cutting-edge services like Mid-band Ethernet over copper. Cavalier also offers IPTV and made a pretty cutting-edge move for a telco last year when it acquired content security firm SecureMedia. Cavalier also has been quick to voice its concerns about the FCC's access charge forbearance process and about the activities of its larger competitors, Cox Communications and Verizon Communications.
But can it keep its edge? Telecom industry watchers have been expecting more consolidation at the independent telco level for some time. Those deals have been put off during the current economic crisis, but when they resume, it will be interesting to see whether Cavalier is a buyer or gets absorbed by someone else.