altafiber: A History of Innovation

As technology continues to transform communications, altafiber – formerly known as Cincinnati Bell – has embraced reinvention, and is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our residential and business customers.

We were officially incorporated in 1873, becoming the first company in Cincinnati to provide direct communication between the city’s homes and businesses. In fact, we provided the first telephonic exchange in Ohio and the 10th in the nation. 

Originally a provider of telegraph services, our company became a member of the Bell System in the late nineteenth century. In 1931, the company opened its building at Seventh and Elm Streets in Downtown Cincinnati – the “Telephone Building” in the public’s mind – which also housed the world’s longest straight switchboard, with 88 operator positions.  

Fast-forward to today: altafiber is a technology company that delivers integrated communications solutions over our fiber-optic network, including high-speed Internet, video, voice, and data. The company also provides service in Hawai’i under the brand Hawaiian Telcom. 

altafiber has a history of innovation and success, including these milestones:

  • 1984: Began deploying fiber for enterprise customers and network backbone
  • 1992: First in the nation to deploy SONET ring technology
  • 1994: First in the nation to deploy Metro Ethernet services
  • 1997: First ADSL installation in North America
  • 2002: Early IP telephony adopter
  • 2008: Company begins building fiber network in Greater Cincinnati for residential and small business customers. Virtual data center is born.
  • 2010: Company begins building fiber network in Greater Cincinnati for residential and small business customers
  • 2014: First in region to launch Gigabit Internet speed offering 
  • 2015: Named the fastest Internet Service Provider in Cincinnati by Ookla, the global leader in broadband testing and web network diagnostic applications
  • 2016: First to offer customer MyTV Video bundles
  • 2020: Begins offering 2 gigabit speeds to consumers 
  • 2022: Launches the Bell Charitable Foundation to more strategically support organizations driving Economic & Social Mobility, Environmental Sustainability, Technology, and Health & Wellbeing initiatives

altafiber continues to grow and evolve. In 2018, the company completed its acquisition of Hawaiian Telcom, the leading integrated communications provider serving Hawaiʻi, and the state’s fiber-centric technology leader. In 2021, the company announced the completion of its take-private acquisition by Macquarie Asset Management, which will accelerate the fiber build across its operating footprints in Greater Cincinnati and Hawai’i … and beyond. 

In 2022, the company announced the acquisition of Agile Network Builders, LLC, the Canton, Ohio-based company that leases wireless infrastructure assets to third parties and provides connectivity through hybrid fiber wireless data networks in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. 

That same year, we began doing business as altafiber in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana as we continue to expand our geographic reach and invest in our fiber network that delivers broadband connectivity and connects individuals, families, businesses, and communities.