Kenwood Press

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News: 03/15/2015

Frontier to buy Verizon Communications, maybe

Kenwood’s phone company, owned by Verizon Communications, will become the property of Connecticut-based Frontier Communications, if the sale is approved by shareholders and federal authorities sometime in the next year or so. Kenwood is one of many smaller, isolated land line systems and cell towers that Verizon is divesting in Texas, Florida and California, in a deal worth anywhere from $8.6 to $10.54 billion, depending on the news source.

“All Verizon wireline assets, including those in Kenwood are part of the deal,” Verizon public relations spokesman Jarryd Gonzales said via email. “We do not expect any changes for Verizon customers. And when the deal closes in the first half of 2016, there will be a smooth transition to Frontier, with whom we’ve had similar deals.”

Kenwood’s small service area was originally consolidated with others in Los Gatos, Morgan Hill and Novato by Western Telephone Company. It was sold to General Telephone, which became GTE, and then sold to Verizon in the 1990s.

Verizon has never upgraded the local phone exchange on Randolph and Clyde streets to accommodate Internet service, although in the past few months, several residents have reported Verizon crews replacing existing lines with fiber optic cable, a prerequisite to providing high-speed Internet and other data services, such as are already available in surrounding areas serviced by Pacific Telephone.

According to USA Today, the deal includes “Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin as well as some assets in California.”

Frontier’s federal corporate filings say it is the “largest communications company providing services mainly to rural areas and small and medium sized towns and cities in the United States.” Like others, they offer a variety of voice, data and video services, either bundled or standalone.

Verizon is currently offering “high-speed” Internet and data services to Kenwood residents on its website, but a call to the order number gets a “service not available there” response.

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