Cable One creates Clearwave Fiber FTTP joint venture

Jan. 4, 2022
The new Clearwave Fiber LLC will combine the assets Cable One’s Clearwave Communications subsidiary and certain fiber assets of Cable One’s subsidiary Hargray Communications, which it purchased last year.

U.S. cable MSO Cable One, Inc. (NYSE: CABO) says it will create a joint venture focused on fiber to the premises (FTTP) provision alongside affiliates of GTCR LLC, Stephens Capital Partners LLC , The Pritzker Organization, LLC (TPO), and certain members of the venture’s management team. The new Clearwave Fiber LLC will combine the assets Cable One’s Clearwave Communications subsidiary and certain fiber assets of Cable One’s subsidiary Hargray Communications, which it purchased last year (see “Cable One to fully acquire Hargray”). Clearwave Fiber will focus on bringing FTTP based broadband services to residential and business customers in its current footprint as well as near-adjacent markets.

Cable One says that all the participants will provide what it called “substantial cash investments” in the joint venture but did not provide further capitalization details. The cable MSO says it will own a majority of Clearwave Fiber but will receive no cash proceeds from the venture’s creation. All of the stakeholders will have representation on the venture’s board. Executive Chairman Michael Gottdenker and CEO David Armistead, both from Hargray, will lead the enterprise. Stephens and TPO were investors in Hargray.

“This strategic investment will help accelerate the deployment of fiber-based broadband services to a range of markets, including underserved areas of the country,” said Gottdenker. “Our team is motivated by our shared core values of customer service and improving lives through connectivity and is excited to bring fast and reliable Clearwave Fiber broadband to homes and businesses across the country. We are thrilled to welcome GTCR, Stephens, and TPO to the Clearwave Fiber family and look forward to our continued partnership with Cable One.”

“We look forward to supporting and sharing in Clearwave Fiber’s growth over the coming years while remaining focused on our primary business, increasing penetration rates, integrating recently acquired companies and driving higher margins and greater free cash flow,” added Julie Laulis, Cable One’s president and CEO. “We did not take lightly our choice of partners in this transaction and are excited to be working with like-minded individuals who share our core principles.”

The announcement is another example of cable MSOs worldwide seeking to deploy more FTTP infrastructure. The trend includes recent fiber footprint expansion announcements from Atlantic Broadband in the U.S. (see “Atlantic Broadband eyes fiber broadband expansion in New Hampshire, West Virginia”), Rogers Communications in Canada (see "Rogers touts Ontario fiber-to-the-premises network expansion"), and Liberty Global in Europe (see "Liberty Global launches Liberty Networks Germany for FTTH").

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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