How Telecom Providers Are Reshaping Rural Communities with Advanced Services

By John Lunny, SVP & CTO, FairPoint Communications

Keep investing in your network infrastructure, which provides the foundation for innovation and growth. than $700 million in our communications infrastructure and technology and now provide more than 16,000 miles of fiber that enables next generation mobile and cloud-based communications. We have the largest fiber- based high-speed broadband and carrier Ethernet network in northern New England.

Also, maintain focus on addressing your market’s emerging needs. FairPoint is a rural ILEC, so driving higher network speeds into rural communities is a priority. This helps communities connect and allows businesses to compete in the larger economy. It also makes delivery of new advanced services that require high-speed Internet possible. For example, we are proud to have helped the New England Telehealth Consortium connect 300 healthcare facilities to its Ethernet network. Through these connections, health care providers are now able to deliver remote trauma consultation and expansive  telemedicine by linking rural health care facilities to urban hospitals and health clinics in New England.

What does the Internet of Things mean for the telecom industry?

The Internet of Things will continue to drive increased bandwidth utilization. We expect an increased need for managed network and cyber security services as the volume of connected business, personal and homedevices expands.

For telecom providers, this expansion will create demand to help manage these connected devices for customers that don’t have the technical capacity or time to do so themselves. In particular, we see an opportunity to help small businesses that do have the in-house knowledge to manage the complex interconnection of these technologies.

Another opportunity is the continued expansion of data center and cloud-based services. Data center colocation services provide customers with data center space without requiring them to invest capital for new construction and infrastructure, and can be an essential part of a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery strategy.

Telecom companies also have an inherent advantage over traditional data center providers. We can package On network connectivity to the largest fiber-based carrier Ethernet network in northern New EnglandTelecom companies also have an inherent advantage over traditional data center providers. We can package on-network connectivity to the  largest fiber-based carrier Ethernet network in northern New England with data center and disaster recovery services.

How can telcos convert Big Data into tangible revenue?

Although the telecommunications industry is highly regulated, we use data within the parameters allowed by regulation to improve our marketing and operations activities.

For example, one big data initiative enables us to bring together customer profiles, existing revenue, network inventory and service history to inform strategies to build and grow revenue. We are using software to draw connections across disparate systems and to display information for better analysis and action by us. Big data is also helping us improve our customers’ experience with tools that provide a real-time understanding and correlation of what is happening across our IT systems and infrastructure.

.Based on your experience in managing the technology organization at FairPoint, what’s your advice for fellow tech leaders?

Always maintain your primary focus on your customers and where they are driving your business. This focus is helping FairPoint transition our customer-facing network from a legacy TDM-based traditional telco network infrastructure into a highly efficient and scalable next-generation platform capable of providing the advanced IP and hosted network services that our customers require.

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