RCN Corporation

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This article is about the American communications company. For the Colombian broadcasting company, see RCN TV.
RCN Corporation
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1993
Key people
Jim Holanda, CEO
Services Residential & Business Services
High Speed Internet
Digital Television
Digital Phone
Revenue $636 Million
Owner ABRY Partners
Number of employees
1,315 [1]
Website RCN.com

RCN Telecom Services, LLC, through its local market affiliates (“RCN”), provides high-speed Internet, all-digital TV and telephony services to both residential and commercial customers within its network. The company operates fiber rich cable-based broadband networks that serve the Boston, Chicago, and New York City areas, as well as Lehigh Valley, PA, Delaware County, PA, and the greater Washington, DC area. A facilities-based competitive carrier (its fiber network spans over 6,000 miles), RCN's advanced digital services are delivered through proprietary, fiber optic network and supported by 100% U.S. based customer service.

RCN is a robust competitor and the only cable over-builder that competes in several major U.S. geographic markets directly with cable companies such as Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T U-Verse, Service Electric and Verizon FiOS/DSL. RCN offers a full suite of services in data, voice and video for both residential and business subscribers.


RCN was originally created in 1993 and became a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) when the Telecom Act of 1996 passed. Some of its systems were partnerships with power companies, which provided rights-of-way on poles. Such partnerships included joint ventures with Boston Edison in Boston and Potomac Electric Company in Washington DC. RCN then began its growth as a cable TV competitive provider or over-builder, constructing competitor cable systems in markets that already had cable service. In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, RCN took a controlling interest in C-TEC in the early 1990s. Twin County Cable in Lehigh Valley, PA and Liberty Cable in New York City were additionally acquired by RCN. RCN also purchased existing US East-Coast Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) including Erol's Internet, UltraNet Communications, Interport, and JavaNet. In Chicago, RCN bought into the market by acquiring overbuilder 21st Century Telecom.

1993: RCN was founded and established to provide telecommunications services to the residential marketplace. RCN took a controlling interest in C-TEC, a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania-based telephone and cable-television company.

1995: Twin County Cable in Lehigh Valley, PA was acquired. Together, these operations were interconnected to form a highly competitive, customer-service oriented company with advanced fiber network facilities. 1996: In conjunction with the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, RCN jumpstarted its expansion plan with the acquisition of Liberty Cable, a company providing television services to New York City buildings. RCN also expanded into Boston and Washington DC by forging joint ventures with Boston Edison in Boston and Potomac Electric Power Company in Washington DC.

1997: RCN began building a full-service fiber- rich network, market by market, with the plan of achieving a presence within multiple markets of the country. The vision was to offer customers an attractively priced bundle of services: telephone, cable, and high-speed Internet.

1998: RCN continued to expand into the Internet service providers (ISPs) space through several acquisitions of smaller ISPs in the Northeast.

1999: RCN enters the Chicago market, acquiring 21st Century Telecom Group Inc. RCN expanded the footprint of the Chicago market by additionally laying thousands of miles of fiber.

2004-2007: Through numerous acquisitions over the previous 10+ years, RCN’s fiber-rich network and facilities expansions allowed the company to provide additional business retail telecom services in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. In 2006, the company/headquarters transitioned to Herndon, VA following a restructuring with a new executive team and board of directors. The company remained public. RCN acquired Con Edison Communications (CEC), a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., with its own fiber-optic network in New York City. The combination of CEC with RCN’s existing business services capability created the subsidiary RCN Business Solutions.

2008: Now equipped with two business units, RCN Residential and Business Services, the company served multiple customer segments and continued to win customers in all of its markets.

2009: RCN completed its upgrade to an all-digital video platform, enabling an increase in high-definition availability. That same year, RCN partnered with digital-video recorder (DVR) supplier TiVo to offer customers digital TV with a full suite of broadband entertainment options.

2010: ABRY Partners, a private equity firm, acquired RCN Corporation for $1.2 billion in 2010. RCN made TiVo its primary DVR platform and began offering customers a co-branded TiVo DVR from RCN. This co-branded, uniquely configured product for RCN's residential customers goes dramatically beyond the traditional DVR, combining digital TV with a universe of broadband delivered entertainment. With built-in capabilities, customers get entertainment from a variety of sources including On Demand, YouTube, Netflix, Pandora and more.

2011: RCN becomes the first operator in the country to offer TiVo's whole home solution, marketed as the TiVo Whole Home Bundle from RCN. The TiVo Premiere Quad DVR was made available to RCN customers, blending high-definition TV, RCN On Demand and Internet content into one user experience, all on a device with four tuners and more recording space.

2012: RCN embarked upon a rebranding of the company, introducing three new brand pillars for residential and business, each. Those pillars are Service, Entertainment and Value for residential and Technology, Choice and Partnership for business. With new leadership, increased investments, tech-forward focus and a strengthened workforce, RCN recommitted itself to its customers, with a renewed vision for delivering outstanding U.S. based customer service.

2013: RCN won PC Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for best cable broadband ISP. Rated #1 in satisfaction and at the top of the list for Internet speed.

