20 Years of Community Networks – Past, Present and Future (Blog post)

Last week the Local Swedish Fiber Alliance celebrated their 20th anniversary in my home town Umea. They are a non-profit organizing many of the community networks in Sweden. My strongest take-away from the conference was how important the communities perceived their control of this infrastructure to be, especially now when smart city applications are being introduced across the networks.

“We’ve built an eight file super highway, but up until now we’ve only been riding one of the files – by bike.” This was said by someone from a muni owned network on the conference I attended last week. It was a 700 attendee conference and the 20th anniversary of the Local Swedish Fiber Alliance, a non-profit organization with 155 community networks and 130 vendors as members. It was held in my home town Umea, which is not the largest Swedish city, but one of the first in the world to get high speed broadband. Already in 1994 the local utility started to lay fiber, long before Facebook, Instagram and the dotcom bubble and burst. I remember how most people hardly knew what the Internet was back then! This visionary bet on fiber made the city of Umea and our mainly rural county rank among the highest in the world in terms of average broadband speed and fiber coverage for decades. Since then many cities, towns and counties have followed in their steps and today there are close to 200 muni networks in the country. Already in 2016 80% of Sweden had access to fiber according to PTS (The FCC of Sweden). There is a race now to fiber up the rest of the country and the latest I’ve heard, that number is getting closer to 90%.

The community owned networks are definitely still a driving force in the build-outs that are now taking fiber to small villages deep in the Swedish pine forests and remote coastal areas with summer houses. According to a recent press release by the Local Swedish Fiber Alliance the community networks connected 100 000 homes to fiber during 2017 and the planned construction for 2018 is the same number of households and investments of $500 M USD (Swedish only https://www.ssnf.org/press–opinion/pressmeddelanden/arkiv/2017/kommunala-stadsnat-planerar-att-investera-miljarder-i-bredbandsutbyggnad-under-2018/)

What strikes me is that what the cities envisioned and wanted to achieve by building this infrastructure has been realized. That said, the real revolution is still to happen – likely in only the next few years. The muni networks were mainly built because the city leaders realized that without high speed broadband, both resident and business would move elsewhere. Leaving their digital future in the hands of the incumbent telecom providers would mean too much of a risk the city leaders weren’t willing to take. Critical infrastructure is not something you happily gamble with. On the conference it was very interesting to hear the stories from the smaller communities, often with as few as a couple of thousand households or less. They all agreed their communities would have looked very different if they hadn’t built their networks, with much fewer jobs and many employers that would never have stayed or established their business in their community.

Back to my quote in the beginning of this post. It’s obvious that it’s now the full potential of these networks are beginning to be realized. The consensus seemed to be that “smart city” and “IoT” that has been talked about so much for years, is now starting to happen. With billions of new devices coming online, these fiber super highways will for the first time really be used to their full potential, something that simply would not be possible with legacy technology. It was also made obvious with new vendors on the show, displaying alarms, sensors, smart hubs, etc. There was also a strong consensus among the community networks that their ownership of the networks had never been as important as now. How would it be possible as a community to roll-out smart city services without being in control of the network and where it is deployed. Many smart city services build on ubiquitous access in order to fully deliver the potential benefits, which could never have been guaranteed if profit driven private telecom providers had been setting the agenda for the buildout or what services makes it onto the network and at what price. And the smallest communities would have been the biggest losers.

Another strong take-away was the importance of the business model. The vast majority of the networks in Sweden are operated on a True Open Access model, where a neutral operations company is responsible for deployment and maintenance of the active layer and provisioning of services, while multiple service providers sell services to the subscribers over one single infrastructure, owned by the community. In the early years the communities did their own operations, but over time many have outsourced this to one of the nationwide operations companies that can be found in Sweden. Still, by owning the network and deciding how and where the network is built out, the communities can be in charge of where service is available. With an open access model the retail service providers pay a wholesale fee to the network operator for delivering service over the network. This way the community can influence the price to the subscriber. First, the direct competition between the providers (generally on an Appstore like online marketplace where all providers and services are listed) will drive the prices down. Secondly, the city can choose to lower the wholesale price which due to competition will affect the retail price and thereby increase utilization.

