Ohio landline firm to buy 2 telecoms
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.