Wi-Fi-as-a-service: An Emerging Opportunity for Telecom Provider ITS Fiber
“My internet is down.” “My Wi-Fi isn’t working.” Customer service reps at network providers hear these countless times per day; they naturally get blamed. ITS Fiber, however, has a record of 99.9 percent uptime, so that statement isn’t usually accurate in our case. That’s why an 80-year-old telecom company has evolved to offer not only fiber-optic voice, broadband, cloud and colocation, but also Wi-Fi and IT services.
Once known as ITS Telecommunications Systems, ITS Fiber was one of the original 13 phone companies in Florida. Our business model evolved in the 80s as we went digital and again in the 90s by using fiber optic. We then built a data center with Schneider Electric in 2013 – a commercial-grade SSAE 16 SOC 2/Type 2 colocation facility, enabling high productivity and performance at the telco edge.
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As the world became more connected through more devices, ITS Fiber developed corresponding services. From desktop, tablet and smartphone, to TV, refrigerator, doorbell and security systems — you name it; we connect it.
Everyone Connects to Everything
Our “Whole Home” Wi-Fi service extends the reach of an existing wireless network for better signal coverage and more bandwidth inside and outside a customer’s home. Through an optical network terminal (ONT), special router and mesh satellite unit, ITS Fiber overcomes the challenges of old home construction — which can create interference — to keep all of today’s new technology online.
Connecting so many more things and so many more users has added incredible complexity to troubleshooting. The end user doesn’t necessarily distinguish between true internet vs. Wi-Fi issues and device-specific troubles. Frequently when customers say they experience connectivity issues, they actually have problems with their gadgets.
As an internet provider, ITS Fiber could have chosen to stop serving the customer once working network status was verified. The company, however, recognized not only the business opportunity, but also a chance to deliver a better customer experience through new support services.
Cloud-based Support for At-home Users
Previously, a customer service rep could spend hours talking a user through possible connectivity issues. With our “Support Cloud” service, however, every device in the house is visible. Reps can quickly ascertain what’s receiving adequate bandwidth — or not.
They can remotely identify interference, change channels and even make recommendations on device positioning. The reps aren’t responsible for the device functionality itself, but eliminating any question of a network issue helps customers identify a device issue. The cloud tool also automatically conducts self-assessments each night. It evaluates Wi-Fi sufficiency across devices and adjusts accordingly.
Services for Enterprise Customers
ITS Fiber similarly serves businesses. An internet problem at a company could be from an incorrectly configured firewall or old network gear, as examples. A nearly error-free network environment that operates at a very high level can be created by ITS Fiber without being on site.
ITS Fiber also provides infrastructure and cloud services to businesses. Because they enable edge computing and own the fiber connectivity, they can ensure maximum performance, productivity, security and reliability. Their customers can resolve internet issues with one phone call instead of having to call an IT person.
Emerging Technologies Prompt Change in Business Model for ITS Fiber Telcom Services
The telephone, i.e. “landline,” used to be the only connected thing. It operated the same way in every home. In that context, connectivity was simple. Now, providers must serve 24/7 expectations in an IoT environment.
The proliferation of the internet and explosion of smart devices, while opening previously unimaginable ways of communicating, have also unleashed new realms of complexity. Add in moves to the cloud and edge computing; many companies have had to rethink their business models.
For those in the telecom space, the digital world means they no longer stop serving customers at a certain line of demarcation. End-to-end has a new meaning. Connecting each access point, over a network with speed, to telco edge and beyond is critical. It’s just the beginning for Wi-Fi-as-a-Service and more.
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About the Author:
Jeff Leslie is the owner and CEO of ITS Fiber, a full-service communications company offering broadband, Voice, IT and Data Center services. Jeff has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. ITS Fiber was recently recognized by Grow Florida as one of 50 Companies to watch in the state of Florida and has earned several national technology awards from the NTCA and others. Jeff is a frequent speaker at many national telecommunication conferences and events.
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