My conclusion is that the decision made by many communities in Sweden to build their own fiber infrastructure has proven to be right. They have made sure their communities have been relevant throughout the digitalization that has taken place over the last decades. But the full value is now to be realized as cities in control of a high-speed broadband infrastructure have the necessary tools to embrace and be leaders in the smart city revolution.

Written by:

Isak Finér
Chief Marketing Officer
COS Systems
+46 737 51 99 38
isak.finer@cossystems.com
www.cossystems.com

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Foresite Group, Inc. and COS Systems to Deliver Gigabit Open Access Community Networks

Foresite Group, Inc. and COS Systems are happy to announce that they are partnering to help American communities take control of their digital future by building their own gigabit networks. Using a methodology that builds on community engagement and real-time collection of data to create the build-out plan and a true Open Access operating model, once built the sustainability of the networks is assured.  

New York, NY – COS Systems, the developers of the demand aggregation platform COS Service Zones and Open Access network operations platform COS Business Engine has been delivering software solutions to the mature Swedish market for community networks for over a decade and in the USA since 2013.

Foresite Group are specialists in planning and design of gigabit speed networks and has developed a turn key offering to communities looking to build their own networks, from initial market assessment to a fully built-out network operated on a true Open Access model.

“We pride ourselves on being innovative and looking at broadband in a different light.  We feel that it is more than just a feasibility study to get things moving in the right direction and with COS Systems we can get to the finish line faster. Our approach to live data analysis to build a complete network with every cost and return on investment properly reviewed gives us an advantage in the industry. Open Access Networks get us to our return on investment faster and allows broadband to be what it needs to be, which is another utility. With COS Systems we get the opportunity to work with a team that has been dealing with this model since open access was just a talking point over a decade ago. COS Systems’ community driven approach is what sets them apart from everyone else out there as they let the residents decide what they want and then we work with them to turn that dream into reality.” says Brian Snider, Network Design Practice Area Leader at Foresite Group

“In Sweden, the demand aggregation model, where you make sure your subscribers are committed before you start the build-out has been the predominant way to deploy networks for a long time. There simply is no other way to predict where customers might sign up or not, other than asking them. We are thrilled to see that this model is now rapidly being adopted in the United States as well, which our many COS Service Zones projects prove. Our partnership with Foresite Group will only help this progression and will ensure more successful networks gets built,“ says Isak Finer, CMO at COS Systems.

The COS Service Zones platform allows network builders to draw competing neighborhood zones, or “Fiberhoods”, across their targeted area and then see real-time demand grow as customers sign up before the network deployment begins. Once target take-rates are reached, the networks are deployed backed by committed customers and secured revenue.

In a true Open Access Network, the fiber is built all the way to every premise. With a neutral operations company managing this infrastructure, any provider will be invited to sell services to subscribers on equal terms. The subscribers will select their desired providers and services from an online portal, much like you would browse for apps in the Appstore. This abundance of choice for the end customer will drive the prices down and the quality of service up. For the providers this means competition and that they have to make sure to deliver on their promise to their customers. However, their risk of entering a new market is close to none, since they don’t have to make any infrastructure investments.

“In Sweden, even though being a relatively small and in large parts rural country, we have hundreds of successful community networks operated with an open access model. This has enabled Sweden to early reach a top position in the world when it comes to high speed broadband and the result is job creation in future industries and the growth of many successful companies and software apps, such as Spotify, Skype, Minecraft, etc. It is great to be working with a partner like Foresite Group who can incorporate these two models and our software into their turn-key solution for the planning, design and build of community gigabit networks, “says Bjorn Wannman, Manager Partnerships and Strategic Account at COS Systems.

The build-out of community networks in the US has been slow, but that is now about to change as community leaders are realizing how crucial highspeed broadband is to their communities. The Internet today is as important as electricity, water, sewer and gas and should be looked at it from that perspective.  UPS and FedEx don’t have their own roads for deliveries to your home so why should your internet providers be any different?

“We have seen how the interest among cities to build their own fiber networks have been growing rapidly for the last couple of years and we are very happy to have developed our turn key offering with COS and their full suite of products. We are committed to improving connectivity across the US and our method gets things moving in a direction for nothing but success.”  Brian Snider added.

