Verizon wraps its acquisition of WideOpenWest’s Chicago fiber assets

Verizon has completed its $225 million acquisition of WideOpenWest’s (WOW) fiber network assets in Chicago, a deal that will help the service provider scale its network to accommodate wireline and its future 5G wireless deployments.

Specifically, the acquisition secures fiber to more than 500 macro-cell wireless sites and more than 500 small-cell wireless sites in the Chicago area.

The high-capacity fiber network is designed to support multiuse services and already connects Verizon Wireless macro towers and small cells, reducing future leasing costs.

RELATED: Verizon confirms it is buying WideOpenWest’s Chicago fiber network for $225M, augments backhaul network

Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon will pay WOW! an additional $50 million to complete Chicago network build in second-half 2018, making the deal $275 million when it is completed.

Nicola Palmer, chief engineer and head of wireless networks for Verizon, said in a release that the Chicago acquisition is about future-proofing its network.

“The completion of this acquisition will help expedite our network densification with fiber and small cells, enhancing our industry-leading 4G LTE network and laying the groundwork for 5G," Palmer said.

Acquiring the Chicago fiber assets is just one of several moves Verizon is making to bolster its fiber network holdings. The service provider is pursuing a series of acquisitions of regional fiber assets and internal fiber expansions.

Like its acquisition of XO, the WOW! purchase falls in line with Verizon’s mentality to get fiber from various sources—building its own, leasing or purchasing other available assets.

From an internal network build perspective, Verizon is being no less aggressive. Verizon signed a $1.1 billion, three-year fiber and hardware purchase agreement with Corning. The telco will purchase up to 20 million km (12.4 million miles) of optical fiber each year from 2018 through 2020.

The telco also signed a $300 million agreement with Prysmian as a secondary fiber supplier. Prysmian will supply Verizon with over 17 million kilometers (10.6 million miles) of ribbon and loose tube cables.