Windstream has received all of the state and federal regulatory approvals required for its acquisition of EarthLink, paving the way for the service provider to complete the deal in the first quarter.
On Feb. 24, Windstream and EarthLink will each hold special meetings of their respective stockholders in connection with the merger.
Windstream also announced that it will hold a conference call on March 1 to review the company's fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 earnings results.
The companies first announced the all-stock deal last November.
In January, the FCC announced it approved Windstream’s proposed acquisition of Windstream. At that time, the FCC said it did not receive any comments opposing the deal during the public comment period required by law.
Upon completing this acquisition, EarthLink will bring 29,000 route miles, 16,000 of which expand Windstream’s footprint, bringing its total to 145,000 route miles. These routes are strategically located in the Southeast and Northeast U.S. and are unique fiber routes that Windstream said are synergistic with its current network.
Network depth is only an element of what EarthLink brings to the table.
EarthLink will also bolster Windstream’s SD-WAN play. EarthLink previously launched its own SD-WAN service, one that allows enterprises to connect deploying an enterprise WAN that uses SDN to determine the most effective way to route traffic to remote locations, such as a company branch office. The newly combined expanded national IP network will also multiply SD-WAN availability to more business customers.
EarthLink also brings a growing base of SD-WAN customers, including a 400-restaurant contract with national restaurant chain TGI Friday's. The competitive provider is providing a full suite of services to TGI Friday's including SD-WAN Concierge, MPLS, Cloud Express and Hosted Voice.
In January, Windstream itself entered the SD-WAN race with the aim of offering the solution to mid-sized to large enterprise customers.