CornerStone builds reputation for consolidation

Rural telco consolidation expected to take place in 2008 was largely put on hold while market conditions for financing collapsed, though CenturyTel's proposal last October to acquire Embarq may have re-ignited the consolidation trend. For the most part, it remains to be seen who will buy whom, but one small New York telco is not waiting for other to make moves.

Troy, N.Y.-based CornerStone Telephone announced last week it would acquire Richmond, Mass.-based Richmond Telephone, a deal that will bring CornerStone 3,000 new customers and 8,000 access lines. The acquisition is actually CornerStone's fifth buyout in the last four years or so.

Richmond's service region in western Massachusetts looks to be a natural extension of CornerStone's existing reach. Prior to this acquisition, the New York telco had about 10,000 customers and 50,000 access lines throughout New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

For more:
- The Schenectady Daily Gazette has this report

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