A fiber deployment is so much more than just laying fiber. From understanding legal and regulatory policies to funding options to launching the end user installations, it’s a complicated process that can be stressful—especially for newcomers to the industry. That’s why the Fiber Broadband Association is hosting a series of eight Fiber Starter Kit Sessions at this year’s Virtual Fiber Connect 2020.
The Fiber Starter Kit is a series of virtual sessions that bring together experts in the areas of legal, funding, branding, marketing, construction, installation and customer service. Included are eight breakout sessions over three days, designed to demystify the basics of bringing fiber broadband to a community and provide critical information to ensure network success. This is especially important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, where reliable, high-speed internet networks are in high demand.
“We really wanted to serve communities and companies that are considering deploying fiber and might be early in the process, and want to know more,” said Joseph Jones, Executive Vice President of On Trac, Inc., and the Conference Chairman for Fiber Connect 2020. “We wanted to provide education based on experience from our speakers who have been there, done that. Why re-create the wheel when others have already gone through a deployment and are willing to share their lessons learned.”
Some of this year’s speakers include successful service providers, industry veterans, lawyers specializing in fiber deployment and representatives from government agencies, including the USDA RUS and Federal Communications Commission.
“This allows people to actually hear from and talk to people who have been part of successful launches,” Jones said. “Attendees really feel like it’s been beneficial in giving them the tools to help avoid some of the mistakes that others have made, and it helps them have a clearer path when they approach their fiber development.”
A new session in this year’s Starter Kit specifically focuses on image branding, customer service, marketing, and the customer experience. Jones said while this might not be at the forefront of people’s minds when thinking about a fiber deployment, having a solid brand identity, marketing program, and customer service can make or break the success and take rate of a build.
“This is especially important for the municipals, utilities, and co-ops” he said. “Adding telecom into their mix—a retail competitive market—can be challenging. We’re trying to let them know they need to have a strong view and plan on branding, marketing, and customer service. What they’re used to (power, water, sewage) and what a competitive telecom retail market requires is as different as night and day.”
While this year’s session is virtual, attendees can still expect to get a 360-degree view of what it takes to deploy fiber—from funding and legal issues to designing an entire network. Jones said those who are looking for answers from some of the best in the industry will walk away feeling more ready than ever to bridge connectivity in their communities.
For more information about the program—and to register—please visit FBA’s Fiber Connect website.