Home » BCI Broadband » Recent Articles:

Former Bresnan Execs Conspire With Private Equity Firm to Abandon Broadband in Rural Kansas

Phillip Dampier February 19, 2013 BCI Broadband, Bresnan, Consumer News, NewWave Communications, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband, Video Comments Off on Former Bresnan Execs Conspire With Private Equity Firm to Abandon Broadband in Rural Kansas

allegianceMore than 20 cable systems across Kansas will be terminating television and broadband service after a private equity firm, working with former Bresnan Cable executives, deemed them unprofitable and not worth upgrading.

Residents of Conway Springs (pop. 1,250), Chetopa (1,125), Sharon (158), and Harper (1,473) are among those who will find their cable and broadband service discontinued in the coming weeks. Abandoned cable subscribers are being told to buy satellite dishes to continue watching television. No immediate broadband solution was available.

Allegiance Communications, which provides cable TV, broadband Internet, and VOIP telephony services to rural and mid-size markets in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas was acquired last month by former executives at Bresnan Communications, itself bought out by Cablevision Industries. The deal was largely financed by BBH Capital Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm.

The purchase by BCI Broadband orphaned nearly two dozen cable systems that Allegiance owned and operated, but were excluded from the sale. Subscribers are being notified they are about to be switched off permanently in letters signed by Allegiance executives.

Several Bresnan former executives are behind BCI Broadband.

Several former Bresnan Cable executives are behind BCI Broadband.

The service will leave rural Kansans without broadband service, cable television, or an alternative to AT&T and other independent phone companies operating in the state.

“This was not an easy decision for us, nor is it one that we came to hastily. The costs of doing business in Conway Springs can no longer be profitable,” Allegiance wrote in its letter, according to KSNW-TV.

Local officials in affected communities are rushing to find an alternative, appealing to providers like Southern Kansas Telephone to see if they can pick up where Allegiance left off, but the phone company has yet to respond.

Allegiance claims the outdated cable systems served few subscribers and the new owners were not interested in investing funds to upgrade them.

BCI Broadband is a new company run by former executives forced out of Bresnan Communications when the company was sold to Cablevision. BCI Broadband claims it wants to invest in system upgrades to improve service to remaining subscribers.

“Historically when we have purchased cable systems and invested in upgrading to the latest technology in markets like Shawnee, that has inevitably led to more customers and the need for more staff,” said Shawn Beqaj, vice president of public and government affairs for BCI Broadband. Beqaj was the former vice president of public affairs at Bresnan.

There has been an accelerating trend of industry consolidation among rural cable operators, particularly by private equity firms that are interested in the stable earnings cable operators usually generate.

GTCR, through its portfolio company Rural Broadband Investments LLC , separately announced its plans to acquire NewWave Communications Co., in what it hopes is just the first of a series of acquisitions. NewWave’s purchase was financed by debt capital from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., and Goldman Sachs Bank USA.

[flv width=”480″ height=”290″]http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/KSNW Wichita Small towns losing cable service 2-7-13.mp4[/flv]

KSNW-TV reports more than 20 Kansas communities will lose television and broadband service when Allegiance Communications switches off the cable systems. (2 minutes)

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • WHE: Just an FYI. A few days ago, I downgraded my Internet service from ultra to standard and they pro-rated my bill. Maybe I got lucky, but I suspect they...
  • Joe: You never bought into it, yet here you are posting comments via the Internet....
  • Jason Paiva: Yea, DOESNT WORK! I've spent years and dozens if attempts at plugging in my info, being told it could take 45-60days and continuing to get mailers. ...
  • pug: Spectrum just raised our rate from 65.99 to 69.99 here in southern Oregon for internet only. Price gouging extortionists!...
  • Nick: The coax shield might be grounded lower down, close to where it enters the house....
  • Tom: That is very bad business..cancelled my cable tv 2 days in of the billing cycle and told me I would have to pay for the services for the entire month....
  • B Woods: The image at the top of the article is a failed install. No #10 copper ground/bonding wire for lightning protection. Insurance company’s love t...
  • Amestris: You should enter your address online and see if it comes up. I was told I didn't qualify either but when I looked on their website I in fact did. My f...
  • Stuart Matelsky: Stay away from altice if you know what is good. They take your money, thats it...
  • Stuart Matelsky: Stay away unless you have low blood pressure...
  • Jonathan Wood: Nice. So instead of wireline broadband like they promised in NY, I'm sure they're going to start pushing this wireless crap as "last mile fixes" for p...
  • Steve Copeland: I got a $32 a month increase with no notice or explanation. $384/yr increase....

Your Account: