Verizon WOWs with $225m fibre backhaul deal

03 August 2017 | James Pearce


Verizon Communications as struck an agreement to buy fibre assets from WideOpenWest (WOW) in a deal worth $225 million as it aims to boost services in the Chicago market.

Hans VestbergThe deal will give the US telco fibre access to more than 500 macro-cell wireless sites and more than 500 small-cell wireless sites in the Chicago region.

Verizon will also pay WOW an additional $50 million to complete its planned deployment of the fibre network, which is due to be finished in mid-2018, the two companies said.

“Following our recent agreements with Corning, Prysmian and Straight Path, today’s announcement is another example of Verizon’s commitment to invest in multi-use fiber to provide customers with next-generation broadband services, such as smart cities and 5G,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon president of Network and Technology. 

“This acquisition will also help us create comprehensive digital solutions for small- and medium-business and enterprise customers.”

WOW CEO Steve Cochran, in a statement, said:“This transaction is consistent with WOW's stated objective of reaching an optimal leverage profile and allows us to continue to focus on areas of growth for residential and commercial services with our internet centric-outlook and emphasis on expanding our markets through edge-out builds.”

It comes during a period where Verizon has been spending substantial sums to boost its fibre and spectrum assets. It saw off competition from AT&T to buy Straight Path Communications for $3.1 billion, giving it access to 5G spectrum licenses. It has also agreed major deals with Prysmian Group and Corning for the supply of 17 million km and 20 million km of fibre respectively, showing the scale of Verizon's investment plans.