Q4 roundup: ILECs bulked up on video, business and broadband

Fourth quarter wrap 2011With the Q4 2011 earnings season coming to an end, FierceTelecom is taking the time to size up the performance of the top ILECs.

As seen in previous quarters, the top ILECs are finding ways to offset ongoing wireline voice loss by emphasizing the sales of IP-based business and consumer services, including broadband data, video and Ethernet. They are also expanding their respective Fiber to the Tower (FTTT) footprints to provide wireless backhaul services to wireless operators.

At the top of the ILEC heap, AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) both continued to find success in their next-gen U-verse and FiOS service sets. On the consumer side, video and broadband continued to be hot sellers for AT&T and Verizon, adding 208,000 AT&T U-verse TV and 587,000 U-Verse Internet and 201,000 FiOS Internet customers and 194,000 FiOS TV subscribers, respectively. Meanwhile, CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) also saw its bet on IP pay off with the addition of 70, 000 new broadband subscribers and 16,000 new Prism IPTV customers.

But the story in the large Tier 2 ILECs is no less compelling as other major independent ILECs Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), FairPoint (Nasdaq: FRP), and Hawaiian Telcom (Nasdaq: HCOM) all saw gains during Q4 2011.

Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) reported a solid quarter with strong gains in broadband and business driving up total revenues to $1.6 billion. The service provider bolstered its business prospects when it completed its acquisition of PAETEC in December.  

The performance of both FairPoint and Hawaiian Telcom were also notable with both telcos showing continued to show progress since coming out of bankruptcy protection in 2011 and 2010, respectively. FairPoint saw gains in broadband with over 24,000 subscribers in 2011 and built out fiber to 800 cell towers in its New England region. Likewise, Hawaiian Telcom reported another positive quarter with revenues of $98.9 million and the addition of over 1,600 subscribers for its recently launched IPTV service.

In the regional Tier 2 telco space, Consolidated Communications made one of its biggest moves to expand its territory by announcing its intent to acquire SureWest Communications. Both Consolidated and SureWest separately saw gains in their consumer broadband and video subscriber bases in addition to wholesale FTTT services during the fourth quarter.

Please take a look at the Q4 2011 metrics in the chart below. You can also look at our report of all of the service providers here in Q4 2011, and don't forget to look at our reports from first quarter 2011 wireline, second quarter 2011, and third quarter 2011.

Q4 2011 Roundup -- Top 10 ILECs
Carrier Revenues Access Lines Q4 Access Lines Q3 Broadband Adds Total Wireline Broadband Video Additions M&A
AT&T $32.5 billion 41.3 million 41.9 million 587,000 (but lost 49,000 DSL customers) 16.4 million 208,000 U-verse N/A
Verizon $28.4 billion 24.1 million 24.5 million 201,000 FiOS (net broadband increase was 98,000) 8.7 million 194,000 net new FiOS Video connections N/A
CenturyLink $4.65 billion 14.5 million 14.8 million 70,000 5.5 million 16,000 new Prism IPTV continued integration of Qwest,
Savvis assets
Frontier $1.28 billion 5.26 million 5.3 million 9,300 1.76 million 1000 (but lost 5,900 FiOS and gained 6,900 satellite customers) Continued integration
of Verizon
Windstream $1.6 billion 1.93 million 2 million 9,100 1.2 million 1,000 satellite customers completed PAETEC acquisition
FairPoint $254.2 million 1.03 million 1.05 million 340 314,135 n/a N/A

Cincinnati Bell

 $1.5 billion  621,300 635,300 2,000 new Fioptics (lost 3,400 DSL subs) 257,000

Fioptics Entertain-


TDS Telecom

$1.3 billion (TDS Parent)


 490,200  600

238,400 (ILEC) 
28,900 (CLEC)

Not reported N/A

Hawaiian Telcom

$98.9 million



1,250 103,230

Hawaiian Telcom TV (HTTV) 1,600 subscribers at end of 2011

Consolidated Communi-cations $93.7 million 227,992 237,141 4,526 110,913 1,375 Announced acquisition of SureWest



$51.1 million 158,693 159,340




Completed another quarter
as spinoff

SureWest $63.5 million 76,400 (Rev Gen Units) 76,700 3,200 102,600 4,600 Being acquired by Consoli-
dated Comm.
Q4 roundup: ILECs bulked up on video, business and broadband