Rainier Connect’s expansion taking it to neighboring counties

The Rainier Connect building is seen on March 10, 2022, in Tacoma.  Recent changes made on the Rainier Connect-managed Click Network include a move away from traditional cable to a streaming TV service.

The Rainier Connect building is seen on March 10, 2022, in Tacoma. Recent changes made on the Rainier Connect-managed Click Network include a move away from traditional cable to a streaming TV service.

pcaster@thenewstribune.com

On the heels of its parent company selling itself to a global infrastructure management firm, Tacoma’s Rainier Connect has unveiled its growth plan, expanding the business to neighboring counties.

The company now serves the Tacoma area, operating the city’s Click Network. It also serves customers in Puyallup, Eatonville and Graham, providing high-speed internet, Stream TV, phone and Boost networking services.

In December, Rainier Connect announced the sale of parent company Mashell, Inc., to Palisade Infrastructure for an undisclosed sum.

In a release Monday, Rainier Connect announced plans for growing its fiber network in Washington state to add more customers in Pierce, King, Lewis, Snohomish, Thurston and Grays Harbor counties.

Brian Haynes, president and CEO of Rainier Connect said in a statement that “with increasing reliance on data and connectivity, reliable ultra-fast internet has become a priority for every household. Following the announcement of our partnership with Palisade, Rainier Connect is planning to expand its fiber network and product offering into communities in Washington state …”

He added that the areas cover both the current Rainier Connect operating footprint as well as new territory.

“This planned expansion will bring Gigabit speed internet to many local communities for the first time …,” Haynes said.

While Rainier Connect does not disclose customer totals, an online report listed the company with more than 40,000 customers during its Click takeover.

The city turned over operations of its Click municipal cable and internet service to Rainier Connect in a public-private partnership agreement in 2020.

Haynes, at the time of the Palisade Infrastructure announcement, told The News Tribune that the transaction was sought so the company could grow.

“They’re buying our network and our people. And they plan on investing in both of those,” he said.

It is the second announced tech expansion this week regarding underserved communities in the area. On Monday, Pierce County announced a partnership with Comcast to expand the availability of high-speed internet services in the county’s Key Peninsula area.

Mike Reynolds, managing director, Americas, Palisade Infrastructure said the company “supports Rainier Connect’s decision to expand its fiber network. These investments are consistent with our previously announced intent to invest in Rainier Connect’s growth over the long term for the benefit of customers and communities.”

The sale to Palisade Infrastructure remains subject to approval by the City of Tacoma as well as federal, state, and local regulatory approvals, along with customary closing conditions.

Debbie Cockrell has been with The News Tribune since 2009. She reports on business and development, local and regional issues.

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