Alaska Communications President and CEO Anand Vadapalli joined the company in 2006 after a distinguished career at telecommunications companies including Valor Telecom, Network Telephone Corp. and Broadwing/Cincinnati Bell. Within five years Vadapalli had ascended to the top spot at Alaska Communications, where he has focused on expanding the company's offerings to include managed IT services.
Vadapalli was recently elected Chair of USTelecom’s Board of Directors, and he took a little time to talk with us about what’s happening at Alaska Communications, as well as in the broader telecom industry.
Tell us about Alaska Communications.
Alaska Communications (NASDAQ: ALSK) is Alaska’s leading broadband and managed IT service provider. Committed to exceptional customer service, we are a trusted partner for state and local governments, businesses, schools, and health care providers. Our network serves as our cloud enablement platform with superb security and reliability, built on a string of “firsts” in Alaska – the first internet service provider, the first Metro Ethernet, MPLS and VPLS provider, the first Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certified provider, and the first Microsoft ExpressRoute partner. We take pride in our technology and network. We take greater pride in our people. Alaska Communications stands for local, reliable, and trustworthy customer service.
What’s your biggest or most recent corporate accomplishment?
We have repositioned our company to be a leader in broadband and managed IT services. Benefiting from strategic transactions to divest our wireless operations, we have one of the lowest leverage ratios in our sector. Driven by performance from our Enterprise & Carrier verticals, we have demonstrated consistent top line growth, again one of the few in our sector to do so.
When you think about your company’s future, what, if anything, keeps you up at night?
We think of ourselves as a scrappy competitor that wins the trust of our customers based on our technology, the service offered by our people and the solutions we bring to bear. I would like to see the regulatory and policy environment reflect market and technology realities and foster competition on an even footing for all players for the benefit of all customers.
What do you expect will be the major trends to affect the industry next year?
The need for broadband will continue to surge due to the tremendous demand by a variety of applications like video, cloud migration, augmented and virtual reality, etc. As we have in the past, we will continue to make meaningful investments in our network and infrastructure to support this growth in consumption. We will all need to think about evolving business models that allow us to generate adequate return on the investments we make.
What are two websites that you can’t get through the day without checking?
Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.