Phoenix of Tennessee, a Nashville-based telecom company, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is laying the blame on Google Fiber. According to the Nashville Business Journal, Google Fiber’s slow entry did not help the already financially strapped Phoenix.
In 2015, Phoenix filed permits to build several fiber hubs at $60,000 each, as part of Google Fiber’s plan to bring the ultra-fast network to Nashville. It was highly touted not only for its speed but also as a potential boost to the city’s brand and a way to attract tech-minded talent to Nashville, reported the Nashville Business Journal. However, in 2016, Google Fiber stalled its national plans and progress in Music City has been slow.
Other companies associated with Google Fiber in the Nashville area are having challenges as well. In December, Google Fiber’s main local contractor, Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corp., announced it was laying off 70 employees.
According to Alex Payne, attorney for Phoenix, “Phoenix has installed several fiber hubs and is still waiting on payment from some contractors on the projects it has already finished. Phoenix purchased new equipment specifically for fiber installations, so instead of helping Phoenix to stay profitable, the build-up for fiber only increased Phoenix’s ongoing debt load.”
In the bankruptcy filing, Phoenix listed between $100,001 and $500,000 in assets and between $1 million and $10 million in total liabilities. According to Payne, Phoenix currently plans to fulfill all open contracts it had before filing for Chapter 11, but will reevaluate any that are operating at a loss; the company also hopes to satisfy all its creditors.
October 4, 2017