Fiber optics is providing a growing group of former Colorado coal miners with new careers while allowing them to stay in the town they know and love.
Through a confluence of ingenuity and timing, when Lightworks Fiber & Consulting began winning more and more contracts to deploy fiber-optic cable for local utility company Electric Light Works (later sold to coop United Power), the firm needed more team members to dig the necessary trenches.
Around that time, two of three coal mines shut their doors and miners sought work in a region almost totally dependent on once rich loams of the ore, according to a report by National Public Radio (NPR).
Spouses and Lightworks owners Eric and Teresa Neal almost immediately turned their barn into a classroom and began educating interested miners on splicing, trenching and other components of laying cable. In October, when NPR's story ran, the Neals had trained about 80 coalminers (approximately 800 were laid off).
A fiber optic splicer with one year of experience earns between $20 and $30 per hour, according to a (filled) job posting for Lightworks in Denver. Benefits for the full-time job include full medical, dental and 401K, the ad said.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
As the pool of savvy, fiber-rich operators across the US rural and regional landscape wanes, the financial community will grow even more interested in acquiring or investing in them, a CoBank report says.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.