Expands Service Offerings and Gains Statewide Presence
Weare, N.H.-based Granite State Communications (GSC) announced on December 28, 2011 it has completed its acquisition of Hooksett, N.H.-based Cocci Computer Services, a computer networking and hardware solutions company. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Over the last few years, I’ve often written about the public ILECs and their search for new revenue streams. Business services, data centers and cloud computing are just a few of the various new services some ILECs are providing as a way to offset the decline of the traditional telephone business. With some experts predicting the public switched telephone network (PSTN) will be gone by 2018 as Americans are increasingly cutting the cord in favor of wireless and IP-based voice services, ILECs no longer have time to take a “wait and see” approach. And with its acquisition of Cocci, GSC has taken a proactive approach to the future.
GSC today is the result of the merger of what were once four separate telephone companies: Chester Telephone Company, Sandown Telephone Company, Weare Telephone Company and Triangle Telephone Company. Company origins go back to 1877 in Chester, N.H. when the state legislature granted a charter to what was then known as the Chester and Derry Telegraph Company. GSC provides telephone and Internet services to 9,000 customers in seven N.H. communities, and has recently been deploying fiber optic cable in portions of its service area. But, access lines have fallen at a compound annual rate of approximately 6% over the last two years. And while the rate of losses slowed considerably in 2010 compared to 2009, it’s unlikely that growth in broadband revenue will both offset declining access line revenue and provide long-term sustainable growth.
Cocci has been providing computer networking solutions to small and mid-sized businesses statewide for more than 28 years. The Company offers a range of services including network installation and security, server and desktop monitoring, and offsite data backup and disaster recovery, with plans to introduce additional cloud services and mobility solutions in the near term. “These services fit perfectly into the long-range planning for Granite State Communications as we work to increase our customer base and expand our list of products available to the public,” says GSC president Susan Rand King.
By acquiring Cocci, GSC has gained a new list of services it can offer to its existing customers. But perhaps more importantly, GSC, through Cocci, now has a statewide presence where before it was limited to its seven community service area. This acquisition certainly provides GSC with a platform for growth, and it now comes down to execution.