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Thursday, November 06, 2003
Utility telecom: "Progress Telecom and EPIK Communications to Merge Operations; The New Progress Telecom Will Provide Extended Reach"
Power utility Progress Energy is merging its' Progress Telecom subsidiary with Odyssey Telecorp's EPIK Communications. Progress will own 55% of the combined entity and Odyssey 45%. Odyssey Telecorp is a telecommunications investment firm based in Palo Alto, California.
EPIK was originally owned by Florida East Coast Industries, owner of the Florida East Coast Railroad; FEC sold EPIK to Odyssey last December.
Progress Energy owns power utilities in the Carolinas and Florida; much of Progress Telecom's fiber is installed on high voltage power transmission lines owned either by Progress Energy or other power utilities. Progress Telecom's network stretches along the coast from New York City to Miami. Aerial fiber cables placed high on hurricane-resistant transmission towers are more reliable than any form of buried installation -- even along railroad rights-of-way (derailments can easily and violently dig up cables buried as deep as six feet). This reliability has given Progress and other utility-owned fiber networks a competitive advantage in the wholesale telecommunications business.
Portions of Progress Telecom's fiber network were designed by Fiber Planners. (Later segments were designed by in-house staff as the company grew and expanded its' own design capabilities.)