WOW expands in Ohio communities, begins ‘edge-out’ strategy

WideOpenWest announced that it has begun a broader strategy of “edging out’ within its Ohio footprint, expanding to 13,000 residential passings in North Ridgeville and by 8,200 in Parma Heights. 

Both communities will now have access to 1-gig DOCSIS 3.0-powered broadband service, the Englewood, Colorado-based cable operator said.

“What we’re trying to do now is edge-out to the next community over,” WOW CEO Steven Cochran told FierceCable in an interview conducted earlier this month. “In the majority of the markets we serve, we don’t serve the entire DMA.”

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Last month, WOW raised $309 million in an initial public offering—about $90 million short of its original target, but enough to pay off high-priced bonds tied to the company’s $750 million purchase of broadband services company Knology in 2012.

Now, WOW is looking to increase its rate of expansion from 38,000 residential passings a year to 70,000, Cochran said.

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WOW also announced that it has completed deployment of 1-gig services in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, as well as the expansion of its 1-gig service area in Huntsville, Alabama, to 30,000 customers, essentially doubling the availability.

Cochran was measured in his exuberance for 1-gig service, which WOW began to deploy last fall.

“We offer 1-gig service in about 15% of our footprint, but we want to advertise something people want to buy,” he said. “If you’re offering 1 gig at $120-$150 a month, not many people are going to buy it. Even in markets where 1 gig is offered for $100, take rates are not worth expanding capital vs. expanding our footprint. We’re very focused on what the customer wants as oppose to what we think the customer should do.”

WOW is the sixth-largest cable operator in the U.S., with 772,300 video, high-speed data and voice customers. Its footprint spans nearly 3 million homes, overbuilding into Comcast and Charter Communications terrain in regions including the Midwest and Southeast.