US Metricom files for bankruptcy
( 2001-07-03 11:04) (7)
Metricom Inc, a US high-speed wireless Internet access provider, filed for bankruptcy protection Monday but plans to continue offering its service.
The voluntary Chapter 11 filing in US Bankruptcy Court will allow the company to restructure operations and debt while maintaining its current customer base, Metricom said in a statement.
Metricom's Ricochet service is available in 15 metropolitan areas.
As with other high-speed Internet access providers, Metricom has found it difficult to raise more cash, said interim chief executive Ralph C Derrickson.
"As a result of the depressed state of the capital markets, we have been unable to raise necessary additional capital," he said.
Metricom also announced the appointment of turnaround specialist Kevin Dowd as its chief restructuring officer.
The service currently runs at a speed of 128 kilobits per second, more than twice that of a regular dialup modem but slower than digital subscriber lines and cable modems.
Still, Ricochet, which costs up to US$69.95 a month, is faster than cellular phone modems.
In June, the company announced it was cutting 23 percent of its staff, or 139 employees. Earlier this year, it had cut 179 employees.
Metricom reported only 40,900 subscribers at the end of its most recent quarter. The company then posted a net loss of US$186.4 million on revenues of US$3.5 million.
In February, the company postponed plans to launch its service nationally.
Shares of Metricom were up 9 cents, to US$1.82, before trading was halted on the Nasdaq Stock Market just prior to the bankruptcy filing announcement.