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Verizon Finishes $225 Million WOW Chicago Fiber Buy

Fiber Optics

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting merger and acquisition news from September and October.**

Verizon has completed buying a major addition to its fiber-optic network.

The telecommunications company just wrapped its $225 million purchase of Wide Open West (WOW) network assets in the Chicago area. Verizon says the buy gives fiber to more than 1,000 macro and small-cell wireless sites in Chicago and helps “scale and accelerate deployment of next-generation broadband services.”

Verizon's Nicola Palmer

Verizon’s Nicola Palmer

“The addition of these fiber assets is an important part of our strategy to reinforce our current network capabilities and prepare for the future. The completion of this acquisition will help expedite our network densification with fiber and small cells, enhancing our industry-leading 4G LTE network and laying the groundwork for 5G,” said Nicola Palmer, Verizon’s chief engineer and head of wireless networks.

Wireless Week writes that Verizon will also invest $50 million to finish building the Chicago network in 2018.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in September that it was not going to pursue more M&A in order to gain access to more fiber. The company had already purchased $1.6 billion worth of fiber-optic business from XO Communications. But McAdam didn’t rule out WOW.

“I think right now a lot of the fiber companies, their values are a little frothy compared to what you can build for yourself, so that’s the path that we’re on,” he said. “But you do see pockets like [WOW!] in Chicago that make sense to do, so we’re going to keep our options open.”

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