The Kirkland company says it plans to use the money to accelerate the build out of its fiber-optic network. Wave has 420,000 customers in the Puget Sound area, Portland and locations in Northern California.

Share story

Broadband operator Wave has raised $130 million to fund its expansion plans on the West Coast.

The debt sale, announced Thursday but finalized after investors were lined up in April, is the first time the company has tapped outside investors since a $1 billion fundraising and refinancing of its existing debt in 2012.

In past years, the company would add broadband capacity “at about the rate that we’re able to reinvest [our] profits,” Wave Chief Executive Steve Weed said in an interview.

“What’s really different here is we’re accelerating the growth. The opportunity is good enough that we’ve decided to take advantage of the opportunity to grow faster.”

Weed, a longtime telecom executive, founded the privately held Kirkland company in 2002 and has since amassed a $2.5 billion broadband network carrying Internet, voice and cable-TV service for 420,000 customers in the Puget Sound area, Portland, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Wave, which competes with cable giants, including Comcast, was built largely through acquisitions, including some distressed broadband providers that sold for less than they had spent to build their own networks. It says it has annual revenue of more than $350 million.

Wave plans to use the new cash to double the pace at which it’s building out its fiber-optic broadband network, an expansion focused on business customers, Weed said.

The company also announced an executive reshuffling Thursday. Chief Operating Officer Steve Friedman late last year took on a new post that will oversee design and construction of the company’s fiber network.

His replacement as COO, Harold Zeitz, is a former president of Classmates.com, the online high-school-directory service.

Zeitz said Wave continues to work on its pilot project in Seattle’s Eastlake area to install fiber cable capable of supporting speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

“That’s under construction as we speak, with a few of the homes basically online,” Zeitz said.

Wave plans to make the service available to at least 10,000 more Seattle residents this year, with expansion to San Francisco planned.

Wave, owned by investors including Weed, company management and private-equity firms Oak Hill Capital and GI Partners, has about 1,000 employees, including 300 in Kirkland.