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

About Foresite Group

Foresite Group Inc. is a multidisciplinary design, planning, and engineering firm with over 140 associates nationwide. Our collaborative process results in creative products and services for our clients. Foresite Group’s offices are located in Peachtree Corners, Georgia; Auburn and Birmingham, Alabama; Tampa, Florida; Austin and Dallas, Texas; Broomfield, Colorado; New Orleans, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; Independence, OH; Knoxville and Nashville, TN; Bothell, WA.  Learn more about Foresite Group and all their service areas at www.fg-inc.net.

For additional information contact:

Isak Finer
CMO
COS Systems
+46 (737) 519-938
Isak.finer@cossystems.com
www.cossystems.com

Brian Snider
Network Design Practice Area Leader
Foresite Group
+1 (334) 714-1439
bsnider@fg-inc.net
www.fg-inc.net

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Existing Owners Continue to Invest in COS Systems

Impressed by the fast growth in revenue, new customers and market position, Ekstrom Invest and Partnerinvest Norr make another investment in COS Systems, the leading provider of software for operators of True Open Access Networks as well as demand aggregation platforms for fiber network builders.

Umea, Sweden – Two years ago Ekstrom Invest and Partnerinvest Norr jointly made a first investment in COS Systems to support their expansion in the USA. Today they are making another substantial investment in the company.

“We are seeing a rapid development of the financial results, but more importantly of COS Systems’ market position. Combined with the strong growth within the fiber network industry globally, COS Systems is well positioned for extraordinary growth in the coming years, “says Gunnar Ekstrom, Chairman of Ekstrom Invest.

“The company and the market are both rapidly moving in the right direction. This new investment is a natural step to further accelerate the growth, “says Ingela Lidstrom, CEO of Partnerinvest Norr.

COS Systems delivers cloud-hosted software to plan, build, and manage broadband networks globally. The COS Service Zones platform allows network builders to draw competing zones, or “Fiberhoods,” across their city and see real-time demand grow as customers sign up before the network deployment begins. Once target take-rates are reached, the networks are deployed backed by committed customers and secured revenue. In the USA only, there are currently about 40 projects where the solution is used to ensure that fiber networks are built with the signed-up customers needed to ensure a return on investment.

COS Business Engine is a proven network management solution, excelling in the operations of True Open Access Networks. In a True Open Access Network, the fiber infrastructure is made available to multiple providers to sell services to end customers. This model ensures high quality and reasonable prices of services due to the competition between providers, not seen on single provider networks.

“Open Access has been the common business model for municipal networks in Sweden for a long time. Now the interest in building these kind of networks in the USA is clearly increasing, especially among cities and electric utilities. This new investment enables us to secure an even stronger position on the fast growing American fiber market,” says Peter Lidstrom, CEO of COS Systems.

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

About Ekstrom Invest

Ekstrom Invest invests in fast growing companies posed to be the market leaders in their niche. With a philosophy to take active ownership they draw on their vast experience from previous investments to develop the companies’ profitability. Investments span both to traditional as well as emerging industries, such as finance, administration, health care, telecommunications, industry, construction and property development, media, etc. Learn more about Ekstrom Invest on www.ekstrominvest.se

About Partnerinvest Norr

Partnerinvest Norr is a regional investment firm active in the northern parts of Sweden. Investments are not tied to any specific industry, but focus rather on scalable business models and strong entrepreneurs. Partnerinvest Norr’s three funds sum up to total investments of $50M and currently about 50 active investments. Learn more about Partnerinvest on www.partnerinvestnorr.se

For additional information contact:

Peter Lidstrom
CEO
COS Systems
+46 (706) 565-872
peter.lidstrom@cossystems.com
www.cossystems.com

Sofia Ekström
CEO
Ekström Invest
+46 (735) 200-882
sofia.ekstrom@ekstrominvest.se
www.ekstrominvest.se

Ingela Lidstrom
CEO
Partnerinvest Norr
+46 (706) 244-252
ingela@partnerinvestnorr.se
www.partnerinvestnorr.se

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NoaNet and COS Systems Partner to Support Mason PUD 3 in Major Fiber Expansion

Mason PUD 3 provides broadband access to over 1 000 households in addition to businesses, anchor institutes and their own facilities on their open-access fiber optic network. This summer, the PUD (Public Utility District) ramped up their network expansion by offering their customers a favorable amortization plan to recover the installation costs, thereby not restricting residents from signing up due to high initial expenses. To stay within budget and optimize the order of build out they turned to NoaNet  for support in demand aggregation. By utilizing the COS Service Zones platform NoaNet offers this in partnership with COS Systems.

