Consolidated Communications did not have to look too far to find a new executive to oversee its business services unit. Instead, the telco promoted Darren Peterson to vice president of commercial sales.
Peterson will oversee the company’s commercial sales and distribution including sales personnel, commercial sales strategy and training across its 11-state service area.
Since joining the company in 2010, Peterson has served in a number of product management roles, including most recently as VP of commercial product management.
He has over 17 years of communications industry experience.
Peterson’s appointment comes at a pivotal time in Consolidated’s history. The service provider is in the midst of purchasing FairPoint Communications, a deal that will immediately expand its business services with a 21,000 fiber route miles fiber network—17,000 of which are in Northern New England—bringing its total route miles to 35,000. Besides increasing its fiber miles, Consolidated will enhance its on-net building and fiber-connected towers to 8,500 and 2,400, respectively, across a total of 24 states.
It’s likely that Petersen will play a large role not only in helping drive the integration of the overall network, but also in crafting a product and marketing strategy for what will ultimately be a larger business unit.
One of the areas where Consolidated will likely be focusing on expanding for businesses is Ethernet. Ethernet continues to be a big revenue generator in Consolidated’s business unit. The telco reported that Metro Ethernet and data connections rose 7% in the fourth quarter and 22% for the year.
However, Consolidated is facing continual pricing pressure as its wireless wholesale customers transition from TDM to Ethernet and fiber-based services. Regardless of these near-term pricing challenges, the service provider remains confident that its acquisition of FairPoint will give it a broader footprint to sell more of its services.
Besides Ethernet, Consolidated has been expanding its overall business product line, announcing its new Cloud Secure service in February. This service is a response to the growing need of its business customers to protect themselves against cyberattacks.