Wilson's Greenlight community fiber network is ahead of schedule. They continue to operate ahead of the business plan, despite a few difficulties that offer lessons to up and coming community networks.
We recently covered the fallout from their application to the broadband stimulus program where they had to disclose network information to their competitors.
Fortunately, that was not the only news last month from North Carolina's first all-fiber citywide network. They also surpassed 5000 subscribers and remain 6-9 months ahead of their business plan in take rate, according to the Wilson Times.
The number of customers is expected to reach 5,300 by the end of the fiscal year if the current trend continues, according to Dathan Shows, assistant city manager for Broadband and Technical Services. The city's current business plan calls for Greenlight to reach 5,000 customers by the end of the third full year of operation, which will be June 2011.
This is not the first time the network has exceeded projections; the network was built faster than expected and quickly jumped out ahead of take rate expectations.
One of the reasons Greenlight may be growing is its attention to local needs, as illustrated by the network finding a way to televise local football matches that otherwise would not have been available.
However, the Wilson Times story goes into much greater detail regarding the competition from Time Warner Cable. As we regularly see, Time Warner Cable is engaging in what appears to be predatory pricing to retain customers and starve Greenlight of new subscribers.
A lesson to other community networks, Wilson is documenting the deals TWC uses to keep subscribers. All communities should keep these records.
"Time Warner Cable's market tactics include anti-competitive pricing that interferes with Wilson's ability to secure customers through normal marketing," the application [for broadband stimulus] states. "TWC offers below-market rates to customers seeking to switch to Greenlight, locking them...