Windstream to slash 5 percent of its workforce

Verizon and AT&T aren't the only service providers that are deemphasizing their landline roots. Seeing similar opportunities to capitalize on broadband business services to plug up the bleeding from its home phone service business, Windstream announced today that it will lay off 350 employees, or 5 percent of its workforce.

With a base of 7,100 employees, Windstream said it will take a $15 million fourth-quarter charge for severance payments and benefits. To cushion the blow to its employees, Windstream said it would look for volunteers, get rid of open positions and use work attrition. The mainly rural ILEC's move follows the moves of its larger ILEC counterparts such as Verizon and AT&T who are trying to beef up their broadband, video and business service segments as customers either abandon their landline phones for a cell phone and/or defect to the cable company for phone and Internet service.

There are many obvious differences between Windstream and its larger compatriots. Unlike AT&T and Verizon, which have made large bets on IPTV and Fiber to the Premises-based services, Windstream has been a bit more conservative with its investment strategy. Instead, Windstream has focused on trying to enhance the value of its existing broadband services with its lifetime data/voice bundle and by offering satellite TV via its DISH network relationship. What's more, the ILEC has taken a less risky M&A approach than its fellow rural ILEC counterparts Frontier and the newly created CenturyLink by choosing to fill out its footprint with smaller purchases such as its acquisition of D&E Communications.  

For more:
- Reuters has this article

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