9 Community Fiber Internet Success Stories

Across the nation, community fiber providers are raising the standards for excellence in the broadband industry. Fiber customers are the happiest with their service overall in the entire broadband industry, and it’s no wonder why that is; the technology offers the fastest speeds and the most stable connection, and it’s also future-proofed for the networking needs of tomorrow’s smart homes and IoT-enabled applications.

At BroadbandNow, we believe strongly in championing the local ISPs working on the ground to deliver incredible services to their fellow residents. We’re proud to feature nine fiber operations doing just that from every corner of the U.S.

 

CDE Lightband

Christy H. Batts, Broadband Division Director

How Has Fiber Service Changed the Local Community? 

Clarksville made the leap into the future over 10 years ago, when CDE Lightband, the municipal power provider to the state’s fifth largest city, began the costly investment of installing a fiber optic network. While larger cities still wait for their fiber optic networks to arrive, Clarksville has earned a designation that eludes most major U.S. metros.

CDE Lightband’s infrastructure now includes 1,200 miles of fiber and connects more than 70,000 homes and business with fiber to the building. Thanks to this technology, electric meters are managed remotely, which saves the company more than $1 million annually. In fact, the network’s installation — seen initially by some as a gamble — has become a financial boon. The annual operational savings from the investment is now over $9.5 million.  Electric outages are being restored more rapidly and, due to the connectivity provided by the fiber network, power restoration times for larger outages — those involving 1,000 or more customers — are now typically reduced by as much as 50 percent.

The funds provided to electric by broadband have to date, funded projects such as two new substations, two substation upgrades, a substation conversion and a pending new substation construction, with a total in funding of $29 million. A master campus improvement plan has also been funded from the cash provided by the broadband division to the tune of $16 million. To date the return on investment for the initial $17 million loan has now exceeded $52.6 million.

Local home builders and realtors have seen a push for homes to have access to the fiber broadband network and are seeing the same trends as other communities nationally of a 3% overall increase in value for those with access to the network.

As part of the growing impact the system has on the community, Clarksville sees $6.8 million from the utility in the form of payment in lieu of taxes. This represents about 12% of the total property taxes for the community and without these funds those taxes would need to be raised by about $0.15.

The community continues to see an increase in business and economic development in the market with over $1.78 billion in foreign owned industry investment. The jobs created by this investment are manned by people living, working and supporting their families in the community. This leads to a growing housing, retail and business market.

Growth of CDE Lightband’s broadband Internet division has been steady; it currently has more than 18,000 customers. The commercial customer sector has grown by more than 27 percent in the past year, with customers subscribing to gigabit Internet access, as well as to the high-tech business phone services provided through PRI and SIP trunk technology. CDE Lightband also ventured into the residential and hospitality business this year, providing digital television services to the dormitories at Austin Peay State University, as well as to several local hotels and long-term care facilities.

Because of this growth, CDE Lightband finished the fiscal year, in June 2015, on a high note. In addition to having net income, it provided all the required payments to the electric division, the loans from the electric division, franchise payments to the city, as well as tax payments.

The broadband division has provided more than $5.5 million annually to the electric division in shared costs and lease payments. These funds also allow the electric division to improve, maintain and develop the electric plant without having to raise rates or gain access to funds via a bond issuance. The savings are passed on to consumers in the form of some of the lowest energy rates in the area.

The impact of the fiber network provides for other benefits within the city as well. Payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) are made to compensate local governments for some or all the tax revenue that it loses because of the nature of the ownership or use of properties owned by CDE Lightband. CDE Lightband, since the inception of the fiber network, has paid to the City of Clarksville over $37 million in PILOT compensation and continues to make payments amounting to more than $5 million annually.

”Our fiber project has proven to be an investment that benefits the electric system, the customers and the community. It has allowed us to enhance our distribution system and improve our system reliability; provide customer choice in video, Internet and telephone services and offer another tool in economic development. Every year access to high speed Internet becomes more critical in the recruitment of new business. We are proud to be an integral part of the growth and development of our community,” stated Brian Taylor, CDE Lightband general manager.

Rocket Fiber

Christina Fair, VP of Client Experience

How Has Fiber Service Changed the Local Community? 

Detroit is experiencing a rebirth, a transformation that has been so much fun to be a part of and we are so fortunate to be here to support the technology needs of our clients. Since Rocket Fiber’s launch 5 years ago, thousands of residential units and hundreds of businesses have opened, all of which have required state of the art technology to support those who work, live, and play in the city. Our world is evolving at a rapid pace and having a reliable connection is necessary to succeed.

