This is the transcript for episode 332 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Dalton, Georgia, has been offering high-speed connectivity to residents and businesses for over a decade, and for this episode, Christopher finally gets a chance to speak with Hank Blackwood from Dalton Utilities about their fiber network OptiLink. Read the transcript below, or listen to the episode here.
Hank Blackwood: So we got into that business sort of slowly but soon realized that, man, if we needed this and our biggest customers needed this, there's a need for this in the community.
Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 332 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. For 15 years, Dalton, Georgia, has been going about their business offering fast, affordable, reliable connectivity to the community. Well, we finally have them on the show to talk about the history of their fiber network, OptiLink, and what's next for them. Hank Blackwood from OptiLink took some time out of his schedule to talk with Christopher for this week's show. Hank describes the community's need for the network, which started with other utilities and as they soon realized extended to business and residential connectivity. He talks about the updates they've made and the new technologies they've introduced to the community, including their new video product that has been driving up subscriptions and the new gig offering. Christopher and Hank also discuss some of the many ways the infrastructure has helped Dalton from economic development and entrepreneurship to telehealth and meeting the diverse cultural needs of the community. Now, here's Christopher talking with Hank Blackwood from OptiLink in Dalton, Georgia.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today I'm speaking with someone from one of the original Fiber-to-the-Home communities: Hank Blackwood, the Chief Technical Services Officer for Dalton Utilities and the network OptiLink. Welcome to the show, Hank.
Hank Blackwood: Hello. Glad to be here.... Read more