Light Reading

Comporium Aims Gig at Businesses, Residents

Jason Meyers
7/29/2014
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Even as Comporium expands its gigabit broadband network to more than 15,000 homes in and around Rock Hill, S.C., the company is hopeful that its high-speed presence will help bolster business development and the local economy in the region.

Comporium Communications has launched what it expects to be a six-month effort to upgrade its fiber optic infrastructure around Rock Hill and extend its Zipstream gigabit service to residential neighborhoods in York and Lancaster counties, where it already has built out fiber to buildings and homes. The incumbent telco launched Zipstream to a handful of downtown businesses in June, and has since announced the expansion to five additional Rock Hill business parks. (See Gigabit Speeds Come to Rock Hill.)

"We'll be beefing up the rings those neighborhoods are on -- that's why it's a six-month phase out," says Matt Dosch, Comporium's executive vice president of customer operations and external affairs. The company will offer residents Zipstream connections for $99 per month in addition to bundles of voice, video and home security services, he says.


For all of Light Reading's coverage of the Gigabit Cities movement, visit our Broadband/FTTx content channel.


But Comporium's ultimate goal is to help transform the local economy and attract new business with its all-fiber network and gigabit services, Dosch says, noting that the company spent months visiting cities like Chattanooga and studying the economic impact of gigabit deployments by entities such as EPB Fiber Optics , a division of Chattanooga's local utility that is currently seeking approval to expand its network. (See Muni Utilities Take Gigabit Fight to FCC.)

"Our rollout remains tied to a very specific economic development plan," he says, adding that Comporium learned in its observation of other gigabit cities that small technology entrepreneurs are attracted to communities where affordable gigabit services are available.

Economic development in Rock Hill centers primarily around Knowledge Park, a two-year-old, multimillion dollar effort to transform the 23-acre site of a former textile manufacturing facility that sits between downtown Rock Hill and nearby Winthrop University into a business and technology development center. Components such as Comporium's gigabit network are central to that effort, says David Lawrence, Knowledge Park development manager for the City of Rock Hill.

"We're investing in talent and infrastructure, and offering people affordable and cool spaces. It can't be Knowledge Park with slow Internet and people who can't do knowledge economy jobs," Lawrence says. "Comporium has moved really quickly, so it's another competitive advantage and another way for us to walk the talk."

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, Light Reading

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thebulk
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thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/31/2014 | 2:53:56 PM
Re: The small business factor
Seven, I see your point here, and your right, service side biz have to be located in a specific region, but if you are a digital business and do not offer a local service you can locate anywhere that works for you. 
brooks7
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brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/31/2014 | 10:26:33 AM
Re: The small business factor
thebulk,

I can not explain on how wrong you are with this statement.  Tech/Software/and similar businesses can relocate.  Most small businesses actually serve local and regional markets.  The locality of the business is the market.  If your statement was actually true, then all small business would have exited California for Nevada to save a lot of money on taxes, insurance costs and regulations.  Of course your gym, flower shop and auto body would no longer be yours.

 

seven
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/31/2014 | 6:24:31 AM
Comporium Communications-what to look out for
Comporium's ultimate goal is to help transform the local economy and attract new business with its all-fiber network and gigabit services. The company spent months visiting cities. As comporium expands its gigabit broadband network to more than 15,000 homes in and around Rock Hill, S.C., the company has much ability and is promising that its high-speed presence will help bolster business development and the local economy in the region. The state of the art fiber optic infrastructure has a long way to go in fulfilling its mission. This company has so far proven to have the drive and determination top meet all its goals with all these changes and progress.
thebulk
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thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/29/2014 | 1:57:44 PM
Re: The small business factor
In the digital age most buisnesses can move and open up just about anywhere. if you build it, they will come (or stay)
jasonmeyers
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jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
7/29/2014 | 1:56:28 PM
Re: The small business factor
@thebulk, absolutely. I doubt a 23-acre business park with slow Internet would offer much appeal. It's pretty easy for small businesses to move to the town that has the best incentives and infrastructure, especially those that aren't necessarily tethered to a specific location. 
thebulk
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thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/29/2014 | 1:50:02 PM
Re: The small business factor
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to sparking biz growth but I have always said that better internet is one of the best things a community can do to draw in new buisnesses. 
jasonmeyers
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jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
7/29/2014 | 1:41:38 PM
The small business factor
The trend of small communities becoming gigabit cities -- whether the gigabit provider is a small telco like Comporium, a municipal utility, or a big dog like AT&T or Google Fiber -- could potentially make or break a town's efforts at economic development. As a resident of a small town that is trying to invigorate its economy by attracting small businesses (and as someone who has both tracked and participated in the entrepreneurial community here) I've watched as small businesses like web design firms and other tech-centric entities have picked up and moved to nearby communities because of factors like slow Internet access, lack of human resources, even dearth of the right kind of office space. Rock Hill is smart to pay attention to all aspects of the small business world as it tries to create a vibrant entrepreneurial community. 
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