Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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THE GIGABIT HIGHWAY 7 2 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 8 Telling the Fiber Story Fiber operators find innovative ways to connect with their customers and communities. By Heather Burnett Gold / Fiber Broadband Association I n storytelling, we're often reminded to "show, don't tell." Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of the light off a piece of glass or ripple of a pond. For many of us, that's why fiber is so exciting: It's the poetry of an accelerating connected future. How do we break through the clutter and get consumers, from those buying for their homes to those purchasing for large businesses or cities, to see what we see? Fast, reliable internet has become almost a foregone conclusion. So in response to "why fiber?" companies are getting extremely creative. Singapore's Singtel has tapped into '80s nostalgia with a funny, catchy, power ballad video campaign extolling the virtues of fiber. Some providers, such as EPB Fiber Optics of Chattanooga, are doubling down on the experience of fiber. In October 2017, in partnership with VaynerMedia and Next Generation Esports, the provider hosted the TenGIG inaugural e-sports festival, which brought thousands of attendees to play and stream the biggest games in e-sports on EPB's all-fiber, communitywide network. EPB powered every venue with fiber to create an entirely different experience for attendees that included a 24-hour-a-day PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS LAN open play – a battle royal survival game – with 100 player feeds streaming simultaneously. Other providers connect fiber to gaming, whose users depend on the speeds and reliability fiber provides, with bundles or giveaways. Verizon recently launched a new offer through a partnership with Microsoft Xbox to bundle a one- year subscription with its stand-alone 1 Gbps fiber service. Smaller providers are turning to community partners to help extol the value of fiber and make connections in their service areas. Like many rural areas in the United States, Dayton, Oregon, has struggled to keep and attract young professionals – a necessary talent pool for the area's growing agricultural technology industry. To meet this challenge, fiber provider OnlineNW partnered with Innovate Oregon and the Dayton school district to create Innovate Dayton – a program that built an agile learning environment supplemented by real-world experience and community engagement opportunities for Dayton students with local companies and wineries. OnlineNW is committing a portion of the revenue from Dayton's fiber subscribers to an Innovation Fund to support innovation projects by Dayton students and residents. It will contribute 15 percent of revenue to the fund when 40 percent of residents sign up for fiber service. Videos of participating businesses are featured heavily on social media so community members can connect fiber with tangible benefits in their communities. ose of you who joined the Fiber Broadband Association at our Detroit regional conference saw firsthand how Rocket Fiber, a startup internet provider incubated within Detroit-based Quicken Loans, is using partnerships and smart marketing to "future proof Detroit," starting with infrastructure. is startup already boasts the city and state as customers. With 20 miles of fiber, the company lit up commercial and residential buildings throughout the central business district, providing gigabit service for homes and even greater capacity for businesses. e downtown is undergoing a massive transformation with a central park that becomes a beach in the summer and an ice-skating rink in the winter, and many companies are moving their headquarters back into the downtown. With a fun mascot – the astronaut – and a commitment to the community, Rocket Fiber is accelerating Detroit's connected future. At the Fiber Broadband Association, we're committed to providing a platform for our members and the industry to develop these marketing efforts and best practices. Our toolkit has graphics, research and more to support our members in connecting with customers. Recently, we announced a first-of- its kind network certification program for telecommunications and broadband network operators that connect their customers with all-fiber networks. is is our "seal of approval" certifying that providers are delivering best-in-class broadband service. It encourages truth in advertising for consumers and businesses that depend on the high-speed, ultra-reliable network connectivity that only all-fiber networks can offer. With this certification, qualifying providers will be able to emphasize and confirm to their communities and to existing and potential customers that they are using all-fiber technology to deliver the fastest internet and most robust digital services. As the industry grows, we expect these marketing efforts and partnerships to be as innovative as the service that underpins them. We cannot wait to see what's next. v Heather Burnett Gold is president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate deployment of all-fiber access networks. You can contact her at hbgold@fiberbroadband.org.

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