atni_Current folio_10K

Table of Contents

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549


FORM 10‑K


 

 

(Mark One)

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

Or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                          to                        

 

Commission File No. 001‑12593

ATN INTERNATIONAL, INC.

 (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

47‑0728886
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

500 Cummings Center
Beverly, Massachusetts
(Address of principal executive offices)

01915
(Zip Code)

 

(978) 619‑1300

(Registrant’s telephone

number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $.01 per share

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

(Title of each class)

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well‑known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐  No ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒  No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S‑T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒  No ☐

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S‑K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10‑K or any amendment to this Form 10‑K. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.:

 

Large accelerated filer ☒

Accelerated filer ☐ 

Non‑accelerated filer ☐

Smaller reporting company ☐

 

 

(Do not check if a
smaller reporting company)

Emerging growth company ☐

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b‑2 of the Act). Yes ☐  No ☒

The aggregate market value of Common Stock held by non‑affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2017, was approximately $757 million based on the closing price of the registrant’s Common Stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

As of March 1, 2018,  the registrant had 16,028,095 outstanding shares of Common Stock, $.01 par value.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10‑K.

 

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

    

    

Page

Special Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements 

 

1

PART I 

 

 

 

Item 1. 

Business

 

2

 

Overview

 

2

 

Strategy

 

3

 

Our Services

 

6

 

Wireless Services

 

6

 

Wireline Services

 

8

 

Renewable Energy Services

 

10

 

Employees

 

13

 

Regulation

 

13

 

U.S. Federal Regulation

 

21

 

U.S. State Regulation

 

19

 

Guyana Regulation

 

20

 

Caribbean and Bermuda Regulation

 

21

 

Available Information

 

26

Item 1A. 

Risk Factors

 

26

 

Other Risks Related to Our Businesses

 

35

 

Risks Related to Our Capital Structure

 

40

Item 1B. 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

41

Item 2. 

Properties

 

41

Item 3. 

Legal Proceedings

 

41

Item 4. 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

42

PART II 

 

 

 

Item 5. 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

43

Item 6. 

Selected Financial Data

 

46

Item 7. 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

48

 

Overview

 

48

 

Results of Operations:  Years Ended December 31, 2017 and 2016

 

54

 

Results of  Years Ended December 31, 2016 and 2015

 

64

 

Regulatory and Tax Issues

 

70

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

72

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

79

Item 7A. 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

79

Item 8. 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

80

Item 9. 

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

80

Item 9A. 

Controls and Procedures

 

80

 

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

80

 

Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

80

 

Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

81

Item 9B. 

Other Information

 

81

PART III 

 

 

 

Item 10. 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

81

Item 11. 

Executive Compensation

 

84

Item 12. 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters\

 

84

Item 13. 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

84

Item 14. 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

84

PART IV 

 

 

 

Item 15. 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

85

Item 16. 

Form 10-K Summary

 

87

 

Signatures

 

88

 

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements

 

F‑1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD‑LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10‑K (this “Report”) contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other matters, our future financial performance and results of operations; the estimated timeline for restoration of our U.S. Virgin Islands operations; our estimates of total losses due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria; the competitive environment in our key markets, demand for our services and industry trends; the pace of expansion and improvement of our telecommunications network and renewable energy operations, including our level of estimated future capital expenditures and our realization of the benefits of these investments; the anticipated timing of our build schedule and the commencement of energy production of our India renewable energy projects; anticipated effects of recent changes in U.S. Tax laws; and management’s plans and strategy for the future. These forward-looking statements are based on estimates, projections, beliefs, and assumptions and are not guarantees of future events or results.  Actual future events and results could differ materially from the events and results indicated in these statements as a result of many factors, including, among others, (1) our ability to restore our networks and services to our customers in the U.S. Virgin Islands in an efficient and timely manner; (2) our ability to execute planned network expansions and upgrades in our various markets; (3) the general performance of our operations, including operating margins, revenues, capital expenditures, and the future growth and retention of our major customers and subscriber base and consumer demand for solar power; (4) government regulation of our businesses, which may impact our FCC and other telecommunications licenses or our renewables business; (5) economic, political and other risks facing our operations; (6) our ability to maintain favorable roaming arrangements and satisfy the needs and demands of our major wireless customers; (7) our ability to efficiently and cost-effectively upgrade our networks and IT platforms to address  rapid and significant technological changes in the telecommunications industry; (8) the loss of or an inability to recruit skilled personnel in our various jurisdictions, including key members of management; (9) our ability to find investment or acquisition or disposition opportunities that fit the strategic goals of the Company; (10) increased competition; (11) our ability to expand our renewable energy business; (12) our reliance on a limited number of key suppliers and vendors for timely supply of equipment and services relating to our network infrastructure; (13) the adequacy and expansion capabilities of our network capacity and customer service system to support our customer growth; (14) the occurrence of weather events and natural catastrophes; (15) our continued access to capital and credit markets; (16) the risk of currency fluctuation for those markets in which and ability to procure insurance coverage for such events at reasonable rates we operate and (17) our ability to realize the value that we believe exists in our businesses.  Statements are based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions, which in turn are based on currently available information. These assumptions could be proven inaccurate. These forward‑looking statements may be found under the captions “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Risk Factors” and “Business,” as well as in this Report generally.

You should keep in mind that any forward‑looking statement made by us in this Report or elsewhere speaks only as of the date on which we make it. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict these events or how they may affect us. In any event, these and other important factors may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by our forward‑looking statements, including those set forth in Item 1A of this Report under the caption “Risk Factors.” We have no duty to, and do not intend to, update or revise the forward‑looking statements made by us in this Report after the date of this Report, except as may be required by law.


In this Report, the words “the Company”, “we,” “our,” “ours,” “us” and “ATN” refer to ATN International, Inc. and its subsidiaries. This Report contains trademarks, service marks and trade names that are the property of, or licensed by, ATN and its subsidiaries.

References to dollars ($) refer to U.S. dollars unless otherwise specifically indicated.


 

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PART I

ITEM 1.  BUSINESS

Overview

We are a holding company that, through our operating subsidiaries, (i) owns and operates wireless and wireline telecommunications service providers in North America, Bermuda and the Caribbean, (ii) develops, owns and operates commercial distributed generation solar power systems in the United States and India, and (iii) owns and operates terrestrial and submarine fiber optic transport systems in the United States and the Caribbean. We were incorporated in Delaware in 1987, began trading publicly in 1991 and spun off more than half of our operations to stockholders in 1998. Since that time, we have engaged in strategic acquisitions and investments to grow our operations. We continue to actively evaluate additional domestic and international acquisition and investment opportunities and other strategic transactions in the telecommunications, energy‑related and other industries that meet our return‑on‑investment and other acquisition criteria. For a discussion of our investment strategy and risks involved, see “Risk Factors—We are actively evaluating investment, acquisition and other strategic opportunities, which may affect our long‑term growth prospects.”

We offer the following principal services:

·

Wireless.  In the United States, we offer wholesale wireless voice and data roaming services to national, regional, local and selected international wireless carriers in rural markets located principally in the Southwest and Midwest United States. We also offer wireless voice and data services to retail customers in Bermuda, Guyana, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States.    

·

Wireline.  Our wireline services include local telephone and data services in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Guyana, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States.  Our wireline services also include video services in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and the U.S Virgin Islands.  In addition, we offer wholesale long‑distance voice services to telecommunications carriers. Through March 8, 2017, we also offered facilities‑based integrated voice and data communications services and wholesale transport services to enterprise and residential customers in New England, primarily Vermont, and in New York State. 

·

Renewable Energy.  In the United States and India, we provide distributed generation solar power to corporate, utility and municipal customers.

The following chart summarizes the operating activities of our principal subsidiaries, the segments in which the Company reports its revenue and the markets it served as of December 31, 2017: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Segment

   

Services

   

Markets

   

Tradenames

 

U.S. Telecom

 

Wireless

 

United States (rural markets)

 

Commnet, Choice, Choice NTUA Wireless

 

 

 

Wireline

 

United States

 

Essextel

 

International Telecom

 

Wireline

 

Bermuda, Guyana, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands

 

One, GTT+, Viya, Logic, Fireminds

 

 

 

Wireless

 

Bermuda, Guyana, U.S. Virgin Islands

 

One, GTT+, Viya

 

 

 

Video Services

 

Bermuda, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands

 

One, Viya, Logic

 

Renewable Energy

 

Solar

 

United States (Massachusetts, California, and New Jersey), India

 

Ahana Renewables, Vibrant Energy

 

 

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We provide management, technical, financial, regulatory, and marketing services to our subsidiaries and typically receive a management fee equal to a percentage of their revenues, which is eliminated in consolidation. For information about our financial segments and geographical information about our operating revenues and assets, see Notes 1 and 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Report.

Our principal corporate offices are located at 500 Cummings Center, Beverly, Massachusetts, 01915. The telephone number at our principal corporate offices is (978) 619‑1300.

 Strategy

The key elements of our strategy consist of the following:

·

Target Under‑served Markets or Industries Where We Can Compete Successfully.  We operate our telecommunications businesses primarily in smaller, rural or under‑served markets where we believe we are or will be one of the leading providers of telecommunications services. Our businesses typically have strong local brand identities and market positions. By leveraging these attributes, along with our low cost of capital and our senior management expertise at the holding company level, we seek to improve and expand available products and services in our targeted markets to meet the needs of our customers better and expand our customer bases and revenues. We are particularly interested in investing in businesses that have the potential to provide a platform for future organic and strategic growth. Our solar company investments have afforded us entry into an emerging industry in which we believe there are attractive investment return opportunities and the potential to expand our business.

·

Collaborate with Local Management.  We believe that strong local management enhances our close relationship with customers and reduces risk. Wherever feasible, we seek to partner with local investors, owners or management teams who have demonstrated a successful track record or have extensive knowledge of the industry. We seek to enhance our strong market position by maintaining these relationships and by leveraging our comprehensive management experience and technical and financial expertise to assist them in further improving operations.

·

Maintain a Disciplined Earnings‑Oriented Approach.  We carefully assess the potential for earnings stability and growth when we evaluate the performance of our subsidiaries, new investment opportunities and prospective acquisitions or dispositions. In managing our more mature businesses, we seek to solidify our brands, improve customer satisfaction, add new services, control costs and preserve cash flow. In managing newer, early‑stage businesses, we seek to invest capital to improve our competitive position, increase our market share and generate strong revenue and cash flow potential. We consider new investments, acquisitions and dispositions on a disciplined, return‑on‑investment basis.

Impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria

 

During September 2017, our operations and customers in the U.S. Virgin Islands were severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria (collectively, the “Hurricanes”).  Both our wireless and wireline networks and commercial operations were severely damaged by these storms.  As a result of the significant damage to our wireline network and the ongoing lack of consistent commercial power in the territory, we were unable to provide most of our wireline services, which comprise the majority of revenue in this business, since the Hurricanes.  Accordingly, we issued approximately $19.3 million of service credits, primarily in the fourth quarter of 2017, to our subscribers which are reflected as a reduction of our wireline revenue within our International Telecom segment.  While our restoration of our wireline network is underway, we currently expect this negative impact to wireline revenue to continue into the first half of 2018, although that impact is expected to be less significant over time as services are restored to customers. As a result of the level of damage to our network and the U.S. Virgin Islands economy, it may take significant time to return to pre-hurricane revenue levels.

 

As a result of the Hurricanes, we recorded a net pre-tax loss within our consolidated statement of operations of $4.0 million during the year ended December 31, 2017.  This loss consists of a write off of $35.4 million of damaged

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assets, net of insurance recoveries of $34.6 million for which we received the proceeds in February 2018. This loss also includes $3.2 million of additional operating expenses that we specifically incurred to address the impact of the Hurricanes.

Acquisitions

During the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, we completed acquisitions within our International Telecom, Renewable Energy and U.S. Telecom segments (the “2016 Acquisitions”).

 

International Telecom

 During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, we completed our acquisitions of a controlling interest in One Communications, formerly KeyTech Limited, (the “One Communications Acquisition”) as well as all of the membership interests of Caribbean Asset Holdings LLC, the holding company for the Viya group of companies ( the “Viya Acquisition”).

 

One Communications (formerly KeyTech Limited)

 

On May 3, 2016, we completed our acquisition of a controlling interest in KeyTech Limited (“KeyTech”), a publicly held Bermuda company listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange (“BSX”) that provides broadband and cable video services and other telecommunications services to residential and enterprise customers under the “Logic” name in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.  Subsequent to the completion of our acquisition of KeyTech, KeyTech changed its name, and the “Logic” name, to One Communications Ltd (“One Communications”).   Prior to our acquisitions, One Communications also owned a minority interest of approximately 43% in the Company’s consolidated subsidiary, Bermuda Digital Communications Ltd. (“BDC”), which provides wireless services in Bermuda under the “CellOne” name. As part of the transaction, the Company contributed its ownership interest of approximately 43% in BDC and approximately $42 million in cash in exchange for a 51% ownership interest in One Communications. As part of the transaction, BDC was merged with and into a company within the One Communications group and the approximate 15% interest in BDC held, in the aggregate, by BDC’s other minority shareholders was converted into the right to receive common shares in One Communications. Following the transaction, BDC became wholly owned by One Communications, and One Communications continues to be listed on the BSX. A portion of the cash proceeds that One Communications received upon closing was used to fund a one-time special dividend to One Communications’ existing shareholders and to retire One Communications subordinated debt. On May 3, 2016, we began consolidating the results of One Communications within our financial statements in our International Telecom segment.

 

The One Communications Acquisition was accounted for as a business combination of a controlling interest in One Communications in accordance with ASC 805, Business Combinations, and the acquisition of an incremental ownership interest in BDC in accordance with ASC 810, Consolidation.  The total purchase consideration of $41.6 million of cash was allocated to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed at their estimated fair values as of the date of the acquisition. 

 

Viya (former Innovative)

 

On July 1, 2016,we completed our acquisition of all of the membership interests of Caribbean Asset Holdings LLC, the holding company for the Viya group of companies operating video services, Internet, wireless and landline services in the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and St. Maarten (“Viya”), from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (“CFC”). We acquired the Viya operations for a contractual purchase price of $145 million, reduced by purchase price adjustments of $4.9 million (the “Viya Transaction”).  In connection with the transaction, we financed $60 million of the purchase price with a loan from an affiliate of CFC, the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative (“RTFC”) on the terms and conditions of a Loan Agreement by and among RTFC, CAH and ATN VI Holdings, LLC, the parent entity of CAH and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company.  We funded $51.9 million of the purchase price in cash and subsequently paid $22.5 million to fund Viya’s pension and other postretirement benefit obligations in the fourth quarter of 2016. Following the purchase, our current operations in the U.S. Virgin

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Islands under the “Choice” name were combined with Viya to deliver residential and business subscribers a full range of telecommunications and media services.  On July 1, 2016, we began consolidating the results of Viya within our financial statements in our International Telecom segment.

 

The Viya Transaction was accounted as a business combination in accordance with ASC 805.  The $111.9 million of consideration transferred and used for the purchase price allocation, differed from the contractual purchase price of $145.0 million, due to certain GAAP purchase price adjustments related primarily to changes in working capital of $5.3 million and our agreeing to subsequently settle assumed pension and other postretirement benefit liabilities of $27.8 million.  As of December 31, 2016, we transferred consideration of $111.9 million to the seller that was allocated to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed at their estimated fair values as of the date of the acquisition. 

 

Renewable Energy

 

Vibrant Energy

On April 7, 2016, we completed our acquisition of a solar power development portfolio in India from Armstrong Energy Global Limited (“Armstrong”), a well-known developer, builder, and owner of solar farms (the “Vibrant Energy Acquisition”). The business operates under the name Vibrant Energy. We also retained several employees in India who are employed by us to oversee the development, construction and operation of the India solar projects. The projects to be developed initially are located in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and are based on a commercial and industrial business model, similar to our existing renewable energy operations in the United States.  As of April 7, 2016, we began consolidating the results of Vibrant Energy in our financial statements within our Renewable Energy segment.

 

The Vibrant Energy Acquisition was accounted for as a business combination in accordance with ASC 805, Business Combinations (“ASC 805”).  The total purchase consideration of $6.2 million cash was allocated to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed at their estimated fair values as of the date of the acquisition.   

 

U.S. Telecom

 

In July 2016, we acquired certain telecommunications fixed assets and the associated operations in the western United States.  The acquisition qualified as a business combination for accounting purposes.  We transferred $9.1 million of cash consideration in the acquisition.  The consideration transferred was allocated to $10.2 million of acquired fixed assets, $3.5 million of deferred tax liability, and $0.7 million to other net liabilities, resulting in goodwill of $3.1 million. Results of operations for the business are included in the U.S. Telecom segment and are not material to our historical results of operations. 

 

Dispositions

 

International Telecom

 

On December 15, 2016, we transferred control of our subsidiary in Aruba to another stockholder in a nonreciprocal transfer.  Subsequent to that date, we no longer consolidated the results of the operations of the Aruba business. We did not recognize a gain or loss on the transaction.

 

On January 3, 2017, we completed the sale of the Viya cable operations located in St. Maarten for $4.8 million and recognized a gain of $0.1 million on the transaction. 

 

On August 18, 2017, we completed the sale of the Viya cable operations located in the British Virgin Islands.  We did not recognize a gain or loss on the transaction. 

 

The results of the St. Maarten, British Virgin Islands and Aruba operations are not material to our historical results of operations. Since the dispositions do not relate to a strategic shift in our operations, the historical results and financial position of the operations are presented within continuing operations.

 

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 U.S. Wireline Business

 

On March 8, 2017, we completed the sale of our integrated voice and data communications and wholesale transport businesses in New England and New York for consideration of $25.9 million (the “Sovernet Transaction”).  The consideration included $20.9 million of cash, $3.0 million of receivables, and $2.0 million of contingent consideration.  The $3.0 million of receivables are held in escrow to satisfy working capital adjustments in favor of the acquirer, to fund certain capital expenditure projects related to the assets sold and to secure our indemnification obligations.  The contingent consideration represents the fair value of future payments related to certain operational milestones of the disposed assets.  The value of the contingent consideration was up to $4.0 million based on whether or not the operational milestones are achieved by December 31, 2017.  In September 2017, based on progress toward achieving the operational milestones, and the December 31, 2017 deadline under which to do so, management determined that earning the contingent consideration was unlikely.  As a result the fair value of the contingent consideration was reduced to zero.  The amount was recorded as a loss on disposition of assets within operating income during the year ended December 31, 2017.

