Great user experience is crucial; therefore, we’d like to know what’s important to you as an internet user‍.

This time, we wanted to know if a reliable internet connection is one of your top priorities when considering moving.

When considering a move, 100% of participants view a dependable internet connection as one of their top three must-haves. 

Tim from Cherry Capital mentioned, “Reliability, affordability, speed, and ease of use are the key elements we focus on when connecting a customer.” 

What does this mean for you? 

  • Use this information in your marketing efforts! Emphasize that a top-notch Internet connection is among the primary factors that prospective homeowners consider and that they should sign up for your service.
  • When expanding your network, emphasize that getting connected to your network now is more cost-effective than waiting until later. 
  • As a local government, investing in infrastructure is crucial to make your area appealing to both current and future residents and taxpayers. Take a proactive approach and build an excellent network and environment for your residents now 

This survey shows that we’re part of an important industry providing a service that everyone desires and requires!

 

We are thrilled to present Super Search, our newly revamped search feature designed to make finding anything in the system easier than ever! 

Here’s what makes Super Search exceptional:

Enhanced Precision: Quickly locate Service Locations, Orders, Customers, or Tickets with unparalleled accuracy.

Typo Tolerance: No more retyping due to pesky typos—Super Search understands and adjusts!

Intuitive Associations: Search for a customer’s name and easily access that customer’s orders and more.

Say goodbye to tedious searches and hello to Super Search, your new go-to tool for a streamlined, efficient workflow!

 

During much of the last decade, public-private partnerships have gained popularity as a vehicle for helping municipal governments successfully improve local broadband infrastructure and related services to customers while reducing financial and operational risk to the municipality. Various business models and forms of broadband partnerships have evolved during this time to leverage existing local resources and address needs represented by different partnership structures.

The most common partnership model involves public financing of fiber-optic infrastructure through grants and tax dollars coming from the municipality. The municipality, as the public partner, becomes the owner of the core broadband infrastructure, with one or more private sector service providers then partnering to build, own, and operate the last-mile broadband infrastructure and manage customers. The model has been revered because it brings low risk and high reward to a community while incentivizing the private sector to deliver high-quality, affordable broadband services.

The fundamental understanding behind these partnerships is that community-owned broadband infrastructure will continue functioning with the public interest at the forefront. This local control ensures that broadband services remain competitive and affordable, that service levels meet the demands of local customers, and that operations and growth are addressed with the community’s best interests in mind. The risk with today’s most common partnerships is that once the private partner owns the last mile, the municipality loses control. The question then becomes, will community broadband infrastructure be supported equitably in the community, the same as any other public utility, and the focus remains on delivering affordable service, with customer satisfaction and community needs taking precedence over services from providers motivated purely by profit?

Enable the Business of Broadband Without Getting into the Broadband Business

The perceived risk of a municipality supporting broadband services has discouraged many municipalities from the role they know best – owning and managing shared public infrastructure. In fact, municipalities are capable of owning and managing miles of water line and miles of roads, so owning and managing the “poles and wires” aspect of the fiber-optic infrastructure is a familiar municipal strength. While many municipalities understandably don’t have the funds, staff, or political will to risk starting up and operating a competitive retail broadband service provider, municipalities must realize that they can be important enablers of broadband in their jurisdictions without operating the business side of broadband.

While municipalities are traditionally well-suited to own and maintain public infrastructure, many are uncomfortable with the unfamiliar territory of marketing and operating broadband services, billing and supporting customers, and generally competing with the private sector in the broadband space. Therefore, the key to a municipal broadband partnership is simple: Bring together the existing regional broadband suppliers and retailers to operate on the municipally owned network infrastructure following a last-mile wholesale model – known as open access.

With an infrastructure-based approach and a wholesale operations model, municipalities own the assets and partner with one or more retail service providers to provide competitive services. The private partner would supply local staff, equipment and technical resources, and business processes required to provide broadband services to subscribers on the municipal network, while the municipality focuses on maintaining the more physical aspects of the poles and wires throughout the community.

Local Infrastructure Ownership is the Key to Your Community’s Economic Future

The national telecommunications market is evolving rapidly as record amounts of both public and private funding are helping municipalities build broadband infrastructure in their underserved areas. Along with the influx of public dollars, private capital investors have become bullish on infrastructure as long-term investments, often focusing on new deployments in more dense and profitable markets and even overbuilding existing service providers where attractive investment opportunities exist. Underserved areas that remain in communities are typically the most difficult and most costly locations to reach, creating the most challenging business cases.

Avoiding Potential Risks

Communities need to ensure that their private-sector partners, which are typically relatively small local or regional internet service providers, are best suited to address the digital divide in their communities. While such local service providers can be ideal broadband operations partners, they quickly gain customers and market share in newly available areas. Still, with limited economies of scale, smaller providers can grow ripe for becoming acquisition targets by larger service providers and capital investment firms over time. Plausible scenarios envision a wave of investment firms acquiring underperforming broadband service areas and undervalued broadband infrastructure in the next decade.

