Element8, a provider offering fixed wireless and fiber broadband in rural areas, plans to acquire AtLink Services which, according to a press release, is the largest wireless internet service provider (WISP) in Oklahoma. Element8 Executive Vice President of Innovation and Business Development Jonathan Van confirmed with Telecompetitor that the companies have reached a definitive agreement and are awaiting FCC approval.
The Element8 service area includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma and “the heartland,” Van said.
The acquisition was made possible by a $200 million investment from Digital Alpha Advisors, an investment firm focused on digital infrastructure.
Element8 was founded in 2020 by telecom veteran Kevin Grace with the goal of making high-speed broadband available to millions of unserved and underserved Americans.
Plans include “organic growth, strategic acquisitions, and greenfield network infrastructure expansion,” according to a press release.
Element8 “anticipates scaling its investment beyond $200 million the coming years,” the company added.
Asked what Element8 would look for in an acquisition, Van told Telecompetitor that the company was “looking at all internet service providers that complement our team and network.”
In the press release, Grace noted that in addition to financial backing, Element8 will benefit from Digital Alpha Advisors’ strategic alliances with companies such as Cisco.
According to AtLink Services website, AtLink currently serves over 15,000 customers.
Two interesting Element8 initiatives:
- The company created a non-profit organization, Rising Tide Initiative, to help small business entrepreneurs
- The company has a focus on smart devices. According to Van, the company offers 42 smart home products.
“The primary focus is on convenience and price for our customers,” he said. “We are focused on making the entire home internet experience a great one.”
Acquisitions and mergers have become increasingly prevalent in the rural broadband market and investment firms have grown increasingly interested in the area now that universal broadband has become a U.S. policy objective.