Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Content tagged with "holly springs"
Nimble Customer-centric Approach Sets Ting Apart - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 357
In early April while Christopher was at the 2019 Broadband Communities Summit in Austin, he recorded a series of interviews for the podcast. We’ve been sharing them over the past two months. This week we’re presenting his conversation with Director of Market Development and Government Affairs Monica Webb and Vice President for Networks Adam Eisner from Ting.
In addition to giving us a quick history about the Canadian company that provides Internet access, mobile phone service, and other services, Monica and Adam describe how the company’s culture that focuses on customers has been a driving force behind their success. Christopher asks Monica and Adam about the different models that Ting is using in its efforts to bring high-quality connectivity to places like Westminster, Maryland; Sandpoint, Idaho; and now Fullerton, California. Our guests describe how the company’s startup culture, emphasis on branding and marketing, and hyper local approach has assisted them with becoming and integral part of different communities and in developing unique partnerships.
Monica and Adam also share some of the lessons they’ve learned in working with municipalities. While places vary widely in character, there are some actions every local community can take that help expedite deployment, especially with regard to preparation of permitting processes and related matters. The sooner a network is constructed and launched, the sooner local residents and businesses are enjoying high-speed Internet access.
This show is 28 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.
Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.
"Go West, Young ISP!" Ting Moving Into Centennial, Colorado
What do Maryland’s Westminster; Sandpoint in Idaho; Holly Springs, North Carolina; Charlottesville, Virginia; and now Centennial, Colorado, all have in common? Ting's "crazy fast fiber" Internet access.
In a press release, the Toronto Internet Service Provider (ISP) announced that as of today, it is taking pre-orders to assess demand in Centennial. The results will determine if the company will take the next step and offer Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Internet access to Centennial’s 107,000 residents and its local businesses. Ting estimates residential symmetrical Gigabit Internet access (1,000 Megabits per second download and upload) will cost approximately $89 per month; business subscriptions will cost about $139 per month. According to the Ting blog, they are also planning to offer a low-cost option of 5 Megabits per second (Mbps) symmetrical Internet access for $19.99 per month.
All Part Of The Plan
In March, the city released the results of a feasibility study and published its Master Plan, which included investing to expand the city’s existing network of more than 50 miles of dark fiber. Ting is the first provider to offer services via the infrastructure.
Once it is established that a sufficient demand exists for Ting’s symmetrical Gigabit Internet access, construction to specific areas of town will begin.
Mayor Pro Tem and District 4 Council Member Charles “C.J.” Whelan said:
“Crazy Fast” Connectivity Expands in Westminster, Maryland
Gigabit Internet access will soon be reaching more residents in Westminster. The high-speed municipal fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Maryland will soon add more than 2,000 new homes to the network map.
The Incredible Expanding Network
The network is a product of a public-private partnership with telecommunications company Ting. The expansion provides more evidence of the continuing success of the network in this city of just under 19,000 people about 35 miles northwest of Baltimore.
The network was originally planned as a pilot project confined to small, select areas of Westminster, but high demand prompted community leaders to broaden the reach of the project. Eventually, Westminster budgeted for citywide infrastructure.
City Manager of the Ting project, Valerie Bortz, recently said of the network "we are super busy and happy with our progress.” In October 2015, the city released an RFP calling for bids from contractors to provide maintenance on the expanding network - more proof of the city's commitment to ensure the network’s growth and success.
More Money, More Fiber
Ting! Holly Springs, NC to Get a Gig
While Google Fiber and AT&T focus on the large cities of the Research Triangle of North Carolina, the small town of Holly Springs is pursuing a third option.
Holly Springs will be the third town to see Ting’s “crazy fast fiber Internet.” After a successful foray into the U.S. mobile service market, the Toronto-based company Ting has started to provide Internet service by partnering with local governments. Ting will offer 1 Gbps in Holly Springs by building on the town’s $1.5 million municipal fiber network.
