For over 40 years, we’ve been on a mission to make technology equitable and user-focused. As one of the first and last remaining African-American independent cable providers in the Nation, Wilco became well known as a provider of cable television and telecommunication services to Philadelphia’s affordable and public housing communities.
We were also one of the first companies to begin wiring the initial cable and security surveillance infrastructures that are still being used by many of Philadelphia’s commercial and large multifamily portfolio residential buildings today.
After an acquisition of our cable division, we have pivoted our operations and are now focusing back on the basic foundations of our business, low voltage wiring and design for access control systems. However, now under the leadership of 2nd generation family, fueled with new cloud-based technology platforms, Wilco has become a modern and unique integrator sitting at the epicenter between the convergence of real estate, technology, and impact.
This is Our Story
Mr. Daniel served a three-year tour of duty in the United States Army, and shortly after, he migrated up North to Philadelphia, fortified with a tireless work ethic and an acute business acumen to enter into the electronic and telecommunications industry.
During his early years in Philadelphia, Mr. Daniel worked for nineteen years with Marco Video Systems, Inc., representing Jerrold Electronics in Eastern Pennsylvania. While At Marco, Mr. Daniel developed a keen hands-on approach to designing and building cable systems across the City, providing the foundation for the cable infrastructures that still exists in many of Philadelphia’s premier and historic apartment and housing buildings, to date. Soon after Marco was sold, Mr. Daniel started Wilco.
In 1980, Wilco was granted a franchise by Home Box Office, the nation’s leading pay television service, to market its programming to multi-dwelling unit buildings. This was the first time that such a franchise was granted to a minority owned firm in the Eastern United States. It was this franchise opportunity that opened the door for Wilco’s entry into the cable television industry.
One major milestone in Mr. Daniel’s career was Wilco’s involvement in the Philadelphia municipal cable franchising process developed in the early 1980s around the building of the first cable systems in the City of Philadelphia. Under the administration of Mayor Wilson Goode Sr., the original franchise agreement was allotted for cable service providers to bid for service in four (4) areas of the City, while including the requirement to have a minority partner or minority ownership opportunity, within each franchise agreement. Mr. Daniel was a partner and minority owner, within the Rollins Cablevision franchise, and later received equity when Rollins was sold to Comcast Cablevision.
After the sale of Rollins, Mr. Daniel began a 40 year friendship with Ralph Roberts, the Founder and CEO of Comcast Cablevision. Through that relationship, Wilco and Comcast created a partnership model wherein low cost cable services were able to be provided for underserved and low income communities in Philadelphia. This model is still considered one of the most unique and innovative business concepts in the cable industry today.
A second milestone in the legacy of Mr. Daniel and for the company, came in 2001, when Wilco became the first sole and exclusive provider of cable television services for the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA). This was the first time that a minority owned firm had the exclusive right to provide services to the entirety of a public housing authority. Wilco soon became a voice and a pillar for minority underserved communities in Philadelphia.
In 2003, Wilco grew its partnership with the PHA by creating a solely owned and operated community entertainment cable channel specifically for PHA residents.
In 2006, Brigitte Daniel joined the Wilco family business as Executive Vice President. She became the youngest and first African-American woman to hold a C-Suite executive title for an independent cable company.
In 2006, Wilco also upgraded its PHA cable system and began offering digital cable services. Wilco became the first cable provider to offer digital cable services at low and affordable prices for PHA residents.
Under the leadership of the Wilco family, the company has demonstrated a strong commitment to enhancing the lives of the residents in the communities it serves. The company’s reputation for solid operating performance, innovative services, personalized customer service and being a voice within Philadelphia’s minority communities, remains widely acknowledged amongst Philadelphia’s most prominent leaders and throughout the Nation.
In 2010, under Brigitte’s leadership, Wilco was a lead creator and partner in the federally funded Freedom Rings Partnership, formed to bring internet access, training and technology to communities citywide. In conjunction with Drexel University and the Community College of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Freedom Rings received $20.8 million of federal funding, funding for 5,000 netbooks distributed to PHA residents, and the partnership provided digital literacy training in partnership with the Community College of Philadelphia and Drexel University, also specifically for PHA residents.
Brigitte Daniel receives prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship
Eisenhower Fellowship – Due to her success in the creation of impactful private-public partnerships, in 2011, Daniel was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship where she traveled to India, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia to explore and cultivate global relationships in developing emerging app technologies and mobile technology educational applications.
Following her fellowship, Brigitte created a pilot tablet learning program with curriculum created in partnership with University of Pennsylvania.
Brigitte Daniel is appointed to FCC Advisory Committee on Diversity In Digital Age
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski appointed Daniel to the newly re-chartered Federal Communications Commission Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, re-appoints Daniel to the newly named Advisory Committee On Diversity and Digital Empowerment ( 2017 )
Comcast Acquires Wilco Cable Division in Historic Transaction
In an historic transaction, Comcast acquired the cable assets of Wilco Electronic Systems, Inc., longstanding provider of paid television and other services to many residents of the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA). As a result of the transaction, Comcast will make significant upgrades to Wilco’s infrastructure at PHA sites and provide residents with access to the full suite of Xfinity products and services, including X1, Xfinity Internet with xFi, Xfinity Voice, Xfinity Home, Xfinity Mobile and, importantly, Internet Essentials, Comcast’s affordable internet service for low-income families.
Wilco pivots into Smart Access Integration
After an acquisition of Wilco’s cable division by Comcast in 2018, Wilco’s longstanding history of providing and distributing affordable technology services to low-income and minority communities has shifted its focus to the integration of traditional and cloud based security surveillance, access control, IoT ( Internet of Things), for commercial, residential, industrial and affordable housing real estate sectors. The founding principle – A new access control ecosystem that centers people, technology and access.