The deal will also bring broadband internet to many of those residents for the first time, the Philadelphia-based media giant said Friday. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, writes Michelle Caffrey for Philadelphia Business Journal.
Wilco — which was founded in 1977 and is the largest private African American-owned cable system in the country — specializes in providing low-cost cable connectivity to multi-dwelling unit buildings like the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s.
As part of the deal, Comcast said it will invest in upgrading Wilco’s infrastructure for PHA residents and provide access to all of Comcast’s Xfinity services, which they could not get previously.
“We are happy to reach an agreement with Comcast that will now offer PHA residents the ability to be able to reap the benefits of its Internet Essentials program as well as many other advanced technologies,” Will Daniel, Wilco’s president and founder, said in a statement. “The opportunity for PHA communities to obtain these services through Comcast, which was founded by my personal friend Ralph Roberts, is an important step in bridging the digital divide here in Philadelphia.”
Daniel founded the company in the late ’70s as the cable industry was just emerging, and broke barriers to grow the company into what it describes as a “leader and an anomaly among independent cable operators in the telecommunications industry” by offering services to populations were often underserved and ignored by traditional cable operators in the past. The PHA, which houses almost 80,000 people in the city and is the largest landlord in Pennsylvania, is its main cable customer.
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