Verizon on Tuesday announced it’s spending $225 million to purchase a high-capacity fiber network serving the Chicago market from the Colorado-based company WideOpenWest. The transaction should close early in the first quarter of 2018.
It’s Verizon’s latest investment in the sort of multi-use fiber assets that can help it provide next-generation broadband services like 5G networks.
Specifically, the deal gives Verizon fiber to more than 500 macro-cell wireless sites and more than 500 small-cell wireless sites. The network already connects Verizon Wireless macro towers and small cells, so the deal will reduce Verizon’s leasing costs. Additionally, Verizon is paying WideOpenWest another $50 million to finish building out its Chicago network in the second half of 2018.
Verizon has struck multiple deals this year to build up its next-gen network capabilities. In May, the company beat out AT&T in a bidding war for Straight Path Communications, paying $3.1 billion for Straight Path’s valuable portfolio of mmWave spectrum. In April, Verizon struck a deal to buy optical fiber from Corning at least $1.05 billion. And in February, the company announced a deal to purchase XO Communications’ fiber-optic network business for $1.8 billion.