Granite, AT&T extend wholesale agreement through 2017

Granite Telecommunications has reached an agreement to extend its commercial agreement with AT&T (NYSE: T) through 2017, a move that will give it confidence to continue supplying its POTS voice and other data services to its business customers.

Rand Currier, COO of Granite Telecommunications, said that while the agreement is a milestone for both AT&T and Granite, the real winner is their customers.

"With every customer out there, they are concerned about being able to being able to get services they are getting from Granite and this just provides them with further assurances and confidence that they can continue to get their services," Currier said in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We provide good customer service and a great billing solution they are pleased with and now they can rest assured we can provide that service for many years to come."

Currier added that customers are often unsure if "POTS lines are going away and we're able to go to them and say no, they're not."  

Another significant part of this relationship is the fact that Granite has also been one of the early competitive providers to agree to participate in AT&T's ongoing TDM-to-IP trials in Alabama and Florida.

Through those trials, Granite hopes to illustrate its impact on businesses that depend on traditional telephone service to interact with their customers and conduct business.

AT&T is just one of several large telcos that Granite purchases wholesale circuits from. The service provider previously struck a similar arrangement with Verizon and also works with CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL).

"A couple years ago we had a long-term extension of our Verizon (NYSE: VZ) contract, and whenever we extend these contracts it gives our customers confidence," Currier said.

But the contract with AT&T is just part of a broader growth strategy Granite has set.

Having just met its $1 billion revenue mark in September, Currier said that during its recent board meeting, the company decided to hire another 300 new employees in 2015.

"We're actively pursuing a plan to hire 300 more people in the next year to sell AT&T services as well as other services so we're really bullish about our future," he said.

For more:
- see the release

On the hot seat: Granite's Currier on how POTS, data business are growing like gangbusters

Related articles:
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Granite Telecom ready to take part in AT&T's IP transition trials
AT&T to conduct TDM-to-IP transition tests in Alabama, Florida