 

Our Services

Wireless Services

We provide mobile wireless voice and data communications services in the United States, Bermuda, Guyana and the Caribbean. Our revenues from wireless services were approximately 46.1% of our consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2017.  The U.S. portion of our business constitutes a significant portion of our consolidated revenue. Our revenues from U.S. wireless services were approximately 29.2%, 32.4%, and 43.7% of our consolidated revenues for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Our U.S. wireless service revenues have historically had high operating margins and therefore have contributed a large percentage of operating income.

U.S. Telecom Segment

In the United States, we provide wholesale wireless voice and data roaming services in rural markets to national, regional, local and selected international wireless carriers. Our largest wholesale networks are located principally in the western United States. We also offer wireless voice and data services to retail customers in certain rural markets already covered by our wholesale networks.

Services.  The revenue and profits of our U.S. wholesale wireless business are primarily driven by the number of sites and base stations in operation, the amount of voice and data traffic that each of these sites generates, and the rates we receive from our carrier customers on that traffic. Many of our sites are located in popular tourist and seasonal visitor areas, which has resulted in higher wholesale revenues in those areas during the summer months.

We currently have roaming agreements with approximately 33 United States‑based wireless service providers and, as of December 31, 2017, had roaming arrangements with each of the four U.S. national wireless network operators: AT&T, Sprint, T‑Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Other than the agreements with the national carriers, our standard roaming agreements are usually terminable within 90 days.  Occasionally, we may agree or strategically decide to lower rates or build a new mobile network at a specified location as part of a long‑term roaming agreement to offer our roaming partner pricing certainty in exchange for priority designation with respect to their customers’ wireless traffic. Once we complete building a rural network, we then benefit from the use of that network under existing roaming agreements with other international, national, regional, and local carriers to supplement our initial revenues. In 2017, the four national wireless service providers together accounted for a substantial portion of our wholesale wireless revenues, with AT&T and Verizon accounting for 13% and 10%, respectively, of our total consolidated revenue for the year.

Network and Operations.  Our roaming network offers mobile communications service through a digital wireless voice and data network that utilizes multiple cellular mobile technologies including UMTS/HSPA, CDMA/EvDO and LTE that often will be deployed at a single cell site location in order to maximize revenue opportunities. We provide wireless communications network products and services with owned and leased spectrum primarily in the 700 megahertz (MHz), 800 megahertz (MHz) and 1900 megahertz (MHz) spectrum ranges.  In 2017, we

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continued the efforts we began in the 2015 fiscal year to upgrade our cell sites with advanced 4G LTE technology throughout our service areas. Our networks comprise base stations and radio transceivers located on owned or leased towers and buildings, telecommunications switches and owned or leased transport facilities. We design and construct our network in a manner that will provide high-quality service to substantially all types of compatible wireless devices. Network reliability is carefully considered and redundancy is employed in many aspects of our network design.

Route diversity, redundant equipment, ring topologies and the use of emergency standby power is used to enhance network reliability and minimize service disruptions from any particular network element failure. We operate high-capacity, carrier-class digital wireless switching systems that are capable of serving multiple markets through a single mobile telephone switching office. Centralized equipment used for network and data management is located in high-availability facilities supported by multiple levels of power and network redundancy. Our systems are designed to incorporate Internet Protocol (IP) packet-based Ethernet technology, which allows for increased data capacity and a more efficient network. Interconnection between the mobile telephone switching office and the cell sites utilizes Ethernet technology over fiber or microwave links for virtually all of our 4G LTE sites. 

As of December 31, 2017, we owned and operated a total of approximately 1,100 domestic base stations on nearly 555 owned and leased sites, a Network Operations Center (or “NOC”), a switching center, and presence in numerous leased data centers designed to support network virtualization and provide network resiliency. Our NOC provides dedicated, 24‑hour, year‑round monitoring of our network to ensure quality and reliable service to our customers. In 2017, we continued to expand and improve our network, adding nearly 100 new base stations and approximately 13 new sites and upgraded approximately 65 sites to more advanced 4G LTE data technology.

Competition.  We compete with wireless service providers that operate networks in our markets and offer wholesale roaming services. However, the most significant competitive challenge we face in our U.S. wholesale wireless business is the extent to which our carrier customers choose not to roam on our networks or elect to build or acquire their own infrastructure in a market in which we operate, reducing or eliminating their need for our services in those markets.  We address this competitive threat mainly by providing a service that would be more costly for the carrier to provide itself, or, at least, a less attractive expenditure than alternative investments in its network or business elsewhere.

Occasionally, we have entered into buildout projects with existing carrier customers to help the customer accelerate the buildout of a given area. Pursuant to these arrangements, we agree to incur the cost of building and operating a network in a newly designated area meeting specified conditions. In exchange, the carrier agrees to license us spectrum in that area and enter into a contract with specific pricing and term. These arrangements typically include a purchase right in favor of the carrier to purchase that portion of the network for a predetermined price, depending on when the option to purchase is exercised. For example, as previously disclosed, we currently have one buildout arrangement of approximately 100 built cell sites that provides the carrier with an option to purchase such sites, which option was exercised in the first quarter of 2018. This portion of our network accounted for approximately $13.9 million in wholesale revenue during the twelve months ended December 31, 2017.  Upon the close of this transaction, which is expected to occur in 2018 and pursuant to our agreement with the carrier, we will receive no additional cash proceeds at closing from the sale and expect to record a gain on the sale of at least $15 million.

Our ability to maintain appropriate capacity and relevant technology to respond to our roaming partners’ needs also shapes our competitive profile in the markets in which we operate.  We believe that currently available technologies and appropriate capital additions will allow sufficient capacity on our networks to meet anticipated demand for voice and data services over the next few years. However, increasing demand for high-speed data may require the acquisition of additional spectrum licenses to provide sufficient capacity and throughput.

International Telecom Segment

We provide wireless voice and data service to retail and business customers in Bermuda under the “One” name, in Guyana under the “GT&T” name and in the U.S. Virgin Islands under the “Viya” brand name. We also provide roaming services for many of the largest U.S. providers’ customers visiting these locations. As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately 307,000 wireless subscribers in our International Telecom segment.  As of December 31, 2017, more than 87% of our wireless subscribers were on prepaid plans.

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Products and Services.  In Bermuda, a majority of our customers subscribe to one of our postpaid plans, which allow customers to select a plan with voice minutes, text messaging, a given amount of data and other features that recur on a monthly basis. In our other markets, a substantial majority of our customers, subscribe to our prepaid plans, which require customers to purchase an amount of voice minutes, text messages or data prior to use. In most markets, we also provide certain homes and businesses with fixed wireless services including high speed internet.

Network.  We currently operate multiple advanced wireless voice and data technologies in our international markets in the 850, 900, 1800, 1900 and 2500 MHz frequency bands, including GSM/EDGE, UMTS/HSPA+ and CDMA/EVDO and we added LTE technology in certain of our markets beginning in 2015. We have extensive backbone facilities linking our sites, switching facilities and international interconnection points. Out of territory connectivity is provided by leased and owned undersea fiber‑based interconnections.

Sales and Marketing.  We maintain retail stores in our markets and allow customers to pay their bills and “top up”, or add additional minutes to their prepaid plans, through payment terminals at local stores, business centers or our website or, by purchase of prepaid calling cards, or via mobile or web-based apps. We advertise frequently through print and electronic media, radio station spots and sponsor various events and initiatives.  Our handsets, prepaid cards and prepaid accounts are also sold through independent dealers that we pay on a commission basis.

Handsets and Accessories.  We offer a diverse line‑up of wireless devices and accessories designed to meet both the personal and professional needs of our customers. Our device assortment includes a wide range of smartphones including those featuring the Android and IOS operating systems in addition to a full line of feature phones, wireless hot spots and various wireless solutions for small businesses. To complement our phone offerings, we sell a complete range of original equipment manufacturer and after‑market accessories that allow our customers to personalize their wireless experience, including phone protection, battery charging solutions and Bluetooth hands‑free kits.

Competition.  We believe we compete for wireless retail customers in our international properties based on features, price, technology deployed, network coverage (including through roaming arrangements), quality of service and customer care. We compete against Digicel, which is a large mobile telecommunications company in the Caribbean region, and in some markets, against one or more U.S. national operators.

Wireline Services

Our wireline services include operations in Guyana, Bermuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the mainland United States. Our revenues from wireline services were approximately 47%, 41% and 25% of our consolidated revenues for fiscal years 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

International Telecom Segment

Voice services. We offer voice services that include local exchange, regional and long distance calling and voice messaging services in Bermuda, Guyana, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in other smaller markets in the Caribbean and the United States.  As of December 31, 2017, we had an aggregate of approximately 171,000 access lines in service in our markets, which represent both residential and commercial subscribers. Across our International businesses, residential customers account for approximately three-quarters of the wireline local telephone service revenue while commercial customers account for approximately one‑quarter.

In Guyana, we are the exclusive licensed provider of domestic wireline local and long‑distance voice and data services into and out of the country and in the U.S. Virgin Islands, we are the incumbent local exchange carrier and sole fixed telephony provider. With respect to our international long‑distance business, we also collect payments from foreign carriers for handling international long‑distance calls originating from the foreign carriers’ country and terminating on our network. We also make payments to foreign carriers for international calls originating on one of our networks and terminating in the foreign carrier’s country and collect from our subscribers or a local originating carrier a rate that is market based or set by regulatory tariff.

 

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Internet services. We offer high-speed Internet services with varying speeds to address different customer needs and price requirements in our various markets. Internet services accounted for approximately 47% of our revenues in our International Telecom segment in 2017. As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately 105,000 Internet customers across our markets.

Video services. We also offer video service over our co-axial cable and fiber-optic networks in our international markets. In the U.S. Virgin Islands we are the only authorized video services operator and are a provider of video services to customers in Bermuda.  From January 1, 2017 through August 18, 2017, we also provided cable TV services in the British Virgin Islands. As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately 46,000 video customers across our markets.  We have several offerings available to our video customers, including basic and tiered local and cable TV channels grouped into various content categories, such as news, sports and entertainment.

 

Network.    All of our fixed access lines are digitally switched from our switching centers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Guyana. Our switching centers provide dedicated monitoring of our network to ensure quality and reliable service to our customers.

 

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, we deliver our services via a hybrid fiber coaxial (“HFC”) cable network and continue to transition our traditional copper network to our voice, video and data services on this network.  The HFC network gives us expanded Internet access coverage to more than 95% of homes passed in the U.S. Virgin Islands with speeds up to 100 Mbps for residential customers.  Following the Hurricanes, service to our customers over the HFC network was impacted due to both the loss of power and damage to our network. As a result of the level of damage to our network and the U.S. Virgin Islands economy, it may take significant time to return to pre-hurricane revenue levels.

 

Our international voice and data networks are linked with the rest of the world principally through undersea fiber‑optic cables. In Guyana we co‑own the Suriname‑Guyana Submarine Cable System with Telesur, the government‑owned telecommunications provider in Suriname, that provides us with more robust redundancy, the capacity to meet growing data demands in Guyana, and the opportunity to provide new and enhanced IP centric services such as Internet service. We also lease capacity on certain satellites to provide both international and local backhaul services.

Sales and Marketing.  Our businesses utilize four key sales channels: stores, telesales, business-to-business (“B2B”) channels and residential sales (inbound). The telesales department makes outbound calls to existing customers to promote bundling and other upgrade opportunities and our B2B sales channel focuses on selling data and voice products to business and government accounts.  Certain residential sales are made through inbound communications to customer service representatives who assist with a wide range of inquiries and sell different product offerings to help retain customers or improve their service with upgrades or bundles.  Our revenues for our wireline services are derived from installation charges for new lines, monthly line charges, data and video services and value added services, such as hosting or enterprise voice and data solutions. For our voice wireline services, rates differ for residential and commercial customers and in certain markets, may be set by regulatory authorities.

Competition.  We compete with a limited number of other providers for various products, including Digicel. In 2016, we acquired our wireline businesses in Bermuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands in order to provide us with greater scale in those markets and the capability to offer a “quad play” of connectivity: high speed internet, mobility, video and voice services. In 2017, our competition in Bermuda made substantial additional wireline network investments and began offering video services and more competitive high speed internet services.  We believe our breadth of services and local economies of scale provide us with a strong competitive position and the ability to win and retain an economically viable share of those markets.

In Guyana, we have the exclusive right to provide domestic fixed and international voice and data services. As the initial term of our license was scheduled to expire in December 2010, we notified the Government of Guyana of our election to renew our exclusive license for an additional 20 year term expiring in 2030 and received return correspondence from the Government that our exclusive license had been renewed until such time that new legislation is implemented with regard to the Government’s intention to introduce competition into the sector. We believe, however, our exclusive license continues to be valid unless and until such time as we enter into an alternative agreement with the

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Government. See “—Guyana Regulation—Regulatory Developments” and “Risk Factors—Our exclusive license to provide local exchange and international voice and data services in Guyana is subject to significant political and regulatory risk.”

U.S. Telecom Segment

Sales and Marketing.  Our wholesale transport and capacity customers are predominately telecommunications carriers such as local exchange carriers, wireless carriers and interstate integrated providers, which were served by our direct sales force.

Competition.    Our wholesale competitors include Level 3 and Verizon Communications, other regional wholesale providers and cable television companies that operate fiber‑optic networks.

On March 8, 2017, we completed the sale of our integrated voice and data communications and wholesale transport business in New England and New York for consideration of $25.9 million.

Renewable Energy Services

Domestic

On December 24, 2014, we acquired a provider of distributed generation solar power services in the United States, specifically in Massachusetts, California and New Jersey (the “Ahana Acquisition”). As of December 31, 2017, we owned and operated 29 commercial solar projects at 60 sites (each, a “Facility”) with an aggregate 46.93 megawatts DC peak (“MWp”) of electricity generating capacity. We own the Facilities through various indirect subsidiaries that were formed for the purpose of financing the development of, and owning and operating, the Facilities (the “Special Purpose Entities”).

Services.  Generally, our solar projects are in the “commercial and industrial” (“C&I”) sector of the solar market, which is distinguished from utilities and residential customers. Our customers or “offtakers” include high‑credit quality corporates, utilities, schools, and municipalities, which purchase electricity from us under the terms of long‑term power purchase agreements (“PPAs”). Each Facility is built on the customer’s owned or leased site and reduces the customer’s dependence on traditional energy suppliers, thereby mitigating the price volatility often associated with traditional energy suppliers and transmissions systems. Our PPA terms range from ten to twenty‑five years in duration and are typically priced at or below then-prevailing local retail electricity rates, allowing the customer to secure electricity at predictable and stable prices over the duration of their long‑term contract. As such, the PPAs provide us with high‑quality contracted cash flows, which will continue over their average remaining life, weighted by MWp, of 11.23 years as of December 31, 2017. Certain of our PPAs provide for early termination for a variety of reasons, including in the event that (a) an offtaker is unable to appropriate funds from state and local governments, (b) there is a change of law that substantially reduces the value of utility credits, (c) termination for convenience, or (d) the Facility causes damage to the premises or roof and our customer fails to repair or causes the customer to be in violation of law, or the customer ceases to hold tenancy or fee interest in the premises. All of our Facilities have been in commercial operation for at least three years and are substantially located as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Number of

    

Total Capacity

 

 

State

 

Facilities

 

(MWDC)

 

 

California

 

34

 

18.404

 

 

Massachusetts

 

16

 

26.999

 

 

New Jersey

 

10

 

1.524

 

 

Total

 

60

 

46.927

 

 

In developing each solar project, we facilitate the project’s design, development and construction and obtain project‑level financing, and we take a controlling interest in the Special Purpose Entity that owns the project Facility in exchange for a PPA. Our solar projects may be financed using a combination of tax equity, bank financing that we secure and our cash on hand. A substantial majority of our acquired Facilities received tax equity financing, pursuant to which

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third party investors hold equity in the Special Purpose Entities that were formed to finance the development of, and own and operate, such Facilities. In return, the tax equity investors receive a preferred return on their investment up to a contractually agreed amount and the benefits of various tax credits those Facilities generate. Of these projects, approximately one-third of our acquired Facilities are still subject to tax equity financing and will be subject to the payment of preferred returns to our tax equity partners until late 2018. In addition, the Facilities located in California receive revenue from performance based incentive payments (“PBIs”) and those located in Massachusetts and New Jersey receive revenue from the sale of solar renewable energy credit (“SREC”) contracts, which revenue we retain as the Facilities’ operator. The PBI’s began to expire in 2016 and will be fully expired by the end of the third quarter of 2018.  The SREC’s generated by our facilities in Massachusetts have expiration dates between 2018 and 2023.  The SREC’s generated by our facilities in New Jersey have expiration dates between 2022 and 2027.  In the future, we intend to focus on growing our project portfolio through additional investments with favorable credit quality offtakers in markets that offer favorable government policies to encourage renewable energy projects and where our projects can generate electricity at a cost that is less than or equal to the price of purchasing power from traditional energy sources.

We contract with utilities through an interconnection agreement to export excess energy generated by our Facilities to another offtaker and/or the utility electrical grid.

Infrastructure.

Our existing Facilities are comprised of rooftop, ground‑mounted and elevated solar support structure photovoltaic (“PV”) installations. Our Facilities are located on our customers’ buildings, parking structures, landfill sites and other locations pursuant to leases or easements granted to us by our customers. These Facilities use crystalline silicon PV modules mounted in ballasted, tracking or roof penetrating fixed‑tilt configurations. All of our existing Facilities were designed, engineered and constructed by Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. (“Borrego”), a former sister company of our acquired solar operations, pursuant to engineering, procurement and construction, or “EPC”, agreements. Borrego now also maintains our Facilities at a committed fee through long‑term Operations and Maintenance Agreements (“O&M Agreements”). Each O&M Agreement commits Borrego to provide maintenance of a Facility for ten years after such Facility is placed in service, including systems monitoring and troubleshooting, inspection, preventative maintenance and any other services on an as‑needed basis at our request at an additional cost.