Muni network restricted by state law
Holly Springs, with a population of almost 30,000, has worked hard to improve its connectivity. In mid-2014, they completed a 13-mile fiber Institutional network (often called an “I-Net”) to connect the municipal buildings and other public institutions, such as schools and hospitals.
Unfortunately, when business and residents wanted to connect to the network, a North Carolina state law prevented the town from providing Internet services directly. As it became obvious that Google Fiber would not pass through the town, leaders worked with a consulting company to try to draw in a private Internet service provider (ISP).
Ting! Innovative Partnerships
The locked-up potential of that fiber helped attract Ting. The municipal network's unused fiber will function as a backbone for Ting to deploy its own last-mile infrastructure, which will provide connectivity directly to homes and businesses.
North Carolina Town Saves Public Dollars With Its Own Network
On June 18 Holly Springs, home to approximately 25,000 people, started saving money with its new fiber I-Net. Last summer, the Town Council voted to invest in fiber infrastructure as a way to take control of telecommunications costs. Just one year later, the 13-mile network is serving community anchor institutions.
After exploring options with CTC Technology and Energy, Holly Springs determined that deploying their own $1.5 million network was more cost effective than paying Time Warner Cable for data services. Annual fees were $159,000; over time those costs certainly would have escalated. According to the Cary News, Holly Springs anticipates a future need for more bandwidth:
“And we wouldn’t have been able to actually afford as much (data) as we need,” [Holly Springs IT Director Jeff Wilson] said. “Our costs were going to be getting out of control over the next couple of years.”
Because state law precludes the town from offering services to homes or businesses, Holly Springs plans to use the new infrastructure in other ways. State law allows the community to offer free Wi-Fi; the town will also lease dark fiber to third-party providers. According to the News article, the town has already entered into a 20-year contract with DukeNet, recently acquired by Time Warner Cable. DukeNet may expand the fiber to the Holly Springs Business Park for commercial clients.
The community's free Wi-Fi in public facilities is approximately 20 times faster than it was before the deployment, reports the News:
When the town activated the network on June 18, “People told us they could tell the difference immediately,” said Jeff Wilson, Holly Springs’ IT director.
According to the News, the fiber network allows the city to expand free Wi-Fi to more green spaces. Cameras at baseball fields now stream live video of games; parents and grandparents can watch activities online if they cannot attend games in person.
Holly Springs Finds Savings with Muni Fiber - Community Broadband Bits Episode 107
Holly Springs, North Carolina, Looking to Save with Municipal Network
The Town Council of Holly Springs, North Carolina, just voted to pursue municipal network infrastructure. The Holly Spring Sun reports that the proposed network would include Town Hall, a local business park, the wastewater treatment plant, and school facilities. Wi-fi would be available in parks and public facilities. Holly Springs is about 25,000 people in the center of the state near Research Triangle Park.
The City is pursuing a plan focused on cost-savings for community anchor institutions - North Carolina law effectively prohibits local governments from connecting businesses or residents. However, local governments can still serve schools, libraries, public safety, and the like. We have previously released a fact sheet with some of the savings other communities have seen from these investments.
Council members expressed concern over the current cost of service from private providers and expected hikes in rates:
“It’s going to continue to be more expensive for us,” said Councilman Tim Sack said, for something “that’s going to be less than what we need and more than we can afford.”
The cost for the project could range from $1.3-$1.5 million for a connection to all town facilities, [IT Director Jeff]Wilson said.
WUNC reports that CTC Technology and Energy will design the network. Joanne Hovis, CTC President, noted that the town will not offer services but building the infrastructure will hopefully encourage competition.
Holly Springs mayor Dick Sears says the council believes the town can break even by shifting funds from its current Internet service.
"I think we all felt that, yes, this would be a pay-for-itself kind of an option to take, so we're in-the-works process. But at the same time, we heard enough good news during that presentation that we want to continue the process," Sears says.