8 TMT MAGAZINE / 2018 Telecoms Awards , The Best Cable Operator & ISP in the USA After graduating from Columbia in 1971, Rocco Commisso went on to earn his MBA from the University in 1975. It was during the late 1970’s, working with Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase), that he managed loans to communications companies, including the emerging cable industry. In 1981 he joined the Royal Bank of Canada, where he cemented his status as an expert in financing high-profile media companies and entrepreneurial cable ventures. He left banking in 1986 to join Cablevision Industries Corp., as that company’s CFO. When new regulations hit the industry, Cablevision was sold to Time Warner. It was at this moment, with the accelerating consolidation trend prevalent in the cable industry, the lingering effects of the 1992 Cable Act and growing competitive environment, that Commisso recognized a confluence of economic, regulatory and competitive events. This created a window of opportunity for his formation of a new telecommunications company, Mediacom. Mediacom was founded by Commisso in 1995. Its primary objective was acquiring, strengthening, and energizing cable systems in underserved smaller markets across the U.S. Working out of the basement of his home in upstate New York, Commisso bought his first cable network in Ridgecrest, California in 1996. This kickstarted a 5-year acquisition frenzy that resulted in Mediacom expanding its presence into 22 states. The next step became bolstering these acquisitions with massive infrastructure and service improvements. To achieve this, for the past two decades, Mediacom has continually invested in its infrastructure and upgraded its systems including a $1 billion- dollar capital investment made over the last three years. Starting with its residential cable customers, the company has managed to stay a step ahead of the competition at virtually every turn. Seeing the technological arc bending strongly towards broadband, Mediacom has made bold moves to stay out in front of the ever-increasing demand. In 2017, the firm became the first company to roll out 1 Gig internet speeds to virtually all of its residential customers. The results were immediate, with Mediacom’s sizable Iowa footprint driving that state to the #1 slot the U.S. News Best States Overall Ranking in February 2018. This ability to offer speeds and streaming capabilities comparable to, and often surpassing, large metropolitan areas like New York City and Los Angeles has not gone unnoticed within the industry. Over the last 10 years, Mediacom’s residential broadband subscriptions have steadily increased, however, it is not just residential customers who have reaped the benefits of their revolutionary broadband upgrades. With internet business and commerce markets exploding, Mediacom has devoted significant economic investments and upgrades to its burgeoning business TE180009 Mediacom Communications Corporation is the 5th largest cable operator in the U.S. serving nearly 1.4million customers in smaller markets primarily in theMidwest and Southeast. We profile the firm and Founder, Chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso to learn more about how he has driven the firm to the success it enjoys today.