We are dependent on a limited number of key suppliers for the PV modules that we purchase for installation at our Facilities, with the majority of Facilities constructed with PV modules supplied by Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, a Chinese company that sources cells from Taiwanese manufacturers and assembles them in China. Typically, the PV modules carry materials and workmanship warranties from 5‑10 years in duration, with power warranties for a 25‑year useful life.

Competition.

We compete with the traditional electric power industry, as well as with other solar energy companies that may have greater financial resources or brand name recognition than we do, disadvantaging our ability to attract new customers. The solar energy industry is highly competitive and continually evolving and as such, we expect to compete for future project opportunities with new entrants as well. We believe that we compete with the traditional utilities primarily based on price and the predictability of that price, while we compete with other solar energy providers based on our ability to structure the development and financing of a project for our potential customers or developers on favorable terms.

International

On April 7, 2016, we acquired a solar power development portfolio in India and since that time, have been constructing distributed generation solar power projects in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana based on a commercial and industrial business model, similar to our domestic renewable energy operations. As of March 1, 2018, we have four power evacuating solar projects (each, a “Facility”) each with capacity ranging from 7.5 to 11.5 megawatts DC peak (“MWp”).  We have an additional 7 MWp under construction that will add a fifth and sixth Facility by mid- 2018. 

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 We currently have a pipeline of acquisition opportunities and new construction capacity of up to an additional 50MWp. Solar projects are capital intensive and the greatest challenge to increasing our operating portfolio is our ability to secure third party debt to fund the installation of the additional capacity.  Our strategy is also to seek third party equity capital as well in order to build a larger portfolio and achieve economies of scale and diversification benefits.  Our ability to expand our business will also depend on, among other things, our ability to acquire the required land for the new capacity, our ability to secure agreements to sell the power on terms that our financing sources consider to be bankable, our willingness to compete with local solar businesses who may be willing to build projects with a lower risk/return profile than ours, and the need to further strengthen our systems and processes to manage the ensuing growth opportunities. For a discussion of the risks associated with executing our short and long term growth plans in India, see “Risk Factors—India Operations.”

Market Opportunity.

 

We believe solar power  in India is an attractive investment opportunity for our Renewable Energy business due to the massive demand for electricity, coupled with ideal weather conditions for solar energy and the continued low cost to build, due to decreases in solar panel pricing and the decreasing cost of debt.

 

We consider India to be an attractive market for solar power without the need to rely on governmental subsidies.  While we currently expect the landscape for solar power to change over time in India, and potentially materially as the market matures, we believe that the core principal behind our investment in our Indian solar business - that solar power can compete with fossil fuels on a level playing field for the long-term remains valid.

 

Services.    

We own our Facilities through various indirect subsidiaries that were formed for the purpose of financing the development of, and owning and operating, the Facilities (the “Special Purpose Entities”).  We sell electricity to commercial and industrial (“C&I”) customers and do not expect to sell power directly to residential customers in India. Our target C&I customers or “offtakers” for our initial Facilities are high‑credit quality corporates, including banks, manufacturers, hotel groups, and hospital groups, which purchase electricity from us under the terms of PPAs. The PPA terms agreed upon with our initial customer base are typically five years in duration, with an option to extend for another five years and priced at rates with annual rate escalators, allowing such customer to secure electricity at predictable and stable prices over the duration of their long‑term contract. As such, we believe the PPAs provide us with high‑quality contracted cash flows, which although our customers may terminate the PPA with one year notice, we nevertheless expect will continue over their average remaining life.  Our PPAs typically have penalties for the non-delivery of power and therefore, we typically try to enter into binding PPAs late in the development process when the connection date of the solar farm can be predicted with greater confidence. On the other hand, if the Offtaker fails to take the agreed quantum of power, we can levy a penalty equal to the loss of revenue we incurred due to such failure on the part of offtaker.  In the event of non-payment, current regulations allow us to sell power to any commercial or industrial customer within 500 kilometers of our grid connection and we would seek to sell the allotted power to a different customer.

In developing each solar project, we hire third party engineering and procurement contractors to design and construct our Facilities and we actively manage their performance through our in-house technical and quality assurance team.  To date, we have financed the construction of our Facilities mainly with internal equity and intercompany debt and following the completion of construction, our goal is to secure project debt financing for each completed facility and to use those proceeds towards the construction of additional Facilities in 2018. 

Our local, in house staff also provides us with the expertise to provide additional revenue from management agreements that we have entered into with third parties for the maintenance, development and construction oversight of other solar power projects owned by such third parties in India.  Currently, our team is focused on supporting the construction of our own projects in India, however, we may look in the future to engage in support for additional third parties to produce additional management revenue for our Company.

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Infrastructure.

Our existing Facilities are comprised of ground‑mounted solar photovoltaic (“PV”) installations.  The majority of our Facilities are single-axis tracking systems to increase the generating capability of our Facilities.  Our Facilities are located on land that we have purchased.  For a more detailed discussion of the risks associated with land procurement and ownership in India, see “Risk Factors—India Operations.” We maintain our Facilities ourselves and have staff employed – both in our corporate office in Hyderabad and at each of our Facilities - who provide year-round maintenance, systems monitoring and troubleshooting, inspection, preventative maintenance and any other services on an as‑needed basis for each of our projects.

We depend on a limited number of key suppliers for the PV modules that we purchase for installation at our Facilities, with the majority of facilities constructed with Tier 1 PV modules supplied by GCL Systems Integration Technology Limited, a Chinese company.    Typically, the PV modules carry materials and workmanship warranties of 10 years in duration, with power warranties for a 25‑year useful life.

Competition.

We compete with the traditional electric power industry; however, our primary competitors are other solar energy companies that may have greater financial resources or brand name recognition than we do, disadvantaging our ability to attract new customers. The solar energy industry is highly competitive and there are low barriers to entry for companies with sufficient financial resources.  However, we believe that the availability of expansion capital from third party financing sources, rather than competition from third parties, is the major risk factor that inhibits our achieving our near-term goals for our Renewable Energy segment. Over the longer term, some of our competitors may have advantages over us in terms of larger size, access to expansion capital, internal access to solar panels and greater operational, financial, technical, management, lower cost of capital or other resources. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business and Industry — We face significant competition from traditional and renewable energy companies.”

Employees

As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately 1,800 employees, of whom approximately 700 were employed in the United States (including in the U.S. Virgin Islands). At the holding company level, we employ our executive management team and staff. Approximately half of our Guyana and U.S. Virgin Island full‑time work forces are represented by unions. In addition, approximately 20% of our Bermuda fulltime workforce is also represented by unions. We believe we have good relations with our employees.

Regulation

Telecom Regulation

Our wireless and wireline telecommunications and video services operations are subject to extensive governmental regulation in each of the jurisdictions in which we provide services. Our wireless and wireline operations and our video services operations in the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands are governed by the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (or “Communications Act”), the implementing regulations adopted thereunder by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), judicial and regulatory decisions interpreting and implementing the Communications Act, and other federal, state, and local statutes and regulations.  Our operations also are governed by certain foreign laws and regulations.

The following summary of regulatory developments and legislation does not purport to describe all present and proposed federal, state, local, and foreign regulation and legislation that may affect our businesses. Legislative or regulatory requirements currently applicable to our businesses may change in the future and legislative or regulatory

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requirements may be adopted by those jurisdictions that currently have none. Any such changes could impose new obligations on us that would adversely affect our operating results.

U.S. Federal Telecom Regulation

Wireless Services

The FCC regulates, among other things; the licensed and unlicensed use of radio spectrum; the ownership, lease, transfer of control and assignment of wireless licenses; the ongoing technical, operational and service requirements applicable to such licenses; the timing, nature and scope of network construction; the provision of certain services, such as E‑911; and the interconnection of communications networks in the United States.

Licenses.  We provide our wireless services pursuant to various commercial mobile radio services (or “CMRS”) licenses (including cellular, broadband Personal Communications Services (or “PCS”), 600 MHz Band, 700 MHz Band, Advanced Wireless Service (or “AWS”), and Broadband Radio Service (or “BRS”) licenses granted by the FCC), pursuant to special temporary authority (or “STA”) to use certain BRS spectrum for which we do not hold a license, and pursuant to leases of spectrum from FCC‑licensed operators. Some of these licenses and STAs are site‑based while others cover specified geographic market areas, e.g., Cellular Market Areas (or “CMAs”) and Basic Trading Areas (or “BTAs”), as defined by the FCC. The technical and service rules, the specific radio frequencies and the authorized spectrum amounts vary depending on the licensed service. The FCC generally allocates CMRS licenses through periodic auctions, after determining how many licenses to make available in particular frequency ranges, the applicable service rules, and the terms on which the license auction will be conducted. Such licenses are also available via secondary market mechanisms, using procedures and regulations set forth by the FCC. There is no certainty as to when additional spectrum will be made available for wireless broadband services, the amount of spectrum that might ultimately be made available, the timing of any future auction of spectrum, the likely configuration of any such additional spectrum and conditions that might apply to it, or the usability of any of this spectrum for wireless services competitive with our services or by us.

Construction Obligations.  The FCC conditions licenses on the satisfaction of certain obligations to construct networks covering a specified geographic area or population by specific dates. The obligations vary depending on the licensed service. Failure to satisfy an applicable construction requirement can result in the assessment of fines and forfeitures by the FCC, a reduced license term, or automatic license cancellation. We are substantially in compliance with the applicable construction requirements that have arisen for the licenses we currently hold and expect to meet our future construction requirements as well. In particular, we have met the build out or waiver requirements with respect to our 700 MHz Band licenses.  If we fail to meet the interim build out requirement applicable to any 600 MHz Band license, the license term for that license will be reduced by two years. If we fail to meet the end-of term build out requirement applicable to any individual 600 MHz Band license, that license will terminate automatically and we will lose the ability to regain it.

License Renewals.  Our FCC licenses generally expire between 2018 and 2030 and are renewable upon application to the FCC. License renewal applications may be denied if the FCC determines, after appropriate notice and hearing, that renewal would not serve the public interest, convenience, or necessity. At the time of renewal, if we can demonstrate that we have provided “substantial” service during the past license term and have complied with the Communications Act and applicable FCC rules and policies, then the FCC will award a renewal expectancy to us and will generally renew our existing licenses without considering any competing applications. If we do not receive a renewal expectancy, then the FCC will accept competing applications for the license and conduct a comparative hearing. In that situation, the FCC may award the license to another applicant. While our licenses have been renewed regularly by the FCC in the past, there can be no assurance that all of our licenses will be renewed in the future.

The FCC may deny license applications and, in extreme cases, revoke licenses if it finds that an entity lacks the requisite qualifications to be a licensee. In making that determination, the FCC considers whether an applicant or licensee has been the subject of adverse findings in a judicial or administrative proceeding involving felonies, the possession or sale of unlawful drugs, fraud, antitrust violations, or unfair competition, employment discrimination, misrepresentations to the FCC or other government agencies, or serious violations of the Communications Act or FCC

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regulations. To our knowledge, there are no activities and no judicial or administrative proceedings involving either us or the licensees in which we hold a controlling interest that would warrant such a finding by the FCC.

License Acquisitions.  Prior FCC approval typically is required for transfers or assignments of a controlling interest in any license or construction permit, or of any rights thereunder. The FCC may approve or prohibit such transactions altogether, or approve such transactions subject to certain conditions such as divestitures or other requirements. Non‑controlling minority interests in an entity that holds an FCC license generally may be bought or sold without FCC approval, subject to any applicable FCC notification requirements. The FCC permits licensees to lease spectrum to third parties under certain conditions, subject to prior FCC approval, or in some instances, notification to the FCC. These mechanisms provide additional flexibility for wireless providers to structure transactions and create additional business and investment opportunities.

The FCC no longer caps the amount of CMRS spectrum in which an entity may hold an attributable interest and now engages in a case‑by‑case review of proposed wireless transactions, including spectrum acquired via auction, to ensure that the proposed transaction serves the public interest and would not result in a rule violation or an undue concentration of market power. The FCC utilizes a spectrum aggregation screen to determine whether a proposed secondary market transaction requires additional scrutiny. The FCC in June 2014 adopted an order that updated the spectrum screen. The FCC’s order continued the FCC’s policy of conducting a case‑by‑case analysis of a combined entity’s spectrum screen holdings for proposed transactions, revised its existing spectrum screen to reflect the current suitability and availability of spectrum for mobile wireless services, and adopted certain limitations with respect to the purchase and transfer of 600 MHz spectrum. A transaction will be reviewed by the FCC with heightened scrutiny if it will result in the resulting entity having over 45 MHz of spectrum under 1 GHz. The FCC’s additional scrutiny would also be triggered if a proposed transaction results in a material change in the post‑transaction market share in a particular market as measured by the Herfindahl‑Hirschman Index. We are well below the spectrum aggregation screen in the majority of geographic areas in which we hold or have access to licenses, and thus we may be able to acquire additional spectrum either from the FCC in an auction or from third parties in private transactions in most locations in which we operate.  However, we are approaching or could trigger the spectrum screen if we attempt to acquire additional spectrum in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Similarly, our competitors may be able to strengthen their operations by making additional acquisitions of spectrum in our markets or by further consolidating the industry.

Other Requirements.  The Communications Act and the FCC’s rules impose a number of additional requirements upon wireless service providers. A failure to meet or maintain compliance with the Communications Act and/or the FCC’s rules may subject us to fines, forfeitures, penalties or other sanctions.

Wireless licensees must satisfy a variety of FCC requirements relating to technical and reporting matters. Licensees must often coordinate frequency usage with adjacent licensees and permittees to avoid interference between adjacent systems. In addition, the height and power of transmitting facilities and the type of signals emitted must fall within specified parameters. For certain licensed services, a variety of incumbent government and non‑government operations may have to be relocated before a licensee may commence operations, which may trigger the payment of relocation costs by the incoming licensee.

The radio systems towers that we own and lease are subject to Federal Aviation Administration and FCC regulations that govern the location, marking, lighting, and construction of towers and are subject to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and other environmental statutes enforced by the FCC. The FCC has also adopted guidelines and methods for evaluating human exposure to radio frequency emissions from radio equipment. We believe that all of our radio systems on towers that we own or lease comply in all material respects with these requirements, guidelines, and methods.

The FCC has adopted requirements for cellular, PCS and other CMRS providers to implement basic and enhanced 911, or E‑911, services. These services provide state and local emergency service providers with the ability to better identify and locate 911 callers using wireless services, including callers using special devices for the hearing impaired. Because the implementation of these obligations requires that the local emergency services provider have certain facilities available, our specific obligations are set on a market‑by‑ market basis as emergency service providers request the implementation of E‑ 911 services within their locales. As part of an E‑911 initiative, the FCC adopted

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stronger rules regarding E‑911 location accuracy. The extent to which we are required to deploy E‑911 services will affect our capital spending obligations. Federal law limits our liability for uncompleted 911 calls to a degree commensurate with wireline carriers in our markets.

In 2013, the FCC adopted rules requiring wireless carriers and certain other text messaging service providers to send an automatic “bounce‑back” text message to consumers who try to text 911 where text‑to‑911 is not available, indicating the unavailability of such services. In August 2014, the FCC required all wireless carriers as well as other providers of interconnected text messaging applications, to be capable of supporting text‑to‑911 service by December 31, 2014, and to provide such service to requesting public service answering points (“PSAPs”) by June 30, 2015 or six months after a request from a PSAP, whichever is later.  We are currently in compliance with all PSAP requests we have received. The FCC has also sought further comment regarding additional regulations pertaining to the provision of text‑to‑911 service.

In addition to CMRS licenses, our wireless business relies on FCC licensed spectrum for “Common Carrier Fixed Point to Point Microwave” referred to as Common Carrier Microwave. We currently operate over 250 licensed microwave links. Common Carrier microwave stations are generally used in a point-to-point configuration for cellular site connections or to connect points on the telephone network that cannot be connected using standard wireline or fiber optic cable because of cost or terrain. The majority of our license grants are for a period of 10 years.

In 2008, the FCC established a Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), now referred to as the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system, allowing CMRS providers to transmit emergency alerts to the public. This system is voluntary. We are opting into the service and are currently providing it to all of our retail wireless customers where technically feasible. In January 2018, the FCC revised its WEA regulations.  We are reviewing the new regulations, which have not yet become effective.

The FCC’s rules require CMRS providers to offer “roaming” services to other providers.  Roaming enables one provider’s customers to obtain service from another provider when the customer is using their wireless device in an area served by the second provider.  These rules apply to voice, messaging, and data services, including Internet access, although the roaming rules vary somewhat among these services.  We are obligated to offer roaming, and we have the right to seek roaming from other providers, on reasonable terms and conditions.  The FCC has identified a variety of factors that are relevant to whether an offer to provide roaming is reasonable, including the price, terms and conditions, and whether the two providers’ networks are technologically compatible.  Changes in the FCC’s roaming regulations may affect the terms under which we provide roaming services to third parties and may affect our ability to secure roaming arrangements with other CMRS providers on behalf of our retail wireless customers. 

We are obligated to pay certain annual regulatory fees and assessments to support FCC wireless industry regulation, as well as fees supporting federal universal service programs, number portability, regional database costs, centralized telephone numbering administration, telecommunications relay service for the hearing‑impaired and application filing fees. These fees are subject to change periodically by the FCC and the manner in which carriers may recoup these fees from customers is subject to various restrictions.

Wireline Services

Local Competition.  The Communications Act encourages competition in local telecommunications markets by removing barriers to market entry and imposing on non‑rural incumbent local exchange carriers (or “ILECs”) various requirements related to, among other things, interconnection, access to unbundled network elements, collocation, access to poles, ducts, conduits, and rights‑of‑way, wholesale and resale obligations, and telephone number portability.  Our ILEC operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands through Viya are exempt from most of such federal requirements pursuant to a rural exemption. 

While the FCC to date has declined to classify interconnected VoIP service as a telecommunications service or information service, it has imposed a number of consumer protection and public safety obligations on interconnected VoIP providers, relying in large part on its general ancillary jurisdiction powers. To the extent that we provide interconnected VoIP service, we are subject to a number of these obligations.

