Consolidated Communications Expands Cloud Service to Six Metro Areas in US
Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI) recently announced that it would be expanding its business cloud services to six different U.S. market areas. Customers in the Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, and Mattoon, Illinois will have access to CCI’s UC, cloud compute, data protection, and cloud WiFi services. These communities range from small town to large regional metro areas.
Based in Mattoon, about 180 miles south of Chicago, CCI provides communications services to business and residential customers in 11 states. Its services include phone, digital TV, high-speed Internet, home automation, and security.
At first glance, CCI’s expansion seems like a good business decision. Four of the six markets (Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City) where CCI is expanding its business cloud services are ranked in the top 100 on Forbes’ Best Places For Business And Career. Dallas has long been the home of several major corporations and Houston is the fourth most-populated U.S. city, and has 25 companies listed in the Fortune 500 list.
Long known as a major producer of beef and center for the railroad industry, the Kansas City economy is growing in the area of international trade, and has become a center for tech startups. Pittsburgh is well-known for reinventing itself from being the center of the steel industry to a more diverse economy, including technology.
The two remaining cities receiving CCI expansion are in the ‘not like the others’ category and it might seem puzzling as to why the company chose those locations. Sacramento had experienced an economic downturn, but community leaders are behind efforts to spur economic growth.
It would be easy to dismiss CCI’s expansion in the Mattoon area as nothing more than a company doing business near its home base, but that would be overly simplistic. The city has seen more than its share of plant closings and economic decline; adding technological infrastructure, combined with the relatively low costs of doing business in the area would make the area more enticing to businesses looking to relocate or open a branch. Although it has a long way to go in terms of improving income, according to one source, Mattoon is ahead of national averages on unemployment rate and job growth; both future and present.
Although CCI’s decision to expand its cloud services in certain locations is ultimately motivated by business, the company is playing an important, albeit limited, role in the economic reinvention in some communities by providing technological infrastructure. Having such infrastructure could make the difference between a future of prosperity or a future of boarded-up factories.