Teligent, Mpower latest providers to run into trouble

The shakeout in the competitive service provider market continued this week with fixed wireless provider Teligent Inc. filing for bankruptcy protection and high-speed Internet and telephony firm Mpower Communications announcing it will exit some markets.

Teligent's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday came as no surprise. Earlier this year, longtime CEO Alex Mandl resigned, and this month the company laid off about 800 employees.

According to Teligent's filing, as of Dec. 31, 2000, the provider had US$1.65 billion in debts and $1.21 billion in assets.

Teligent's lenders will keep with company running during the bankruptcy proceedings, Teligent officials say.

Meanwhile, Mpower, in a effort to reach positive earnings by the end of 2002, is scaling its operations back to 28 markets and laying off about 275 employees - approximately 13% of its workforce.

Over the next 30 to 90 days, Mpower will cease operations in Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, Nashville, Orlando, Jacksonville, San Jose, St. Louis, Kansas City, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Little Rock and Wichita.

After the cutbacks, Mpower will have 12 switches, 603 central office collocation facilities and over nine million lines deployed to its customer base, which consists mainly of small businesses.

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