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Video Services    

Video services systems are regulated by the FCC under the Communications Act.  The FCC regulates our programming selection through local broadcast TV station mandatory carriage obligations, constraints on our retransmission consent negotiations with local broadcast TV stations, and limited regulation of our carriage negotiations with cable programming networks.  The FCC also imposes rules governing, among other things, leased cable set-top boxes, our ability to collect and disclose subscribers’ personally identifiable information, access to inside wiring in multiple dwelling units, cable pole attachments, customer service and technical standards, and disability access requirement. Failure to comply with these regulations could subject us to penalties.  

Wireless and Wireline Services

Universal Service.  In general, all telecommunications providers are obligated to contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund (or “USF”), which is used to promote the availability of wireline and wireless telephone service to individuals and families qualifying for federal assistance, households located in rural and high‑cost areas, and to schools, libraries and rural health care providers. Contributions to the federal USF are based on end-user interstate and international telecommunications revenue. Some states have similar programs that also require contribution. The FCC has suggested that it may examine the way in which it collects carrier contributions to the USF, including a proposal to base collections on the number of telephone numbers or network connections in use by each carrier, and some states have changed or are considering changing their contribution methodologies. We contribute to the USF as required by the rules throughout the U.S., and receive funds from the USF for providing service in rural areas of the United States, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. The collection of USF fees and distribution of USF support is under continual review by state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies, and changes to these programs could affect our revenues. We are subject to audit by the Universal Service Administration Company (or “USAC”) with respect to our contributions and our receipts of universal service funding. We believe we are substantially compliant with all FCC and state regulations related to the receipt and collection of universal service support.

In November 2011, the FCC released an order reforming the USF program. As part of the USF reforms, the FCC created two new replacement funds, the Connect America Fund and the Mobility Fund, both of which require the use of USF funds for broadband and voice services. The new funds are intended to provide targeted financial support to areas that are unserved or under‑served by voice and broadband service providers. We and our subsidiaries pay into, and certain of our subsidiaries receive funding from, these funds. We cannot predict the impact of any changes on the amounts we pay or receive in USF funds. 

In July 2012, the FCC initiated the application process for the Mobility Fund I program, a reverse auction for a one‑time distribution of up to $300 million intended to stimulate third‑ and fourth‑generation wireless coverage in unserved and under‑served geographic areas. A number of our subsidiaries participated in the Mobility Fund I reverse auction on September 27, 2012 and bid successfully for approximately $21.7 million in one‑time support to expand voice and broadband networks in certain geographic areas in order to offer either 3G or 4G coverage. These subsidiaries have completed the construction of the facilities funded by this support and have finalized the submissions necessary to document this in order to receive their final payments. 

Our business in the U.S. Virgin Islands also benefits from USF support and expects to continue to receive its current annual support of approximately $16 million for the foreseeable future. To continue to receive these funds, we must commit to comply with certain additional FCC construction and other requirements. We are participating in ongoing FCC proceedings that will establish the obligations that will be associated with these funds and the term over which they will continue to be disbursed but we cannot predict the outcome of this proceeding or its effects on our operations, if any. 

Intercarrier Compensation.  Under federal and state law, telecommunications providers are generally required to compensate one another for originating and terminating traffic for other carriers. Consistent with these provisions, we currently receive compensation from other carriers and also pay compensation to other carriers.  In October 2011, the FCC, significantly revised its intercarrier compensation regime. Under the revised intercarrier compensation regime, where there is no pre‑existing agreement between a CMRS carrier and a local exchange carrier (or “LEC”) for the

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exchange of local traffic, such traffic between CMRS providers and the LEC is to be compensated pursuant to a default bill‑and‑keep regime, in which each carrier agrees to terminate calls from the other at no charge. The FCC’s revised intercarrier compensation regime also sets forth a transition schedule that will result in most traffic between telecommunications carriers being exchanged on a bill‑and‑keep basis. Specifically, the rules called for most terminating traffic exchanged with larger LECs to be exchanged on a bill-and-keep basis beginning July 1, 2017, and further call for all terminating traffic with all LECs to be exchanged on a bill-and-keep basis by July 1, 2020. These rules may affect the manner in which we are charged or compensated for the exchange of traffic. We cannot predict the impact of any changes to these requirements on the amounts that we pay or receive.

Net Neutrality.  The FCC, in March 2015, adopted net neutrality rules for broadband Internet providers, including mobile broadband Internet providers, under which such providers would not be able to engage in various forms of blocking, throttling or paid prioritization with respect to Internet content, subject to reasonable network management.  The FCC also adopted an enhanced transparency rule and a general conduct rule regarding behavior of broadband Internet providers.  In doing so, the FCC reclassified broadband Internet service as a Title II telecommunications service under the Communications Act. The FCC, in reclassifying broadband Internet service as a Title II service, specifically forbore from applying many legacy common carrier regulations to broadband Internet service providers.  In December 2017, the FCC voted to rescind all of these rules except for a modified transparency rule. This rescission and modification are not yet effective and will not become effective until after certain additional regulatory steps are taken.  We cannot predict when that will occur.  The FCC’s ruling has been appealed in federal circuit court. We cannot predict with any certainty the likely timing or outcome of any court action.  

Telecommunications Privacy Regulations.  We are subject to federal regulations relating to privacy and data security that impact all parts of our business.  On April 3, 2017, the President signed into law a bill that nullified privacy rules adopted by the FCC in October 2016, which would have imposed certain transparency, consumer choice, data security, and data breach notification requirements on telecommunications providers, including broadband Internet providers.  Parts of our business are subject to the privacy and data security oversight of other federal regulators, including the Federal Trade Commission. Generally, attention to privacy and data security requirements is increasing. We believe that we comply with all currently applicable requirements, but we cannot predict future changes of law in this area.    

CALEA.  Under certain circumstances, federal law also requires telecommunications carriers to provide law enforcement agencies with capacity and technical capabilities to support lawful wiretaps pursuant to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (or “CALEA”). Federal law also requires compliance with wiretap‑related record‑keeping and personnel‑related obligations. We are in compliance with all such requirements currently applicable to us. The FCC has adopted rules that apply CALEA obligations to high speed Internet access and voice‑over Internet protocol (or “VoIP”) services. Maintaining compliance with these law enforcement requirements may impose additional capital spending obligations on us to make necessary system upgrades.

Impact of Hurricanes on Federal Regulatory Compliance.  The FCC generally suspended certain regulatory requirements and offered other forms of regulatory relief in areas struck by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. As a result of the damage to the wireline and wireless networks of our subsidiary Viya, which operates in the U.S. Virgin Islands, we may not now be in full compliance with all FCC rules and cannot guarantee that we will regain compliance prior to the expiration of the FCC’s suspension of the rule and other regulatory relief. Viya filed two emergency petitions with the FCC, in October and December 2017, seeking additional one-time USF funding for rebuilding and hardening its infrastructure following the hurricanes.  We cannot predict when or to what extent the FCC will grant that relief. 

Obligations Due to Economic Stimulus Grants

One of our subsidiaries has received awards from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (“BTOP”) of the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”). As a BTOP sub-recipient, we are subject to the various terms and conditions included in the agency’s Notice of Funds Availability published in the Federal Register on July 9, 2009.  We are also required to comply with other

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terms and conditions of the individual DOC grants. We believe we are currently in material compliance with all BTOP and DOC requirements applicable to our grants.

U.S. State Regulation

Wireless Services

Federal law preempts state and local regulation of the entry of, or the rates charged by, any CMRS provider. As a practical matter, we are free to establish wireless rates and offer new wireless products and services and are subject to only a minimum of state regulatory requirements. The states in which we operate maintain nominal oversight jurisdiction. For example, although states do not have the authority to regulate the entry or the rates charged by CMRS providers, states may regulate the “other terms and conditions” of a CMRS provider’s service. Most states still maintain some form of jurisdiction over complaints as to the nature or quality of services and as to billing issues. A number of state authorities have initiated actions or investigations of various wireless carrier practices. The outcome of these proceedings is uncertain and could require us to change certain of our practices and ultimately increase state regulatory authority over the wireless industry. States and localities assess on wireless carriers taxes and fees that may equal or even exceed federal obligations.

The location and construction of our wireless transmitter towers and antennas are subject to state and local environmental regulation, as well as state or local zoning, land use and other regulation. Before we can put a system into commercial operation, we must obtain all necessary zoning and building permit approvals for the cell site and tower locations. The time needed to obtain zoning approvals and requisite state permits varies from market to market and state to state. Likewise, variations exist in local zoning processes. If zoning approval or requisite state permits cannot be obtained, or if environmental rules make construction impossible or infeasible on a particular site, our network design might be adversely affected, network design costs could increase and the service provided to our customers might be reduced.

The FCC is conducting several related proceedings to consider actions to help expedite the deployment of wireless network infrastructure.  Those actions could include limiting state and local regulations governing the construction of towers and the installation of small cells and other facilities along public rights-of-way when the FCC determines those regulations can be barriers to deployment.  Although we cannot predict the outcome of these proceedings, streamlining wireless siting requirements may benefit our ability to expand our wireless network coverage.

U.S. Virgin Islands Regulation

Virgin Islands Public Service Commission

 

Pursuant to the USVI Public Utilities Code, the Virgin Islands Public Service Commission (“PSC”) regulates certain telecommunications and cable TV services that Viya provides in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, certain of our subsidiaries entered into a transfer of control agreement with the PSC on July 1, 2016, which imposes certain operational obligations on the Viya companies. Among other things, the PSC establishes the rates and fees that we may charge local exchange residential and enterprise customers in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The PSC is required by U.S. Virgin Islands law to review local utility rates every five years. In June 2016, the PSC adopted an order increasing the rates and fees that we may charge subject to certain conditions and future obligations. We believe that we have satisfied these requirements.  In addition, as a condition to Viya’s receipt of universal service funds from the FCC, the PSC is required to certify on an annual basis that Viya is in compliance with certain eligible telecommunication carrier (“ETC”) obligations. We believe that we comply with all such obligations but cannot predict the outcome of future PSC proceedings relating to Viya’s ETC status. 

 

Our subsidiaries provide cable TV service in the U.S. Virgin Islands pursuant to two franchises granted by the PSC. Each franchise was renewed in July 2015 by an order issued by the PSC, but the PSC has not yet issued new franchise agreements memorializing these renewals. We cannot predict what requirements will be included in the renewed franchise agreements. However, we understand that the renewed franchise agreements likely will contain

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substantially similar terms and conditions as the prior franchise agreements, including a 15-year term, but will exclude language from the previous franchise agreements permitting the PSC to regulate cable rates.

 

The PSC is reviewing the damage to our network caused by the hurricanes, as well as our efforts to restore telecommunications and video services in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We do not know what, if any, action the PSC will take in the course of this review.         

 

Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park

 

Our video and wireless companies in the U.S. Virgin Islands also receive tax benefits as qualifying participants in the USVI’s Research & Technology Park (“RTPark”) program. RTPark was chartered with the goal of promoting technology-based economic development in the territory and offering attractive economic incentives to companies that contribute to the development of the Virgin Islands through local employment and sourcing, as well as significant contributions to both the economy and the non-profit sectors of the community. As part of the program, our participating entities currently receive a 100% tax exemption applied against gross receipts and excise taxes as well as a 90% exemption against income taxes. These benefits resulted in tax exemptions of approximately $2.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2017.  In order to qualify, we are required to maintain certain capital investments over the first five years of the agreement, pay monthly management fees of 0.4% of tenant company revenue, make annual charitable contributions to the University of the Virgin Islands, purchase products and services locally when feasible and provide in-kind services to RTPark.

 

Guyana Regulation

Our subsidiary, Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Limited (“GT&T”), in which we hold an 80% interest, is subject to regulation in Guyana under the provisions of GT&T’s License from the Government of Guyana, the Guyana Public Utilities Commission Act of 1999 as amended (or “PUC Law”) and the Guyana Telecommunications Act 1990 (or “Telecommunications Law”). The Public Utilities Commission of Guyana (or “PUC”) is an independent statutory body with the principal responsibility for regulating telecommunications rates and services in Guyana. The Ministry of Telecommunications, an agency of the Government of Guyana, has formal authority over telecommunications licensing and related issues.

Licenses.   GT&T provides domestic fixed (both wireline and wireless) and international voice and data services in Guyana pursuant to a License from the Government of Guyana granting GT&T the exclusive right to provide the following: public telephone, radio telephone, and pay telephone services; domestic fixed services (both wireline and wireless); international voice and data services; sale of advertising in any telephone directories; and switched or non‑ switched private line service. The License, which was issued in December 1990, had an initial 20‑year term. Pursuant to the License, GT&T also provides mobile wireless telephone service in Guyana on a non‑exclusive basis pursuant to an initial twenty‑year term. In November 2009, GT&T notified the Government of its election to renew both the exclusive and non‑ exclusive license grants for an additional 20 year term expiring in 2030. In exercising this option, GT&T reiterated to the Government that GT&T and the Company would be willing to voluntarily relinquish the exclusivity aspect of GT&T’s licenses, but only as part of an alternative agreement with the Government. On December 15, 2010, the Government, through the Office of the President, sent a letter to GT&T indicating that GT&T’s License was renewed until such time as a new legislative and regulatory regime to reform the telecommunications sector in Guyana is brought into force; however, GT&T formally notified the Government that it is entitled to an unconditional renewal of both the exclusive and non‑exclusive license grants for an additional period of twenty years or until such time as GT&T and the Company enter into an alternative agreement with the Government.

PUC Law and Telecommunications Law.  The PUC Law and the Telecommunications Law provide the general framework for the regulation of telecommunications services in Guyana. As a general matter, the PUC has authority to regulate GT&T’s domestic and international telecommunications services and rates and to require GT&T to supply certain technical, administrative and financial information as it may request. The PUC claims broad authority to review and amend any of GT&T’s programs for development and expansion of facilities or services, although GT&T has challenged the PUC’s view on the scope of its authority. For a description of recent actions of the PUC, see Note 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Report.

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Regulatory Developments.   In 2016, the Government of Guyana passed new telecommunications legislation introducing material changes to many features of Guyana’s existing telecommunications regulatory regime with the intention of introducing additional competition into Guyana’s telecommunications sector.  The legislation that passed, however, has not yet been implemented and does not include a provision that permits other telecommunications carriers to receive licenses automatically upon signing of the legislation, nor does it have the effect of terminating our exclusive license.  Instead, the legislation, as passed, requires the Minister of Telecommunications to conduct further proceedings and issue implementing orders to enact the various provisions of the legislation.  We have met with the Government of Guyana, including as recently as January 2018, to discuss modifications of our exclusivity rights and other rights under our existing agreement and license.  However, there can be no assurance that those discussions will be concluded before the Government issues new licenses as contemplated by the legislation or at all, or that they will satisfactorily address the Company’s contractual exclusivity rights.  Although we believe that we would be entitled to damages or other compensation for any involuntary termination of its contractual exclusivity rights, we cannot guarantee that we would prevail in a proceeding to enforce our rights or that our actions would effectively halt any unilateral action by the Government.

FCC Rule‑Making and International Long‑Distance Rates.  The actions of foreign telecommunications regulators, especially the FCC in the United States, can affect the settlement or termination rate payable by foreign carriers to GT&T for incoming international voice calls. While the FCC continues to monitor and evaluate termination rate levels and benchmarks, we cannot predict when and if the FCC will further reduce settlement rates or the effect lower rates will have on revenue in our International Telecom segment.

Bermuda Regulation

In Bermuda, we were historically subject to Bermuda’s Telecommunications Act of 1986 that authorized it to use spectrum to deliver services under its “Class B” license. In 2013, the Regulatory Authority implemented the Electronic Communications Act of 2011 (“ECA”), which allows communications service providers to enter new lines of business and introduces competition in the sector. As the government of Bermuda reforms the local telecommunications market, it has imposed regulatory and other fees and adopted additional regulation that have increased the regulatory costs incurred by and could otherwise impact our Bermuda operations. In 2018, the Regulatory Authority is expected to conduct a review of the market as required by the ECA. We cannot now accurately predict the impact to the competitive position of our Bermuda business or limitations that such actions will have on our ability to grow.

 

Renewable Energy Services Regulation

U.S. Federal Regulation

All of our currently owned projects in operation are solar “qualifying facilities” under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, as amended (“PURPA”). As such, the projects and the respective project company that own the projects are exempt from ratemaking and certain other regulatory provisions of the Federal Power Act, as amended (“FPA”), and from state organizational and financial regulation of electric utilities.

Our projects are also subject to compliance with the applicable mandatory reliability standards developed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and approved by FERC under the FPA.

Additionally, certain of the project companies that own projects or the “offtakers” of the electricity from the projects have entered into interconnection agreements with the local utility that allows the project companies or the offtakers to deliver excess electricity to the utility distribution system. In almost all cases, interconnection agreements are standard form agreements that have been preapproved by the local public utility commission or other state regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over interconnection agreements.

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India Regulation

The Electricity Act, 2003

The Electricity Act, 2003, or Electricity Act, regulates and governs the generation, transmission, distribution, trading and use of electricity in India. Under the Electricity Act, the transmission, distribution and trade of electricity are regulated activities that require licenses from the relevant electricity regulatory commission (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission), State Electricity Regulatory Commissions, or “SERCs”, or the joint commission (constituted by an agreement entered into by two or more state governments or the central government in relation to one or more state governments, as the case may be).

In terms of the Electricity Act, any generating company may establish, operate and maintain generating stations without obtaining a license if it complies with prescribed technical standards relating to grid connectivity. The generating company is required to establish, operate and maintain generating stations, tie-lines, sub-stations and dedicated transmission lines.

Further, the generating company may supply electricity to any licensee or even directly to consumers, subject to availing open access to the transmission and distribution systems and payment of transmission charges, including wheeling charges and open access charges, as may be determined by the relevant electricity regulatory commission. In terms of the Electricity Act, open access means the non-discriminatory provision for the use of transmission lines or distribution system or associated facilities with such lines or system, by any licensee or consumer or a person engaged in generation in accordance with the regulations specified by the relevant electricity regulatory commission.