Shelton, WA – Mason County is nestled in the rural southeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Like most rural communities, residents are clamoring for better broadband. Since 2000, Mason PUD 3 has been extending its open-access, nondiscriminatory fiber optic network to various regions of its service territory.

Besides serving its own facilities, PUD 3’s network reaches over 1,000 businesses, homes, and anchor institutions.

Recently computed PUD 3 customer surveys showed that slow speeds, high costs, or unavailable service were frustrating shortcomings for those who live in the more rural areas of Mason County.

“PUD staff was happy with the clarity the survey provided,” said Justin Holzgrove, Mason PUD 3 telecommunications & community relations manager. “A large number of county residents wanted PUD fiber connections. We are good at what we do: providing reliable fiber service that retail service providers can use to deliver high quality broadband services.”

In July, 2017 Mason PUD 3 commissioners approved a “Fiberhood Program,” designed to expand access to PUD 3’s fiber optic network for gigabit speed broadband service. Holzgrove added, “This program is a milestone in the history of PUD 3.”

To save money and improve the effectiveness of network extensions, the PUD turned to the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) for support in demand aggregation. Because NoaNet uses the COS Service Zones platform it offered its use in partnership with COS.

PUD 3’s “Fiberhood” process identifies potential neighborhoods that are unserved or underserved by broadband providers. Among other factors, expansion of service is based on a guaranteed level of customer commitment to obtain service from the fiber optic network. Cost recovery for the project comes through a monthly “construction adder fee” paid back over 12 years. As a public utility, it is PUD 3’s intent to recover costs, not create a profit.

“A demand aggregation campaign to secure a commitment for connections was based on two components,” said Holzgrove.  “First, we can ensure that we are investing in areas with demand and commitment. Connecting areas with great initial take-rates, means revenue to fund continuous deployment. Second, many residents are clamoring for faster and more reliable Internet connection. Building first, where most people want it and will commit for it, is fair.”

Mason PUD 3 is a founding member of NoaNet. The PUD sought NoaNet’s support in setting up the demand aggregation campaign.

“Kitsap PUD, another one of our forming members, has had positive experiences using COS System’s software,” said Angela Bennink, communications and outreach director at NoaNet. “We recently initiated a partnership to broaden NoaNet offerings to include demand aggregation and Open Access network operations. In cooperation with the COS experts we are happy to support Mason PUD 3 with the software and support they need to quickly launch their demand aggregation campaign.”

“At COS we are very excited to be a part of this project,” said Bjorn Wannman, COS systems manager of partnerships and strategic accounts. “Mason PUD 3 has a confirmed need for better broadband in their area, and a very attractive offer to their subscribers. I am positive it will be a great success, especially with such an experienced partner as NoaNet by their side.”

About Mason PUD3

Mason PUD 3 serves over 34,000 electric customers in Mason County, Washington. PUD 3 also runs a wholesale fiber optic telecommunications network, which supports the operation of its electricity system. For more information see www.pud3.org/fiberhood. For the COS Service Zones campaign platform, visit www.pud3.servicezones.net.

About NoaNet

Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) is a wholesale only telecommunications provider. With a world that is becoming ever more digital, it is critical for communities to have access to high quality telecommunications technology that is affordable. We engage our mission to serve as a platform provider for the State by consistently looking for new opportunities to expand in Washington in meaningful ways that bridge the digital divide. Our goal is to be innovative and meet the changing needs of the Washington community. For additional information, see http://www.noanet.net.

NoaNet was formed in 2000 as a non-profit corporation by a number of Public Utility Districts in Washington State in order to provide access to high speed broadband statewide. They currently offer fiber related services and operate a fiber ring spanning thousands of miles throughout the entire State of Washington allowing the forming PUD’s, but also private providers and municipalities to connect to the backbone to serve areas where high speed broadband was often not previously available.

