Charter Buys Maine’s Bee Line Cable
Acquisition of Central Maine operator accompanies an $82 million investment to compete more forcefully against fiber rivals in the region
Charter Communications has paid an undisclosed sum to purchase Central Maine's Bee Line Cable, part of a broader investment in the mostly rural region to compete more forcefully with fiber-based rivals including Consolidated Communications.
The M&A accompanies what Charter said is a $70 million investment in Maine to enable symmetrical multi-gigabit internet speeds across the state.
Charter also announced a $12 million commitment to accelerate rural broadband expansion in Maine, bringing gigabit-speed internet to more than 3,500 unserved homes and small business in parts of Somerset and Oxford counties.
As for Bee Line Cable, it now touts over 300 miles of fiber cable, serving high-speed internet and digital voice customers in Anson, East Millinocket, Farmington, Industry, Madison, Millinocket, Skowhegan and Wilton. The operator currently offers speed tiers ranging from 30 megabits per second to 500 Mbps.
It's unclear how many subscribers Charter is getting out of the deal. Bee Line Cable general manager George Allen told local paper the Franklin Journal that he expects Charter to retain “the majority” of Bee Line's staff.
The paper also said that Charter already serves more than 466,000 customers in 295 communities in Maine.
Charter said it already completed most of the regulatory paperwork and expects the deal to close soon. ■
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!