It’s been a busy week of conferences for the Calix team, starting early this week at the NTCA Fall Conference in Seattle, WA, moving across the Atlantic to Broadband World Forum in Paris and continuing today from the FTTH Council Conference and Expo in Orlando, FL. Despite the fact that I wish I was reporting from Paris, I am still lucky enough to be learning much in Orlando and wanted to share some of my thoughts from the first day of FTTH 2011 with our readers.
FTTH Deployments and Economic Growth
In between preparing for the Expo, I was able to attend two of today’s track sessions, the first of which was presented by Calix Solutions Marketing Director, David Russell. He presented a longitudinal study of the economic impact of FTTH on the counties where early FTTH deployments took place in the U.S. and you can read, in detail, about his findings on his recent blog post. David reviewed overall job and business growth in five municipalities in the five years before and five years after FTTH deployment and although his findings weren’t conclusive, the presentation sparked a great discussion from a very engaged audience who brought up some great points:
- Dave should consider restricting the study to industries that are directly affected by broadband access (for instance tech vs. manufacturing) because the benefits are more quickly felt
- The study should include more than just job growth. Long-term benefits such as educational impact as well as other factors, such as median home price should also be considered.
- Another great point that you may have seen me tweet? Be sure to emphasize with your team that the economic benefit of FTTH is not just job creation, it's 21st-century job creation, designed to keep people coming to rural town.
Based on audience feedback and further study, David hopes to present again next year with a better result. I look forward to what he finds and welcome your thoughts on the topic as well.
Planting Your FTTH Project in Your Corporate Culture
As a marketer, I was very interested to hear Paula Chenchar Hanus, of OmniTel Communications discuss the importance of internal and external branding when deploying a new FTTH project. OmniTel is an Northern Iowa ILEC with some CLEC operations. The company began deploying FTTH in 2010 but Paula spoke about the importance of the marketing and branding efforts that took place in the months and years before shovels ever went in the ground.
A few take-aways from this presentation:
- Expand the marketing/sales efforts beyond the teams who are traditionally charged with new customer acquisition. For example, technicians often have the closest relationship with the customer, since they are the ones that enter your customers’ homes during an installation. Shouldn’t they be empowered to sell services that might be beneficial to that customer?
- Prepare for a FTTH launch well before you’re ready to send service over the network by cleaning up processes internally (simplify branding ) and externally (start conversations with prospects early in the process)
- Cross Pollinate: Network Technicians and Marketing should be open to dialogue with each other to understand the real benefits of a FTTH deployment beyond just feeds and speeds
Coming up Next
I look forward to sending you additional updates from the show tomorrow, including the opening general session with Executive VP and President of Verizon Services Operations, Virginia Ruesterholz and the Carrier Perspectives panel . You can keep up with me throughout the day by following our Twitter feed @TheCalixNetwork. And of course, if you’re at the show and see me walking by, please say hello!