Months after obtaining several franchise agreements in New Hampshire and West Virginia that allowed it to overbuild Comcast markets in those states, Atlantic Broadband said Tuesday that it will invest $82 million to extend its fiber network into communities and businesses in those areas it doesn’t currently serve.
The effort will affect about 70,000 homes and businesses in several communities throughout New Hampshire and West Virginia already served by Comcast. In a press release, ABB said it has obtained or is in the process of obtaining franchise agreements in Concord, Dover, Somersworth, Durham and Madbury, New Hampshire; and in Westover, Morgantown, Granville and Star City, West Virginia.
Overbuilding cable systems is nothing new, and several small operators have obtained franchises to compete with large and medium-sized cable companies over the years. Comcast obtained a franchise to provide service in nearby Rochester, New Hampshire in 2017, a market that was already served by ABB’s MetroCast Cable, and both companies have appeared to flourish.
“We are grateful to the communities that have received our franchise applications with such enthusiasm, as consumers in these locations will soon have a new choice in providers,” ABB president Frank van der Post said in a press release. “We look forward to serving these communities by delivering superfast internet, cloud-based TV, and a phenomenal customer experience as we pursue our high-growth plans.”
ABB said the first customer activations are expected in early 2022 and that it will notify local residents as construction is completed throughout the year in each area. The company said once the fiber builds are complete, residential and business customers will receive ultra-high speed internet service, a “WiFi Your Way” managed WiFi service that expands coverage throughout the home; an IPTV video service; unlimited wireline phone service, and business class communications with internet speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second, hosted voice, 4G Backup, and advanced fiber services.
In the city of Somersworth, which approved ABB’s franchise in June, city economic development manager Robin Comstock said the “community benefits when there are good choices of providers and services. The state-of-the-art fiber infrastructure will provide a new option for residential and business members of our community, help drive economic vitality and keep us ahead of the technological curve.”
Atlantic Broadband is part of Canadian telecom service provider Cogeco Communications, and in September snapped up WideOpenWest properties in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio that added about 690,000 homes-passed to its footprint for about $1.125 billion. ■
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