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Suddenlink Turns 10

Suddenlink Communications, the St. Louis MSO headed by cable pioneer Jerry Kent, turned 10 on Tuesday.

Now the seventh largest MSO in the country with about 1.4 million customers in several states, Suddenlink can trace its roots back to Feb. 12, 2003, when its management team, headed by Kent, assumed responsibility for Classic Communications, a troubled small market MSO with about 300,000 subscribers.

Kent, who had helped found Charter Communications, left that position in 2001  and shortly thereafter formed Cequel III to look for cable properties to manage. While Cequel III still exists as a corporate parent, Kent renamed the cable operations Cebridge Connections in August 2003. In 2006, after acquiring cable systems with about 900,000 subscribers from Cox Communications and 240,000 customers from Charter – moves that more than quadrupled its size -- Cebridge adopted the Suddenlink Communications moniker.

 “Through the hard work of our team, an unrelenting focus on customer care, plus transformative acquisitions, billions of dollars in financings and capital investments, we turned a small, bankrupt company into the nation’s seventh largest cable operator with financial and operating results that are among the very best in the industry,” Kent said in a statement. “In 2003, several friends in the industry called to ask me why we agreed to take on such a long-shot risk. A decade later, our team has made that long shot look like a sure thing. My hat is off to them for everything they’ve accomplished. It’s been an incredible journey.” 

Company Timeline: Selected Milestones

Feb. 2003 – Began managing Classic Communications

June 2003 – Acquired Kingwood, TX, cable system from Shaw Communications

Aug. 2003 – Changed name to Cebridge Connections

Jan. 2004 – Acquired cable systems from Alliance Communications Partners

April 2004 – Acquired cable systems from Thompson Cablevision

June 2004 – Acquired cable systems from Tele-Media Corporation

Aug. 2004 -- Acquired cable systems from USA Media

May 2006 – Acquired cable systems from Cox serving approx. 900,000 customers

July 2006 – Acquired cable systems from Charter serving approx. 240,000 customers

Jan. 2007 – Began expansive rollout of phone service

May 2008 – Completed West Texas fiber ring

Nov. 2008 – Opened new $3.5 million call center in Parkersburg, W. Va.

Feb. 2009 – Launched TV Caller ID

April 2009 – Launched business-class phone

May 2009 – Began expansion of home security service

Aug. 2009 – Launched WiFi@Home; expanded DOCSIS 3.0 roll out

Nov. 2009 – Launched Project Imagine (3-year, $350 million capital investment program)

Mar. 2010 – Introduced High-Speed Internet MAX 107.0 service

Aug. 2010 – Acquired Greenwood, Miss., cable system from Windjammer

Aug. 2010 – First major cable operator to have all technicians SCTE certified

Sept. 2010 – Reached 3 million revenue generating units (RGUs)

Dec. 2010 – Launched TiVo® HD/DVR

April 2011 – Acquired NPG Cable

June 2011 – Launched Suddenlink2GO online video service  

Sept. 2012 – Completed Project Imagine

Oct. 2012 – Launched TiVo Stream

Nov. 2012 – Reached 1 million high-speed Internet customers

Nov. 2012 – Company acquired by management and new equity investors