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Windstream Bankruptcy Draws Nasdaq Delisting, Congressman's Scorn

Windstream says it's "business as usual" and monthly commissions were just paid.

Edward Gately

March 4, 2019

3 Min Read
Finger Pointing

In the aftermath of its chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Windstream‘s stock is being delisted from Nasdaq while Georgia Congressman Doug Collins has accused the company of taking advantage of customers and taxpayers.

The communications giant filed for bankruptcy protection a week ago after losing its court battle with Aurelius Capital Management, a Windstream bondholder.

On March 6, Windstream’s stock will be suspended at the opening of business, and the Securities and Exchange Commission will remove Windstream’s common stock from listing and registration on Nasdaq.

The company expects that trading of its common stock on the OTC Bulletin Board or “pink sheets” market will begin on March 6 under the symbol WINQ.

Read our original story on Windstream declaring bankruptcy and our follow-up featuring at least one master agent that thinks paying commissions to partners could be a concern.

David Avery, Windstream’s vice president of corporate affairs, tells Channel Partners it’s “business as usual” and monthly commissions were paid as scheduled last week.

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Windstream’s David Avery

“Our partnership with our channel partners is very important to us, and we are committed to keeping them informed throughout this process as there are updates to share,” he said. “Partners with questions should communicate up through their normal contacts at Windstream. It is our intent to move through this process as quickly and efficiently as possible, although there is not a definitive timeline that we can share at this time.”

Collins has been especially critical of Windstream, saying the company has been “promising speeds they know they can’t meet and failing to provide consistent broadband service while collecting taxpayer dollars and receiving substantial federal tax breaks.”

“Despite its bankruptcy status, the burden of Windstream’s financial problems cannot fall on the shoulders of taxpayers who depend on their services to access the internet,” he said. ” Windstream must continue to meet its obligations under the Connect America Fund to provide broadband service to rural communities like northeast Georgia.”

Avery said Windstream has been in compliance with all Connect America Fund milestones and requirements, and will continue to be throughout this process.

Collins said he’s received “hundreds upon hundreds” of complaints from residents regarding “virtually every aspect” of Windstream’s service in northeast Georgia.

“Businesses have been unable to operate efficiently because of unreliable service,” he said. “Students in rural areas fail to gain access to high-speed internet they need to complete their school work at home. Despite repeated efforts to prompt Windstream to address these issues, they continue to fall short.”

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner Geoffrey Starks said he will keep close eye on proceedings.

“Windstream provides critical 911 service and I will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure that there are no disruptions,” he said. “Windstream also provides broadband service to over 1 million customers across the U.S. and it is essential that their interests are represented and protected as the company reorganizes. I will also be watching to ensure that Windstream makes proper use of the millions of dollars in Universal Service funding it receives and that it meets all broadband connectivity and other commitments related to that funding. I’m sure that this process is unsettling for Windstream’s customers and employees, so I am glad that Windstream took immediate steps to ensure that it can continue to operate.”

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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.

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