One of the big cable MSOs has bought its way into a deeper metro fiber footprint. Cox Communications today signed an agreement to buy Tulsa's EasyTEL.
EasyTEL has long operated one of the densest independent fiber-to-the-enterprise networks in the country. At last count they had 1,898 of the Tulsa metro area's buildings on-net across 750+ route miles of fiber. For a metro area of Tulsa's size, that's a lot of buildings for an independent operator to have on-net.
Of course, Cox Business already has a big presence in Tulsa, and the combined company will have reach into 21,000 buildings around the metro area via both fiber and hybrid fiber-coax. By purchasing EasyTEL they take a much bigger position with larger enterprises and wholesale than in the past.
Cable MSOs have long been expected to be active in big metro fiber M&A, but this deal is more along the lines of what I thought was likely. National fiber footprints don't generally align well with cable MSO territories, but geographically focused metro fiber should be much more attractive. And they don't come much more geographically-focused than EasyTEL.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Waller Capital advised Cox, while Stephens advised EasyTEL.
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