Embarq to eliminate up to 1,000 jobs

Independent telco Embarq will shed between 500 and 700 full-time jobs and about 300 contract positions as it looks to eliminate costs in light of continued loss of access lines. The company will ask managers in many markets to accept voluntary buyouts and will then move onto rank and file workers, but it will resort to pay-offs if not enough employees accept the buyout offers.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based carrier has 17,000 employees, and the cuts will come within its network services division. Embarq also recently unloaded more than 250 jobs when it outsourced management of its voice network to Nokia Siemens Networks.

Many telcos are in the same boat, as far as access line decline is concerned, and the trend could be particularly difficult to overcome for Tier 2 and Tier 3 telcos. Industry analysts have been considering consolidation for such carriers a likelihood, though it is not clear who might buy or merge with Embarq, the largest of the independent telcos.

For more:
- see this Associated Press story at The Wall Street Journal

Related articles:
Embarq outsourced voice operations to NSN in June. Embarq report
Embarq saw 7.8 percent access line loss in Q2. Embarq report