Rise Broadband said today that it has been acquired by investment firm GI Partners. The move is intended to “improve customer experience and accelerate Rise Broadband’s rollout of fiber-to-the-home services for rural American homes and businesses,” Rise said in a press release.
GI Partners also will provide “meaningful new capital” in pursuit of those goals.
Until now, Rise, also known as JAB Broadband, has been primarily a fixed wireless provider. Founded in 2006, the company has acted as a consolidator in the fixed wireless market, which is comprised of a huge number of small companies, some serving just a handful of customers.
Over time, the company has amassed a large service footprint. According to FCC data, Rise is one of only 11 service providers that covers more than 5% of the U.S. population.
One of the characteristics of the fixed wireless market is that providers generally update their infrastructure more frequently in comparison with wireline broadband providers – a situation that reflects the rapid pace of innovation in fixed wireless technology and its relative ease of deployment in comparison with landline options.
When time comes to upgrade equipment, some fixed wireless providers shift to fiber broadband as a more future-proof investment. The decision about whether to do so will depend on how many customers the provider has amassed or expects to be able to amass.
“We are eager to partner with the GI Partners team as we embark on a new phase of growth, driven by significant investment in our hybrid fiber-to-the-home and fixed wireless network,” said Jim O’Brien, Rise Broadband CEO, in today’s announcement.
Data infrastructure is a key focus for GI Partners, which also has invested in Vast Broadband and which had a previous investment in Wave Broadband.
Broadband providers currently in GI Partners’ data infrastructure portfolio include BlueStream Fiber and Bluepeak.
Terms of the Rise Broadband GI Partners deal were not disclosed, but some additional information can be found in this press release.