In this negative scenario, what began with the admirable goal of broadband being served to the municipality by local service providers can end with broadband services being controlled by an outside provider. Ultimately, the community could be left with one service provider, likely headquartered outside the region and supported by staff who live outside the community. Not only will this diminish broadband competition in the community, but it will also inevitably increase consumer costs while taking dollars out of the community. This scenario leaves communities with a broadband landscape void of consumer choice, reduced customer satisfaction, less local reinvestment, and fewer opportunities for smart city and community development.

However, the successful community-owned infrastructure model solution mitigates this risk, provides long-term community control, and partners with one or more private internet service providers to serve end users. It’s the only viable solution that ensures communities can meet the connectivity needs of all community members while providing a low capital expense opportunity for smaller service providers to compete for and serve customers they would not previously have been able to reach, all while relieving the burden of costly long-term infrastructure debt from the service provider.

With infrastructure ownership in the hands of a municipality, it frees up local ISP partners to focus on doing what they do best – operate networks and serve customers with local support. This model also allows communities to keep doing what they do best – be stewards of shared public infrastructure and allows them to stay out of the competitive business of operating broadband services. More importantly, for long-term partnership success, the community ownership of infrastructure removes a major element of risk for smaller ISPs that could otherwise easily become ridden with infrastructure-related debt and more easily be gobbled up in acquisition activities.

Fight to Maintain Broadband Infrastructure Ownership and Local Control

Many municipalities aim to deploy modern infrastructure that can deliver adequate broadband services to their currently underserved homes and businesses. These locations are often low-income or rural communities—typically the less attractive places for corporate investment to improve or build new infrastructure. So why, after years of tireless community-driven efforts to improve broadband, are communities willing to hand over the infrastructure assets to the same corporations that have failed for years to deliver services to their communities?

Once the infrastructure gets built with public dollars, communities cannot simply give ownership and control of that public infrastructure to a corporate service provider to reap the financial rewards for decades to come. This is essentially handing over control of local infrastructure and future service delivery to the same profit-minded companies that have left so many communities stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide for decades. 

When a community owns shared public infrastructure assets, as they already do with other utilities and transportation, they don’t pick private sector winners and losers. Instead, the shared infrastructure provides an equal and consistent platform for all activities across that infrastructure. Communities maintain and grow such shared assets across the long term for the betterment of all community members – residents and businesses alike. So, for the historic levels of public funding available to help build network infrastructure today, communities must own the network infrastructure assets to provide the platform for local service providers to deliver the broadband services that will sustain and grow the digital economies of tomorrow.

Conclusion

In conclusion, public-private partnerships have proven to be a successful model for improving local broadband infrastructure while minimizing municipal financial risk. The key to success lies in selecting private-sector partners committed to addressing the digital divide and having a long-term vision for the community. Municipally owned infrastructure ensures that the focus remains on delivering affordable service that meets the needs of local customers. By enabling broadband as a public infrastructure, municipalities play a crucial role in improving access without taking on the risks associated with operating a retail service provider. This strategic approach fosters competition among service providers, supports local reinvestment, safeguards against corporate profit-driven motives, and provides opportunities for smart city development and socioeconomic growth, which benefits all community members and propels them forward in the digital society.

Ashley Poling, May 2024

COS is curious! Great user experience is crucial; therefore, we’d like to know what’s important to you as an internet user‍.

This time, we wanted to know how you prefer to buy or switch your internet service.

93% of respondents favor purchasing their internet services online rather than via phone. This is no surprise to us, as we see similar numbers for the usage of our online marketplace. However, we believe it’s not a matter of choosing one over the other.

Consider these key factors:

Providing an online buying experience meets the demands of most customers.
By reducing the need for phone staff, significant cost savings can be achieved.
And with fewer calls to handle, your staff can dedicate more time to delivering great service to those who prefer talking to someone over the phone – after all, 7% of your customers do.

Follow us for great content, the latest news, and a chance

to win a prize!

Enter our free giveaway competition during the month of May and win. The winner will receive a cool COS surprise package; other entrants can win smaller prizes.

Here’s how you enter the competition:

  1. Follow our page
  2. Keep your fingers crossed

The contest will run through the month of May, and winners will be drawn and contacted in the first week of June.

Kevin Rush

Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, and what is your background?

Hi, my name is Kevin Rush. I have recently joined COS Systems as a Product Specialist currently residing in Texas, but soon to be in Chicago. I have worked in a wide variety of roles and industries, but the bulk of my experience is with Telecommunications. I have spent over 5 years of experience working on various projects related to rolling out Broadband Infrastructure with customers in different countries and look forward to building upon this experience while at COS.

What caught your interest in COS Systems?

The people and the culture are what stood out to me first and foremost. I’ve met a few COS employees over the years at Trade Shows and Conferences during my last role and could instantly tell how passionate they all felt about being a part of the team. Secondly, I believe in the future of Open Access networks and the role it has to play in building out Fiber all across the United States in the coming years.

Why should people contact you and press the “connect with Kevin” button??