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:

Justin Holzgrove
Telecommunications & Community Relations Manager
Mason PUD 3
+1 (360) 432-5323
justinh@masonpud3.org
www.pud3.org

Angela Bennink
Communications and Outreach Director
NoaNet
+1 (360) 271-3425
angela.bennink@noanet.net
www.noanet.net

Isak Finér
Chief Marketing Officer
COS Systems
+46 737 51 99 38
isak.finer@cossystems.com
www.cossystems.com

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COS Systems Recognized as One of Sweden’s 33 Most Promising Tech Companies

Every year the leading tech and business magazines NyTeknik (New Technology) and Affärsvärlden (Business World) presents the list of Sweden’s most promising tech companies, poised to be game changers in their industries worldwide. The list has a proven track record of identifying young and innovative tech companies with potential for rapid global expansion, such as Spotify and Minecraft creators Mojang. Today COS Systems takes its place among these select few.

Stockholm, Sweden – The renowned 33 List celebrates its ten year anniversary with the event in the Swedish capital Stockholm on April 4th. Looking back at previous years’ lists there are several examples of companies that have been game changers and gained a leading position on a global market such as Spotify. A large number of the companies have been listed on stock exchanges and continue to grow rapidly, while some get acquired by the tech giants of the world, such as Apple, Microsoft and Google.

”The 33 List is where to look for up and coming tech companies. Seeing your company on that list is fantastic to say the least, but to identify yourself as a potential game changer in an industry is perhaps being over ambitious. Still, I honestly think we can help our customers overcome two big challenges they face. With COS Service Zones we help our customers generate and aggregate demand prior to the fiber build-out, making sure the network won´t fail due to lack of customers, which historically has been quite common. Also, many municipally owned networks are looking at the Open Access model with multiple private providers delivering service on their network to ensure competition and a choice of services and providers for their residents. This is a hard business model to manage, but that is something our systems has proven to do extremely well, “says COS Systems CMO Isak Finer.

 

“The fiber broadband industry is exploding in the USA and we at COS have worked hard to become an established provider in the marketplace. It takes some time to build the necessary relationships and trust, but we feel well positioned now to continue our successful expansion, primarily in the USA, but also elsewhere. Since we host our products in the cloud and they are built to be translated we can take on customers pretty much anywhere. From the start we built with global expansion in mind, as many Swedish companies do,” says Finer

 

“Sweden is not a large market in itself which is why international expansion is vital to growing tech companies. We have come far with most of our customers on export markets now, but for us it often feels like we are just getting started. This recognition proves that we not only have the right products, but also a strong position from where we can accelerate our international growth. For us as well as for any tech company in Sweden, making the 33 List is definitely a milestone to be proud of!“ summarizes COS Systems CEO Peter Lidstrom.

About 33-Listan

Which of today’s technology start-ups have the potential to be the stock exchange giants of tomorrow? To find out, Affärsvärlden and Ny Teknik have come up with the most important list currently available – 33-listan. This list has existed for ten years, and all the judges are editors on the teams at Affärsvärlden and Ny Teknik. Find out more at http://www.33-listan.se

About COS Systems

COS Systems delivers cloud-hosted software to plan, build, and operate broadband networks globally.

COS Service Zones allows network builders to draw competing zones, or “Fiberhoods,” across their city and see real-time demand grow as customers sign up using branded websites. Once target take-rates are reached, the networks are deployed backed by committed customers and secured revenue.

COS Business Engine is a proven network management solution, supporting both single provider and Open Access Networks. Subscribers buy their Internet services from an online marketplace, which increases take rates, ARPU, and customer satisfaction, as the network owner can offer 24/7 availability while reaching maximum operations efficiency, thanks to the extensive use of the self-service solutions.

COS Systems takes customer needs and creates innovative software solutions that streamline customers’ business processes, boost sales and profitability, and create satisfied customers.

 

For additional information, contact:

Peter Lidstrom
Chief Executive Officer
COS Systems
+46 70 656 58 72
peter.lidstrom@cossystems.com
www.cossystems.com

or

Isak Finér
Chief Marketing Officer
COS Systems
+46 737 51 99 38
isak.finer@cossystems.com
www.cossystems.com

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COS Systems Customer Skekraft.net Announced the Best City Network in Sweden 2017

Skekraft Best City Network - COS Systems

The Swedish Local Fibre Alliance is a non-profit trade association for network owners. It was established in 1998 and has about one hundred open access muni networks as members. At their annual conference, they announced Skekraft as the Best City Network in Sweden 2017.

