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AUSTIN-Grande Communications Inc. has agreed to buy US OnLine’s access to apartment complexes in Austin, San Antonio and in between for $14.3 million. The deal gives Grande, which is building a high-speed communications network in the Austin-San Antonio corridor, ready entry to multiple users and it gives money-losing US OnLine relatively quick cash and a recurring revenue stream.

With US OnLine’s properties added to its own, Grande will have access to 60 to 70 apartment complexes, Rita Garza, a Grande spokeswoman, tells GlobeSt.com. The sale agreement will be phased in throughout the balance of this year and next as Grande’s network reaches US OnLine properties. The first closing is scheduled for December.

The deal also makes US OnLine, a subsidiary of Austin-based USOL Holdings, Grande’s exclusive sales and marketing services provider to apartment complexes and condominiums in the corridor. US OnLine will target new properties with 40 or more units and will receive an ongoing share of the revenue Grande generates from those properties. In turning its Austin-San Antonio properties over to Grande, US OnLine says it will continue to manage and expand its operations in its other markets of Dallas, Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Washington, DC and Portland, OR.

USOL lost $5 million, 53 cents a share, on revenue of $3.4 million in its second quarter ending June 30. Through US OnLine the company offers cable television, telephone and Internet service to residents of apartment complexes.

Grande is in the midst of a five- to seven-year build-out of its high-speed network. Starting earlier this year, the company offers bundled communications services to business and residential customers. Garza says the company has “thousands” of customers in Austin, San Antonio and San Marcos.

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