123NET

Grain Management LLC has agreed to acquire a majority interest in 123NET, a fiber Internet, colocation and business voice provider that serves Michigan.

123NET’s management team will remain in place and hold “a meaningful” ownership position, the companies said.

123NET, which was founded in 1995, has a 3,100-route mile network that includes long haul and dense metro fiber capabilities in Michigan’s largest cities. It also owns what it says is the largest carrier hotel in the state, the Detroit Internet Exchange (DET-iX), as well as the Grand Rapids Internet Exchange (GRR-iX). It claims that its Internet exchange is the largest fee free exchange in the world and the ninth highest traffic exchange in North America.

“Grain’s partnership with 123NET is the culmination of a multi-year relationship with this long-standing and experienced management team, and we are thrilled to be partnering with them,” Grain Managing Director Raghav Nayar said in a press release. “We think very highly of the disciplined, analytics-driven culture at 123NET, and we believe our synergy enables us to achieve even greater results together.”

Grain Management has emerged as a fiber network consolidator in recent years. Among its acquisitions: Last April company acquired Quintillion, a provider of connectivity in the American Arctic. In May, 2021, it acquired Tachus LLC, a fiber broadband provider in Texas.

The depth of 123NET’s roots in Michigan was illustrated by its selection last August to be part of a public-private partnership with the Allegan County Board of Commissioners. The goal of the project is to deploy fiber broadband to 12,000 addresses.

The county, was “specifically seeking a partner” to pursue grant money from Michigan’s Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) fund, according to Justin Lampman, Vice President – Network Operations for 123NET.

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