Skelleftea Kraft Fiber Network (Skekraft.net) started their fiber deployment in the early 2000’s. After being a single provider themselves for the first years, they took the decision in 2009 to migrate over to an Open Access model. The positive effects from bringing in competition was immediate and today they have 11 providers offering Gigabit speed Internet, IP phone services, TV services as well as triple play packages on their network. With an abundance of providers and services to choose from and thus very competitive prices, they are boasting very impressive take-rates. They reach almost all of Skelleftea, a city with 33 000 residents, and a few of the larger surrounding villages, but are now expanding further out into the rural parts of the county they serve.

”In Skelleftea the city network has had the courage to try new approaches to increase the quality of their network. By organizationally separating the daily network operations from the group responsible for the network expansions with great success, Skelleftea Kraft proves that it’s not only about building networks, but also about operating them in a manner ensuring that the highest quality standards are met”, says Jorgen Svardh, Chairman of the Swedish Local Fibre Alliance, when announcing the winners.

 

“At COS Systems we are very proud that one of our first customers has been awarded this prestigious title. Ever since 2010 we’ve provided them with our BSS/OSS solution COS Business Engine to support them in their Open Access network operations. During these years we’ve seen their take-rate increase greatly and the ever improving financial figures they present makes your jaw drop, especially when considering that the prices of services on their network are among the lowest in Sweden as well as globally. We are also very pleased that we are part of their expansion process with COS Service Zones, helping them to generate and aggregate demand for fiber prior to deployment and thereby enabling them to build out their network where they will have the best ROI,” says COS Systems CMO Isak Finer.

 

“A well-deserved recognition for a fantastic job being done not just today, but every single day of the year. Our warmest congratulations to Skekraft!“ concludes Peter Lidstrom, CEO of COS Systems.

About COS Systems

COS Systems delivers cloud-hosted software to plan, build, and operate broadband networks globally.

COS Service Zones allows network builders to draw competing zones, or “Fiberhoods,” across their city and see real-time demand grow as customers sign up using branded websites. Once target take-rates are reached, the networks are deployed backed by committed customers and secured revenue. COS Service Zones delivers subscriber-backed, successful broadband networks, and no more failed projects.

COS Business Engine is a proven network management solution, supporting both single provider and Open Access Networks. Subscribers buy their Internet services from an online marketplace, which increases take rates, ARPU, and customer satisfaction, as the network owner can offer 24/7 availability, while reaching maximum operations efficiency, thanks to the extensive use of self-service solutions.

COS Systems takes customer needs and creates innovative software solutions that streamline customers’ business processes, boost sales and profitability, and create satisfied customers.

For additional information, contact:

Isak Finér
Chief Marketing Officer
COS Systems
+46 737 51 99 38
isak.finer@cossystems.com
www.cossystems.com

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COS Systems Nominated at Umeagalan

umeagalan

Since 2004 the Umea Gala has recognized successful companies in our hometown Umea that are contributing positively to the city’s development and the local business community.

We at COS are proud to be nominated in the category Best New Business 2016. It might sound odd that we, with roots from early 2000’s, our first major product released in 2008 and our foundation as a stand alone company in 2011 are awarded in this category, but when reading the description of the prize it makes perfect sense.

“The best new business of the year is a company that enriches the business community of Umea with new ways of thinking. The winning company offers a unique product or service and has built a solid foundation for long term growth and success. The winner is a role model for others starting and growing their business. Other important factors are export outside of the city and country and the constant challenging of established ways of conducting business.”

With our unique solutions for Demand Aggregation (COS Service Zones) and Open Access Network Management (COS Business Engine) and our international success we are very proud to be nominated in this category. In only the last year or two we have managed to win customers in more than half of all US states and with our latest customer in the Philippines the only continent left to cover is Australia.

Umea has a very strong business community, not at least in the IT sector, building on one of Sweden’s largest universities and excellent broadband infrastructure with fiber in the ground since the mid 90’s. Despite the strong competition we are keeping our hopes high. The winner will be announced this Thursday night at the grand gala.

For more information on Umeagalan, visit umegalan.se.

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.

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Meet the COS Team October 18th-20th in Minneapolis

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COS Systems team present at this year’s Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference in Minneapolis will include International Business Development Björn Wännman and CMO Isak Finér along with CEO Peter Lidstrom and Chairman Göran Bergling.

