RCN Corporation
RCN Corporation, founded in 1993 and based in Herndon, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area of the United States. The population was 21,655 at the 2000 census, which makes it the largest of three towns in the county.-History:...

, is the first American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 facilities-based competitive ("overbuild") provider of bundled telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

, cable television
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 and high-speed internet service delivered over its own fiber-optic local network to consumers in the Boston, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Chicago areas. RCN was originally Residential Communications Network.

, RCN claims 424,000 domestic customers and 130 cable franchises.

RCN serves the following locations: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Allentown is a city located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is Pennsylvania's third most populous city, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the 215th largest city in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 118,032 and is currently...

; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

; New York City, New York; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...



RCN was originally created in 1993 by developer David McCourt and Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc., the Omaha construction giant. Kiewit also owned MFS
Metropolitan Fiber Systems
Metropolitan Fiber Systems Inc, later known as MFS Communications Company, was a last mile provider of business grade telecommunication products such as long distance, and Internet access through its own fiber rings in major central business districts throughout North America and Europe...

, a pioneering Competitive Access Provider (CAP). In a series of moves, RCN purchased C-TEC, the parent of Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Telephone (Commonwealth was spun out several years later), while MFS spun off its small residential telephone operations to RCN. MFS was later purchased by Worldcom. RCN/C-TEC became a competitive local exchange carrier
Competitive local exchange carrier
A competitive local exchange carrier , in the United States, is a telecommunications provider company competing with other, already established carriers ....

 (CLEC) when the Telecom Act of 1996 passed.

RCN then began its growth as a cable TV overbuilder, constructing competitor cable systems in markets that already had cable service. Most of its systems were partnerships with power companies, which provided rights-of-way on poles. RCN featured "triple play" television/internet/telephone service, though for some time its voice operations were largely resold incumbent telephone company lines. It purchased existing US East-Coast ISPs
Internet service provider
An Internet service provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. Access ISPs directly connect customers to the Internet using copper wires, wireless or fiber-optic connections. Hosting ISPs lease server space for smaller businesses and host other people servers...

 Erol's Internet, UltraNet Communications
Ultranet (company)
UltraNet was an Internet service provider based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA. It was founded in 1994 by Geoffrey Schultz, a former employee of DEC. It specialized in dial-up residential and high-speed business Internet access and web site hosting. In 1998, it was bought out, along with...

, Interport and JavaNet. On the West Coast, it purchased existing ISPs DNAI
dnaI also known as dnaT is a gene involved in DNA replication....

 and Brainstorm. In Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, it bought into the market by acquiring overbuilder 21st Century Telecom. The name "RCN" originally stood for "Residential Communications Network" though the parent entity was RCN Corp.

In early February 2009, RCN converted to an all-digital network. With the transition, the company is able to use the entire spectrum for digital and high-definition television
High-definition television
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

 broadcasting, reducing the need to compress signals, and offering more channels with higher-quality video service.

ABRY Partners, a private equity firm, acquired local Internet and cable-service provider RCN Corporation for $1.2 billion in 2010.

Acquisitions and selloffs

On January 21, 1998, RCN paid $110.5M for UltraNet
Ultranet (company)
UltraNet was an Internet service provider based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA. It was founded in 1994 by Geoffrey Schultz, a former employee of DEC. It specialized in dial-up residential and high-speed business Internet access and web site hosting. In 1998, it was bought out, along with...

 in Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 and Erol's
Erol's refers to two companies, both founded by Erol Onaran, a Turkish immigrant to Virginia.Erol's, Inc. was a video rental and electronic sales and repair company founded in the early 1980s. It was sold to Blockbuster Video for roughly $30 million. Its success was widespread enough to spawn...

 in Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, as reported by The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

on January 22, 1998.

On March 20, 2006 RCN bought Consolidated Edison Communications Holding Co., a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison for $32 million and $7 million in working capital.

On August 18, 2006, RCN announced it was selling its San Francisco operations, representing 18,000 subscribers, to Astound Broadband
Astound Broadband
Astound Broadband is a provider of cable TV, broadband internet, and telephone services on the American West Coast, with customers in communities in Sacramento, and the San Francisco Bay Area of California....

 for $45 million.

On September 13, 2006, Bloomberg News, citing two anonymous sources, reported that RCN hired the Blackstone Group
Blackstone Group
The Blackstone Group L.P. is an American-based alternative asset management and financial services company that specializes in private equity, real estate, and credit and marketable alternative investment strategies, as well as financial advisory services, such as mergers and acquisitions ,...

 to examine the possibility of putting the company up for sale.

External links

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