The company has its headquarters in Denver, Colorado and its service coverage area keeps changing as WOW! buys out other cable TV networks and then sells off bits of them. The cable TV network of WOW! has a presence in nine states but it is particularly focused on Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
The company started up in 1996. Although initially private, it floated on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017 and is now a public company.
The network of WOW! is typical of all cable TV providers in the USA. It is known as a “hybrid fiber-coaxial” network. This refers to the type of cable used in the system. The layout of the network looks a bit like a tree. Just like a tree, the WOW! network has a trunk. This is a fiber-optic cable that carries bulk traffic over a long distance. This runs from the premises of the internet service provider, where the access point to the internet is located. Traveling along the trunk from the ISP’s offices towards the customers, the network splits out into branches that lead to neighborhood junctions. These branches are also made up of fiber-optics.
The final stretch of the network is like the twigs on a tree sprouting out from the branches. The final links are carried over coaxial cable. That type of cable has a lot less capacity than fiber-optic. However, it only needs to carry the traffic of one house and the compromise on speed is worth it to get the price of the service down to the budget of the average household. Although the coaxial part of the network covers only a short distance, that final stretch has to be laid many times over – once to each house. Think of a tree and how many twigs each has, while only having one trunk. Using coaxial for all of that footage saves a lot of money.