The relevant electricity regulatory commission is empowered, among other things, to determine or adopt the tariff for supply of electricity from the generating company to a distribution licensee (such as the distribution utility companies), for transmission of electricity, wheeling of electricity and retail sale of electricity. However, the relevant electricity regulatory commission may, in case of shortage of supply of electricity, fix the minimum and maximum tariffs for sale or purchase of electricity under agreements between a generating company and a licensee or between licensees, for a period not exceeding one year, to ensure reasonable prices of electricity. While determining the tariff, commissions are required to be guided by, among other things, the promotion of co-generation and generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy.

The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was introduced in the lower house of the Indian Parliament to amend certain provisions of the Electricity Act. Among other things, the amendment empowers the Indian government to establish and review a national renewable energy policy, tariff policy and electricity policy. Further, the Indian government may, in consultation with the state governments, notify policies and adopt measures for promotion of renewable energy generation including through tax rebates, generation linked incentives, creation of a national renewable energy fund, development of renewable industry and for effective implementation and enforcement of such measures.

 

The generating company is also required to ensure compliance with certain other regulations, including the Central Electricity Authority (Safety Requirements for Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Electrical Plants and Electric Lines) Regulations, 2011.

The National Electricity Policy, 2005

The Indian government approved the National Electricity Policy on February 12, 2005, in accordance with the provisions of the Electricity Act. The National Electricity Policy, 2005 has material effects on our business since it provides the policy framework to the central and state Electricity Regulatory Commission in developing the power sector, supplying electricity and protecting interests of consumers and other stakeholders, while keeping in view the availability of energy resources, technology available to exploit such resources, economics of generation using different resources and energy security issues. The National Electricity Policy emphasizes the need to promote generation of electricity based on non-conventional sources of energy.

The National Electricity Policy provides that the SERCs should specify appropriate tariffs in order to promote renewable energy, until renewable energy power producers relying on non-conventional technologies can compete with

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conventional sources of energy. The SERCs are required to ensure progressive increase in the share of generation of electricity from renewable energy sources and provide suitable measures for connectivity with the grid and sale of electricity to any person. Further, the SERCs are required to specify, for the purchase of electricity from renewable energy sources, a percentage of the total consumption of electricity in the area of a distribution licensee. Furthermore, the National Electricity Policy provides that such purchase of electricity by distribution companies should be through a competitive bidding process. The National Electricity Policy permits the SERCs to determine appropriate differential prices for the purchase of electricity from renewable energy power producers, in order to promote renewable sources of energy.

The National Tariff Policy, 2006

The Indian government approved the National Tariff Policy on January 6, 2006, in accordance with the provisions of the Electricity Act. The National Tariff Policy, 2006 indirectly impacts our business because it provides the policy framework to the Electricity Regulation Commissions as described below. The National Tariff Policy requires all the SERCs to specify minimum percentages for electricity to be purchased from renewable energy sources. While deciding such percentage, the SERCs must take into account the availability of such resources in the region and its impact on retail tariffs. The National Tariff Policy further provides that procurement of electricity by distribution companies from renewable energy power producers must be done at preferential tariffs determined by the SERCs. Such procurement of electricity by distribution companies for future requirements is to be done, as far as possible, through a competitive bidding process in accordance with the provisions of the Electricity Act among suppliers offering energy from same type of non-conventional sources.

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms and Conditions for Tariff Determination from Renewable Energy Sources) Regulations, 2012

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has announced the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms and Conditions for Tariff Determination from Renewable Energy Sources) Regulations, 2012, or Tariff Regulations, which prescribes the criteria that may be taken into consideration by the SERCs while determining the tariff for the sale of electricity generated from renewable energy sources that include, among other things, return on equity, interest on loan capital and depreciation. Accordingly, such tariff cannot be determined independently by renewable energy power producers such as our company. Pursuant to the National Tariff Policy, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission is required to determine the rate of return on equity which may be adopted by the SERCs to determine the generic tariff, keeping in view the overall risk and prevalent cost of capital, which factors are also to be taken into consideration by SERCs while determining the tariff rate. The Tariff Regulations prescribe that the normative return on equity shall be 20% per annum for the first 10 years and 24% per annum from the 11th year onwards.

 

The Tariff Regulations also provide the mechanism for sharing of carbon credits from approved clean development mechanism projects between renewable energy power producers and the concerned beneficiaries. Under the Tariff Regulations, the project developer is entitled to retain 100% of the gross proceeds on account of clean development mechanism project benefits in the first year after the date of commercial operation of the generating station. Subsequently, in the second year, the share of the beneficiaries is increased to 10% and then progressively increased by 10% every year until it reaches 50% after which the clean development mechanism project proceeds are to be shared equally between the generating company and the beneficiaries.

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MNRE

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in India has been facilitating the implementation of programs harnessing renewable power, renewable energy for industrial and commercial applications and development. The ministry is focused on a mix of subsidy, fiscal incentives, preferential tariffs, market mechanism and affirmative action such as renewable purchase obligations by way of legislation and policies. It has introduced the generation based incentive scheme to support small grid solar projects, pursuant to which the MNRE will pay incentives to the state utilities when they directly purchase solar power from project developers. One such incentive is exemption of customs and excise duty on all rooftops Solar PV Power Projects for a minimum capacity of 100 kw.

India’s Income Tax Act, 1961 as amended, also provides for certain tax benefits, including 100% tax deductions of the profits derived from generation of power for any 10 consecutive years, out of the first 15 years, beginning from the year in which project is completed. Though, the exemption is only available to the projects completed on or before March 31, 2017. Further, certain state policies also provide subsidies and economic incentives for solar power generating companies.

All such subsidies and incentives depend, to a large extent, on political and policy developments relating to environmental concerns in India and are available only for certain time period. Therefore, we may not continue to qualify for such subsidies and incentives. Moreover, some solar power projects do not fall under such exemptions and in future if we do take up such projects, we cannot avail any such subsidies and incentive, which would affect our project.

Additionally, due to increased awareness on greenhouse gas emissions and the possibility of trading carbon dioxide emission quotas, government is undertaking measures to reduce the emissions by way of levying additional duties on sources of energy, primarily fossil fuels, which cause carbon dioxide pollution. This has led to expansion of power generated from renewable energy on large scale and, in turn, solar projects in general. But, if the government were to reduce to terminate such duties, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects.

Renewable Purchase Obligations

The Electricity Act promotes the development of renewable sources of energy by requiring the SERCs to ensure grid connectivity and the sale of electricity generated from renewable sources. In addition, it requires the SERCs to specify, for the purchase of electricity from renewable sources, a percentage of the total consumption of electricity within the area of a distribution licensee, which are known as RPOs. Pursuant to this mandate, most of the SERCs have specified solar and non-solar RPOs in their respective states. In terms of the RPO regulations, RPOs are required to be met by obligated entities (that is, distribution licensees, captive power plants and open access consumers) by purchasing renewable energy, either by entering into PPAs with renewable energy power producers or by purchasing renewable energy certificates. The RPO regulations require the obligated entities to purchase power from renewable energy power producers such as our company. In the event of default by an obligated entity in any fiscal year, the SERCs may direct the obligated entity to deposit an amount determined by the relevant SERC, into a fund to be utilized for, among other things, the purchase of renewable energy certificates. Additionally, pursuant to the Electricity Act, a defaulting obligated entity may also be liable to pay a penalty as determined by the SERCs.

In May 2015, the Supreme Court of India upheld a regulation that made it compulsory for captive power plants and open access consumers to purchase electricity to fulfill their RPOs. This landmark judgment is expected to boost the demand for renewable energy by captive players and also improve the marketability of renewable energy certificates in India.

Safety and Environmental Laws

We are governed by certain safety and environmental legislations, including the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008.

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Under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, failure to comply with the orders and restrictions passed by the State Pollution Control Boards may result in imprisonment of a minimum term of one and a half years. Additionally, certain acts including the destruction of property of the State Pollution Control Boards, failure to intimate the emission of pollutants or failure to furnish information to the State Pollution Control Boards may attract monetary penalties of up to Rs. 0.01 million and imprisonment of up to three months.

The failure to comply with the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008 may attract monetary penalties of Rs. 0.1 million and imprisonment of up to five years.

Labor Laws

 

We are required to comply with certain labor and industrial laws, which includes the Factories Act, 1948, the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948, the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, the Workmen Compensation Act, 1923, the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 and the Payment of Wages Act, 1936.

 

Any changes in regulations or implementation of new safety, health and environmental laws and regulations, new interpretations of existing laws, increased governmental enforcement of environmental laws or other similar developments in the future would have an impact on our business. For an example, Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 provides an exemption for solar photovoltaic projects, though we are obligated to obtain consents to establish and operate in certain Indian states under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008. Many states as an initiative to encourage renewable energy have adopted policies in relation to solar projects that exempt us from obtaining such consents or have reduced or simplified procedural requirements for obtaining such consents, however, such initiatives are dependent on the current political and economic climate, and there can be no assurance that this would continue in future. All of our government approvals, licenses and permits are subject to numerous conditions, some of which are onerous and require substantial expenditures. Nonetheless, we may incur substantial costs, including clean up or remediation costs, fines and civil or criminal sanctions, and third-party property damage or personal injury claims, as a result of any violations of, liabilities under, or change in environmental or health and safety laws or noncompliance with permits and approvals, which, as a result, may have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

The Government of India has also amended its rules that determine the ‘tax residency’ of a company in India with effect from April 1, 2017. Previously, a foreign company could be a tax resident of India only if its control and management was situated wholly in India. Under the amended rules, a company will be treated as tax resident of India if (i) it is an Indian company; or (ii) its place of effective management (“POEM”) is in India. POEM is defined in the Income Tax Act, 1961, to mean a place where key management and commercial decisions that are necessary for the conduct of the business of an entity as a whole are, in substance, made. The Government of India has also issued the final guidelines for determining the POEM of a company on January 24, 2017. The applicability of the amended rules and the treatment of our subsidiaries under such rules is uncertain.

We have not determined the impact of these recent and proposed legislations on our business. Uncertainty in the applicability, interpretation or implementation of any amendment to, or change in, governing law, regulation or policy in the jurisdictions in which we operate, including by reason of an absence, or a limited body, of administrative or judicial precedent may be time consuming as well as costly for us to resolve and may impact the viability of our current business or restrict our ability to grow our business in the future

GST, Custom Duties and its implication on project cost and revenue generation

The Indian Parliament has recently approved the adoption of a comprehensive national goods and services tax (“GST”) regime that will combine taxes and levies by the central and state governments into a unified rate structure.

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The GST Council proposed that 18% tax be levied on solar cells and modules, a decision that will increase the overall cost of the under development and under construction projects. According to industry estimates, the overall project cost may go up by 12~14%. If the impact of GST is passed on to the consumers, then the DISCOMs will resist the increase of tariff rates in a time when solar tariffs for newer auctions are reaching all-time lows while on the other hand solar sector will have to reanalyze its power tariff to make-up for the increased cost of solar production. It is not clear, however, how the GST will be applied and implemented, and there can be no assurance that the GST will not result in significant additional taxes being payable, which in turn, may harm our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Available Information

Our website address is www.atni.com. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference in this Report and you should not consider information provided on our website to be part of this Report. Investors may access, free of charge, our annual reports on Form 10‑K, quarterly reports on Form 10‑Q and current reports on Form 8‑K, plus amendments to such reports as filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, through the “Financials & Filings” portion of the “Investor Relations” section of our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, paper copies of these documents may be obtained free of charge upon request by writing to us at 500 Cummings Center, Beverly, Massachusetts 01915, Attention: Investor Relations, by calling us at (978) 619‑1300 or by emailing us at ir@atni.com.

We have adopted a written Code of Ethics that applies to all of our employees and directors, including, but not limited to, our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, and principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions. Our Code of Ethics, along with our Compensation Committee Charter, Audit Committee Charter and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter, are available at the Corporate Governance section of our website. We intend to make any disclosure required under the SEC rules regarding amendments to, or waivers from, our Code of Ethics on our website.

 ITEM 1A.  RISK FACTORS

In addition to the other information contained in, or incorporated by reference into, this Report, you should carefully consider the risks described below that could materially affect our business, financial condition or future results. These risks are not the only risks facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe are immaterial also may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and/or results of operations.

Risks Related to our U.S. Telecom Segment

A significant portion of our U.S. wholesale wireless revenue is derived from a small number of customers.

A substantial portion of our U.S. Wireless revenue is generated from four national wireless service providers. Our U.S. wholesale wireless revenues accounted for approximately 25.6% of our consolidated revenues in 2017. 

Our relationships with our roaming customers generally are much more financially significant for us than for our customers. Frequently, our relationships with our roaming customers do not require them to “prefer” our networks or require them to send us a minimum amount of traffic. Instead, roaming customers may choose to utilize other networks, if available, for their subscribers’ roaming use. If our markets currently included in our roaming partners’ home calling areas are instead subject to the imposition of additional roaming charges or if we fail to keep any of our roaming customers satisfied with our service offerings or economic terms, we could lose their business, experience less roaming traffic or be unable to renew or enter into new agreements with these customers on beneficial terms (including pricing), resulting in a substantial loss of revenue, which would have a materially adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, if these customers build or acquire wireless networks in our service areas we would lose revenue. Should any of these customers take such actions over a significant portion of the areas we serve, it may have a materially adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

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We may have difficulty meeting the growing demand for data services.

Demand for smartphones and data services continues to grow across all of our wireless markets and our value to our customers in some markets depends in part on our network’s ability to provide high‑quality and high capacity network service to smartphone devices. Indeed, much of the revenue growth in our wireless businesses in the past few years has been attributable to increased demand for data services. However, if data usage increases faster than we anticipate and exceeds the then‑available capacity of any of our networks, our costs to deliver roaming services may be higher than we anticipate. In the United States, the dearth of available spectrum and or non-transparent spectral allocation practices in our industry means that we cannot guarantee that we will be able to acquire additional spectrum at a reasonable cost or at all to ensure our ability to maintain or grow our business and traffic volumes. As demand for advanced mobile data services continues to grow, we may have difficulty satisfying our retail and wholesale customers’ demand for these services without substantial upgrades and additional capital expenditures and operating expenses, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Risks Relating to Our International Telecom Segment

Our ability to restore our service quickly and economically following the impact of the Hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands or future storms could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

During September 2017, our operations and customers in the U.S. Virgin Islands were severely impacted by Hurricane Irma and subsequently Hurricane Maria (collectively, the “Hurricanes”).  Both our wireless and wireline networks and commercial operations were severely damaged by these storms.   Our assessment of the level of wireline and wireless network damage by the Hurricanes and corresponding loss is $35.4 million.  This amount, along with $3.2 million of additional operating expenses that we specifically incurred during the quarter to address the impact of the Hurricanes, has been recorded in our statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2017.  While we received approximately $34.6 million in insurance coverage proceeds in the first quarter of 2018 for a combination of replacement costs of damaged property, extra expenses and business interruption, we believe that these amounts will not cover the total losses from the Hurricanes.

 

Following the Hurricanes, service to substantially all of our customers over the HFC network was impacted due to both the loss of power and damage to our network. Accordingly, we issued approximately $19.3 million of service credits to our subscribers in 2017 which are reflected as a reduction of our wireline revenue within our International Telecom segment.   As a result of the level of damage to our network and the U.S. Virgin Islands economy, it may take significant time to return to pre-hurricane revenue levels.    Due to the ongoing restoration of our wireline infrastructure, we currently expect this impact to wireline revenue to continue into 2018, albeit decreasing each month as we are able to restore service. If we are unable to restore service on a timely and cost-effective basis, it could harm our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations through continued loss of revenue and customer attrition to our competitor.

 

Changes in Universal Service Fund (“USF”) funding could have an adverse impact on our financial condition or results of operations.

In November 2011, the FCC released an order reforming the USF program for all types of USF support recipients beginning in 2012, including Viya. This order, and follow-on orders issued by the FCC, include, among other things, new services and reporting obligations applicable to USF support recipients.  Changes in the FCC’s leadership, including their implementation of an agenda to be set by the new U.S. Administration, could materially impact the amount of support that we expect to receive or the performance obligations attached thereto. Viya currently receives high cost USF support, which was approximately $16 million for the year ended December 31, 2017.  Although we cannot predict the impact of such changes on the amounts we pay or receive in USF funds, the changes, or any future changes, could impact Viya’s USF funding negatively, and consequently, our efforts to build and maintain networks in the U.S. Virgin Islands market and our ability to provide services supported by USF funds, which could adversely affect the revenues of our International Telecom segment.

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We may have difficulty securing video services content from third parties desirable to our customers on terms and conditions favorable to us.

 

 We have secured licensing agreements with numerous content providers to allow our various video services businesses to offer a wide array of the most popular programming to our subscribers. Typically, we make long-term commitments relating to these rights in advance even though we cannot predict the popularity of the services or ratings the programming will generate. License fees may be negotiated for a number of years and may include provisions requiring us to pay part of the fees even if we choose not to distribute such programming.

 

The success of our video services operations depends on our ability to access an attractive selection of video programming from content providers on terms and pricing favorable to us. Our ability to provide movies, sports and other popular programming is a major factor that attracts subscribers to our services. Our inability to provide the content desired by our subscribers on satisfactory terms or at all could result in reduced demand for, and lower revenue from, our cable operations that may not offset the typically large subscription fees that we pay for these services. In certain cases, we may not have satisfactory contracts in place with the owners of our distributed content, leading to such parties’ desire for increased renewed contractual pricing or leading to disputes with such parties including claims for copyright or other intellectual property infringement.

 

The cost of obtaining programming associated with providing our video services is significant. The terms of many of our programming contracts are for multiple years and provide for future increases in the fees we must pay.  In addition, local over-the-air television stations are increasingly seeking substantial fees for retransmission of their stations over our cable networks. Historically, we have absorbed increased programming costs in large part through increased prices to our customers. We cannot assure that competitive and other marketplace factors will permit us to continue to pass through these costs or that we are able to renew programming agreements on comparable or favorable terms. Also, programming in the Caribbean typically includes Latin American or Spanish programming, while our subscribers typically prefer content in English. To the extent that we are unable to reach acceptable agreements with programmers or obtain desired content, we may be forced to remove programming from our line-up, which could result in a loss of customers and materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Our exclusive license to provide local exchange and international voice and data services in Guyana is subject to significant political and regulatory risk.

