– Cooperative Network Services, LLC (CNS), a Minnesota fiber-optic transport carrier announced today that it has purchased the assets of West Central Transport Group, LLC (WCTG), a major fiber network in west central and southern Minnesota.
The deal will increase the CNS backbone network to a total of 2,500 route miles of fiber, and including partner assets, brings the network total to 10,200 route miles of fiber and 40,000 on-net/lit buildings.
Combining the assets of these two networks will enable MN’s rural telecom and broadband providers to deliver increasingly advanced services faster.
“This acquisition fits perfectly with the CNS purpose of Bringing More Broadband to More Rural Places… it creates new opportunities for success for many rural MN independent telecom providers, ensuring they have access to essential network services, and that they have a stake in the transport business for the future,” said Jason Dale, CNS CEO. “As technology and rural transport economics have changed, it’s clear that a unified state-wide network is a key ingredient to remaining relevant in the transport world. By combining these two complimentary networks, we’ve taken a huge step forward. We are extremely excited for this new chapter.”
The decision for combining these networks was an obvious one since eight of the owners of WCTG are also CNS owners, and the two networks have a long history of partnering together. These relationships will lend themselves to a quick transition, and early growth opportunities. The WCTG network will operate under the CNS subsidiary Fiber Minnesota, LLC.
“WCTG felt the CNS team was the perfect choice to continue meeting the needs of customers and neighbors,” said Jake Anderson, President of WCTG. “We are excited for the opportunities and crucial connectivity our combined networks will bring to the state of Minnesota and beyond.”
Similar to surrounding states
Minnesota’s fiber transport landscape has long been made up of smaller regional networks, but as technology has progressed, so too is the need for a larger, unified network.
For years, Minnesota has differed from neighboring states, where the independent telephone/ broadband providers joined forces decades ago to create statewide networks – enjoying robust facilities and advanced centralized solutions.
“This is a big win for the independent telecom providers in MN,” said Dean Bahls, CNS’ Network Manager. “The increased footprint will provide direct connectivity to more CNS owner companies, as well as connectivity to many more on-net customers throughout large portions of the state.”
The CNS Network currently uses Cisco NCS2K/15454 ROADM and has a proven track record of uptime. The newly acquired network also uses the same platform and will mesh together seamlessly.
Streamlined quoting and turn-up
With the increase of on-net route miles, quoting circuits will be faster, and pricing will be more competitive. Customers will enjoy highly available services, with faster resolution times.
Network of Networks
As with the current CNS network, through partnership with 702 Communications, the newly combined network will be branded under the Aurora Fiber Optic Networks name and will continue to be a part of the INDATEL nationwide network of networks.
The CNS purpose is to Bring More Broadband to More Rural Places. With that goal in mind we provide a variety of services to the rural telecommunications industry.
Cooperative Network Services (CNS) is a key provider of high-capacity fiber-optic backhaul for much of Minnesota, providing IP/TDM Transport, Special Access Circuits, and Ethernet services to the carrier, enterprise, and SMB markets.
CNS’ ownership consists of 20 cooperative telephone and broadband providers operating in and around Minnesota.
In addition to the CNS transport network, we also provide professional services to rural providers throughout the country, including: Engineering, Consulting, Video Product Management, Human Resources, and Graphic Design services.
Our ownership consists exclusively of cooperative telecommunications providers, and CNS reflects the cooperative spirit and values of its owners in the services it provides. By working together as a group, CNS provides the benefits and efficiencies of consolidation that much of the rest of our industry has experienced in recent years, while at the same time offering services that no single member could offer alone. This is very much in keeping with the cooperative mission. Do More. Together.