Remarkable Times for Community Networks
—Cities and businesses around Northeast Ohio and across the country understand that their digital infrastructure investments have moved from “nice-to-have” to “MUST-have” investments.
—By Lev Gonick, CEO
—These are remarkable times. A decade ago most regular folks thought fiber was something to add to their diet and gigabit was a misspelled scrabble word. Today, there is a growing arms race over speed and a serious case of Mayoral envy for gigabit fiber optic services across the land. Cities and businesses around Northeast Ohio and across the country understand that their digital infrastructure investments have moved from “nice-to-have” to “MUST-have” investments.
A decade ago, OneCommunity began building out what has become the nation’s largest community-owned fiber optic digital infrastructure across 24 counties in Northern Ohio. We have lifted the roof on speed limits. A decade ago 1000 megabits (1 gigabit) per second was an outrageous bar for network connectivity. Today many of our top customers are on their way from 10,000 megabits to 40,000 megabits per second (40 Gb/s).
Speed is not the only differentiator that distinguishes OneCommunity from other network providers. These are remarkable times in part because the FCC is, for the first time in nearly 20 years, engaged in a serious exploration for new policy models for catalyzing broadband upgrades for the country. Community networks like OneCommunity are poised to move from marginal enterprises to a fully legitimate, acceptable, and protected policy choice for local jurisdictions. Combine this important development with the prospects of new approaches to funding e-rate for education and rural connectivity and these are, really, remarkable times.
Here at OneCommunity we are working everyday to create a differentiated offering that support both future-proofing the digital infrastructure needs of our public and private enterprises AND advancing our public benefit mission to support the health, wellness, education, workforce development, and community economic development of the people and the economy of Northeast Ohio. That opportunity is a real privilege and we hope we can continue to earn it. Let me know how we are doing and what we can do to help you and your organization achieve your mission and goals.