These stories had our readers talking this week.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

June 19, 2020

6 Min Read
Weekly Calendar

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) blasted AT&T cutting jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Windstream says Charter Communications must pay for its deceptive mailer about its chapter 11 bankruptcy.

And in a surprise move, Vonage channel chief Mario DeRiggi left his post to become Fusion Connect’s new CRO.

Those stories had our readers talking this week. But that’s not all.

CenturyLink will replace copper in several more states this fall. That story also generated buzz this week.

Catch up on all the action as we take a look at our top seven stories of the week below.

7. Telarus, Avant Tackle Corporate Responsibility During Racial Inequality Crisis

The CEOs of Telarus and Avant Communications emphasized the importance of corporate responsibility during the ongoing racial injustice and inequality crisis.

The Xposure Inclusion & Diversity Council discussion included Telarus CEO Adam Edwards and Avant Communications CEO Ian Kieninger. The theme was corporate responsibility during this crisis.

Kieninger said we’ve seen a great awakening, but this systemic issue hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Also, we’ve been treating the symptoms — not the “disease,” he said.

“It’s not going to heal unless we get rid of it,” he said. “Recent events have shown how deep and impactful it is. It’s time to listen. There are people who don’t see it, and it could be they want to be blind to it or they’re not around it, but … they don’t have an excuse not to get engaged and listen. It has enabled us to have the dialogue now.”

Edwards said it was important for his company to take action. Telarus‘ leadership team let all of the company’s employees know that “we hurt with you,” he said. The company also formed a committee to address inclusion issues.

Read our coverage of the event.

6. RapidScale Promotes Windstream, Intelisys Vet to Chief Operations Officer

RapidScale promoted Duane Barnes to chief operations officer.

As COO, Barnes is responsible for the company’s architecture, solutions engineering, service delivery, software engineering and customer support. He has been interim chief operations officer since January. Before that, he was senior vice president of technology.

Barnes’ previous jobs include vice president, director and other leadership roles at Windstream, Open-Xchange and Intelisys.

Our report includes more details about his plans.

5. Westcon Named Master Agent for Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral

Distribution giant Westcon became one of the first master agents for Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral to serve European partners.

Westcon will offer Avaya Cloud Office to its agents in the U.K., Ireland, France and the Netherlands. It also will further strengthen its collaboration and networking business unit.

Westcon’s influence and expertise across EMEA make it a strategic distributor for Avaya Cloud Office in Europe,” said Trevor von Puttkammerl, Avaya’s international distribution leader. “The value that Westcon provides to its customers throughout its sales process and the relationships that the organisation has across the market will help us accelerate the adoption of Avaya Cloud Office across Europe.”

Find out more about Westcon’s plans here.

CenturyLink is asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve copper retirement in a number of states this fall.

The retirements are due primarily to growth in the areas. CenturyLink will replace copper loops with fiber loops as customers migrate to higher speed broadband. It provides that broadband over its fiber-to-the-home overlay architecture.

The copper retirement will happen in parts of Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

In addition to accommodating for growth, CenturyLink said road construction and maintenance problems often prompt copper retirements.

Our report provides more details.

3. Fusion Connect Nabs Vonage Channel Chief, PaeTec, Broadview Alum as CRO

Mario DeRiggi, who spent less than two years as Vonage channel chief, is Fusion Connect‘s new chief revenue officer.

There is familiarity in the move for DeRiggi; He worked with…

Brian Crotty, Fusion’s new CEO, at Broadview Networks, which Windstream acquired in 2017.. Crotty was COO and DeRiggi was executive vice president.


Fusion Connect’s Mario DeRiggi

Fusion emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, eliminating about $400 million of its long-term debt in the reorganization. Fusion’s lenders now own the company.

At Vonage, DeRiggi was senior vice president of channel sales and business development. He joined Vonage in October 2018.

“I am thrilled to join the Fusion Connect team,” DeRiggi said. “Fusion Connect’s vision for the future of communication and collaboration, its customer-focused culture, and world-class team have the makings for an incredible company. I am excited about the opportunity to use my experience around building enterprise programs to further transform Fusion Connect.”

Read more about what Crotty says about DeRiggi here.

2. Windstream: Time for Charter to ‘Face the Consequences’ of Mailer Impact

Windstream wants Charter Communications to pay for its deceptive mailer about its chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The communications giant says it lost nearly $20 million and 1,400 customers because of the mailer. That’s according to its post-trial memorandum it filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court. It asks the court to issue a verdict requiring Charter to pay nearly $20 million for its losses, as well as all attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.

Windstream filed chapter 11 bankruptcy last February.

“The time has now come for Charter to face the consequences of its unlawful actions and its frivolous and dilatory conduct of this litigation,” Windstream said in the filing.

David Avery, Windstream’s vice president of corporate affairs, said to expect a court decision next month. Charter declined to comment.

Our report includes more details about the litigation.

1. CWA Says AT&T Job Cuts to Impact Thousands Nationally

The CWA this week criticized AT&T cutting jobs amid the pandemic. The cuts reportedly will displace over 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country over the next few weeks.

The CWA also said AT&T plans to permanently close more than 250 AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless stores, affecting 1,300 retail jobs.

Chris Shelton, CWA president, said AT&T cutting jobs is “adding to the pain of the recession already underway.”

AT&T confirmed the layoffs, saying “these actions align with our focus on growth areas along with lower customer demand for some legacy products and the economic impact and changed customer behaviors resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Read our report for more details on AT&T cutting jobs.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like