Don’t miss Isak as a panelist during 2 separate sessions at the conference.

The first is on Tuesday October 18th for a workshop on Integrated Approaches to Broadband & Economic Development. He will be showing how to use social networking and software solutions to aggregate demand models in order to effectively create building plans, track service offerings and availability to customers.

Then he will be a panelist on a part of the Community Toolkit Program on Thursday October 20th on “Developing the Business Case: Part 3 – Demand Aggregation: Justifying the Investment. Here Isak will speak more in depth about Demand Aggregation, including various techniques and how communities have used the techniques to attract investments as well as how ISPs are able to pre-sell services in order to support buildout investments.

Swing by booth #22 and say hello to us, we are always eager to learn more about your expansion plans and discuss your thoughts on Demand Aggregation and Open Access Networks.

The event will run October 18th-20th in Minneapolis. For more information visit www.bbcmag.com.

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.

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Kitsap PUD Signs Agreement to Manage Open Access Network with COS Business Engine

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Paul Avis – Superintendent of Telecom Kitsap PUD and Bjorn Wannman – COS Systems

Washington Utility Expands Cooperation with COS Systems From Aggregating Demand for Fiber Using COS Service Zones to Also Managing Their Network And Subscribers Using Business and Operations Support System COS Business Engine

KITSAP COUNTY, Washington – KPUD (Kitsap Public Utility District) has been using COS Systems’ demand aggregation software COS Service Zones to survey the county, create community engagement and understand the desire for the deployment of a utility owned fiber optic network connecting the residents with gigabit speeds.

“We know there is a need for better broadband in our community, and after all positive responses we’ve received in COS Service Zones, we are confident that investing in high-speed broadband network expansion is necessary for our community, “ said Bob Hunter, General Manager at KPUD.

KPUD is one of 28 Public Utility Districts in Washington who have jointly built a fiber ring reaching almost every corner of the State and KPUD has continued to expand their fiber backbone within the county.

“With our extensive fiber backbone we are flexible in where we can deploy to residents, however, we need to understand where there is need and demand. Our approach using COS Service Zones splits the county up into small buildable neighborhood zones where we will set a target number of people to sign up in each neighborhood. If there are no technical difficulties, as zones reach the target we will extend our network in the order that is most cost effective and which will bring fiber first to those who want or need it most. At the same time this approach ensures that we deploy where we have a reasonable business case. We plan to spend our money wisely, “ said Hunter.

When moving into the residential market KPUD will do it with an Open Access model, which means they will provide the infrastructure while the services will be delivered by independent service providers, driving competition to the good of the residents.

“If you’re not happy with your current service, just go to the web portal and pick a new provider, “comments Paul Avis, Superintendent of Telecom at KPUD.

In broadband, Open Access is almost synonymous with Sweden where fiber networks have been deployed on big scale since the 90´s and where this model is dominating the market.

“Since we’re doing Open Access we found it natural to choose a partner who has been doing this on the most established market in the world for 10 years, “ Said Avis.

“The complexity in network operations increases dramatically when you open it up for multiple providers, but with the right system you can actually increase your efficiency. It’s all about ensuring a high data quality with built in validations and keeping track of all the moving parts, which our system COS Business Engine does extremely well, “ said Bjorn Wannman, International Business Developer at COS Systems.

The system is planned to be launched to the public in September, when residents in connected areas will be able to go to the website and shop for their Internet services as easy as buying apps on the Appstore.

“We have a big number of COS Service Zones customers in the US, but for us it’s a very important milestone when we now bring our network management solution to the market. We hope and believe our long experience in Open Access and our system COS Business Engine will play a significant role in their success as KPUD now moves into the FTTH (Fiber-To-The-Home) arena,” said Isak Finér, Chief Marketing Officer at COS Systems.

About COS Business Engine
COS Business Engine is a proven network management solution, supporting both single-provider and open-access networks. Subscribers buy their Internet services from an online marketplace, which increases take rates, ARPU, and customer satisfaction, as the network owner can offer 24/7 availability, while reaching maximum operations efficiency, thanks to the extensive use of self-service solutions.

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.

About Kitsap PUD

Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD ) is a municipal corporation in Washington State with incorporated boundaries parallel to Kitsap County. Our mission is building and strengthening communities through utility services. We are proud to be connecting residents of Kitsap County to each other, to local government, and to the world.

