WOW! will officially become Breezeline in a few weeks in Columbus and Cleveland, launching a string of changes to the internet, cable and phone service.
Breezeline, based in Massachusetts, acquired WOW! in the two Ohio markets in September for $1.125 billion, after announcing the acquisition in early 2021. Formerly known as Atlantic Broadband, Breezeline is the nation’s eighth-largest cable operator.
In an exclusive interview with The Dispatch, Breezeline President Frank van der Post outlined changes ahead for its roughly 200,000 internet, 60,000 cable television and 35,000 telephone customers in the Columbus and Cleveland markets.
“We would like to make the whole transition as effortless to customers as possible,” van der Post said.
When will the switch occur?
In a description of the upcoming changes, Breezeline said it will “reboot” Columbus cable customers between May 8 and May 10, and internet and phone customers between May 18 and June 29, causing a “short disruption” to service with each switch.
What has happened since Breezeline acquired WOW!?
Van der Post said Breezeline has been upgrading WOW!’s Columbus network.
“We started to invest quite a bit of money in the network to give us additional capacity and reliability and to give us greater speed,” he said. “A lot of that has been done already, and in the next three or four months, we will continue that investment.”
Do form WOW! customers have to do anything in the transition to Breezeline?
Customers must replace their Wowway e-mail accounts with Breezeline accounts, or create a Breezeline account if they do not have a Wowway account. If they pay with direct withdrawal, they must also change the account information with their bank to Breezeline. Otherwise, they need to do nothing.
“Internet customers should see no change when we reset the modems,” van der Post said. “That should have no customer impact whatsoever.”
Will Breezeline cost the same as WOW!?
Yes, said van der Post.
What’s the biggest change in service Breezeline customers will see?
The biggest change will happen for cable television customers, who in the fall will transition to Breezeline Stream TV, a cloud-based service that can be accessed on any device inside and outside the home. The service will require a hardware change.
“What you’ll have in the house is a very small box, no bigger than two iPhones stacked together,” van der Post said. “This will give you the ability to record in the cloud, watch anything, anywhere with any device, to go back and look at the program again without recording it. We started rolling it out a few weeks ago in New Hampshire. It works very efficiently. Customers will love it.”
Will cable channels change after the transition to Breezeline?
Breezeline dropped the politically conservative channel Newsmax from its lineup on Dec. 31, and will no longer offer pay-per-view channels. Otherwise, the service plans no changes to the channel lineup offered by WOW!
Will internet customers see any changes?
Breezeline’s internet service will include features such as parental controls, content filtering, site blocking, ad-blocking and malicious tracker blocking that customers can access and manage after the transition.
Will phone customers get to keep their phone numbers?
Does Breezeline plan to grow in Columbus and throughout Ohio?
“There’s a lot of growth in the market, and we feel with investments we plan to make in the next two or three years, we can make the system more reliable,” van der Post said. “We will have a much more competitive product, and we can add customers.”
Do you expect other Ohio acquisitions?
“Ohio was a great acquisition for us, it pulls us westward. I would anticipate further acquisitions in years to come if the opportunities are there.”