Despite owning one of the largest fixed wireless broadband communications networks in the country, Winstar Communications has hit a very rough patch.
In April, it suspended its network build-out and fired nearly half of its employees; sued Lucent Technologies for $10 billion, accusing the gearmaker of breaching a strategic partnership contract; and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
"Obviously, its a very tough market out there," says company spokesman Kevin Cavanaugh.
Still, Winstar is a leading competitive local exchange carrier, with $759 million in 2000 revenue, split between voice and data services.
Winstar has been one of the most vocal advocates in the fight to free up access for competitors against regional Bells. Its focus on fixed wireless was conceived to avoid the logistical and legal complications of colocating gear on Bell networks.
CEO William J. Rouhanas goal has been to provide a "T1 [1.5 megabits per second] to every desktop," though the company is fighting to emerge from bankruptcy with a fresh balance sheet, less debt and more operating flexibility.