TelCove gets more Pa. work

Pennsylvania officials recently announced that they awarded TelCove a five-year contract extension worth more than $200 million to continue building a fiber-optic network. The telecommunications company has already laid 5,000 miles of cable for the network.

Under the new contract, which runs through 2011, TelCove will continue to monitor and maintain the network, provide backend support, and offer voice, data and Internet services. It will also deploy emerging technologies, such as voice over IP.

Joe McCourt, regional vice president for TelCove’s mid-Atlantic region, said company and state officials are working to identify state agencies for a voice-over-IP trial and determine features that the agencies want. Other opportunities include deploying a fixed wireless network for broadband access to provide redundant services, he added.

Company and state officials are also discussing ways to provide better security and redundancy for the network and services, such as disaster recovery and additional firewall protection.

The company, based in Canonsburg, Pa., will also build the network in underserved areas to help drive economic development by providing broadband connections. But McCourt said the company also looks to build a network that will also be profitable. The lion’s share of company revenues comes from metropolitan areas, he added.

"We are continuing to build fiber out to key locations that are currently not on our network," he said. "I don't think we're ever going to build fiber to every single one of them. We have a very disciplined approach to our business, which is we build our fiber networks and we stick to our principle of building it profitably."

TelCove, which currently owns and maintains 20,000 miles of fiber in 50 markets from Vermont to Florida and as far west as Kansas, will soon acquire KMC Telecom to enter another 21 markets. If the acquisition is approved, TelCove will expand its presence in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Maryland.

McCourt said those are potential areas to duplicate the success the company has had in Pennsylvania.


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