Fitch: More RLEC Consolidation

fitch_logo.gif Likely consolidation in Rural Local Exchange Carriers:
RLECs are experiencing relatively little organic growth, the company says, because the increased revenues from such growing services as high-speed data “have not materially offset declining voice revenues. The erosion of the traditional wireline voice business of the RLECs, mainly by competition from cable multiple-system operators (MSOs) and wireless operators, has already led to some industry consolidation over the past year.”

Over the longer term, RLECs also face the uncertain effects of increased competition on service revenues for the rural operators as well as uncertainties on the regulatory side.

“In the absence of meaningful organic growth, acquisitions become a means for rural carriers to increase revenues, cash flow and diversity,” says John Culver, senior director at Fitch Ratings.

Lack Of Growth Could Spell RLEC Demise, TelecomeWeb, 12 Oct 2007

The RCCC acquisition may be one of these.