Cincinnati Bell Rebrands as Altafiber
Says new moniker reflects commitment to fiber optic network
Less than six months after it was acquired by private equity firm Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, regional phone company Cincinnati Bell said it would rebrand as “Altafiber,” a name it says reflects its continued commitment to build out its fiber network to connect customers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Cincinnati Bell has a long history -- it was founded in 1873 as a telegraph service -- and will continue to keep that moniker as a corporate entity. But in a press release explaining the name change, CEO Leigh Fox said that the company believes that fiber is the future, and its new name proves that.
“The word ‘alta’ is rooted in a word that means elevated, and that’s what Altafiber is doing: We’re providing an elevated connection through fiber and raising the standard of service to our customers and the communities we serve as we continue to build out our fiber network and deliver broadband connectivity that is essential to accessing education, healthcare, and employment opportunities,” Fox said in a press release.
The company will transition to the Altafiber brand over the next 6-9 months. The branding change does not impact Altafiber’s other units, Hawaiian Telcom and CBTS, its IT Services business.
The company said it has invested more than $1 billion in its fiber network, and offers Fiber-to-the-Premises (“FTTP”) connectivity to about 60% of the homes in Greater Cincinnati. Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, a unit of Macquarie Asset Management, took the company private in September in a deal valued at about $2.9 billion, and has put forth plans to accelerate its fiber buildout to cover 100% of homes and business in the Greater Cincinnati area in the next five years. The company recently announced partnerships with Greene County in Ohio, and Greendale, Indiana, to build fiber to homes in those areas. More recently, Altafiber announced that it has established a regional headquarters in the Dayton, Ohio market, including a retail store and business office in that city.
“The investment in fiber, our geographic expansion, and our partnership with Macquarie mark a clear inflection point for the company. And it’s all incredibly exciting and positive for our employees and for the communities and customers that we serve,” Fox said in the press release.
He added that while the company’s name is changing, its commitment to the community, its customers and leadership will continue.
“We are proud of the Cincinnati Bell name, and it will always be a part of our history,” Fox said. “We are still the local hometown company, with 2,000 employees across Greater Cincinnati who are dedicated to connecting our customers with what matters most through technology for the next 150 years.”
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.