Here at Rocket Fiber, we have focused on building a redundant, scalable, reliable network to support these needs. We are focused on treating humans the way that they deserve to be treated – which separates us in an industry known for poor service. We love our team and our clients, and it shows in the work we do every day. We have loved being part of this amazing growth phase for our city and we’re looking forward to our expansion in the years ahead!

Chariton Valley

Donna Bell, Manager of Public Relations and Economic Development

How Has Fiber Service Changed the Local Community? 

Chariton Valley is northeast Missouri’s premier telecommunications company. Through their influential leadership, innovative advances, and 24+ years of internet experience, they continue to enhance rural prosperity and rural living. Chariton Valley was the first company in Missouri to provide fiber to the home (FTTH) service to its customers and have deployed over 2230 miles of fiber since. Chariton Valley’s customers have noted that the fiber service has helped their kids complete assignments for school much faster and they appreciate the reliable speeds.

Fiber has made many working lives more flexible by allowing numerous professionals the ability to work from home. Chariton Valley’s reliable network utilizes fiber and wireless facilities to expand connectivity to students, families, farmers, businesses, medical facilities, and rural communities every day. Chariton Valley’s success is driven by a commitment to deliver exceptional customer experience and to always support the communities it serves with pride.

Mainstream Fiber Networks

Andrew Fouts, Public Relations Associate

How Has Fiber Service Changed the Local Community? 

Mainstream Fiber Networks has brought service to many Southern Indiana counties. Our company has provided reliable fiber internet to local governments, businesses, schools, and residencies. By connecting rural communities, we have opened the door for the use of precision agriculture, provided more work from home opportunities, and encouraged urban-to-rural migration by offering access to services, entertainment, and education that rural residents might have traditionally looked to urban areas to provide. Our fiber internet service has directly impacted sustained infrastructure for future technologies.

Greenlight Networks

Mark Murphy, President

How Has Fiber Service Changed the Local Community? 

Greenlight Network’s fiber Internet has brought freedom to our Rochester, NY community – freedom from phone and cable providers, freedom to work, play and live without data limits. We’ve seen a revolution as our community has embraced speeds up to 100 times faster than they had before. One customer wrote us saying, “Sometimes I work from home because I want to spend time with you (Greenlight), since your network is faster than my job’s.”  More and more connected devices are transforming homes and requiring more bandwidth than ever before. Customers are desperate for an alternative to cable and demand for higher-speed Internet far outpaces supply.

Access to fiber infrastructure was one of the reasons that in May, Rochester, NY topped Realtor.com’s list of the hottest markets in America for the first time, according to a recent story by the real estate listing service. Real estate developers also tell us that buyers and renters are factoring fiber availability in their searches. In MDUs, fiber Internet moves units and results in higher rental rates.

Fiber-to-the-home is a transforming how people work, play and live and no one wants to be left behind.

FatBeam

Phil Siemens, Marketing Coordinator

How Has Fiber Service Changed the Local Community? 

In 2010, Greg Green partnered with Shawn Swanby, founder and President of Ednetics (a provider of technology solutions to the education community), to create a company, Fatbeam, that would deliver high capacity fiber optic transport services to underserved markets in the education, healthcare, and government markets.

Fatbeam’s team of experts have years of experience in providing telecommunications solutions that give customers the connectivity they need to accelerate and grow their operations. The entire Fatbeam family is passionate and driven in bringing high-quality fiber-based network solutions to organizations across the Western US.

Now Fatbeam is focusing more of their attention on connecting enterprise customers and continues to serve the healthcare and educational markets. Fatbeam has been building wide area networks across Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona. They offer Dark and Lit Fiber, Internet, and ELAN products.

In a lot of ways, Fatbeam changes the community the exact moment it enters into a new market. We use our E-Rate deals to build connectivity to local school districts and library branches, which drastically changes the way students learn and teachers teach. We then take our own resources and build off this network to make it easier for local businesses to work off this network as well. Usually we are bringing our fiber backbones down roads that have never had the chance to access fiber before. Our goal is to provide fiber to underserved markets.

Our customers are having less connectivity issues; we are fortunate enough to have a team that truly cares for our customers and our customers can see that. In short, we bring peace of mind to our customers table. The security and stability our customers feel with us is what truly sets us apart. Here is what once of customers recently said, “”This year is a turning point for the Centralia School District as we have more online testing for students than ever before, making high speed Internet connectivity a crucial component in our success with the program. The broadband infrastructure that Fatbeam built has allowed for advanced speeds between buildings and a more seamless online experience for our students and faculty that was otherwise unavailable.” Mitch Thompson, Director of Fiscal Services, Centralia School District.

LUMOS Networks

Rob Cale, Sr. Director of Product and Marketing

How Has Fiber Service Changed the Local Community? 

Lumos Networks set the bar by being the first incumbent telecommunications service provider to bring fast, reliable fiber Internet services to several rural Virginia markets.  Our future-proof fiber network is proving to be an enabler, enhancing the region’s quality of life by powering the same amenities and services that one would expect in larger metropolitan areas.  As a result, our rural communities have witnessed higher growth rates in business and housing in areas touched by fiber, increased the communities’ ability to attract workforce talent, and facilitated marketing and promotion by local municipalities that can now boast “fiber-ready” assets to fuel economic growth.  And, what a difference a strand of glass can make in seamlessly supporting the growing number of connected smart home devices, mission critical business and work-at-home applications, and state-of-the-art educational programs.  Lumos Networks fiber-based services provide a better customer experience, offering superior reliability and resulting in above average Net Promoter Scores (NPS).

As for internal benefits, Lumos Networks has seen continuous maintenance reduction on both cost and frequency. A recent study performed on aging copper areas vs fiber, copper customers required five times more dispatches than that of a fiber network. Finally, Customer Satisfaction is at its highest with fiber neighborhoods showing an average life of an “Active Fiber Customer” lasting 80% from availability. Lumos Networks Fiber Investments have driven higher ARPU, better market penetration and true distinguishing value to the customer.

I am certain that our fiber infrastructure has improved the Quality of Life in our service areas.  By that I mean its opened a world of possibilities for our rural VA customers, who by the way, want the same amenities as metro area customers would want.  It’s also facilitated job and business growth, economic stability, improved education, and perhaps most importantly, is enabling opportunities to keep our college kids closer to home.

DayStarr Communications

Mandy Rose, Director of Marketing

How Has Fiber Service Changed the Local Community? 

Our ability to provide fiber internet in Owosso, Michigan and some surrounding cities has had a great impact on the local community. With our cutting-edge technology, local businesses are able to do unique things they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise, stated Jeff Deason, President & CEO of the Shiawassee Reginal Chamber. We have made it possible for businesses like local coffee shops to not only use our fiber themselves but also offer their customers the bandwidth needed to get online project or work done while enjoying their cup of coffee. “We have many customers that come into the coffee shop just to work. They are creating, coding, downloading and uploading files and videos. They choose where they are going to work based on the internet and we are happy that DayStarr provides us speeds to be able to sustain all of that,” said Nick Pidek., Co-Owner of Foster Coffee Co. We have assisted in the advancement of healthcare at our local hospital, providing them the speeds needed to upload data with no downtime and little to no wait time. “Not only can DayStarr’s internet support our data but the pure connectivity they offer that allows us to connect all 26 practices that we have throughout the county,” said Tom Kurtz, VP/CIO at Memorial Healthcare. The fiber internet we offer has attracted new businesses to the area and helped grow the community as a whole.

We have not only had a positive impact on businesses in the community but also residential customers as well. We have made it possible for customers to flawlessly work from home and have the ability to assist their children with various homework assignments and school work. Our fiber internet also supports fun online activities like streaming TV or gaming with no interruptions. Many customers are impressed that in the small town of Owosso you can get the kind of connectivity found in tech hubs like Austin, San Francisco, and Kansas City. “When my family moved to Owosso, MI from Austin, TX I knew I was going to miss our fiber internet. Imagine my surprise when I discovered DayStarr Communications,” said Adam P., satisfied DayStarr customer. We have also assisted in increasing the value of many homes in Owosso as having fiber available increases home value more than 3%, according to the Fiber Broadband Association. As we continue to build our network we hope to have a larger impact on the community as we help connect our customers to the world.

LUS Fiber

Ryan DeJean, Public Information Specialist

How Has Fiber Service Changed the Local Community? 

Using conservative estimates, the municipally-owned LUS Fiber system is projected to have created a total savings of between $90 and $100 million for broadband customers in Lafayette over the first 10 years of the project. In fact, last year, Harvard University ranked LUS Fiber #1 in the nation for price savings.

Our certified All-Fiber Network also provides some of the fastest, most reliable connections in the country, whether it’s delivering communication and entertainment in the home; maintaining services within Lafayette Utilities System through even the most inclimate weather; or powering the burgeoning tech industry in Lafayette and taking our local economy to the next level. Through our community partnerships, LUS Fiber has been able to not only support the traditions that make our community unique. We’ve set the bar for what’s possible in the present, and are driving innovation for the future.

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