Fort Worth-based next-gen internet service provider Element8 has acquired Oklahoma-based high-speed internet provider Atlink Services for an undisclosed amount.
The move comes after E8 secured a $200 million strategic investment from Digital Alpha, an investment firm focused on digital infrastructure.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the support and confidence of the Digital Alpha team behind us,” E8 President and CEO Kevin Grace said in a statement. “In addition to their financial backing, their strategic alliances with industry partners such as Cisco present an opportunity for us to build world-class network infrastructure and expand our relationships with many strategic vendors. All this gives E8 a critical edge in providing the fastest and most reliable internet available to serve the underserved. I attribute our progress and success to our incredible team.”
E8 and Digital Alpha will execute a growth strategy including organic growth, strategic acquisitions, and greenfield network infrastructure expansion, the companies said.
E8 said it anticipates scaling its investment beyond $200 million in the coming years, but that the acquisition of AtLink Services marks a major milestone on the company’s path to national expansion.
E8 was founded in 2020 by Grace, a telecom industry veteran. He and his executive team of James Fair, Dustin Dvorak, Mike Field, and Jonathan Van bring decades of experience to the fractured and segmented rural broadband industry.
The firm said that by focusing on delivering superior customer service and an exceptional consumer experience, it intends to expand high-speed broadband internet service to millions of unserved and underserved Americans.
Closing digital divide in rural America
AtLink Services, Oklahoma’s largest fixed-wireless internet service provider, is one of E8’s first platform acquisitions.
“The time is now for seasoned operators to meet the rural broadband needs of unserved and underserved Americans,” AtLink Services CEO Sam Curtis said in a statement. “I am excited to work with such a visionary team at E8, where together, we will deploy world-class digital infrastructure resources from Cisco, Digital Alpha, and Tarana to seize this unique moment in time in the industry.”
Rick Shrotri, founder and managing partner at Digital Alpha Advisors said that the E8 team has shown its expertise and ability to deliver.
“Element8 offers an industry-leading approach to delivering connectivity infrastructure to subscribers in rural markets across America,” he said in a statement. “With Digital Alpha’s revenue share financing solution, a tested technology solution from Tarana, and a strategic partnership with Cisco, Element8 has an opportunity to build a national, next generation network.”
E8 cited Pew Research Center data that said roughly one-quarter of U.S. households do not have home broadband internet connections, and rural and minority communities report even lower rates of adoption despite the increasing importance of connectivity for everyday life.
That digital divide persists despite more than $130 billion in public and private funding available, E8 said.
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