Dear FairlawnGig Customers,
My reflections of the year 2020 mostly center around Covid-19 lockdowns and our increasing dependence on Internet technologies. FairlawnGig first launched in January of 2017. Since then, the growth of FairlawnGig has been beyond our expectations and the vendor company “experts” that were instrumental in our Internet service launch. FairlawnGig service has become so important to the businesses and residents of Fairlawn that updates, additional employees, expansion, and technology changes were all necessary in 2020.
When FairlawnGig was first established, we relied heavily on numerous technology partners from across the country. Less obvious to the customer, but consequential to us, is how since then we have evolved operationally and grown our knowledgeable tech and support team with employees located in the Fairlawn area.
For a variety of reasons, but largely because of our constant goal to deliver our customers the best Internet service, we’ve taken ownership of managing, maintaining, and upgrading the FairlawnGig network ourselves. Customer support has been huge with a 60% adoption rate along with a 94% satisfaction rate among our customers. This only reinforces our commitment to delivering a network that will support even the most ambitious goals of businesses and residences in the Fairlawn area.
Recently, we’ve seen our network become a 100 Gigabit network with greatly improved latency. More specifically, we have:
- Upgraded from 10 Gig and installed a 100 Gig card in our Fairlawn Datacenter.
- Installed an edge router in Cleveland to receive and improve transport speed to 400 Gig to improve latency. Our larger commercial customers are the ones most impacted with this enhancement.
- Implemented a new monitoring system for us to see even the smallest of issues so that we can mitigate and eliminate potential challenges.
- Undertaken a massive Summit County Criminal Justice Technology Project which, by the end of the year, will be a new fiber ring paid for by the CARES Act to support our region.
As we manage, maintain, and grow the network internally, our modest city has accomplished something few other communities can say by creating one of the nation’s only “Municipal Broadband Utilities.” We are still a small regional network, which makes what our team has accomplished even more amazing!
Next year is exciting for a variety of reasons. We are preparing for 2021 and our solution for better, in-home WiFi (WiFi 6), a 10 Gig residential option, and a more redundant network to include more peering options. Additional enhancements, to be announced in 2021, are also in the works.
While I have received most of the accolades, our team deserves all the credit for the outstanding customer service and engineering of the network. This high-level group of individuals care, curate, and take ownership for our amazing network. The team includes:
- Dustin Wright – Chief Technology Officer – Oversees all of the FairlawnGig network
- Nick Hogue – Outside Plant Technician – Outside fiber planning for residential and commercial connections
- Ian Simmons – Inside Plant Technician – Interior fiber planning for residential and commercial connections
- Samuel Bartlett – Broadband Technician – Interior/exterior installation work for residential and commercial connections
- Andrew Beck – Support Team – Phone and Internet support for residential and commercial customers
- Peter Klein – Support Team – Phone and Internet support for residential and commercial customers
- Amy Austin – Administrative Secretary – First contact for Customer Service which includes billing, scheduling, and support
- Jim Nice – Sales Consultant
- Doug Adams – Marketing Consultant
I would like to thank them for the “magic” of every connection. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and customers for your support. It’s our goal to earn your business every day.
Our entire team wishes you a Happy Holiday season and a wonderful 2021!
Director of Public Service
City of Fairlawn