With the completion of its acquisition of AT&T’s wireless operations in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Liberty Latin America is targeting another local communications company, Broadband VI.
Pending regulatory approvals, Liberty Latin America this week announced its agreement to acquire Broadband VI, a fixed wireless internet provider in the Virgin Islands.
In the press release announcing the acquisition, Liberty said it hoped to strengthen the Virgin Islands’ position as a technology hub, boost economic growth, expand tourism and create jobs.
âWe continue to grow in the region, delivering on our commitment to provide greater connectivity and socio-economic development in the Virgin Islands,â said Naji Khoury, CEO of Liberty Mobile USVI, in a statement.
“By bringing our two companies together, we will deploy the best fixed Internet network and merge it with the best mobile network in the United States, thereby creating more value for customers in the territory,” said Khoury.
âResponding to USVI’s growing need for resilient broadband connectivity has been the primary focus of Broadband VI,â said CEO Bill Neville. âJoining Liberty accelerates this mission through additional investments, new products and services, and will provide world-class broadband infrastructure that will foster job creation and bring new benefits to the territory. “
The acquisition of Broadband VI follows that of AT&T in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which joined Liberty in 2020 and currently operates under a co-branding agreement. With the acquisition of these operations, Liberty now serves over one million mobile customers, has a workforce of over 2,200 employees and operates a call center in Puerto Rico with bilingual customer service representatives.
In announcing the purchase, Liberty promised to maintain the Broadband VI workforce throughout the territory.
Post-merger plans include identifying opportunities to strengthen network resilience and reliability, as well as competitive offerings for residential and commercial customers, according to the announcement.
To achieve this, Liberty and Broadband VI will bury a significant portion of the fiber optic network within six years.
âFiber is the most energy efficient broadband technology,â explained Khoury. âFiber is also less dependent on the power grid and it can be more resistant to power outages. “
According to Khoury, the transaction and investment in the new fiber will generate jobs as the company invests tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure.
Without guaranteeing it will lower prices, the companies said the merger would provide better service, higher speeds and better value for consumers.
Liberty will continue Broadband VI’s stake in the Federal Communication Commission’s Connect USVI fund and Khoury also said Liberty will expand its commitment to giving back to the territory through the company’s non-profit arm, Liberty Foundation.
Liberty Mobile USVI is a subsidiary of Liberty Latin America, which operates in over 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean under various brands including Cable & Wireless, Flow, Liberty Mobile, and BTC.
In 2019, Broadband VI was the acquirer by purchasing the Virgin Islands assets of Surge Broadband