Blacksburg, Virginia, 9/25/13
WideOpen™ Networks announced an agreement with The Wired Road (www.thewiredroad.net) to take over network operations, marketing, and build out expansion for the community-owned broadband network.
WideOpen™ Networks helps communities to operate, finance, and build modern, open access fiber and wireless networks. Mr. Keith Barker, Chair of the The Wired Road Board of Directors, said, “WideOpen Networks was the next step in our efforts to provide high speed broadband to our citizens in the Blue Ridge Crossroads Region. While this is a regionally driven effort to improve opportunities for our industries, businesses and citizens; Wired Road needed expertise in design, operations and marketing in order to continue growing our network. Andrew and his staff have assisted us since the inception of our broadband efforts, and we trust their expertise will allow us to grow Wired Road even faster.”
The Wired Road Web Marketplace will list all services in one location, making comparison shopping easy, and orders can be placed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is important because studies of other networks show that when a Web Marketplace is available, subscribers will place more than 50% of orders outside of normal 8-5 working hours. The Marketplace software also ensures that all circuits and services on the network are accounted for and accurately billed. The Marketplace is powered by innovative network management and marketing software from COS Systems.
WideOpen also plans to bring additional service providers to the network, with a focus on specialty providers and services that are not currently available. Cohill indicated that WideOpen Networks is in negotiation with an IP TV provider who is prepared to offer several hundred channels of programming and content for $25/month on any WideOpen-managed network.
For network operations, WideOpen will be managing the extensive Wired Road network from its Network Operations Center in Blacksburg. The work will include service provisioning; service provider management; coordination of outside plant maintenance; and “Tier Two” circuit troubleshooting and support. WideOpen will also inventory, track, and manage all passive and active network elements, including software patches, upgrades, equipment configuration, and CPE device tracking and management.
The Wired Road network was the world’s first fully integrated wireless and fiber open access network, and began operations in 2008. Covering more than 1,000 square miles of some of the most rugged and mountainous terrain on the East Coast, the Wired Road has fiber in Carroll and Grayson counties and the City of Galax, and more than 30 wireless access points on towers throughout the region. Wired Road recently lit its first fiber to the home initiative, with a better than 30% take rate.
WideOpen Networks was formed in 2011 to design, finance, and manage the world’s fastest and most reliable multi-service Gigabit networks. WideOpen Networks offers a comprehensive set of network design, financing, construction, and operations services aimed at getting communities the broadband infrastructure needed to accelerate economic development, attract new businesses, and create jobs.