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.
Kirsten Rundberget, open strategy lead at Fujitsu Network, discusses the industry's advances — and challenges — in the complex yet beneficial area of open technologies, and why service providers should get involved, even if they don't yet plan to deploy.
Dusty Johnson, VP of consulting at Vantage Point in South Dakota, will soon head to DC as the state's sole member of the House of Representatives, bringing with him knowledge of the digital divide, rural America and broadband.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on Thursday, November 1 at 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. UK as Ronan Kelly, CTO, EMEA & APAC Regions at ADTRAN, explores the five pillars of network integrity -- a topic he discussed during his recent Broadband World Forum keynote. Register now!
Fast, reliable broadband is essential to how we live, work and play today – and the upcoming arrival of 5G will only further increase demand and reliance on fiber infrastructure. Already viewed by consumers as intolerable, delays, outages or the regular maintenance difficulties associated with operating a network will become further exacerbated when residential subscribers further rely on connected devices for day-to-day life. Just as providers deploy network automation tools to reduce operational issues, they must take similar care to manage consumer expectations when they roll out fiber or new services. This webinar features leaders who will discuss how to manage marketing and consumer expectations at every stage of the network lifecycle. Marketing professionals, c-level executives and policymakers interested in drumming up fiber envy should attend.