Location: Little Rock, Ark.
Why it's so cutting edge: Windstream is yet another 2007 Honorable Mention to achieve a higher plateau, though in Windstream's case, were banking on its cutting-edge performance yet to come in the form consolidating the independent telco industry. We have been told for months that Windstream is ready to buy, to the point where we are really starting to expect fireworks once the current economic crisis dies down. Aside from M&A dreams, Windstream made some key service announcements this year, doubling Internet access speeds across much of its region, and also becoming the first non-former Bell company to participate in the Movearoo online line-switching program.
But can it keep its edge? We are so ready for Windstream to consolidate the rural telco sector, but what if it doesn't do that? Windstream also is losing landlines just like other telcos, but probably feeling it more than the big guys. Third quarter earnings coming up Nov. 7 will be closely watched.