Cox Communications’ latest acquisition of shares from Unite Private Networks has obtained a lot of buzz recently. Unite Private Network (UPN) is a fiber optic provider in Kansas City, which was sued as part of M’s Pub fire accident in Omaha, Nebraska in January.
By this deal, Cox has acquired a stake at UPN’s fiber optics, which is serving around 4,000 buildings, mostly in Midwest United States. Cox Communications is currently the third largest cable TV provider in the country, and has made this deal as part of their continuing growth strategy.
In January, UPN was hired by Verizon Wireless for the expansion of their fiber optic network in Omaha. UPN hired North Central Services, a Minnesota based company for the underground drilling for the fiber network. During the drilling process, the gas line was ruptured and a fire broke out in the building, resulting in damage to many buildings in the locality, including M’s Pub. This attracted a lot of media attention, and M’s Pub filed a lawsuit against Unite Private Networks for financial compensation at Douglas Country District Court.
The lawsuit filed by M’s Pub owner Mercer Management held all three companies responsible for the mishap. All three companies responded with court filings declaring that they were careful during the process and it was not their fault.
North Central Services accused Metropolitan Utilities District, which owns and operates natural gas lines in the city, holding them responsible for the accident. However, MUD’s representative replied that fault was entirely on NCS. Even though Metropolitan Utilities District has not been named in the defendant’s lawsuit, they will be requested to appear because of North Central’s filing.
Cox representative, Beth Weiss, said in a press release that the company is well aware of the lawsuit on Unite Private Networks and assured that the company is not involved in it by any means. She added that the deal is only made for the expansion of the cable TV network in Midwest US.