Deploying, maintaining, and operating a wireless network is easy, right? You just put up your equipment, sign up subscribers, and start raking in the dough, right? Not even close, says Travis Carter, one of the co-founders of US Internet and our guest for episode 301 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. He should know — he’s deployed both wireless and fiber networks in Minneapolis.
In this episode, we get an update on US Internet’s progress on its fiber deployment. Travis also compares what it’s like to own, maintain, and operate each type of network. There are pros and cons of each and each is better suited for different environments and situations.
Travis and Christopher also talk about some of the marketing approaches that US Internet use after being in business for several years and determining what works in the Minneapolis market. He describes how a local company can compete against the big national ISPs by giving subscribers a good product, maintaining good customer service, and keeping an eye on long-term goals.
Learn more about US Internet in episode 194 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.
Saint Louis Park, a compact community along the west side of Minneapolis, has built an impressive fiber network, a conduit system, and several deals with developers to ensure new apartment buildings will allow their tenants to choose among high speed Internet access providers. Chief Information Office Clint Pires joins me for Community Broadband [no-glossary]Bits[/no-glossary] podcast 219.
In one of our longest episodes, we discuss how Saint Louis Park started by partnering with other key entities to start its own fiber network, connecting key anchor institutions. Years later, it partnered with a firm for citywide solar-powered Wi-Fi but that partner failed to perform, leaving the community a bit disheartened, but in no way cowed.
They continued to place conduit in the ground wherever possible and began striking deals with ISPs and landlords that began using the fiber and conduit to improve access for local businesses and residents. And they so impressed our previous podcast guest Travis Carter of US Internet, that he suggested we interview them for this show.
Clint Pires has learned many lessons over the years and now we hope other communities will take his wisdom to heart. Well-managed communities can make smart investments that will save taxpayer dollars and drive investment in better networks.
Read the transcript of the episode here.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
This show is 40 minutes long and can be played below on this page or via iTunes or via the tool of your choice using this feed.
You can download this mp3 file directly from here. Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.
Thanks to Roller Genoa for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Safe and Warm in Hunter's Arms.”
In Minneapolis, a small and privately owned ISP has been steadily building fiber across the city and developing a stunning reputation for great customer service, low and predictable pricing, and generally being a great company to do business with. Co-founder Travis Carter of US Internet joins us for episode 194 of the Community Broadband [no-glossary]Bits[/no-glossary] podcast.
We discuss their approach to building networks, especially their philosophy around customer service and just how poorly some of US Internet's competitors treat their customers. As a small firm that is carving out its own path in a world of giants, its experiences are important lessons and points of consideration for community networks.
We also discuss how US Internet interacts with local governments. Though the company has high praise for Minneapolis, it discusses where some of the challenges have been in navigating local government zoning and permitting. Travis also offers some advice based on how smart investments and a well-organized approach to leasing fiber have helped US Internet to begin expanding in suburb Saint Louis Park.
USI coverage map is available here. For more information on USI's pricing, see their website for Fiber-to-the-Home and telephone service.
We plan to have Travis back on in the future again, so if you have questions you would like us to ask, please tell us!
Read the transcript from this show here.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show – please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
This show is 30 minutes long and can be played below on this page or via iTunes or via the tool of your choice using this feed.
You can download this Mp3 file directly from here. Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.
Thanks to Kathleen Martin for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Player vs. Player.”