Ohio land­line firm to buy 2 tele­coms

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bell Inc. an­nounced an agree­ment Fri­day to buy Hawai­ian Tel­com Holdco Inc. for $650 mil­lion and OnX En­ter­prise So­lu­tions for $201 mil­lion as the Mid­west­ern land­line car­rier be­comes the lat­est of its peers to ex­pand fiber net­works as a way to sell more data ser­vices.

Cincinnati Bell will pay about 60 per­cent cash and 40 per­cent stock for Honolulu-based Hawai­ian Tel­com, while Toronto-based OnX will be bought with cash, ac­cord­ing to the agree­ments. The com­bined com­pany will have 14,000 route miles of fiber and ac­cess to an un­der­sea cable con­nect­ing with Asia.

For the past decade, U.S. land­line phone com­pa­nies have lost cus­tomers to wire­less providers and cable com­pa­nies. This has cre­ated a rush by car­ri­ers like Cincinnati Bell, Cen­tu­ryLink Inc. and Wind­stream Hold­ings Inc. to con­sol­i­date with an eye on amass­ing greater fiber-op­tic net­work ca­pac­ity. These buried ca­bles are ex­pected to be the vi­tal in­fras­truc­ture needed to meet surg­ing de­mand from busi­nesses putting more data on the cloud, con­sumers stream­ing more videos, and wire­less car­ri­ers han­dling more traf­fic with new fifth-gen­er­a­tion, or 5G, net­works in the com­ing years.

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