WOW! Business makes Maryland its next customer target

WOW! Business is making its first mark in the Maryland market by adding Anne Arundel County, Maryland, to its growing service area in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

Leveraging a mix of its existing hybrid fiber coax (HFC) and its fiber-based network facilities, WOW! Business will offer Internet, voice, data and cloud services to thousands of businesses in Annapolis, Pasadena, Millersville and other parts of the county.

Brad Cheedle, senior vice president of business services at WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone, told FierceTelecom that they will serve the Anne Arundel County business and wholesale market segments with a mix of traditional HFC and fiber.

"The nature of these is you have a core asset with fiber out to the node and then you have HFC, so we get the benefits of both," he said. "As this progresses to offer fiber-based services we're putting some investment in the infrastructure there to be able to serve our basic products like metro Ethernet and some of carrier customers show some interest in the dark fiber products helping to serve the tower backhaul market."

By adding Anne Arundel County to its service list, WOW! Business now serves 19 markets in 11 states, including Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa and other major cities. 

The service provider didn't have to reinvent the wheel to move into Maryland by building a new network to support business services from scratch.

Instead, it will enter the market through its majority ownership in Millersville, Md.-based cable operator Broadstripe. Under the terms of the agreement, WOW! Business will become the operator of business services in the market while Broadstripe will continue to serve residential customers.

Cheedle said that the Broadstripe acquisition is part of a broader strategy to expand its presence into more markets, including the Mid-Atlantic area of the United States.

"The Mid-Atlantic has been an area of interest for us because we had a visibility into this particular asset," he said.  "After studying the market, looking at the competitors in the space, and the addressability of it, we thought this would be a good way to start our presence in the Mid-Atlantic area with the intent of bringing our Great Lakes properties and our Southeast properties together with some network going through the Mid-Atlantic area."

One of the key market segments that WOW!  is hoping to deepen its presence in the public sector market. Already serving a host of systems integrators and government agencies in the Southeast, Cheedle says the move into Maryland could enable it to respond to more opportunities in that customer base.

"We have many customers in the areas where we serve, particular in the South that are government agencies," he said. "We serve many military bases and integrators that support all of which happen to be in this county so there are some natural reasons to expand our relationships with existing clients in the Mid-Atlantic area."

Entering the Maryland market is just one of several moves WOW! Business is making to enhance the reach and capabilities of its business service line. Earlier this year, it announced that it is expanding and streamlining its service delivery process and has been rolling out its mix of data and voice services to a diverse set of businesses in the Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Evansville and Tampa metro areas.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
WOW! Business employs Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 router for IP network expansion
WOW! Business expands service delivery to accommodate business, wholesale growth in 19 markets
WOW! Business to extend fiber network to 500 wireless towers in Chicago

This article was updated on Oct. 16 with quotes from Brad Cheedle, senior vice president of business services at WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone.