News roundup: North Carolina firm acquires Louisiana-based Detel … Federal regulators sue nation’s largest student loan servicer … US economy picked up at the end of 2016

    Acquired: Detel, the first company to deploy the first wireless area network, or WAN, in education in Louisiana, has been acquired by North Carolina-based Conterra Ultra Broadband Holding. The financial terms of the transaction, which was announced today, were not made available. Conterra is an independent broadband infrastructure company that is majority owned by private equity firm Court Square Capital. In today’s news release, Conterra also says it has acquired Broadplex, a regional fiber operating company based in North Carolina. The transactions expand Conterra’s footprint to more than 6,200 route miles and 355,000 fiber miles, allowing the company to provide lit and dark fiber network services in seven states. Read the full announcement.

    Taking it to court: U.S. regulators sued Navient Corp. today, accusing the largest U.S. student loan servicer of “systematically and illegally failing borrowers at every stage of repayment.” Reuters reports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau accuses Navient, which was formerly part of Sallie Mae, of providing its student borrowers with bad information, processing payments incorrectly and failing to fix the problems after people complained. A Navient representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Some of the allegations at the heart of the bureau’s complaint involved income-repayment programs, which help struggling borrowers to afford their loan payments. Read the full story. 

    Picking up: The U.S. economy grew a bit faster at the end of last year, spurred by healthier sales for manufacturers and steady hiring that is slowly pushing up wages. The Associated Press reports the Federal Reserve says its survey of economic conditions around the country found that growth was modest or moderate in 10 of its 12 districts. That is an improvement from seven in the previous report. Fed officials will study the survey, known as the “Beige Book,” in preparation for their next meeting taking place Jan. 31 to Feb. 1. They will consider whether to raise short-term interest rates at that meeting, though few economists expect them to move so soon after their increase last month, which was the first in a year. Read the full story.

    View Comments