Ting Internet enters Arizona market with Simply Bits acquisition

Ting Internet expanded the reach of its broadband service into the state of Arizona, purchasing local fiber and fixed wireless access (FWA) provider Simply Bits for an undisclosed sum.

Tucows, Ting’s parent company, noted in a press release the deal will net it approximately 4,500 customers, 1,100 square miles of FWA coverage and a “small” fiber-to-the home footprint in the Tuscon area. It plans to use the latter as a foundation for further expansion.

“This deal allows us to leverage an existing network with significant capacity, ultimately accelerating our growth," Ting Internet CSO and EVP Jill Szuchmacher said in a statement. "By building on Simply Bits' decades-long service in Southern Arizona, we will have a platform to introduce Ting to the broader Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Cochise County communities, and the team and resources to enter the market quickly."

As part of the transaction, Ting will take on Simply Bits’ employees and senior management. The deal is expected to close in Q4 2021.

The move comes as Tucows pushes to grow its Ting Internet business. The unit currently serves several cities across California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia.

RELATED: Dish scoops up Ting Mobile subscribers, taps Tucows for retail platform

In Q2 2021, the unit reached the 20,000 subscriber milestone, up from 12,500 in Q2 2020 and 17,300 in Q1 2021. During the operator’s earnings call, Tucows CEO Elliot Noss noted the sequential subscriber gains were its largest to date and it also “set a record with our largest increase in passed addresses,” adding 6,900 between Q1 and Q2 to hit 77,200 total.

Noss highlighted what he called a “land rush” in the broadband market, stating Ting Internet is expanding its use of microtrenching to speed its fiber deployments.

“Microtrenching for us is about reducing time to build and bring on customers,” he said. “You will recall my mention of the vastly increased interest from capital sources in building fiber markets. This has accelerated the timelines across the country for us to find and build markets, and microtrenching is a critical tool for us to deploy quickly.”