Two regional service providers – 360 Communications and 903 Broadband – merged last month to create a new company called 360 Broadband. The company will serve almost 16,000 customers in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.
To reach its customers, the company uses a hybrid approach that relies on almost 250 wireless towers and fiber-to-the-home.
The two companies were roughly the same size. The new entity has 88 employees and offers services across 10,000 square miles in 30 counties: 20 in Oklahoma, six in Texas and four in Arkansas.
“We are delighted to join forces to provide a high-quality, reliable broadband experience in rural and small-town areas of Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas,” 360 Broadband CEO George Breeden said in a prepared statement. “Our people share the same values and objectives, which will help us come together smoothly and provide the best service possible for our communities.”
According to the statement the company released, Fischer Industries provided more than $33 million in financing to facilitate the merger.
Employees of both companies will be retained. 903 Broadband CEO Tyler McCarley is now the chief operating officer of 360 Broadband. The other members of the executive team are Kris McElroy (chief technology officer), Shane Simmons (chief service officer) and Drew Beverage (chief strategy officer).
The goal of the new company is to reach 50,000 subscribers. To do so, it intends to try to win local, state and federal funding to support rural broadband expansions, something that 360 Communications and 903 Broadband had not done.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury awarded Oklahoma $167.7 million in the $10 billion Capital Projects Fund (CPF) program. The funds will serve about 13% of locations in the state that currently lack high-speed internet access.
360 Broadband’s headquarters will be in Durant, OK, where 360 Communications was located. 903 Broadband was in Leonard, TX.
Updated based on comments from a spokesperson stating that the companies will use a mixture of fixed wireless and fiber-to-the-home