ST. LOUIS, Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- i3 Broadband today announced it has acquired from iTV-3, Inc. the rights to manage and operate the UC2B fiber optic network in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. i3 Broadband plans to aggressively expand the system to provide its "triple play" of Gigabit Internet access, television and telephone services throughout the greater Champaign and Urbana area. i3 Broadband is wholly owned by CountryWide Broadband of St. Louis and Seaport Capital of New York.
"We are very excited to be able to provide and expand our Gigabit broadband services to the residents and businesses of Champaign and Urbana," noted Grier Raclin, president and chief executive officer of i3 Broadband. "We'll be investing millions of dollars to aggressively grow our all-fiber network and roll-out new services, such as a new variety of internet access speeds and video services packages, to new and existing service areas in and around Champaign and Urbana."
Jon Koontz, Chairman of Urbana Champaign Big Broadband NFP ("UC2B"), which originally constructed the network with grants from the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the State of Illinois, commented, "We are extremely pleased to move the project forward with i3 Broadband and anticipate unlocking the full potential of being a gigabit enabled community as we expand the network and offer services to all residents of Urbana and Champaign."
Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen added, "Bridging the digital divide and bringing high-speed, fiber optic connectivity to all of Champaign-Urbana's residents has always been the goal. I'm excited to hear i3 Broadband plans to make the investment in our community to further expand the network and bring us closer to making that a reality."
Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing further commented, "With new management and a more aggressive build-out schedule, more residents will have access to high-speed internet. This is essential for local entrepreneurs in our modern economy and for all other users as well."
In addition to providing the fastest internet speeds available, as well as high-quality telephone services, iTV-3/i3 will provide consumer-focused television packages. "Our television packages are very consumer friendly," said Raclin. "We're offering new, smaller channel packages, which provide streamlined video entertainment options at a lower cost, along with increased video-on-demand and 'TV Everywhere' services that allow our customers to watch their favorite shows anywhere they want," Raclin added. "We are focused on providing services that meet and exceed the demands of our customers."
About i3 Broadband and CountryWide Broadband, LLC
i3 Broadband is a subsidiary of CountryWide Broadband, LLC ("CWB"), providing TV, Voice and Internet services through a 100% fiber optic network in the greater Peoria, Champaign and Urbana, Illinois markets. www.i3broadband.com CWB is a broadband acquisition and management firm headed by a management team with almost 100 years of senior executive experience in national and international telecommunications companies. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, CWB is pursuing plans to acquire, consolidate and grow additional broadband properties in markets throughout the United States. www.cwbinc.net.
About Seaport Capital
Seaport Capital is a New York City-based private equity firm that invests in recurring revenue companies operating in the communications, information and business services sectors. Previous Seaport portfolio companies in the Cable industry include Everest Communications, Marianas Cablevision, Otelco and Metrocast Cablevision. www.seaportcapital.com.
Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) is a not-for-profit agency that supports the development of high speed broadband in the Urbana-Champaign area. It is a partnership of the University of Illinois and the cities of Urbana and Champaign that was formed to bring the advantages of high-speed gigabit fiber-optic connectivity to our community. Initially funded by a federal BTOP grant that included state and local matching funds, UC2B works with governments and private sector partners to expand services to the community and believes that high-speed connectivity promotes educational opportunities, creates positive social impacts, and is a key component to economic growth. www.UC2B.net.
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SOURCE CountryWide Broadband, LLC