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COS Systems Acquired by Pivot Partners, Google Fiber Gets Back to Work, Traverse City Launches Ultra-Fast Network

Liana Sowa

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Photo of Google' Fiber's John Burchett courtesy Broadband Communities

COS Systems, a software provider specializing in open access networks, has been acquired by Pivot Partners, a Swedish private equity firm.

Though their early work in the Swedish market, COS System has been rapidly expanding in North America.

See “COS Systems Brings Swedish Knack for Tech to Open Access Networks, Hopes for Spacious Skies on American Plains,” Broadband Breakfast, May 20, 2020

Pivot Partners describes itself as “investing in- and developing qualitative, high-potential companies in the Nordics, with a focus on development and growth initiatives.”

“As the industry is now at a point of change and expansion never seen before,” said Peter Lidstrom, CEO of COS Systems. “Pivot Partners brings expertise and resources to build on our previous successes and take COS to the next level.”

COS Systems is “the unique product offering of both demand aggregation and open access BSS/OSS platforms, paired with the turning point towards larger community investments in fiber optic infrastructure,”  Said Niklas Hofverberg of Pivot Partners. COS Systems’ business model offers “better revenue potential and allows a democratization of broadband services,” he said.

After four-year hiatus, Google Fiber is back in the infrastructure construction business

Google Fiber’s recently announced plan to build a networks in West Des Moines came as a surprise to many not only because these plans were announced during a pandemic, but also because this was the first time in four years google has announced any new fiber plans.

See “West Des Moines and Google Fiber“, Broadband Breakfast, July 13, 2020

In a blog post for the Fiber Broadband Association, Kate Jacobson said West Des Moines was chosen by Google in part for its preparation and motivation. The city had already been planning to deploy fiber to its residents through their 2036 plan when the quiescent division of Alphabet, Google Fiber’s (and Google’s) parent company, reached out.

According to John Burchett, head of policy at Google Fiber, the city is an example of fiber deployments of the future.

“We also want to help catalyze a whole array of new entrants into markets around the country to give communities a sense of choice and competition that will help them have access to that high performance, high speed internet that we all need.”

During their four-year absence from the market, Google Fiber worked on developing their business and deployment models.

Those models include building entire fiber networks from scratch, leasing fiber backhaul from others, and partnering with local municipalities and utilities to build out the network. In the partnership model, Google Fiber focuses on delivering the internet, while the city focuses on the infrastructure construction.

Traverse City announces ultra-fast broadband internet service launch

Traverse City Light & Power announced the launch of their new broadband network, TCLPfiber, last Thursday. The network will provide “ultra-fast internet and digital voice services initially to 1900 of its 12,700 residential and commercial customers, located in downtown Traverse City, Michigan.”

The utility will continue to provide 24/7 support for the service, which will provide up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) of symmetrical internet service with no data caps, no installation fees, and no equipment or activation fees.

This project was inspired by a $1.8 million partnership with the Traverse City Area Public Schools to create a dark fiber community network and led to a partnership with the Downtown Development Authority to provide free Wi-Fi downtown.

The company, which is now taking orders at tclpfiber.org, hoped to attract industry and entrepreneurs to the area and set up City of Traverse City as a tech hub and a smart city in Northern Michigan.

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