 

Since 1991, our subsidiary Guyana Telephone and Telegraph, Ltd. (“GT&T”) has operated in Guyana pursuant to a license from the Government of Guyana to be the exclusive provider of domestic fixed and international voice and data services pursuant to a license with an initial term ending in December 2010, which was renewable at our sole option for an additional 20 year term. In November 2009, we notified the Government of Guyana of our election to renew our exclusive license for an additional 20 year term expiring in 2030. On December 15, 2010, we received correspondence from the Government of Guyana indicating that our license had been renewed until such time that new legislation is in place with regard to the Government’s intention to expand competition within the sector; however, we believe our exclusive license continues to be valid unless and until such time as we enter into an alternative agreement with the Government.

In 2016, the Government of Guyana passed new telecommunications legislation introducing material changes to many features of Guyana’s existing telecommunications regulatory regime with the intention of introducing additional competition into Guyana’s telecommunications sector.  The legislation that passed, however, has not yet been implemented and does not have the effect of terminating our exclusive license.  Instead the legislation as passed requires the Minister of Telecommunications to conduct further proceedings and issue implementing orders to put into effect the various provisions of the legislation.  We have met with the Government of Guyana to discuss modifications of the Company’s exclusivity rights and other rights under its existing agreement and license.  However, there can be no assurance that those discussions will be concluded before the Government issues new licenses as contemplated by the legislation or at all, or that they will satisfactorily address the Company’s contractual exclusivity rights.  Although we believe that we would be entitled to damages or other compensation for any involuntary termination of our contractual exclusivity rights, we cannot guarantee that we would prevail in a proceeding to enforce our rights or that our actions would effectively halt any unilateral action by the Government.

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We are dependent on GT&T for approximately 20% of our total consolidated revenues. A loss of exclusivity on international voice and data service would result in a reduction in the international call traffic and as a result, a loss in that portion of our wireline revenue. Any modification, early termination or other revocation of the exclusive domestic fixed and international voice and data license could adversely affect our revenues and profits and diminish the value of our investment in Guyana.

Risks Related to Our Renewable Energy Segment

Our Facilities have a limited operating history.

All of our Facilities have limited operating histories. Our expectations about the performance of these Facilities are based on assumptions and estimates made without the benefit of a lengthy operating history. There can be no assurance that our Facilities will perform as anticipated or projected and the failure of these Facilities to perform as we expect could have a material adverse effect on the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of our Renewable Energy segment.

Our revenues are dependent on the performance and effectiveness of our PPAs.

The cash flow from the PPAs is significantly affected by our ability to collect payments from offtakers under our PPAs. While we believe that all of our current customers are high‑quality credit entities in their local market, if for any reason these customers are unable or unwilling to fulfill their related contractual obligations or if they refuse to accept delivery of power or otherwise terminate or breach such agreements, such non‑payment could have a material adverse effect on our revenues.  In addition, our inability to perform our obligations under the PPAs could also have a material adverse effect on our revenues. For instance, our inability to meet certain operating thresholds or performance measures under certain of our PPAs within specified time periods exposes us to the risk of covering the cost of any shortfall or early termination by such customer.

Certain of our PPAs provide for early termination for a variety of reasons, including in the event that (a) an offtaker is unable to appropriate funds from state and local governments, (b) there is a change of law that substantially reduces the value of utility credits, (c) termination for convenience, or (d) the Facility causes damage to the premises or roof and our customer fails to repair or causes  (d) change of control in the managing structure of the offtaker, (e) insolvency of the offtaker, or (f) any change in the credit worthiness of the offtaker . While we would be entitled to a termination fee (typically set at the terminal value of the PPA) in most cases, the termination fee might not be a sufficient substitute for the payments otherwise due under the PPAs. There can be no assurances that such appropriations will be made or timely made in any given year or that tax or other incentives will continue to be available for the purchase of solar energy. In the event a PPA for one or more of our projects is terminated or payments are not made (or not made in a timely manner) pursuant to such provisions, it could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. We cannot provide any assurance that PPAs containing such provisions will not be terminated or, in the event of termination, we will be able to enter into a replacement PPA. Moreover, any replacement PPA may be on terms less favorable to us than the PPA that was terminated.

Our revenue in the United States may be exposed to SREC uncertainty, inflation‑based price increases or other external factors.

In the United States, we also generate solar renewable energy credits, or SRECs, which are government emissions allowances obtained through power generation and compliance with various regulations from the government as our projects produce electricity. Revenue is recognized as SRECs are sold through long-term purchase agreements with a third party at the contractual rate specified in the agreement. In 2017, approximately 58% of our renewable energy revenue generated in the United States was earned from SREC contracts and PBIs and 42% was earned from PPA revenues. SRECs may also be transferred directly to our lenders in lieu of payments due on loans.  The revenue derived from our sale of SRECs is dependent on local governments in Massachusetts and New Jersey electing to maintain the programs that grant SRECs for power production in these states.

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In addition, certain of our PPAs do not contain inflation based price increases, resulting in an average, weighted by MWp, escalator on our PPAs of 1.08%. To the extent that we experience high rates of inflation we may experience increased operation costs without concomitant increase in revenue. In addition, a portion of the revenues under certain of the PPAs for our solar energy projects are subject to price adjustments triggered by a decrease in the market price of electricity over time. This would also have a negative impact on our ability to attract new customers and increase our portfolio, as we believe that an offtaker’s decision to develop our solar projects is primarily driven by a desire to decrease their traditional energy costs. If we are unable to negotiate more favorable pricing, it could have a material adverse impact on the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of our Renewable Energy segment. We also believe the solar industry will continue to experience periods of structural imbalance between supply and demand (i.e., where production capacity exceeds global demand), and that such periods will put pressure on pricing, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

We are reliant on key vendors for operation, maintenance and interconnection of our Facilities.

In the U.S., pursuant to our O&M Agreements, our O&M vendor is required to operate and maintain our Facilities. In India, our own staff operates and maintains our Facilities. While our U.S. O&M vendor is obligated to indemnify us to the extent it fails to perform under our O&M Agreements, any such failure could cause a delay or reduction in payments under our PPAs. Additionally, we contract with utilities through an interconnection agreement to export excess energy generated by our Facilities to an offtaker and/or the utility electrical grid. Our O&M vendor is required to perform our obligations under the interconnection agreement. If our O&M vendor fails to so perform and interconnection is lost, our offtakers will not receive any energy or net metering credits from such Facility nor a bill credit for energy that would otherwise have been exported to the utility and we may be required to cover these amounts under our PPAs.

 

Additional Risks Related to our Renewables Business in India

 

India is undergoing rapid governmental and regulatory change, which may have both short and long term material adverse impacts on our operations and ability to execute our strategic growth plans.

 

The Government of Prime Minister Modi in India has expressed its intention to cut down on corruption and tax avoidance wherever possible and in parallel with these anti-corruption measures, the Government is also looking to encourage foreign investment in India.  In the long term we consider that this change will be beneficial and increase foreign investor interest in the country; however, some changes have had a significant impact on our operations in India in the short-term.  For instance, India is currently a predominately cash economy, with millions of people having no bank accounts and transacting solely in cash.  On November 8, 2016, the Indian government removed the 500 (US$7.60) and 1,000 rupee notes from circulation and replaced them with new 2,000 rupee notes.  This step was taken to remove money from the black economy with a view to reducing corruption, increasing tax receipts, and moving India to a modern, non-cash economy.  While we have very limited cash transactions in India (mostly in relation to the payment of employee travelling and subsistence expenses), much of the construction team employed by our sub-contractors is paid in cash, often on a daily basis.  With the removal of all bank notes of a value of more than 100 rupees (US$1.50), our sub-contractors have struggled to source the cash required to pay their labor, resulting in many of the workers responsible for our ongoing solar Facility construction failing to continue to show up to the worksite.  To remedy the situation, our sub-contractors have been opening bank accounts on behalf of their workers to enable them to receive their compensation electronically, however, the construction of our solar farms in India has met with substantial delays as a result.

 

It is possible that the Government plans to take similar action in other areas to achieve this objective, however, we cannot predict what actions may be taken and what effects such actions may have on our business either directly or indirectly in the short or long term.  Further, our business model in India is predicated on the availability of “open access” rules, which allow our customers to buy their electricity from us, rather than from traditional utility providers. Any major policy changes issued by the India government to current open access rules, or other major policy changes, particularly when implemented in such a short time frame or, could impair the development or operations of our solar projects and may adversely impact our ability to construct our power project portfolio or maintain operations, once constructed.

 

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Our India operations are subject to extensive governmental regulation and regulatory, economic, social and political uncertainties in India. Any failure to obtain, renew or comply with the terms of required approvals, licenses and permits in a timely manner or at all may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

 

Any business in India is subject to a broad range of financial, administrative and other governmental regulations that may vary on a state-specific basis, and the renewables business in India is subject to additional environmental, safety and other laws and regulations. These laws and regulations require us to obtain and maintain a number of approvals, licenses, filings, registrations and permits for our ordinary course investment and operations activities, as well as developing and operating power projects. For example, in order to begin construction, we must first ensure that land is properly zoned, then obtain the various approvals during construction of our solar projects and prior to the commissioning certificate being issued, including capacity allocation and capacity transfer approvals, approvals from the local pollution control boards, evacuation and the grid connectivity approvals and approval from the chief electrical inspector for installation and energization of electrical installations at the solar project sites. Although some of the approvals required can be obtained prior to construction of a project commencing, some of the licenses required, particularly in relation to commencing the export of electricity, can only be obtained once a project is constructed and ready to commence operations.  Obtaining and maintaining these approvals and permits can be time-consuming and burdensome.  We have allotted a period of time to allow for such licenses to be obtained in our business model, but there is no assurance that we will receive these approvals from the relevant approving authority in a timely manner or at all. 

 

In addition, we could be adversely affected by the adoption or implementation of new laws and regulations, new interpretations of existing laws, increased governmental enforcement of laws or other similar developments in the future. There can be no assurance that we will not be subject to any new requirements in the future, and that we will be able to obtain and maintain such consents or permits in a timely manner, or at all, or that we will not become subject to any regulatory action on account of not having obtained or renewed such permits or filings in any past periods. Further, we cannot assure that the approvals, licenses, registrations and permits issued to us will not be subject to suspension or revocation for non-compliance or alleged non-compliance with any terms or conditions thereof, or pursuant to any regulatory action. Any failure to apply for, renew and obtain the required approvals, licenses, registrations or permits, or any suspension or revocation of any of the approvals, licenses, registrations and permits that have been or may be issued to us, or any onerous conditions made applicable to us in terms of such approvals, licenses, registrations or permits may impede the successful construction and/or operation of our power projects, which could have a material adverse effect on the business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects in our Renewable Energy segment. 

 

In addition, our financial performance will be affected by changes in exchange rates and controls, interest rates, changes in government policies, including taxation policies, labor conditions, and other political, social and economic developments in or affecting India. The Indian government has exercised and continues to exercise significant influence over many aspects of the Indian economy. Currently, the Indian government has in place policies of economic liberalization; however, the role of the Indian central and state governments in the Indian economy is significant. The rate of economic liberalization could change, and specific laws and policies affecting solar power producers, investments owned by non-Indian companies, currency exchange rates and other matters affecting investments in India could change as well.   Such changes could have a material adverse effect on the business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects in our Renewable Energy segment.

 

Land title in India can be uncertain and difficult to procure.

 

There is no central title registry for real property in India and the documentation of land records in India has not been fully computerized. Property records in India are generally maintained at the state and district level and in local languages, and are updated manually through physical records. Therefore, property records may not be available online for inspection or updated in a timely manner, may be illegible, untraceable, incomplete or inaccurate in certain respects, or may have been kept in poor condition, which may impede title investigations or our ability to rely on such property records. Furthermore, title to land in India is often fragmented, and in many cases, land may have multiple owners. Title may also suffer from irregularities, such as non-execution or non-registration of conveyance deeds and inadequate stamping, and may be subjected to encumbrances that we are unaware of. As a result, potential disputes or claims over title to the land on which our power projects will be constructed may arise. We recognize the material nature of this risk

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and have invested heavily in and prioritized our real estate due diligence work by retaining in-house legal real estate experts to review and advise on real estate diligence and land ownership.  We are also looking to secure title insurance for land that we wish to purchase, although such title insurance is currently very uncommon in India. We believe that real estate issues are most likely to arise during the construction phase of a project, and note that in most cases the land we purchase for a project is likely to be bought from multiple land owners and so individual title issues may have a limited impact even where they materialize.  Nonetheless, any real estate issues could impair the development or operations of our solar projects and any defects in, or irregularities of, title may result in a loss of development or operating rights over the land that may adversely impact our ability to construct our power project portfolio or maintain operations, once constructed. Further, the government may exercise its rights of eminent domain, or compulsory acquisition in respect of land on which our projects are or will be located. Any of this may adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows in the future. For instance, in one such state a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) has been filed in the courts against the acquisition of large parcels of land by the solar power generation companies. All such litigations may result in new regulations, adversely affecting our project construction and operation.

 

We may not be able to timely and effectively construct our developed solar project portfolio.

 

The development and construction of solar projects involve numerous risks and uncertainties and require extensive research, planning and due diligence. We have already incurred, and may continue to incur, significant costs for land and interconnection rights, regulatory approvals, preliminary engineering, permits, and legal and other expenses before we can determine whether a solar project is economically, technologically or otherwise feasible.  Our existing operations, personnel, systems and internal control may not be adequate to support our growth and expansion and may require us to make additional unanticipated investments in our infrastructure. If we are unable to manage our growth effectively, we may not be able to take advantage of market opportunities, execute our business strategies successfully or respond to competitive pressures. As a result, our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.

 

Our ability to realize profits in our investment may depend greatly on our ability to achieve the following:

 

accurately identify and prioritize geographic markets for entry, both in terms of market demand and viability of solar conditions and grid connection;

manage local operations, capital investment or components sourcing in compliance with regulatory requirements;

procure land at cost-effective prices and on terms favorable to us;

procure equipment and negotiate favorable payment and other terms with suppliers;

obtain grid interconnection rights;

successfully complete construction by the expiration of any procured grid interconnection rights;

secure reliable and enforceable EPC and O&M resources; and

sign PPAs or other arrangements on a long-term basis and on terms that are favorable to us.

 

Construction of our solar projects may be also be adversely affected by circumstances outside of our control, including inclement weather, adverse geological and environmental conditions, a failure to receive regulatory approvals on schedule or third-party delays in providing supplies and other materials. Changes in project plans or designs, or defective or late execution may increase our costs from our initial estimates and cause delays. Global supply and demand for key equipment, particularly solar panels, and foreign exchange movements may increase procurement costs as the majority of the equipment used by us is sourced from outside of India. Labor shortages, work stoppages, labor disputes, disputes with neighboring land owners and/or local villages could significantly delay a projector increase our costs. Any construction setbacks or delays could have a material adverse effect on our ability to obtain, maintain and perform under the PPAs we seek to procure and could result in financial penalties under these agreements and/or the termination of such agreements, which could have a material adverse impact on our prospects and results of operations in our Renewable Energy segment.

 

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We are reliant on India’s infrastructure to deliver power and any failure or technical challenges may lead to delays or other impediments that may have an adverse effect on our operations or financial condition.

 

India has a target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity installed by March 2022, of which it is intended that 100 GWp will be solar power capacity.  New capacity additions have historically been lower than the targeted capacity. If the government fails to reach its targeted solar capacity, it will directly result in a slowdown in our growth opportunities and adversely affect our ability to achieve our long term business objectives, targets and goals. Moreover, due to the intermittent nature of most forms of renewable energy generation, significant renewable energy generation capacity on a limited area of grid infrastructure can cause technical challenges to keep the grid in balance.  Such technical issues could result in a grid company looking to turn down the export capacity of one of our solar projects for a limited or extended period, or the grid company incurring additional costs in order to manage their grid infrastructure, and looking to recharge such costs to renewable energy generators.  Such actions by a grid operator could have a material adverse impact on our prospects and results of operations in our Renewable Energy segment.

 

For distributing power to an offtaker, we generally rely on transmission lines and other transmission and distribution facilities that are owned and operated by the respective state governments or public entities. In absence of such transmission and distribution networks, we may engage contractors to build transmission lines and other related infrastructure. In such a case, we will be exposed to additional costs and risks associated with developing transmission lines and other related infrastructure, such as the ability to obtain right of way from land owners for the construction of our transmission lines, which may delay and increase the costs of our projects. We may not be able to secure access to the available transmission and distribution networks at reasonable prices, in a timely manner or at all.

 

In some instances, we are required to distribute power to customers across long distances from our project sites. Any constrains or limited access to transmission and distribution networks, could curtail the transmission and dispatch of the full output of our projects and we may have to suspend producing electricity during the period when electricity cannot be transmitted, thereby reducing the net power generation of our projects. Any such curtailment of our power projects’ output levels will reduce our electricity output and limit operational efficiencies, which in turn could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.

 

The period between project origination and the commencement of commercial operations can be extended and may result in delays that materially and adversely impact our results of operations.

 

Solar projects typically generate revenue only after becoming commercially operational and starting to sell electricity to offtakers through the power grid. There may be long delays from the development process to projects becoming shovel-ready, due to the timing of land procurement, permitting and the grid connectivity process. There could be a significant delay between our upfront investments and actual generation of revenue, or any added delay in between due to unforeseen events.  These delays could result in equipment costs rising (e.g. due to material foreign currency movements) and the price at which we are able to sell the power generated falling (as the PPA is only entered into at the point where the project is close to being operational).  Such changes could materially and adversely affect our profitability, results of operations and cash flows prospects in our Renewable Energy segment.

 

Our ability to realize the benefits of our investment in India may be delayed and our growth prospects depend to a significant extent on the availability of additional funding options with acceptable terms.

 

We require a significant amount of cash to fund the installation and construction of our projects in India and other aspects of our operations, and have planned to incur debt or acquire additional equity funding in the future to complement our investment. We may also require additional cash due to changing business conditions or other future developments, including any investments or acquisitions we may decide to pursue in order to remain competitive. We intend to evaluate third-party financing options, including any bank loans, equity partners, financial leases and securitization. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be successful in locating additional suitable sources of financing on a timely basis or at all, or on terms or at costs that are acceptable to us, which may materially adversely affect our ability to continue construction and expand our operations in India. In addition, rising interest rates could adversely impact our ability to secure financing on favorable terms.

