By the end of first quarter 2018, the WOW gigabit footprint will span 95% of the company’s service area, the cable MSO announced yesterday. The company now offers speed that fast in selected markets.

“Our customers want the fastest Internet speeds available so they can stream, chat, game, browse and enjoy internet-connected devices without interruption,”  WOW CEO Steven Cochran said in a press release. “WOW’s previous network investments have enabled us to provide 1 Gig services through existing coax plants with minimal capital expenditure. We are taking advantage of the opportunity to future-proof our entire network to power the data-hungry devices and connected gadgets our customers love.”

WOW Gigabit Footprint
The initiative will be complete by February 2018. The upgraded service will require a new modem.

Last month, WOW and Nokia, one of its technology suppliers, made announcements that set it up for the upgrade. The operator said that it would deploy Nokia’s virtualized Distributed Access Architecture (vDAA), a technology that relies upon software-defined networks and network functions virtualization (SDN and NFV).

The approach combines this new virtualized strategy – which relies much more deeply on software to manage network configuration and the services offered to subscribers – with node splitting strategies.

The goal is to create nodes of 100 or fewer subscribers. “Having a reliable, fast broadband network is not only great for our customers, but for the community as a whole,” continued Cochran. “Businesses, hospitals, manufacturing, institutions of higher education and even telecommuters are increasingly choosing cities, towns and communities that can offer broadband networks and Internet connectivity that can grow along with their needs.”

In September, WOW and Verizon reached two related agreements. The first agreement is for WOW to sell its holdings in the Chicago area to Verizon. The second is for WOW to complete upgrades on those networks for $50 million.