Cincinnati Bell has agreed to invest $20 million to improve and build out Hawaiian Telcom’s next-gen fiber network statewide within four years of the close of the merger, to gain Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Cable Television Division (CATV) conditional approval of the deal.
Hawaiian Telcom has made continued progress with its current fiber network expansion efforts. In the third quarter, Hawaiian Telcom fiber-enabled 1,000 additional consumer households on O'ahu, including success-based bulk multi-dwelling units and greenfield single-family homes, bringing total NGN households to 205,000, or approximately two-thirds of total marketable households on O'ahu.
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The service provider has also agreed to continue local management of Hawaiian Telcom in Hawai‘i, and honor its union labor agreements and adhere to laws and rules regarding customer privacy as well as open internet.
Besides getting the DCCA’s approval, last month the merger cleared the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act review period and Hawaiian Telcom shareholders overwhelmingly approved the combination. Regulatory review processes are well underway with the FCC and the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Hawai‘i. The merger approval process continues to progress as anticipated and the transaction is expected to close as soon as all regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions are met.
DCCA’s approval is an important step in the process of satisfying the closing conditions of Cincinnati Bell’s combination with Hawaiian Telcom, clearing one of the first of several regulatory hurdles to establish a foothold in the island state.
“The DCCA’s approval is a significant step forward in the combination of Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom, a merger that will accelerate our overarching strategy to create a diversified and balanced revenue mix by expanding our high-speed, high-bandwidth fiber optic network while building a complementary IT solutions and cloud services business in Cincinnati and Hawai‘i,” said Leigh Fox, president and CEO of Cincinnati Bell, in a release.