Wide Open West

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For other uses, see Wow (disambiguation).
Wide Open West
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1996
Headquarters Denver, Colorado
Key people
Steven Cochran, Chief Executive Officer and President
Products Cable TV, broadband Internet, landline telephone
Website www.wowway.com

Wide Open West (doing business as WOW!) is the ninth largest cable TV provider in the United States.[1] Additionally, the company offers landline telephone and broadband Internet services.[2]

Wide Open West is privately owned, with Avista Capital Partners having a majority stake.[3]


The Telecommunications Act of 1996 gave way for more competition to enter the cable TV market. Encouraged by this law a number of investors, led by local telephone companies, established competitive broadcast cable services in markets across the country. These entities became known in the industry as 'cable overbuilders,' meaning they would build new cable infrastructure into areas where there were existing cable systems.[4]

WOW! was founded in November 1999 in Denver, Colorado. After completing a network build in April 2001, WOW! initially served about 200 people in the Denver area. In November 2001, Americast, an overbuild system in the Midwest built and operated by Ameritech New Media, Inc., was purchased by WOW! for an undisclosed amount per subscriber, estimated to have been at a cost of $1,000 per sub.[5] This purchase opened WOW! to over 310,000 new customers in metropolitan areas surrounding the cities of Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Denver, and Evansville.[6] WOW! no longer serves the Denver market.

In August 23, 2011, Wave Broadband and WOW! announced that they entered into an agreement to purchase substantially all of the assets of Broadstripe LLC, a provider of residential and commercial bundled communications services. On January 14, WOW! completed the acquisition of Broadstripe's cable systems in Michigan.

In April 2012, WOW! purchased Knology, a broadband company, operating in 13 markets. With the merger the combined customer total will be over 800,000.[7]

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