 

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Our ability to obtain external financing is subject to a number of uncertainties, including:

 

·

our future financial condition, results of operations and cash flows;

the general condition of global equity and debt capital markets;

decline of the Indian rupee compared to U.S. dollar; and

the continued confidence of banks and other financial institutions in our company and the solar power industry, amongst other factors.

 

Any additional equity financing may be dilutive to us and our stockholders and any debt financing may contain restrictive covenants that limit our flexibility going forward and may adversely impact our ability to achieve our intended business objectives.

 

The failure to obtain third party financing may result in us failing to achieve the scale that we are currently expecting, and the failure to reach this scale would result in lower economies of scale, and as a result could materially and adversely affect our profitability, results of operations and cash flows in our Renewable Energy segment.

 

If demand for solar power is decreased or does not develop according to expected timelines, or we are unable to meet such demand, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

 

Many factors may affect the demand for solar projects in India, including the following:

 

changes in economic and market conditions that affect the viability of traditional power and other renewable energy sources;

the cost and reliability of solar projects compared with traditional energy sources;

the availability of grid capacity to dispatch power generated from solar projects;

the reliability of grid infrastructure in India; and

governmental policies governing the electric utility industry that may present technical, regulatory and economic barriers to the purchase and use of solar energy.

 

If market demand for solar projects fails to develop sufficiently or is delayed in its development, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

 

We face significant competition from traditional and renewable energy companies.

 

We face significant competition in the markets in which we operate. Our competitors may have greater operational, financial, technical, management expertise or other resources than we do and may be able to achieve better economies of scale and lower cost of capital, allowing them to sell electricity at more competitive rates. Our local competitors are likely to be funded from Indian sources of capital, and so will not have to factor foreign currency movements into their target returns, which may also enable them to sell electricity at more competitive rates.  Our competitors may also have a more effective or established localized business presence or a greater appetite for risk (e.g. in relation to equipment warranties) and greater willingness or ability to operate with little or no operating margins for sustained periods of time. Our market position depends on our financing, development and operation capabilities, reputation and track record. Any increase in competition or reduction in our competitive capabilities could have a significant adverse impact on the margins we generate from our solar projects. We cannot assure that we will be able to compete effectively, and our failure to do so could result in an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows in our Renewable Energy segment.

 

The growth of our solar business is dependent on our ability to identify and acquire additional solar projects on favorable terms.

Our business strategy for our Renewable Energy segment is to grow via acquisition and development of additional energy generation assets, with a current focus on solar distributed generation. In order to do so, we are reliant on management to effectively identify and consummate acquisition or new project opportunities on a timely basis and on

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favorable terms. The number of acquisition and development opportunities is limited, and we compete with some organizations with greater size, scale and resources. In addition, the design, construction and operation of solar energy projects are highly regulated, require various governmental approvals and permits, including environmental approvals and permits, and may be subject to the imposition of related conditions that vary by jurisdiction. We cannot predict whether all permits required for a given project will be granted or granted on terms that are favorable to our business plans. If we are unable to grow our Renewable Energy segment, we may not be able to succeed with our overall business growth strategy.

Other Risks Related to Our Businesses

Storms and changes in meteorological conditions may materially disrupt our operations.

Many of the areas in which we operate have experienced severe weather conditions over the years including hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, damaging storms and floods. Some areas in which we operate may also be at risk of earthquakes. Such events may materially disrupt and adversely affect our business operations, such as the recent impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2017. Major hurricanes also passed directly over Bermuda in 2003, 2014 and 2016 causing major damage to our network and to the island’s infrastructure. Guyana has suffered from severe rains and flooding in the past as well. Our solar production at our facilities in Massachusetts was negatively impacted in early 2015 by repeated heavy snowfall and prolonged cold weather.  While some of these events have not had a significant negative impact on the operating results or financial condition of the affected businesses or our overall business, we cannot be sure that these types of events will not have such an impact in the future or that we can procure insurance coverage against these types of severe weather events under reasonable business terms and conditions or any insurance coverage we are able to maintain will adequately compensate us for all damage and economic losses resulting from natural catastrophes.

The electricity produced and revenues generated by a solar electric generation facility is highly dependent on suitable solar and associated weather conditions and our solar panels and inverters could be damaged by severe weather, such as hailstorms, blizzards or tornadoes. In addition, replacement and spare parts for key components may be difficult or costly to acquire or may be unavailable. Unfavorable weather and atmospheric conditions could reduce the output of our Facilities and lead to a loss of revenue from our offtakers.

Regulatory changes may impose restrictions that adversely affect us or cause us to incur significant unplanned costs in modifying our business plans or operations.

We are subject to U.S. federal, state and local regulations and foreign government regulations, all of which are subject to change. As new laws and regulations are issued or discontinued,  we may be required to modify our business plans or operations materially. We cannot be certain that we can do so in a cost‑effective manner. For example, a portion of our revenues in our Renewable Energy segment from PPAs is dependent on the ongoing availability of tax credits for clean energy and changes to the FCC’s universal service support could materially impact the amount of support that we expect to receive or the performance obligations attached theretoAny effort by the new U.S. administration or other jurisdictions to overturn or modify laws, regulations or policies that are supportive of renewable energy projects or that remove costs or other limitations on other types of generation that compete with renewable energy projects could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  In addition, the failure to comply with applicable governmental regulations could result in the loss of our licenses or authorizations to operate, inability to perform under our PPAs, the assessment of penalties or fines or otherwise may have a material adverse effect on the results of our operations.

Our operations in the United States are subject to the Communications Act. The interpretation and implementation of the provisions of the Communications Act and the FCC rules implementing the Communications Act continue to be heavily debated and may have a material adverse effect on our business. Also, although comprehensive legislation has not yet been introduced, there have been indications that Congress may substantially revise the 1996 Act and other regulation in the next few years. While we believe we are in compliance in all material respects with federal and state regulatory requirements, our interpretation of our obligations may differ from those of regulatory authorities. Both federal and state regulators require us to pay various fees and assessments, file periodic reports and comply with

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various rules regarding our consumer marketing practices and the contents of our bills, on an on‑going basis. If we fail to comply with these requirements, we may be subject to fines or potentially be asked to show cause as to why our licenses to provide service should not be revoked.

The loss of certain licenses could adversely affect our ability to provide wireless and broadband services.

In the United States, wireless licenses generally are valid for ten years from the effective date of the license, although recently-issued 600 MHz licenses were issued for a slightly longer initial term, to account for the need for broadcast television incumbents to vacate the spectrum before the new wireless licensees could construct. Licensees may renew their licenses (including renewal of 600 MHz licenses) for additional ten‑year periods by filing renewal applications with the FCC. Our 600 MHz wireless licenses all expire in 2029. Our other wireless licenses in the U.S. expire between 2018 and 2027. While we intend to renew our licenses expiring this year, the renewal applications are subject to FCC review and are put out for public comment to ensure that the licensees meet their licensing requirements and comply with other applicable FCC mandates. Failure to file for renewal of these licenses or failure to meet any licensing requirements could lead to a denial of the renewal application and thus adversely affect our ability to continue to provide service in that license area. Furthermore, our compliance with regulatory requirements such as enhanced 911 and CALEA requirements may depend on the availability of necessary equipment or software.

 

In our international markets, telecommunications licenses are typically issued and regulated by the applicable telecommunications ministry. The application and renewal process for these licenses may be lengthy, require us to expend substantial renewal fees, and/or be subject to regulatory or legislative uncertainty, such as we are experiencing in Guyana, as described above. Failure to comply with these regulatory requirements may have an adverse effect on our licenses or operations and could result in sanctions, fines or other penalties.

Failure of network or information technology systems, including as a result of security breaches, could have an adverse effect on our business.

We are highly dependent on our information technology (“IT”) systems for the operation of our network, or Facilities delivery of services to our customers and compilation of our financial results. Failure of these IT systems, through cyberattacks, breaches of security, or otherwise, may cause disruptions to our operations. Our inability to operate our network, Facilities and back office systems as a result of such events, even for a limited period of time, may result in significant expenses and/ impact the timely and accurate delivery of our services or other information. Other risks that may also cause interruptions in service or reduced capacity for our customers include power loss, capacity limitations, software defects and breaches of security by computer viruses, break‑ins or otherwise. Disruptions in our networks and the unavailability of our services or our inability to efficiently and effectively complete necessary technology or systems upgrades or conversions could lead to a loss of customers, damage to our reputation and violation of the terms of our licenses and contracts with customers. Additionally, breaches of security may lead to unauthorized access to our customer or employee information processed and stored in, and transmitted through, our computer systems and networks. We may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures or to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures arising from operational and security risks, and we may be subject to litigation, regulatory penalties and financial losses.  These failures could also lead to significant negative publicity, regulatory problems and litigation.

Rapid and significant technological changes in the telecommunications industry may adversely affect us.

Our industry faces rapid and significant changes in technology that directly impact our business, including the following:

·

evolving industry standards;

·

requirements resulting from changing regulatory regimes;

·

the allocation of radio frequency spectrum in which to license and operate wireless services;

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·

ongoing improvements in the capacity and quality of digital technology;

·

changes in end‑user requirements and preferences;

·

convergence between video and data services;

·

development of data and broadband capabilities and rapidly expanding demand for those capabilities;

·

migration to new‑generation services such as “5G” network technology; and

·

introduction of new telecom delivery platforms such as next generation satellite services.

For us to keep up with these technological changes and remain competitive, at a minimum we will be required to continue to make significant capital expenditures to add to our networks’ capacity, coverage and technical capability. For example, we have spent considerable amounts adding higher speed, higher capacity mobile data services to many of our networks in recent years and we think it likely that more such expenditures, including adding LTE mobile data technologies, will be needed over the next few years.

We cannot predict the effect of technological changes on our business. Alternative or new technologies may be developed that provide communications services superior to those available from us, which may adversely affect our business. For example, to accommodate the demand by our wireless customers for next‑generation advanced wireless products such as high‑speed data and streaming video, we may be required to purchase additional spectrum, however, we have had difficulty finding spectrum for sale or on terms that are acceptable to us. In addition, usage of wireless voice or broadband services in excess of our expectations could strain our capacity, causing service disruptions and result in higher operating costs and capital expenditures. In each of our markets, providing more and higher speed data services through our wireless or wireline networks may require us to make substantial investments in additional telecommunications transport capacity connecting our networks to the Internet, and in some cases such capacity may not be available to us on attractive terms or at all. Failure to provide these services or to upgrade to new technologies on a timely basis and at an acceptable cost could have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete with carriers in our markets.

We rely on a limited number of key suppliers and vendors for timely supply of handsets, accessories, equipment and services relating to our network or Facility infrastructure. If these suppliers or vendors experience problems or favor our competitors, we could fail to obtain sufficient quantities of the products and services we require to operate our businesses successfully.

We depend on a limited number of suppliers and vendors for equipment and services relating to our handset lineup, network infrastructure, solar equipment and our back‑office IT systems infrastructure. If these suppliers experience interruptions or other problems delivering these network components on a timely basis, our subscriber or revenue growth and operating results could suffer significantly.

We source wireless devices for our retail wireless businesses from a small number of handset resellers and to a lesser extent, equipment manufacturers and depend on access to compelling devices at reasonable prices on primary and secondary markets for these devices, as well as timely delivery of devices to meet market demands. The inability to provide a competitive device lineup could materially impact our ability to attract new customers and retain existing customers. We are also reliant upon a limited number of network equipment manufacturers, including Ericsson, Motorola, Alcatel‑Lucent and Nokia and a limited number of solar equipment manufacturers, including Yingli, GCL, and Inventec for photovoltaic modules and SMA and Satcon for inverters.

We are also dependent on the ability of our solar equipment manufacturers to fulfill the warranties on our solar equipment, which typically range from 5 to 25 years in length, in the event of equipment malfunction. If these suppliers cease operations or for some reason default on their warranties, we would have to bear the expense our repairing or replacing any faulty equipment. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be

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materially adversely affected if we cannot make claims under warranties covering our Facilities. If it becomes necessary to seek alternative suppliers and vendors, we may be unable to obtain satisfactory replacement suppliers or vendors on economically attractive terms on a timely basis.

We are actively evaluating investment, acquisition and other strategic opportunities, which may affect our long‑term growth prospects.

We actively evaluate acquisition, investment, business sales and combinations, and other strategic opportunities, both domestic and international, in telecommunications, energy‑related and other industries, including in areas that may not be seen by the broader market as timely today. We may focus on opportunities that we believe have potential for long‑term organic and strategic growth or that may otherwise satisfy our return and other investment criteria. Any acquisition or investment that we might make outside of the telecommunications or solar industries would pose the risk inherent in us entering into a new, unrelated business, including the ability of our holding company management team to effectively oversee the management team of such operations. Similarly, there are risks inherent in the sale of a business or assets, including the potential of a transaction failing to close due to last minute negotiations, regulatory issues, or the like which can be disruptive to our operations and costly.  There can be no assurance as to whether, when or on what terms we will be able to invest in, acquire or divest any businesses or assets or that we will be able to successfully integrate the business or realize the perceived benefits of any acquisition. Any such transactions may be accomplished through the payment of cash, issuance of shares of our capital stock or incurrence of additional debt, or a combination thereof. As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately $227.0 million in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and short term investments approximately $155.8 million of long‑term debt. How and when we deploy our balance sheet capacity will figure prominently in our longer‑term growth prospects and stockholder returns.

Increased competition may adversely affect growth, require increased capital expenditures, result in the loss of existing customers and decrease our revenues.

We face competition in the markets in which we operate. For example:

·

In the United States, our greatest competitive risk to our wholesale wireless business is the possibility that our current roaming customers may elect to build or enhance their own networks within the rural market in which we currently provide service, which is commonly known as “over‑building.” If our roaming customers, who generally have greater financial resources and access to capital than we do, determine to over‑build our network, their need for our roaming services will be significantly reduced or eliminated.

·

In Bermuda and the Caribbean, we compete primarily against Digicel and other larger providers such as Liberty Global.

·

In our solar power business, we face competition from traditional utilities and renewable energy companies. Many of our competitors are larger with greater resources and are less dependent on third parties for the sourcing of equipment or operation and maintenance of their solar facilities.

Over the last decade, an increase in competition in many areas of the telecommunications industry has contributed to a decline in prices for communication services, including mobile wireless services, local and long‑distance telephone service, and data services. Increased competition in the industry may decrease prices further. In addition, increased competition in the telecommunications and renewable energy industries could reduce our customer base, require us to invest in new facilities and capabilities and reduce revenues, margins and returns.

Our International Telecom segment operates mainly in island locations, where a limited number of providers in these small markets maintain strong competition. In several of our markets, we hold a dominant position as the local incumbent carrier and in others may have a competitive advantage in our ability to bundle some combination of voice, data, video and wireless services.  Increased competition, whether by new entrants or increased capital investment in our competitors’ existing networks, will make it more difficult for us to attract and retain customers in our small markets, which could result in lower revenue and cash flow from operating activities.

 

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General economic factors, domestically and internationally, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

General economic factors could adversely affect demand for our products and services, require a change in the services we sell or have a significant impact in our operating costs. Energy costs are historically volatile and are subject to fluctuations arising from changes in domestic and international supply and demand, labor costs, competition, market speculation, government regulations, or weather conditions. Rapid and significant changes in these and other commodity prices may affect our sales and profit margins. General economic conditions can also be affected by the outbreak of war, acts of terrorism, or other significant national or international events.

In addition, an economic downturn in our markets or the global market may lead to slower economic activity, increased unemployment, concerns about inflation, decreased consumer confidence and other adverse business conditions that could have an impact on our businesses. For example, among other things:

·

A decrease in tourism could negatively affect revenues and growth opportunities from operations in the islands and in a number of areas covered by U.S. rural and wholesale wireless operations that serve tourist destinations.

·

An increase in “bad debt”, or the amounts that we have to write off of our accounts receivable could result from our inability to collect subscription fees from our subscribers.

·

We rely on the population of Guyanese living abroad who initiate calls to Guyana or are responsible for remittances to relatives living in Guyana. A prolonged economic downturn in the U.S. or Canadian economies could affect inbound calling and, therefore, our revenue in Guyana.

The impact, if any, that these events might have on us and our business, is uncertain.

Our operations are subject to economic, political, currency and other risks that could adversely affect our revenues or financial position.

Our operations may face adverse financial consequences and operational problems due to political or economic changes, such as changes in national or regional political or economic conditions, laws and regulations that restrict repatriation of earnings or other funds, or changes in foreign currency exchange rates. As new laws and regulations are issued or discontinued to implement an agenda set by the new U.S. administration, we may be required to materially modify our business plans or operations.  Any of these changes could adversely affect our revenues or financial position.

In India in particular, our exposure to the fluctuation in the value of the rupee will have a direct impact on our ability to meet expected returns projected in U.S. dollars or make payment on any debt denominated in dollars. Any further currency fluctuation could have a material adverse impact in our ability to realize the returns we anticipated in making such investments.

Our ability to recruit and retain experienced management and technical personnel could adversely affect our results of operations and ability to maintain internal controls.

The success of our business is largely dependent on our executive officers and the officers of our operating units, as well as on our ability to attract and retain other highly qualified technical and management personnel. We believe that there is, and will continue to be, strong competition for qualified personnel in the communications and energy industries and in our markets, and we cannot be certain that we will be able to attract and retain the personnel necessary for the development of our business. We rely heavily on local management to run our operating units. Many of the markets we operate in are small and remote, making it difficult to attract and retain talented and qualified managers and staff in those markets. The loss of key personnel or the failure to attract or retain personnel with the sophistication to run complicated telecommunications or solar equipment, networks and systems could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We do not currently maintain “key person” life insurance on any of our key employees and none of the executives at our parent company are under employment agreements.

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In addition, cultural differences abroad and local practices of conducting business in our foreign operations may not be in line with the business practices, recordkeeping and ethics standards in the United States. In order to continue to ensure compliance with foreign and U.S. laws, accounting standards and our own corporate policies, we have implemented financial and operational controls, created an internal audit team responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with our internal accounting controls, and routinely train our employees, vendors and consultants. However, having substantial foreign operations also increases the complexity and difficulty of developing, implementing and monitoring these internal controls and procedures. If we are unable to manage these risks effectively, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Capital Structure

Our debt instruments include restrictive and financial covenants that limit our operating flexibility.