RCN lead the way by becoming one of the first operators to be a Netflix Open Connect Partner. As a Netflix Open Connect partner, RCN offers Internet customers something few other providers can—faster Netflix connections and the best Netflix viewing experience. In the first ever Netflix Regional ISP Speed Ranking, RCN was rated #1 for best viewing experience, faster start-up times and more reliable playback.

RCN continued to re-invest in its infrastructure and began to roll out higher Internet speeds of 110Mbps. RCN also unveiled plans for its extensive TV Everywhere product, to be available on PCs, tablets and mobile devices, pairing the intuitive user experience of TiVo. The official name of the TV Everywhere product, RCN2GO, would be introduced to customers on PCs.

RCN completed a major upgrade to its On Demand platform, with the capacity to offer five times more On Demand programs than previously offered. As part of the upgrade, over 40 new networks were added with more anticipated.

RCN became the first pay-TV operator in the U.S. to launch the Opera TV Store on its cable-supplied TiVo boxes, a move that made way for hundreds of broadband-delivered video, music, gaming, and social media apps to be available right on TVs through its TiVo boxes.

2014: RCN launched a new service allowing Digital TV subscribers to stream Netflix movies and shows right on their TiVo DVRs, the same as watching a regular cable channel. RCN is one of the first three cable operators in the U.S. to offer Netflix in this manner. RCN also unveiled its most powerful DVR from TiVo, with the ability to record six HD shows at once with a 1TB hard drive that stores up to 150 HD hours of shows.

RCN received “YouTube HD Verified” status, earning the company the highest ranking Google offers due to its strong, consistent and smooth delivery of high-definition (HD) over-the-top (OTT) content across its Internet platform in all six RCN markets.

RCN doubled its upload speeds and introduced 330Mbps download speeds in its New York City market.

RCN Business earned its Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Certification and was one of only nine carriers to do so. Achieving MEF CE 2.0 certification indicates the ability of a communications provider to deliver today’s most advanced Ethernet services.

RCN maintained its #1 status on the Netflix ISP Speed Ranking report. In the markets where RCN provides service, RCN was rated #1 for best viewing experience, faster start-up times and more reliable playback for all of 2014.

2015: RCN increases the number of TV-to-GO apps available to its Digital TV customers, allowing them to access programming anytime, anywhere. Such additions include the “Watch” apps for ESPN, Disney, ABC, Tennis Channel, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, DIY, Travel Channel and many more.

RCN Business Services[edit]

In 2012, RCN re-launched its Business Services division, offering a full suite of communications products and services to businesses of all sizes. RCN Business is a facilities-based provider that offers extensive fiber density with redundancy and superior performance.

RCN Business Services operates over 6,000 miles of fiber located in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley (PA), New York City and Washington, D.C. The business unit offers high-speed Internet, voice, video and network solutions for businesses of all sizes via RCN’s wholly-owned, fiber-network. In 2014, RCN Business was among the first nine U.S. carriers to earn the Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Certification.

RCN Business Services[edit]

  • Private Data Networks
  • Traditional telephone and Voice over IP (VOIP) business lines
  • Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) trunking for business lines
  • Bi-directional Ethernet connections up to 10 Gbps
  • Co-Location at hub locations
  • DIA (Dedicated Internet Access)
  • Dark Fiber


In 2012, RCN began a rebrand of the company, emphasizing its renewed focus towards customer service. RCN reinforced its new leadership, increased investments, tech-forward focus and a strengthened workforce. With the goal of establishing that RCN is not just another cable TV company or ISP – RCN launched three new brand pillars – Service Redefined, Entertainment Redefined, and Life Redefined. The Business Services brand was built based on the idea of consultation through Partnership and offers an array of products and services with Choice and a wholly-owned, state of the art network, based on its superior Technology.


RCN TV broadcasts local sports, community events, classic movies and TV shows, as well as lifestyle and educational programming. RCN TV can be found on channel 4 in the Lehigh Valley and channel 8 in the Delaware Valley. Sports programming includes Lafayette sports, Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC) and Colonial League scholastic events, RCN Sports Talk, Blue Mountain League baseball, stock car racing from Grandview Speedway and Delaware Valley Outdoors. Community event coverage includes The Great Allentown Fair, Celtic Classic, and the Lehigh Valley Zoo. In addition, viewers can enjoy lifestyle programming such as Disc Golf Monthly, The Jolly Joe Timmer Show, The Phil Stahl Show, Spanish-language shows, The Chef’s Kitchen, Save the Kales, The Movie Loft and Brain Candy. In addition, RCN TV runs the Lafayette Sports Network, broadcasting many home and away games of their football and basketball teams. RCN TV also broadcasts classic sitcoms similar to TV Land, such as The Lucy Show, Mr. and Mrs. North, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriett, and several others. When the channels are not broadcasting this type of programming, they broadcast Valley Connection, which is similar to a cable company electronic community bulletin board.


  1. ^ "Employee Information Report RCN Telecoms LLC" (PDF). RCN Telecom Services LLC. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 

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