Overcoming Challenges and Extending Fiber
In addition to connecting business and residential customers in their ILEC areas with fiber, Indiana’s largest independent telephone company, Smithville, has been making big investments over the past few years to also expand its fiber-optic network to business customers in CLEC areas throughout the state. Now they are looking to extend their high-speed fiber offering to residents in these challenging areas as well. To do so, they are using COS System’s demand aggregation platform COS Service Zones to secure that enough residents are willing to sign up to ensure a return on the investment justifying the build-out.
Bloomington, IN – “Building fiber here in Indiana is not an easy task with all the rock and Limestone. When targeting businesses, it’s easier to get the numbers together but we have now been considering our options on how to bring fiber to the residents in our CLEC areas for quite some time. We concluded that there’s only one way to do it without taking too big risks. We need to sell before we build,” says Smithville COO Dave Brodin.
“Initially we thought about developing something for this ourselves, but then found that COS Systems actually have an out-of-the box solution designed to do exactly what we wanted to do. It allows us to split our targeted area into competing neighborhoods and set take-rate targets for each neighborhood to reach. People can pre-signup for services, making a credit card deposit to verify that they are committed. People who are willing to make an extra effort in getting their neighborhood connected can also sign up as Champions through the website and we take really good care of those local heroes, get to know them and then use their help to do some of the local marketing,” says Melissa Wright, Project Manager at Smithville.
Streamlining Fiber Deployment with COS Service Zones
COS Service Zones is a self-service tool for those planning to build a broadband network. By simply logging in to your cloud hosted installation you can draw neighborhood zones in your intended service area. Then you decide on a target take-rate for each and every neighborhood to reach to get the network built first to them. In addition to social media integrations, referral programs and other features to build local engagement COS Service Zones comes with extensive reporting functionality to easily provide accurate and timely data supporting decision making.
“It was extremely easy to get started using COS Service Zones. It’s a very good product and well framed for what it’s intended to do. And even for an off-the shelf product that is so quick to get working in, it has more flexibility than you might first think and the COS Support team has been great in helping us do those tweaks,” says Wright.
“I’m not the one working in the system, but I still log in every morning to check out the dashboard to see what progress we’ve had since the day before. I can, for example, quickly see if a marketing activity has had a good effect. Due to the high cost of building here in Indiana we have quite high take-rate targets for our neighborhoods and who knows, despite our efforts we might not get enough customers signed up to move into the residential market with fiber just yet. But knowing that might actually be the biggest values of using a platform like Service Zones. Imagine if we had spent all that money and built the network only to find out later that people didn’t want it. That would have been really expensive,” concludes Brodin.
“It is just great to get a customer like Smithville onboard. Since they knew what they were looking for and had a clear picture of how they wanted to run their demand aggregation campaign they were up and running in no time. Our platform is built so that you should be able to do most things by yourself, but of course it’s very pleasing to hear they like our support team. Now we are all crossing our fingers that there will be enough demand to start connecting the first residents, but as Mr. Brodin said – knowing that you don’t have enough demand yet might be an even greater value than knowing that you do. Coming from Sweden where we started deploying fiber a long time ago we’ve seen many projects fail due to lacking demand and it was actually to prevent that from happening in the future we developed COS Service Zones,” says COS Systems CMO Isak Finer.
Recognized nationally as a Top 100 broadband provider, Smithville Fiber is built from the ground up by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers. An award-winning communications technology company, Smithville had modest beginnings nearly a century ago. While its products and services have changed as technology has, its commitment to its customers has remained steadfast. Today, that commitment is reflected in Smithville’s dedication to bringing the best available technology platform to Indiana residents for state-of-the-art communication and data services, all with the highest possible level of customer satisfaction.
Smithville knows all about Indiana family businesses — because it is one. While the company has grown to be Indiana’s largest privately held telecommunications company, its core family-focused values make it unique. From its corporate headquarters near Bloomington, Smithville employs nearly 200 Hoosiers and invests in community projects, large and small, in its service areas.
About COS Service Zones
“Build it, and they will come?” Now, there’s a better way to roll-out fiber-optics by beginning with committed customers. No more deploying from one end of town to the other only to chase customers after. Just follow these steps:
- Draw up multiple competing zones across your city or town.
- See demand build in real-time as customers signup using your branded website.
- Wait until target take-rate is reached before deploying to accelerate profitability.
Our mission: Subscriber-backed, successful fiber, with no more failed projects. COS Service Zones brings broadband to homes all across the globe. Let’s discover the demand in your community.
About COS Systems
COS SYSTEMS is a leading provider of software to plan, deploy and manage modern broadband networks that support services from one or more providers, using a powerful yet simple self-service interface. COS Systems takes customer needs and delivers innovative software solutions that streamline operations, accelerate revenue and deliver more satisfied subscribers. Learn more about COS Systems on www.cossystems.com.
For additional information, contact:
+1 (812) 340-8622
Chief Marketing Officer
+46 737 51 99 38