Wave acquires Spectrum Networks, CondoInternet to bolster broadband reach

WaveLogoSmallWaveDivision Holdings, the company behind Wave Broadband, today announced the acquisition of Seattle-based Spectrum Networks and its subsidiary, CondoInternet.

Wave, headquartered in Kirkland, provides video, internet and phone services to about 410,000 residential and business customers on the West Coast, and raised more than $1 billion in November to support its continued growth.

Founded in 2007, Spectrum Networks is a Seattle-based wholesale provider of Internet service to businesses. It also operates CondoInternet.net, a subsidiary of Spectrum that delivers ethernet-to-the-home connections in more than 50 condominiums in several Seattle neighborhoods.

spectrumlogoSpectrum and CondoInternet will operate as separate businesses under Wave. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition will enable CondoInternet, the largest provider of residential gigabit services in the Northwest, to immediately expand its reach by using Wave’s large fiber optic resources and capital.

“This is really about jumping immediately to scale,” Spectrum Networks co-founder John van Oppen told GeekWire. “Our growth strategy up to this point has been organic, but the problem is that to accelerate past a certain point you have to jump in with someone who has infrastructure already.”

Wave Broadband has one of the largest fiber optic networks along the West Coast.

Spectrum Networks will now be able to use Wave Broadband’s fiber network, one of the largest along the West Coast.

It’s good timing for Spectrum and CondoInternet, especially with gigabit competition looming. Washington D.C. broadband developer Gigabit Squared is partnering with the City of Seattle to offer gigabit Internet in Seattle next year.

CondoInternet has been providing gigabit speeds in Seattle since 2009 and actually tried to work with the city when it first sought out private companies for use of the city’s 500 miles of unused cabling throughout Seattle. The city ultimately decided to go with Gigabit Squared in December.

Van Oppen, however, said that Gigabit Squared had nothing to do with the motives behind the acquisition.

“I don’t think it made any difference whatsoever in this,” he said of Gigabit Squared. “Steve and I have been talking about the future of broadband for a long time now. It’s about building infrastructure in a coherent way and there’s no way to continue to do that in any kind of rapid fashion other than figuring out how to connect assets.”

Wave has been around for 10 years, an amalgamation of cable and fiber assets from the likes of Charter, RCN and Black Rock. The company has been pieced together over the years through a series of more than 15 acquisitions, including some bankrupt properties. The Spectrum acquisition is Wave’s second in the last ten months.

“Spectrum and CondoInternet have a lot of happy customers and a great brand,” Wave CEO Steve Weed said. “We love to expand a quality brand like that.”

“It’s tough in this industry to find partners that share your vision,” added van Oppen. “But teaming up with Wave really made a lot of sense because we had a few things they didn’t have, and they had a lot we didn’t. More importantly, they had assets we could use to speed up deployment to customers.”

Editor’s note: Wave Broadband is a GeekWire annual sponsor.

  • http://www.bluebox.net Jesse Proudman

    Congrats John! Looking forward to seeing what you’ll drive next!