Freedom Communications USA files for bankruptcy protection

Freedom Communications USA may have been heralded as one of the early CLECs to emerge after the passing of the FCC's Telecommunications Act of 1996, but the company's fortunes have changed and it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Represented by Phillip Young of Garfinkle McLemore & Young PLLC, the Dickson, Tenn.-based CLEC, which is commonly known as Tennessee Telephone Service LLC, voluntarily filed the petition last Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.  

This latest news is a bit ironic given that the service provider had been honored as a 2009 member of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce's "Future 50 Hall of Fame." Since making its debut in 1996, Freedom targeted both residential and business customers with a suite of traditional phone and data, but also satellite and wireless services.

With estimated assets and debts of $1 million and $10 million, Atlanta-based BellSouth (now AT&T)--one of its main competitors and service providers from which it rents network facilities--is one of Freedom's largest creditors. Currently, Freedom USA operates in 10 states with Texas being the latest addition.

Freedom's Chapter 11 filing comes at a time when the CLEC industry is once again going through various rounds of consolidation, with larger providers continually buying the assets of smaller competitors.

For more:
- Nashville Business Journal has this story

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