Counting Money

Consolidated Communications has won $160 million in broadband funding since 2019, said the company’s CEO Bob Udell on the company’s second quarter earnings call today. The company also discussed its plan to sell its operations in the state of Washington.

Apparently the company won $10 million during the quarter because it had won $150 million over the same period as of the end of first quarter.

Also on today’s call, the company revealed plans to sell its operations in the state of Washington to investment firm Palisade Infrastructure. A search of the Palisade website uncovered a press release announcing the deal dated August 1 and apparently issued without fanfare.

Consolidated Washington Sale

The transaction includes Consolidated’s incumbent networks in Ellensburg and Yelm, which include fiber and DSL broadband.

Selling the Washington operations will “boost liquidity and fund additional expansion,” said Consolidated Chief Financial Officer Fred Graffam on today’s call. Graffam noted that the operations generated $21 million in revenue in 2022.

Consolidated has been selectively selling some assets. Last year the company sold its Kansas City assets to Everfast Fiber Networks and sold its Ohio operations to Hanson Communications.

Other highlights of today’s call:

  • The company’s average cost to pass a home with fiber broadband averages $750 to $800, although it was a higher $865 for the quarter
  • The company’s first quarter 2021 cohort (apparently defined as services launched in that quarter) has achieved a 21.5% take rate at the two-year mark. The 2022 cohort take rate has hit 13.4%. The first quarter 2023 cohort already has hit 12.2% and the second quarter 2023 cohort has hit nearly 9%
  • Fiber revenue growth was up 58% over the same period a year ago. The average monthly revenue per user for consumer fiber was $68.29, up 5.1% as more customers choose higher speed tiers
  • Forty-three percent of the company’s footprint is now fiber

A replay of today’s call is available at this link.

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