Updated June 10, 2019 13:05:00 New Zealand-based cable company Comcast has confirmed it is to acquire the Avant Technology and Medical Devices group, to be headed by former Chief Technology Officer Ben Woodman.
The purchase will bring Comcast’s fibre-optic business to the United States.
It is not yet known when the deal will be completed, but Comcast is expected to announce the acquisition in the coming weeks.
Mr Woodman joined Comcast as chief technology officer in September 2018, a year after the acquisition of NBCUniversal.
Avant has previously worked for Comcast in Europe.
In March 2019, the cable company announced it was acquiring telemedicine company X-Rite.
A deal was also announced for Telehealth and other services.
The acquisition is expected in the next few months.
Comcast is currently the world’s third-largest cable provider, after Telstra and Verizon.
Its cable networks include: The Cable Channel, The Cable Network, The Spectrum, The XFINITY Channel, and The Spectrum Network.
Comcast has also launched the Aptenna Broadband, which offers broadband to the US from home and is part of its $3.6 billion investment in fibre optic infrastructure in the US.
This includes the purchase of several high-speed fibre optic fibre cable networks, including New Castle-based Cablevision.
Cablevision is the second-largest provider of fibre broadband in the United State.
In September 2018 Comcast was the first major US cable company to sign a fibre-based customer-to of its own, to replace its own fibre to the node infrastructure.
The new deal was announced as part of Comcast’s plan to expand its fibre optic network to include more than 2 million homes.
The Avant deal will bolster Comcast’s business in healthcare, which is in the midst of a consolidation battle with rival cable provider Time Warner Cable, which owns both DirecTV and NBCUniversal cable.
Comcast will continue to operate its cable services, as well as provide its own broadband services.
It also owns the XFINITIES channel, a subscription television channel and its own premium premium cable network, XFINTY.
Comcast said the Aveda acquisition will help the company expand its fiber optic network.
It will offer “new and more innovative products and services” including telemedics, virtual reality and wireless Internet access, the company said.
Avedas CEO, Stephen Hirsch, said in a statement that Comcast’s decision to acquire Avant was the result of the company’s “commitment to expanding its fibre network to more customers”.
“Our acquisition of Avant Technologies will further accelerate the expansion of our fibre network,” he said.
“We will continue our strategic investments in our fibre networks and will leverage the advantages of fibre to deliver faster broadband speeds, more flexibility in our networks and more affordable cable products.”
Comcast’s chief technology officers, including Mr Woodmen, are responsible for the companys global business and business systems.
Mr Hirsch said the company would continue to “deliver a premium cable experience” and said Comcast’s “fibre to the home” plans would be focused on residential customers.
A number of other cable companies have recently acquired health and fitness companies, including Comcast, Charter Communications, Time Warner, Cablevision, Cox Communications and Directv.
A key factor in the Aventa deal was Comcast’s plans to launch its own internet-based medical services.
Comcast already operates a network of over 500 medical centres in Australia, including in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Avena’s business includes telemedication and internet access for healthcare professionals.