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At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a hypothetical CEO and owner of a broadband operation in underserved, rural America applied and received RDOF funding. By 2022, the CEO’s primary goal is the expansion of the current network from 643 devices to 1500 residential and commercial customers.

To realize and achieve this goal, a third-party was brought in to consult with the company and utilize experts within the industry to plan ahead and draft a defined roadmap toward expansion.

Within the community where the broadband company is headquartered, residents working from home have increased tenfold, so network outages and troubleshooting over the phone has increased in tow. Their customers are seeking help reconnecting devices or reporting slow speeds, which in the event of an outage, increases truck rolls and overtime pay.

Plus, the usage of smart devices and streaming services have maxed the bandwidth of the network. RDOF funding has allowed this CEO to address technical issues by upgrading the necessary equipment and infrastructure to accommodate an increased weight on the company’s network. By upgrading equipment to aid in this rapid growth, the company has increased customer satisfaction and maintained a five-star rating on Google and Facebook.

In 2020, there have been governmental measures enacted to help struggling industries offset potential damages, and in addition, steps have been taken to build and strengthen other areas, like telecommunications and logistics. The fictional representation above is a real occurrence affecting hundreds of companies nationwide.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) and USDA funding opportunities, in particular the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG), are resources service providers are able to apply for and take advantage of to expand their networks to newly remote workers in rural areas.

Enhancing and aggressively building a larger network comes at the cost of more moving parts, so more room for error; more customer service discrepancies, and a need for more technicians to assist the new demand. Oftentimes, support services and a network operations center (NOC) are overlooked and a communication breakdown between service provider and customer drives down customer sentiment and loyalty.

To maintain a healthy ecosystem during expansion, consider consulting with industry experts to draft a plan, outsource support services to handle increased call volume or monitor every device in real-time to decrease the overhead cost of trying to handle the new aspects of your company. Scaling with the growth of this improved network is paramount to providing an efficient and helpful customer experience: whether operating with a small, in-house team of less experienced technicians, enhancing an existing team of veterans who simply need more feet on the ground for off-hours and weekend support, or assembling a brand-new team from the ground up.

If your company has received funding from RDOF or RBDG and you’ve found yourself with a larger network, but the added responsibility of increased calls, longer wait times, and inefficient means of monitoring your devices, CCI Systems can help.

Interested in publishing a sponsored post to Telecompetitor? Contact us or call 240-482-8130.

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