The credit facilities that we and our subsidiaries maintain include certain financial and other covenants that, among other things, restrict our ability to take specific actions, even if we believe such actions are in our best interest. These include restrictions on our ability to do the following:

·

incur additional debt;

·

create liens or negative pledges with respect to our assets;

·

pay dividends or distributions on, or redeem or repurchase, our capital stock;

·

make investments, loans or advances or other forms of payments;

·

issue, sell or allow distributions on capital stock of specified subsidiaries;

·

enter into transactions with affiliates; or

·

merge, consolidate or sell our assets.

Any failure to comply with the restrictions of the credit facility or any subsequent financing agreements may result in an event of default. Such default may allow our creditors to accelerate the repayment of the related debt and may result in the acceleration of the repayment of any other debt to which a cross‑acceleration or cross‑default provision applies. In addition, these creditors may be able to terminate any commitments they had made to provide us with further funds.

Our Chairman is our largest stockholder and will continue to exert significant influence over us.

Cornelius B. Prior, Jr., our Chairman and the father of our Chief Executive Officer, beneficially owns, together with related entities, affiliates and family members (including our Chief Executive Officer), approximately 27% of our outstanding Common Stock. As a result, he is able to exert significant influence over all matters presented to our stockholders for approval, including election and removal of our directors and change of control transactions. In addition, as our Chairman, he has the ability to exert significant influence over other matters brought before our Board of Directors, such as proposed changes in our strategy or business plans and our major financing decisions. His interests may not always coincide with the interests of other holders of our Common Stock.

Low trading volume of our stock may limit our stockholders ability to sell shares and/or result in lower sale prices.

For the three months prior to February 1, 2018, the average daily trading volume of our Common Stock was approximately 97,000 shares. As a result, our stockholders may have difficulty selling a large number of shares of our Common Stock in the manner or at a price that might be attainable if our Common Stock were more actively traded. In addition, the market price of our Common Stock may not be reflective of its underlying value.

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We may not pay dividends in the future.

Our stockholders may receive dividends out of legally available funds if, and when, they are declared by our Board of Directors. We have consistently paid quarterly dividends in the past, but may cease to do so or decrease the dividend amount at any time. Our credit facility sets certain limitations on our ability to pay dividends on, or repurchase, our capital stock. We may incur additional indebtedness in the future that may further restrict our ability to declare and pay dividends. We may also be restricted from paying dividends in the future due to restrictions imposed by applicable state laws, our financial condition and results of operations, capital requirements, covenants contained in our financing agreements, management’s assessment of future capital needs and other factors considered by our Board of Directors.

 

ITEM 1B.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2.  PROPERTIES

We lease approximately 21,000 square feet of office space at 500 Cummings Center, Beverly, MA 01915 for our corporate headquarters. Worldwide, we utilize the following approximate square footage of space for our operations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

 

 

 

International

 

Renewable

 

Type of space

 

U.S. Telecom

 

Telecom

 

Energy

 

Office

 

65,038

 

284,637

 

21,509

 

Retail stores

 

15,697

 

29,050

 

 —

 

Technical operations

 

115,631

 

1,931,624

 

 —

 

All of the above locations are leased except for the office and technical space within our International Telecom segment, which we own. As of December 31, 2017, we operated twelve retail stores in our U.S. Telecom segment and twenty one retail stores in our International Telecom segment.

Our offices and technical operations are in the following locations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Telecom

 

International Telecom

 

Renewable Energy

 

Little Rock, AR

 

Georgetown, Guyana

 

San Francisco, CA

 

Castle Rock, CO

 

Bermuda

 

Hyderabad, India

 

Atlanta, GA

 

U.S. Virgin Islands

 

Singapore

 

 

 

Cayman Islands

 

 

 

Within our telecommunications operations, we globally own 296 towers, lease an additional 482 towers and have five switch locations within rented locations. In addition, our renewable energy operations own 64 commercial solar projects at 33 sites. We consider our owned and leased properties to be suitable and adequate for our business operations.

ITEM 3.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Our Guyana subsidiary, Guyana Telephone & Telegraph, Ltd. (“GT&T”) holds an exclusive license to provide domestic fixed services and international voice and data services in Guyana. The license, whose initial term of twenty years expired at the end of 2010, allowed for GT&T at its sole option, to extend the term for an additional twenty years, until December 2030. GT&T  exercised its extension right, in accordance with the terms of its License and its agreement with the Government of Guyana, in November 2009.

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In 2016, the Government of Guyana passed new telecommunications legislation introducing material changes to many features of Guyana’s existing telecommunications regulatory regime with the intention of introducing additional competition into Guyana’s telecommunications sector.  The legislation that passed, however, has not yet been implemented and does not include a provision that permits other telecommunications carriers to receive licenses automatically upon signing of the legislation, nor does it have the effect of terminating the Company’s exclusive license.  Instead the legislation as passed requires the Minister of Telecommunications to conduct further proceedings and issue implementing orders to enact the various provisions of the legislation.  We have met with the Government of Guyana, including as recently as January 2018, to discuss modifications of the Company’s exclusivity rights and other rights under its existing agreement and license.  However, there can be no assurance that those discussions will be concluded before the Government issues new licenses as contemplated by the legislation or at all, or that they will satisfactorily address our contractual exclusivity rights.  Although the Company believes that it would be entitled to damages or other compensation for any involuntary termination of its contractual exclusivity rights, it cannot guarantee that the Company would prevail in a proceeding to enforce its rights or that its actions would effectively halt any unilateral action by the Government.

In November 2007, Caribbean Telecommunications Limited (“CTL”) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against GT&T and ATN claiming breach of an interconnection agreement for domestic cellular services in Guyana and related claims. CTL asserted over $200 million in damages.  GT&T and ATN moved to dismiss the complaint on procedural and jurisdictional grounds. On January 26, 2009, the court granted the motions to dismiss the complaint on the grounds asserted. In November 2009 and again in April 2013, CTL filed and then abandoned a similar claim against GT&T and the PUC in the High Court of Guyana. CTL once more filed a similar claim against the Company in December 2017, seeking damages of $25 million.  The Company continues to believe this claim is without merit and intends to vigorously defend against it.  

On May 8, 2009, Digicel filed a lawsuit in Guyana challenging the legality of GT&T’s exclusive license rights under Guyana’s constitution. Digicel initially filed this lawsuit against the Attorney General of Guyana in the High Court. On May 13, 2009, GT&T petitioned to intervene in the suit in order to oppose Digicel’s claims and that petition was granted on May 18, 2009. GT&T filed an answer to the charge on June 22, 2009, and the case is pending. We believe that any legal challenge to GT&T’s exclusive license rights granted in 1990 is without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend against such a legal challenge.

GT&T has filed several lawsuits in the High Court of Guyana asserting that Digicel is engaged in international bypass in violation of GT&T’s exclusive license rights, the interconnection agreement between the parties, and the laws of Guyana. GT&T is seeking injunctive relief to stop the illegal bypass activity and punitive damaged caused thereby. Digicel filed counterclaims alleging that GT&T has violated the terms of the interconnection agreement and Guyana laws.  These suits, filed in 2010 and 2012, have yet to proceed to trial and it remains uncertain as to when a trial date may be set.  GT&T intends to vigorously prosecute these matters.

GT&T is also involved in several legal claims regarding its tax filings with the Guyana Revenue Authority dating back to 1991 regarding the deductibility of intercompany advisory fees as well as other tax assessments. Should GT&T be held liable for any of the disputed tax assessments, totaling $44.1 million, the Company believes that the Government of Guyana would then be obligated to reimburse GT&T  for any amounts necessary to ensure that GT&T’s return on investment was no less than 15% per annum for the relevant periods.

 

ITEM 4.  MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable.

 

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PART II

ITEM 5.  MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Our Common Stock, $.01 par value, is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “ATNI.” The following table sets forth the high and low sales prices for our Common Stock as reported by the NASDAQ Global Select Market:

\

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

High

    

Low

 

2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter ended March 31

 

$

82.59

 

$

70.22

 

Quarter ended June 30

 

$

79.61

 

$

69.71

 

Quarter ended September 30

 

$

83.27

 

$

62.70

 

Quarter ended December 31

 

$

84.29

 

$

64.63

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

High

    

Low

 

2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter ended March 31

 

$

87.82

 

$

66.05

 

Quarter ended June 30

 

$

73.99

 

$

60.99

 

Quarter ended September 30

 

$

69.88

 

$

49.50

 

Quarter ended December 31

 

$

60.88

 

$

50.26

 

The number of holders of record of Common Stock as of March 1, 2018 was 97.

Dividends

The following table sets forth the quarterly dividends per share declared by us over the past two fiscal years ended December 31, 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

First

    

Second

    

Third

    

Fourth

 

 

 

Quarter

 

Quarter

 

Quarter

 

Quarter

 

2016

 

$

0.32

 

$

0.32

 

$

0.34

 

$

0.34

 

2017

 

$

0.34

 

$

0.34

 

$

0.17

 

$

0.17

 

The declaration and payment of dividends on our Common Stock is at the discretion of our Board of Directors and is subject to a number of factors. Our credit facility restricts our ability to declare or pay dividends on our Common Stock. Because we are a holding company, our ability to declare dividends is effectively limited to the amount of dividends, if any, our subsidiaries and other equity holdings may distribute to us. We have paid quarterly dividends on our Common Stock since January 1999.  The present Board of Directors believes in returning a portion of profits, where possible, to stockholders and, subject to prudent resource management and strategic development needs. In 2016 and 2017 we declared a total annual dividend of $1.32 and $1.02 per share, respectively. The continuation or modification of our current dividend policy will be dependent upon strategic opportunities or developments, future results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, contractual restrictions (such as those under our existing credit facility), regulatory actions, and other factors deemed relevant at that time by the Board of Directors.

43


 

Table of Contents

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities in the Fourth Quarter of 2017

In September 2004, our Board of Directors approved a $5.0 million stock buyback plan (the “2004 Repurchase Plan”).  Through September 19, 2016, we repurchased $4.1 million of our Common Stock, including $2.0 million during the third quarter of 2016, under the 2004 Repurchase Plan.

On September 19, 2016, our Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $50.0 million of our common stock from time to time on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions (the “2016 Repurchase Plan”).  The 2016 Repurchase Plan replaces the 2004 Repurchase Plan.  As of December 31, 2017, we have $39.9 million of available to be repurchased under the 2016 Repurchase Plan.    

The following table reflects the repurchases by the Company of its Common Stock during the quarter ended December 31, 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

    

 

 

    

 

    

(d)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maximum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number (or

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(c)

 

Approximate

 

 

 

 

 

(b)

 

Total Number of

 

Dollar Value) of

 

 

 

(a)

 

Average

 

Shares Purchased

 

Shares that May

 

 

 

Total Number

 

Price

 

as Part of Publicly

 

be Purchased

 

 

 

of Shares

 

Paid per

 

Announced Plans

 

Under the Plans or

 

Period

 

Purchased 

 

Share

 

or Programs

 

Programs

 

October 1, 2017 — October 31, 2017

 

294

 (1)

$

52.88

 

 

 

$

39,266,945

 

November 1, 2017 — November 30, 2017

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 

$

39,266,945

 

December 1, 2017 — December 31, 2017

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 

$

39,266,945

 

 

(1)

Consists of 294 shares purchased on October 6, 2017 from our executive officers and other employees who tendered these shares to the Company to satisfy their tax withholding obligations incurred in connection with the exercise of stock options and the vesting of restricted stock awards at such date. These shares were not purchased under the plan discussed above. The price paid per share was the closing price per share of our Common Stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market on the date those shares were purchased

44


 

Table of Contents

Stock Performance Graph

The graph below matches ATN International's cumulative 5-Year total shareholder return on common stock with the cumulative total returns of the Russell 2000 index, the S&P Smallcap 600 index, and the NASDAQ Telecommunications index. The graph tracks the performance of a $100 investment in our common stock and in each index (with the reinvestment of all dividends) from December 31, 2012 to December 31,2017.  The stock price performance in the graph below is not necessarily indicative of future price performance.  This performance graph is furnished and shall not be deemed “filed” with the SEC or subject to Section 18 of the Exchange Act, nor shall it be deemed incorporated by reference in any of our filings under the Securities Act of 1933.

Picture 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/12

12/13

12/14

12/15

12/16

12/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATN International

 

100.00
157.24
191.35
225.22
234.81
164.54

Russell 2000

 

100.00
138.82
145.62
139.19
168.85
193.58

S&P Smallcap 600

 

100.00
141.31
149.45
146.50
185.40
209.94

NASDAQ Telecommunications

 

100.00
141.28
145.43
140.97
150.94
184.85

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

45


 

Table of Contents

ITEM 6.  SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

You should read the selected financial data in conjunction with our “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our Consolidated Financial Statements for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 and the related Notes to those Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Report. The historical results set forth below are not necessarily indicative of the results of future operations. Period to period comparisons are also significantly affected by our significant acquisitions. See Notes 4 and 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Report for a more detailed discussion of our recent acquisitions and discontinued operations.

The selected Consolidated Income Statement data for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 and the selected Consolidated Balance Sheet data as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 are derived from our Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page F-1 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected Consolidated Income Statement data for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 and the selected Consolidated Balance Sheet data as of December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 are derived from our Consolidated Financial Statements not included in this Annual Report on Form   10-K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended December 31, 

 

 

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

 

 

 

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

Income Statement Data

    

 

    

    

 

    

    

 

    

    

 

    

    

 

    

 

Revenue

 

$

481,193

 

$

457,003

 

$

355,369

 

$

336,347

 

$

292,835

 

Operating expenses(1)

 

 

425,725

 

 

407,206

 

 

276,774

 

 

250,771

 

 

228,750

 

Income from operations

 

 

55,468

 

 

49,797

 

 

78,595

 

 

85,576

 

 

64,085

 

Other income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest income

 

 

1,613

 

 

1,239

 

 

588

 

 

788

 

 

852

 

Interest expense

 

 

(8,838)

 

 

(5,362)

 

 

(3,180)

 

 

(1,208)

 

 

(12,785)

 

Other, net(2)

 

 

(689)

 

 

(300)

 

 

(19,802)

 

 

1,012

 

 

(5,679)

 

Other income (expense), net

 

 

(7,914)

 

 

(4,423)

 

 

(22,394)

 

 

592

 

 

(17,612)

 

Income from continuing operations before income taxes

 

 

47,553

 

 

45,374

 

 

56,201

 

 

86,168

 

 

46,473

 

Income (benefit) provisions

 

 

(1,341)

 

 

21,160

 

 

24,137

 

 

28,148

 

 

9,536

 

Income from continuing operations

 

 

48,894

 

 

24,214

 

 

32,064

 

 

58,020

 

 

36,937

 

Income from discontinued operations, net of tax

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

1,092

 

 

1,102

 

 

5,166

 

Gain on sale of discontinued operations, net of tax(3)

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

307,102

 

Net income

 

 

48,894

 

 

24,214

 

 

33,156

 

 

59,122

 

 

349,205

 

Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests, net of tax

 

 

(17,406)

 

 

(12,113)

 

 

(16,216)

 

 

(10,970)

 

 

(37,489)

 

Net income attributable to ATN International, Inc. Stockholders

 

$

31,488

 

$

12,101

 

$

16,940

 

$

48,152

 

$

311,716

 

Net income per weighted average basic share attributable to ATN International, Inc. Stockholders:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing operations

 

$

1.95

 

$

0.75

 

$

0.99

 

$

2.96

 

$

1.84

 

Discontinued operations

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

0.07

 

 

0.07

 

 

18.01

 

Total

 

$

1.95

 

$

0.75

 

$

1.06

 

$

3.03

 

$

19.85

 

Net income per weighted average diluted share attributable to ATN International, Inc. Stockholders:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing operations

 

$

1.94

 

$

0.75

 

$

0.98

 

$

2.94

 

$

1.83

 

Discontinued operations

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

0.07

 

 

0.07

 

 

17.88

 

Total

 

$

1.94

 

$

0.75

 

$

1.05

 

$

3.01

 

$

19.71

 

Dividends per share applicable to common stock

 

$

1.02

 

$

1.32

 

$

1.22

 

$

1.12

 

$

1.04

 

 

46


 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

Balance Sheet Data (as of December 31,):

    

 

    

    

 

    

    

 

    

    

 

    

    

 

    

 

Cash, restricted cash, and short term investments

 

$

226,966

 

$

297,595

 

$

398,346

 

$

371,394

 

$

434,607

 

Assets of discontinued operations(3)

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

175

 

 

4,748

 

Working capital

 

 

181,223

 

 

217,264

 

 

384,137

 

 

347,305

 

 

350,930

 

Fixed assets, net

 

 

643,146

 

 

647,712

 

 

373,503

 

 

369,582

 

 

254,632

 

Total assets

 

 

1,205,605

 

 

1,198,218

 

 

945,004

 

 

925,030

 

 

859,719

 

Shortterm debt (including current portion of longterm debt)

 

 

10,919

 

 

12,440

 

 

6,284

 

 

6,083

 

 

 

Liabilities of discontinued operations(3)

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

1,247

 

 

11,187

 

Longterm debt, net

 

 

144,873

 

 

144,383

 

 

26,575

 

 

32,794

 

 

 

ATN International, Inc. stockholders’ equity

 

 

688,727

 

 

677,055

 

 

680,299

 

 

677,222

 

 

643,330

 

Statement of Cash Flow Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(for the years ended December 31,):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash provided by (used in):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing operations (4)

 

$

145,725

 

$

111,656

 

$

139,079

 

$

82,699

 

$

(131,396)

 

Discontinued operations

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

158

 

 

(4,719)

 

 

19,394

 

Investing activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing operations

 

 

(166,793)

 

 

(308,688)

 

 

(31,971)

 

 

(74,467)

 

 

(67,816)

 

Discontinued operations

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

710,934

 

Financing activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing operations

 

 

(40,923)

 

 

75,334

 

 

(41,438)

 

 

(33,904)

 

 

(308,796)

 

Discontinued operations

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1,678)