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LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Sept. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN), a leading provider of advanced network communications, today announced that analyst firm Vertical Systems Group has again recognized Windstream in its mid-year Carrier Ethernet LEADERBOARD rankings. The ranking reflects Windstream's strong growth in the U.S. Ethernet market and the company's continued investment in its national fiber networks. "The demand for Ethernet services remains strong in the segments of the market where Windstream is targeting its strategic services," said Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group. "This is Windstream's second appearance on our LEADERBOARD, and the company's continued investments in its fiber network and Ethernet service offerings indicate it is well positioned for the future." Vertical Systems Group's Carrier Ethernet LEADERBOARD is the industry's foremost benchmark for measuring Ethernet Service Provider market presence. The firm calculates port shares using the base of enterprise installations of Ethernet services, plus input from surveys of Ethernet providers. The LEADERBOARD threshold is four percent or more of billable port installations. "Windstream has made significant investments in our technology, people and processes to create a best-in-class customer experience," said Mike Shippey, president of Windstream's wholesale business unit. "A considerable amount of that investment has been focused on increasing the quality and availability of our Ethernet services. Vertical Systems Group's ranking confirms that our strategy is succeeding and that we're consistently delivering the solutions our wholesale and enterprise customers are seeking." In the last three years, Windstream has aggressively grown Ethernet market share and advanced from a Market Player (providers with port share below 1 percent) to the Challenge Tier (providers with between 1 percent and 4 percent of the U.S. retail Ethernet market), vaulting past numerous competitors when it entered the LEADERBOARD in 2015. Windstream has placed considerable focus on its Carrier Ethernet product as part of its expansion strategy, including its MEF 2.0 Certification and enabling wholesale customers to interconnect with Windstream more easily. Recently Windstream Wholesale added External Network to Network Interfaces (ENNIs) in prime locations such as Pittsburgh, Pa. (1500 Allegheny Center Mall), New York, N.Y. (60 Hudson St.), Philadelphia, Pa. (401 N. Broad St.), and St. Louis, Mo. (210 N. Tucker Blvd.). A valuable indication of the level of Carrier Ethernet expertise within a company is the number of MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professionals (CECP). Windstream employs just under 100 MEF CECPs, ranking fourth among U.S.-based service providers. For more information on Windstream and its Ethernet services, please visit carrier.windstreambusiness.com. About WindstreamWindstream Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:WIN), a FORTUNE 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications and technology solutions for consumers, small businesses, enterprise organizations and carrier partners across the U.S. Windstream offers bundled services, including broadband, security solutions, voice and digital TV to consumers. The company also provides data, cloud solutions, unified communications and managed services to business and enterprise clients. The company supplies core transport solutions on a local and long-haul fiber-optic network spanning approximately 125,000 miles. Additional information is available at www.windstream.com. Please visit our newsroom at news.windstream.com or follow us on Twitter at @Windstream.