Ting Internet appoints new network chief, expects Q1 sub bump

Jill Szuchmacher, the executive who has spearheaded Ting Internet’s fiber expansion efforts for the past two years, is headed for the door, CEO Elliot Noss revealed during the company’s Q4 2022 earnings call. She is set to be replaced as EVP of Networks by current Ting SVP of Customer Operations and Construction Jason Smith.

According to Noss, Szuchmacher is leaving to pursue an unspecified “incredible new opportunity.” He thanked her and credited Szuchmacher with laying “the operational foundation that we will build on for years to come.”

During Szuchmacher’s tenure as chief strategy officer and EVP, Ting Internet expanded its reach into Arizona through the acquisition of fixed wireless and fiber provider Simply Bits, struck a deal with Colorado Springs Utilities to become the anchor tenant on a new fiber network set to cover 200,000 passings, and announced its largest in-house build project covering more than 130,000 locations.

Noss noted Smith has been around for much of the progress since Szuchmacher added him to the team early in her tenure. Before joining Ting, Smith spent nearly seven years in various roles at Google Fiber, ending his time there as head of technical operations. Prior to that, he spent more than eight years at Level 3 Communications before it was acquired by Lumen Technologies in late 2016.

Smith steps into the role at a time when Ting has multiple irons in the fire. Noss said microtrenching is underway for fiber expansions in Culver City, California, Centennial, Colorado and Alexandria, Virginia. He added the utility in Colorado Springs has begun construction so Ting is ramping marketing there.

In Q4, Ting added 7,200 passings and 2,000 new customers to bring its totals to 115,700 serviceable addresses and more than 34,500 subscribers. Though customer net additions were down slightly year on year from 2,600, Noss said this was in part because many of the passings it added in Q4 “were lit with service at the end of the quarter and during the holidays.” He added it’s seen “strong” preorder activity and expects a bump in subscriber growth in Q1. Its serviceable address total was up year on year from approximately 82,400.

Ting revenue grew 38% year on year to $11.5 million, with $2.4 million of that coming from its mature markets. The unit, which is just one of parent company Tucows’ businesses, posted gross profit of $7.2 million.

However, consolidated revenue for Tucows – including contributions from its Wavelo software business – fell 4.3% to $78.9 million as a 53% drop in Wavelo revenue more than offset Ting’s gains. The company’s net loss increased dramatically, from around $2 million in Q4 2021 to $13.4 million in the recent quarter. CFO Davinder Singh attributed the slide to higher interest expenses, an acceleration of its fiber build and related expenses, and investment in the Wavelo platform.