DURANT, Okla. (September 21, 2023) – Two internet service providers in the Oklahoma-Texas-Arkansas region have merged to create a new company – 360 Broadband – with a mission of providing affordable, reliable voice, data, and related services to homes and businesses throughout the area.
The two former companies – 360 Communications of Durant, Oklahoma, and 903 Broadband of Leonard, Texas – were roughly the same size, which means the combination is a doubling in size for both. Upon the merger in August, the new company had nearly 16,000 subscribers and 88 employees across 10,000 square miles and 30 counties: 20 in Oklahoma, six in Texas, and four in Arkansas. The company’s services are provided via a hybrid network containing both fiber elements and almost 250 wireless towers.
“We are delighted to join forces to provide a high-quality, reliable broadband experience in rural and smalltown areas of Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas,” said George Breeden, CEO of 360 Broadband. “Our people share the same values and objectives, which will help us come together smoothly and provide the best service possible for our communities.”
Tyler McCarley, the former CEO of 903 Broadband, and now Chief Operating Officer of the combined company, added, “The combination of these two companies puts us on a bigger playing field and brings more opportunities for employees and customers.”
“We’re especially pleased that due to strong demand for our services, we will be able to keep our most valuable resource, the excellent employees of both companies,” Breeden said. “Our customers will work with the same local folks and enjoy the same great service as always. In fact, we’re looking to expand and hire more employees.”
Members of the management team have known each other for years, which will help smooth the transition. In addition to Breeden and McCarley, other senior executives include Kris McElroy, Chief Technology Officer; Shane Simmons, Chief Service Officer; and Drew Beverage, Chief Strategy Officer.
Company executives are proud that their growth to date has been entirely organic and entrepreneurial, with no government funding support. To meet their long-term goal of reaching 50,000 subscribers in the region, they do anticipate competing for a share of the local, state, and federal funds that are currently available for rural broadband network expansions.
Oklahoma City-based Fischer Industries contributed over $33 million in financing to facilitate the merger transaction. “We have a strong commitment to continue to fund the 360 Broadband team to facilitate bringing fast, reliable internet service to homes throughout the region by providing that last mile connection,” said Mark Fischer, CEO, of Fischer Industries.
About 360 Broadband: From its home base in Durant, Oklahoma, 360 Broadband provides a high-quality, reliable broadband experience to rural homes, businesses, and community institutions in southeast Oklahoma, northeast Texas, and northwestern Arkansas. We offer basic residential and business plans, as well as enterprise plans for larger organizations that need more dedicated links. Our core values are “always do the right thing;” engineering excellence; integrity; never complacent; teamwork; and excellent customer service always. Learn more at www.360broadband.com/
Two regional service providers – 360 Communications and 903 Broadband – merged last month to create a new company called 360 Broadband. The company will serve almost 16,000 customers in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.
To reach its customers, the company uses a hybrid approach that relies on almost 250 wireless towers and fiber-to-the-home.
The two companies were roughly the same size. The new entity has 88 employees and offers services across 10,000 square miles in 30 counties: 20 in Oklahoma, six in Texas and four in Arkansas.
“We are delighted to join forces to provide a high-quality, reliable broadband experience in rural and small-town areas of Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas,” 360 Broadband CEO George Breeden said in a prepared statement. “Our people share the same values and objectives, which will help us come together smoothly and provide the best service possible for our communities.”
According to the statement the company released, Fischer Industries provided more than $33 million in financing to facilitate the merger.
Employees of both companies will be retained. 903 Broadband CEO Tyler McCarley is now the chief operating officer of 360 Broadband. The other members of the executive team are Kris McElroy (chief technology officer), Shane Simmons (chief service officer) and Drew Beverage (chief strategy officer).
The goal of the new company is to reach 50,000 subscribers. To do so, it intends to try to win local, state and federal funding to support rural broadband expansions, something that 360 Communications and 903 Broadband had not done.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury awarded Oklahoma $167.7 million in the $10 billion Capital Projects Fund (CPF) program. The funds will serve about 13% of locations in the state that currently lack high-speed internet access.
360 Broadband’s headquarters will be in Durant, OK, where 360 Communications was located. 903 Broadband was in Leonard, TX.
Updated based on comments from a spokesperson stating that the companies will use a mixture of fixed wireless and fiber-to-the-home