Overbuilder banking on Nashville


Unable to further tap the capital markets, cable and telephone overbuilder Digital Access is shelving plans to simultaneously build systems in four markets, shrinking to just one system, in Nashville.

Armed with $450 million in equity commitments from investors, Digital Access Chairman Joe CeCe had secured franchises in metro Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mo. and Nashville. But with the debt markets now shut to telecom startups, CeCe said he will concentrate all his resources in Nashville.

Municipal officials in suburban Milwaukee and Indianapolis were notified last week that construction would be delayed as much as two years. CeCe scrapped plans for Kansas City last month after disputes with local regulators. "In a very capital-constrained market we need to deploy our equity base dollars as efficiently as possible," CeCe said. - John Higgins