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Long time rural broadband industry financial and business consulting firm JSI is adding engineering services to its portfolio through the acquisition of N-Com. Lubbock based N-Com provides engineering services to rural communications, utilities and government agencies.

JSI is known for financial, management, and regulatory consulting services to rural telecom providers. By adding engineering services, the firm is aiming to expand its scope and become more ‘full service.’

Established in 2004, N-Com is one of many engineering consulting firms serving the rural broadband industry. The N-Com acquisition also includes N-Com affiliate, Network Lubbock (NLI), a provider of hardware, software, MSP and DDoS mitigation solutions to the telecom industry.

The timing makes sense. Engineering services for rural broadband will be in great demand, as billions in funding for rural broadband expansion are on tap over the next decade. That funded expansion will need engineering consulting services. A lot of it.

“Bringing N-Com into the JSI family is a natural fit to meet our clients’ needs for robust broadband deployments,” said Tasos Tsolakis, CEO of JSI in a press release. “By adding N-Com’s complete network service solutions and talented team of engineers to JSI’s already comprehensive business, financial and regulatory solutions, we will provide unmatched benefits to clients and the industry at large.”

Current N-com president Dennis Wisdom will remain in that role and N-Com will maintain its own brand for now but will be identified as a JSI Company.

More Consulting M&A?
I suspect we’ll see more of this consolidation with professional service firms in the consulting firm-heavy rural broadband industry. JSI is not alone in expanding its services. Vantage Point, a historical rural broadband engineering services firm, recently added more business consulting horsepower through the acquisition of GVNW.

Indeed, broadband industry M&A activity is quite active among carriers and the hardware/software vendors who serve them. It’s only natural to potentially see that activity extend to professional service firms as well.

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