Cable One Shopping Spree Continues with Acquisition of Emporia, Kansas’s ValueNet

Privately held CLEC has around 23,000 fiber-to-the-home passings

Phoenix, Ariz.-based midsized cable operator Cable One has quietly purchased ValueNet Fiber of Emporia, Kansas.

The deal, terms of which have not been publicly disclosed, was first reported on by local newspaper the Emporia Gazette. Light Reading was the first to pick up on the report.

Privately backed with $6 million by local investors, ValueNet Fiber launched in 2011 as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), providing Emporia customers with fiber-based high-speed Internet and HDTV services. ValueNet Fiber touts access to 23,000 customers.

The Gazette said ValueNet Fiber’s management team will remain in place and that ValueNet customers will see “no immediate changes.”

For its part, Cable One—which operators under the brand name Sparklight these days—already counts Emporia in its footprint. Cable One finished the first quarter with 793,000 high-speed internet users. And this latest deal will vault it past Englewood, Colorado’s WideOpenWest as the sixth largest cable operator in the U.S.

For Cable One, the ValueNet deal is only the latest pickup in a shopping spree that has included three acquisitions since 2017.

In October, Cable One closed on its $526 million purchase of Fidelity Communications, adding approximately 87,000 residential and business internet and TV customers in Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

In 2018, Cable One bought Harrisburg, Ill-baed Clearwave Communications, adding the Southern Illinois telecom’s more than 2,400 route miles of dense metro fiber infrastructure connecting approximately 2,700 on-net businesses, towers and data centers to its portfolio.

In 2017, Cable One paid $735 million for Sikeston, Missouri-based NewWave Communications, a cable company with more than 428,000 residential passings in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

Cable One has yet to officially announce the deal to its investors.