RCN, Wave Business Solutions and Grande have beefed up their Cisco Meraki-based SD-WAN services with new features and enhancements.
While they still have their own brand names, Wave Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN Communications are all owned by TPG Capital. TPG paid $2.25 billion several years ago to buy Grande and RCN and then bought Seattle-based Wave in 2018 for about $2.36 billion.
All three of the companies previously offered a Versa Networks-based SD-WAN solution on a limited basis with the group more focused on providing backbone and last mile connectivity. Because of the market demand for work from anywhere solutions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wave, Grande and RCN upgraded their Meraki-based SD-WAN offering.
"We wanted to be responsive to the marketplace, which increasingly was looking at SD-WAN as a core technology for connectivity versus just an occasional add on," said Patrick Knorr, chief commercial officer for RCN, Grande and Wave Business Solutions, in an email to FierceTelecom. "This interest has increased significantly as more and more companies are looking at more secure ways to work remotely either from home or with smaller distributed offices because of Covid-19.
"We have and always will be focused on what our customers are telling us, which was we need a good infrastructure partner, but now more customers are telling us they want that infrastructure to include SD-WAN."
As a whole, the group operates in seven of the top-10 metro markets in the U.S., which gives all three numerous last-mile connections for their own services and for other companies that want to offer their services over those connections.
The latest additions to the Meraki SD-WAN offering help ensure optimal performance for critical applications in order to avoid disruptions to highly sensitive traffic, such as unified communications solutions.
The SD-WAN solution moves traffic management off-premise and away from hardware, to cloud-based software for improved control and visibility and increased network control. It also includes portal access, visualization and VPN services for employees to connect to their services regardless of location sites or network size.
The upgrade also comes with an advanced firewall, which utilizes cloud technology to enable administrator’s application, user and content control, and advanced cloud security to offer configurable intrusion prevention and content filtering.
The Meraki SD-WAN solution is being offered with other business solutions, such as the recently launched unified communications and collaboration platform.
Wave, Grande and RCN also offer dark fiber, WDM, hosted voice, and 100G and 10G services. RCN, Grande, and Wave serve areas of and California, Washington DC., Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.
While the primary competitors are Zayo and Crown Castle, the business division also competes against ILECs, Verizon, CenturyLink, Comcast and Charter's Spectrum across its footprint. Combined, Wave, RCN and Grande are the sixth-largest cable operator in the U.S.