For additional information, contact:

Isak Finér
Chief Marketing Officer
COS Systems AB
+46-737 51 99 38
isak.finer@cossystems.com
www.cossystems.com

Paul Avis
Superintendent of Telecom
Kitsap PUD
(360) 626-7731
paul@kpud.org
www.kpud.org

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COS Service Zones shows public utility where to invest

kpud

 

Kitsap Public Utility District uses demand aggregation tool to validate demand before investing public funds in fiber infrastructure.

KITSAP COUNTY, Washington – Little more than a year ago, residents started informally inquiring with the Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD) to explore whether the PUD could provide internet infrastructure, rather than relying on traditional telecom and cable providers who were not meeting the needs of this rural, mountainous region within commuting distance of Seattle.

“Kitsap PUD has been providing services to Anchor Institutions in Kitsap County for 15 years.  Recently residents have been inquiring on how they obtain access to this fiber to have quality and reliable high-speed broadband services at their homes,” recalled KPUD Superintendent of Telecom Paul Avis. “It has only been in the last year, with the FCC discussing open internet and Google Fiber, that we saw the extent of how unhappy residents were with their current services.” Case in point, “I live less than a half-mile from town,” Avis said, “and get less than 1 Mbps of service over a copper DSL line. Many residents can’t get any service at all.”

“As a government agency, we can’t rely on anecdotal data since we need to be responsible with public funds,” said Bob Hunter, General Manager at KPUD. “What’s most appealing with COS Service Zones is that it enables us to let the gathering and push of interest to come from the citizens. We want to be sure the residents are driving this.” COS Service Zones provides an effective framework for residents who are rallying for better service to have a greater role in gaining better Internet faster: “The system is very well designed and able to handle all the data and capture answers to the questions we have. Are people happy with current services? Where is the need? Do they want services from the PUD?” Hunter said. “The Champions aspect of Service Zones is going to be integral to our success: Not just in gathering information but in getting service to the residents.  The champions are able to explaining how it all works on a peer-to-peer basis, enabling PUD staffing to stay unchanged.”

“COS Service Zones enables the PUD to identify areas of need and want for open access telecommunications services and directs us to which neighborhoods to connect first, “ Avis said. “Because COS Systems’ technology enables self-service, once we’re deployed, we’ll be able to expand and continue to serve customers with minimal additional costs,” Avis said, describing the intent to continue working with the COS suite of products managing the day-to-day operations of the open-access network with COS Business Engine.

“If how COS Systems got involved is any indication,” notes COS’s Head of International Business Development Bjorn Wannman, “then it’s reasonable to expect that there is significant demand in Kitsap County. My first contact with this inspiring project was actually with a Kitsap resident, as a grassroots effort, who suggested we at COS connect with KPUD. This underscores the power of the community and its ability to engage; this is the very foundation of COS Service Zones.”

COS Chief Marketing Officer Isak Finér adds, “This is one of the most promising big-scale open-access projects in the US right now. They already have the backbone fiber infrastructure in the ground, and they know there is a great demand among the residents. With the right tool now in their hands to aggregate this demand and guide them to where they can confidently deploy to already committed customers, I’m positive this project will get a flying start and be a long-term success bringing new jobs and a higher quality of life to Kitsap County residents.”

About COS Service Zones

“Build it, and they will come?” Now, there’s a better way to roll-out fiber – with committed customers. No more deploying from one end of town to the other – then chasing customers.

  1. Draw multiple competing zones across your city or town.
  2. See demand build in real-time as customers signup using your branded website.
  3. Deploy, once target take rate is reached, to accelerate profitability.

Our mission: Subscriber-backed, successful fiber, and 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.

About Kitsap PUD

Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD) is a municipal corporation in Washington State with incorporated boundaries parallel to Kitsap County. Our mission is building and strengthening communities through utility services.  We are proud to be connecting residents of Kitsap County to each other, to local government, and to the world.

Isak Finér
Chief Marketing Officer
COS Systems AB
+46-737 51 99 38
isak.finer@cossystems.com
cossystems.com

Paul Avis
Superintendent of Telecom
Kitsap PUD
(360) 626-7731
Paul@KPUD.org
KPUD.org