RCN Corporation

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This article is about the American communications company. For the Colombian broadcasting company, see RCN TV.
RCN Corporation
Type Private
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1993
Headquarters Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Key people Jim Holanda, CEO
Services High Speed Internet
Digital Television
Digital Telephone
Revenue $636 Million
Owners ABRY Partners
Employees 1,315 [1]
Website RCN.com

RCN Corporation, originally Residential Communications Network, founded in 1993 and based in Princeton, New Jersey, is the first American facilities-based competitive ("overbuild") provider of bundled telephone, cable television, and DSL internet service delivered over its own fiber-optic local network to consumers in the Boston, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Chicago areas.

As of 2006, RCN claimed over 424,000 domestic customers and 130 cable franchises. As of 2013 RCN's network covered offered coverage to approximately 3.8 million people making it 10th largest provider of cable broadband in the U.S.[2]

RCN serves in and/or around the following locations: Allentown, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; New York City, New York; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[3]

History[edit]

RCN (Residential Communications Network) was originally created in 1993 by developer David McCourt and Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc., the Omaha construction giant. Kiewit also owned MFS, a pioneering Competitive Access Provider (CAP). In a series of moves, RCN purchased C-TEC, the parent of Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Telephone (Commonwealth was spun out several years later), while MFS spun off its small residential telephone operations to RCN. MFS was later purchased by Worldcom. RCN/C-TEC became a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) when the Telecom Act of 1996 passed.

RCN then began its growth as a cable TV overbuilder, constructing competitor cable systems in markets that already had cable service. Most of its systems were partnerships with power companies, which provided rights-of-way on poles. RCN featured "triple play" television/internet/telephone service, though for some time its voice operations were largely resold incumbent telephone company lines. It purchased existing US East-Coast ISPs Erol's Internet, UltraNet Communications, Interport, and JavaNet. On the West Coast, it purchased existing ISPs DNAI and Brainstorm. In Chicago, it bought into the market by acquiring overbuilder 21st Century Telecom.

In early February 2009, RCN converted to an all-digital network. With the transition, the company is able to use the entire spectrum for digital and high-definition television broadcasting, reducing the need to compress signals, and offering more channels with higher-quality video service.

ABRY Partners, a private equity firm, acquired local Internet and cable-service provider RCN Corporation for $1.2 billion in 2010.[4][5]

RCN4/RCN8[edit]

RCN4 and RCN8 broadcast local sports. RCN4 is in the Lehigh Valley and RCN8 in the Delaware Valley. Programming includes Lafaytte sports, Delaware Valley Outdoors, Blue Mountain League Baseball, coverage of the Allentown Fair, Disc Golf Monthly, The Jolly Joe Timmer Show, Polkafest, District XI Wrestling, High School Football, including coverage of Easton Red Rovers games, broadcast from the gym of Easton Area Middle School 7/8. In addition, RCN4 runs the Lafayette sports network, broadcasting home and away games of their football, basketball, and baseball games and along with RCN8 also broadcasts classic sitcoms similar to TV Land, such as The Lucy Show, Mr. and Mrs. North, The Phil Stahl Show, and several others including two daily Spanish-language shows. When the channels are not broadcasting this type pf programming, they broadcast Valley Connection, which is similar to a cable company electronic community bulletin board.

Acquisitions and selloffs[edit]

In 1996, RCN bought much of C-TEC Corporation as reported by the Morning Call on March 29, 1996.[6]

On January 21, 1998, RCN paid $110.5M for UltraNet in Massachusetts and Erol's in Virginia, as reported by The Boston Globe on January 22, 1998.

On June 16, 1998, RCN paid $11 million in stock and $871,000 in cash for Interport Communications, Inc.

On July 27, 1998 RCN paid $13.4 million in stock and $2.4 million in cash for Javanet, Inc.

On March 20, 2006 RCN bought[7] Consolidated Edison Communications Holding Co., a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison for $32 million and $7 million in working capital.

On August 18, 2006, RCN announced it was selling its San Francisco operations, representing 18,000 subscribers, to Astound Broadband for $45 million.[8]

On September 13, 2006, Bloomberg News, citing two anonymous sources, reported that RCN hired the Blackstone Group to examine the possibility of putting the company up for sale.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]