Wide Open West

For other uses, see Wow (disambiguation).
Wide Open West
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1996
Headquarters Denver, Colorado
Key people
Steven Cochran, Chief Executive Officer and President
Products Cable television, broadband Internet, landline telephone
Website www.wowway.com

Wide Open West (doing business as WOW[1]) is the ninth largest cable TV provider in the United States.[2] Additionally, the company offers landline telephone and broadband Internet services.[3]

Wide Open West is privately owned, with Crestview Partners having a significant stake.[4]


The Telecommunications Act of 1996 gave way for more competition to enter the cable TV market. Encouraged by this law a number of investors, led by local telephone companies, established competitive broadcast cable services in markets across the country. These entities became known in the industry as 'cable overbuilders,' meaning they would build new cable infrastructure into areas where there were existing cable systems.[5]

WOW was founded in November 1999 in Denver, Colorado. After building a network in April 2001, WOW initially served about 200 people in the Denver area. In November 2001, WOW purchased Americast, an overbuild system in the Midwest built and operated by Ameritech New Media for an undisclosed amount per subscriber, estimated to have been at a cost of $600 per sub. This purchase opened WOW to over 310,000 new customers in metropolitan areas surrounding the cities of Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Denver, and Evansville.[6] WOW no longer serves the Denver market.

In August 23, 2011, Wave Broadband and WOW announced that they entered into an agreement to purchase substantially all of the assets of Broadstripe LLC, a provider of residential and commercial bundled communications services. On January 14, WOW completed the acquisition of Broadstripe's cable systems in Michigan.

In April 2012, WOW purchased Knology, a broadband company, operating in 13 markets. With the merger the combined customer total will be over 800,000.[7]

In June 2014, WOW sold its cable, Internet and phone systems in the South Dakota markets to Clarity Telecom. Part of the multimillion-dollar deal, worth $262 million, included the markets in Iowa and Minnesota previously served by Knology and PrairieWave Communications.[8] In March 2015 these markets would officially become known as Vast Broadband.[9]

Internet availability by state

State Percentage of state's population with access to WOW Internet[10]
South Dakota 29.6%
Michigan 20.4%
Ohio 14.4%
Alabama 12.9%
Illinois 10.8%
South Carolina 6.0%
Florida 4.6%
Indiana 4.6%
Kansas 4.3%
Georgia 4.2%
Tennessee 2.3%
Minnesota 0.8%
Iowa 0.4%

See also


  1. "WOW! Internet Cable and Phone - Bundle offers and support". WowWay.com. Wide Open West. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  2. "Top 25 Multichannel Video Providers - As of 2012". NCTA.com. National Cable & Telecommunications Association.
  3. "About WOW!". WowWay.com. Wide Open West. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  4. "News" (PDF). WowWay.com. WideOpenWest.
  5. "CableLabs Glossary". CableLabs. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011.
  6. "SBC Sells For a Song". Multichannel News.
  7. "WOW! to Acquire Knology for $19.75 Per Share in Cash". BusinessWire.com.
  8. "WOW! sells off SD systems to Clarity for $262M". Retrieved 2015-09-24.
  9. "Vast Broadband Launches In SD". Retrieved 2015-09-24.
  10. "WOW Availability by State". HighSpeedInternet.com. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
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