People should reach out if they enjoy discussing technology and the future of Broadband in America. I believe in open communication and speaking your mind as the best ways of sharing ideas, especially in a team setting.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I absolutely love discussing music, books, and good food with any and everyone. If you have any favorite albums, books, or places to get good food please let me know. I love to travel and my favorite part of traveling is trying new foods in new places. 

passwordless authentication

 

 

We’re simplifying access to the marketplace by introducing passwordless authentication. When activated, your customers can create an account or log in to an existing account by simply entering their email address and following the link they received in an email from Business Engine. The link takes them back to the marketplace where they left off, and they are automatically logged in. Eliminating the need for passwords not only improves the user experience but also enhances the security associated with traditional passwords.

Your customer’s journey usually starts with an address search on your marketplace to see which services are available at their location. Until now, every spelling mistake could lead to incorrect or no results at all! Our recently added Fuzzy Search functionality helps correct spelling mistakes, and even if only fragments of an address are entered into the search field, the correct address will be located and displayed. Fuzzy Search automatically corrects minor inaccuracies, which leads to more successful searches and a seamless ordering process for your subscribers. This small but significant update means smoother transactions for your customers and fewer support requests for you. 

As you have surely noticed, the interest in Open Access Networks is growing by the day, but there is still some confusion about what it really is. Therefore, we have teamed up with our friends at Connected America to arrange a pre-conference day focusing exclusively on Open Access. The program starts at lunch and ends with an Open (Access) Bar close to the venue.

Find Out More Join the Conference Register for the Open Access Bar

12 pm – 1 pm | Lunch

1 pm – 1:50 pm | Keynote 

Understanding the Increasing Popularity of Open Access and key business model considerations for success – Insights from Mikael Philipsson, CEO, COS Systems 

The future of fiber is a digital society with Everyone and Everything relying on digital infrastructure. Paired with the current trends of consolidation, more expensive build costs and a race to invest in fiber roll out – all roads lead to shared infrastructure and open access. Mikael Philipsson, former CTO and CEO at one of the largest Open Access networks globally, IP Only (now Global Connect), led this journey on a national scale in Sweden, which has a fiber penetration of 98% today. He shares his insights on why Open Access is the right choice and how to structure the business case to make Open Access a success.

2 pm – 2:50 pm | Panel Discussion I

Three Layers of an Open Access Network: A Thorough Look at Roles and Responsibilities

Moderator: Keith Ponton, Senior Practice Lead, Arcadis
Panelists:

Gregg Shepperd, Senior Engagement Leader at Fujitsu Network Communications

Beni Blell, Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing, Hexatronic 

Gabe Gomez, VP Customer Experience, Syringa Networks

Pankaj Gulati, Head of Products and Platforms, Ubiquity 

The key characteristics of an Open Access Network are the separation of the network infrastructure, the neutral operations of the network, and the independent service providers selling their services to subscribers. This panel will explain these different roles and show that you can run an efficient fiber network by working with specialized partners without doing everything yourself.

3 pm – 3:50 pm | Panel Discussion II 

Exploring the Advantages of Open Access Networks for Internet Service Providers and Their Operations Support Requirements 

Moderator: John Zannos, Partner at Digital Ubiquity Capital
Panelists: 

Phil Roberts, Chief Executive Officer at Valo Networks

Brian Hollister, CEO and Co-Founder at Bonfire Infrastructure Group

Dan Johnson, Product Manager, Connect Fast

Aaron Hildreth, Founder, Intellipop Internet Services 

On an Open Access Network, all parties rely on each other for success. Internet Service Providers often have financial or workforce constraints limiting their ability to build fiber at a large scale. On an Open Access network, their Capex investment is minimal, and they can focus on providing high-quality services and support to their subscribers. But to be able to do this, they need a strong operator partner offering tools to efficiently sell, deliver, and troubleshoot on the shared network.

4 pm- 4:50 pm | Panel Discussion III

Navigating the Choice of Tech Stack for Open-Access Networks: Key Considerations for Success.

Moderator: Isak Finér, CRO, COS Systems 
Panelists: 

Robin Harder, Woven Product Lead at Arcadis

Sean Dundon, Director – Partner and Channel Development at VETRO FiberMap

Rob Laudati, VP – Product & Partnerships, Render Networks

Don Eben, CEO, Core Network Strategies

Despite the digital nature of fiber networks, a lot of legacy systems, technology, and manual processes are still in use. The Open Access model of sharing one infrastructure creates a whole different set of requirements and challenges that legacy technology can not solve. This panel explores the benefits of a “digital first” approach and how important integrations and automated workflows are becoming – especially in Open Access Networks.

5 pm- 6:00 pm | After-Panel Drinks and Socializing

Grab a beer and take the opportunity to grow your network of Open Access experts. Courtesy of the Open Access Day sponsors.

7 pm – 10 pm | Open (Access) Bar 

COS Systems and all other Elite Sponsors are inviting you to continue the fun and discussions at Bar Louie,  360 W Las Colinas Blvd #100, Irving, Texas 75039

Find Out More Join the Conference Register for the Open Access Bar