Wave Raises $130M for Gigabit Expansion
With an eye toward boosting its business services and residential gigabit offerings, Wave announced it has raised $130 million for network expansion in parts of Washington, Oregon and California. Financing for the planned fiber rollouts comes from a corporate bond sale led by Deutsche Bank, with support from Wells Fargo, Sun Trust and RBC Daniels.
Wave Broadband 's roadmap for 2015 includes both middle-mile fiber builds and last-mile connections. The company said it will expand its gigabit Ethernet network in areas around Seattle, Portland and San Francisco with 1,500 new route miles of fiber. It will also complete redundant fiber rings crossing several California markets and supporting virtual cross-connect services to data centers in the Bay Area.
In the commercial services market, Wave already offers a host of voice and data services for the enterprise in addition to its virtual cross-connect products and wholesale and carrier transport solutions. With its new funding, Wave plans to introduce new business services as well, including Hosted PBX and colocation facilities.
On the residential side, Wave said it will aim to reach more than 10,000 additional subscribers with gigabit broadband service in the Seattle area this year. The company began its first gigabit rollout in Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood last November, offering service over aerial fiber for $80 per month. It also plans to expand into "San Francisco and other markets in 2015 and beyond."
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) also provides gigabit service in the Seattle region, albeit for upwards of $150 per month, and Wave and CenturyLink compete in Oregon as well. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) announced just yesterday that it will launch its multi-gigabit broadband solution in parts of Washington and Oregon among other markets this year. Comcast previously said it will also target the San Francisco Bay Area with the Gigabit Pro service. (See Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets.)
In support of Wave's planned expansion, the company promoted long-time employee Steve Friedman to Executive Vice President of Fiber Design and Construction, and named Harold Zeitz company president and COO. Founder Steve Weed leads Wave as CEO.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading