Fort Worth-based next-generation ISP Element8 receives $200M investment to expand in US » Dallas Innovates

Fort Worth-based next-generation 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 support, their strategic alliances with industry partners such as Cisco provide us with the opportunity to build a world-class network infrastructure and expand our relationships with many strategic vendors.” All of this gives E8 a critical edge in providing the fastest and most reliable internet to serve the vulnerable. 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 expects to increase its investment to more than $200 million in the coming years, but that the acquisition of AtLink Services marks an important milestone on the company’s path to national expansion.

E8 was founded in 2020 by Grace, a veteran of the telecommunications industry. He and his executive team of James Fair, Dustin Dvorak, Mike Field and Jonathan Vann bring decades of experience to the fragmented and segmented rural broadband industry.

The firm said that by focusing on providing superior customer service and an exceptional user experience, it intends to expand high-speed broadband Internet service to millions of unserved and underserved Americans.

Bridging the 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 experienced 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 capitalize on this unique moment in time in the industry.”

Rick Shrotri, founder and managing partner at Digital Alpha Advisors, said the E8 team demonstrated its expertise and ability to execute.

“Element8 offers an industry-leading approach to providing connectivity infrastructure to subscribers in rural markets across America,” he said in a statement. “With Digital Alpha’s revenue share funding solution, a proven technology solution from Tarana and a strategic partnership with Cisco, Element8 has the opportunity to build a next-generation nationwide network.”

E8 cites data from the Pew Research Center that shows roughly a quarter of U.S. households do not have home broadband Internet connections, and rural and minority communities report even lower adoption rates despite the growing importance of connectivity in everyday life.

This digital divide persists despite more than $130 billion in public and private funding available, E8 said.

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