Windstream seeks permission to shutter Centrex and BRI-ISDN services in Omaha, Nebraska

Windstream wants to turn off the Centrex and BRI-ISDN services it offers local business customers in Omaha, Nebraska, citing that the services are on an obsolete platform its vendor no longer supports.

Customers affected by this move will have the option to migrate to another Windstream IP-based service. 

The Centrex and BRI-ISDN services are provided on an end-of-life platform that is scheduled to be decommissioned on Friday, March 31, 2017.

RELATED: Windstream to discontinue SMB DSL service in CLEC territories, says equipment is no longer supported

Windstream currently provides the Centrex and BRI-ISDN services to 162 small business customers and 125 enterprise business customers in Omaha.

Mitigating disruption

To mitigate any possible service disruption, Windstream said in an FCC filing (PDF) that it will assist affected customers in migrating their services to Windstream’s supported platform or upgrade to one of its unified communications products.

“These customers will not be unduly harmed because they are being provided ample notice of the discontinuance and are being offered alternative services to the ones being discontinued,” Windstream said in a FCC filing. “Furthermore, customers have comparable options at comparable rates from other providers serving Omaha.”

Earlier this month, Windstream sent a notice by First-Class U.S. Mail notice to all customers affected by the planned discontinuance.

The service provider is also submitting a copy of its application to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, the office of Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and the Secretary of Defense.

Protests rise

Windstream’s discontinuance requests have not been without controversy.

After filing an application in November to discontinue DSL services it offers to about 300 customers in 22 states due to low subscribership and obsolete equipment, a number of people protested the application.

While the majority of the filers that opposed the DSL continuance are not current customers and “are not affected by the proposed discontinuance,” they claim that Windstream’s moves will affect local telephone service.

Other telcos like CenturyLink have faced similar protests over requests to shut down legacy Frame Relay (FR) asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) services and data services, for example.

Similar to Windstream, CenturyLink faced opposition from local customers who also were concerned that the shutdown of FR and ATM would have an effect on local landline voice service.

While there have not been any protests yet over Windstream’s proposed shutdown of the Centrex and BRI-ISDN, it would not be surprising if such opposition emerges.