Customer Loyalty
Industry Insight Series

In today’s world, there’s simply no way to overstate the importance of connecting to broadband. However, many rural communities are still underserved or unserved. To thrive, these communities need access to the same technology, and opportunities, as people living in densely populated areas.

As a service provider, you can connect those hard-to-reach customers, then grow and retain their loyalty for long-term return on investment.

How? When planning your network, keep these Three Pillars of Broadband Customer Loyalty in mind.

Pillar 1: Speed

Deployment – Broadband is an essential service and deploying fiber is an important, long-term community investment that deserves careful planning. To be sure you’re making the most of your investment, it’s critical to create a detailed action plan as early as possible.

Assess the project in person with specialists, like construction managers, local government leaders, and even members of the public. Consider every detail from labor constraints and truck rolls to traffic patterns and issues that matter to the community. Define your customer experiences and services you want to provide, and they should guide your network architecture and material decisions. Then choose the network architecture and products that will connect the most people quickly, efficiently, and with the best quality over time.

If you’re building in an area with competition, assess how you can be first to market and differentiate your company in the long run. Before you start construction, begin marketing to build awareness of your brand and service offerings and answer any questions or concerns to increase sign-ups.

Network – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standard for broadband speed was recently raised to 100 Mbps for download and 20 Mbps for upload, but many communities already receive 1 Gbps up/down and even multi-gig speeds connecting multiple devices throughout their homes and businesses. Plan ahead to ensure your customers’ expectations are met as bandwidth demand continues its explosive growth. This might also include plans for more capacity in the middle-mile.

Repair – An internet connection is no longer a question of convenience. It’s become an essential service, like electricity and water. From missed deadlines to healthcare concerns, customers require reliable service, and government entities are mandating up-time standards. Reducing your mean time to repair (MTTR) will become more and more critical over time.

Pillar 2: Reliability

To build loyalty and retain customers over the life of your network, you’ll need to factor in 24/7 reliability at every stage of operation.

Aerial or buried?

No matter where you place your cables, the unexpected will happen. However, the choices you make will affect long-term reliability and lifetime network costs. Carefully assess an area’s particular needs and challenges, including weather, terrain, etc. to optimize cable placement.

Accurate recordkeeping.

If a cable does get damaged, you’ll want to quickly identify the issue, the number of customers affected, and prioritize your response. Detailed records will help you restore service quickly and cost effectively.

Build for resiliency.

No matter how well you build your network, it will face challenges and outages from storms, construction mishaps, etc. It’s important to create a detailed recovery plan and revisit it every year to make sure it’s still accurate, efficient, and effective. Utilize tools and processes that can help you identify and mobilize your repair teams efficiently to minimize downtime. Building redundancy into critical systems is also crucial to reducing the risk of downtime.

Pillar 3: Adaptability

Forbes declared 2024  “The Year of Vision” with bandwidth-heavy devices and systems, like VR headsets, AI-powered spatial wearables, and Large Vision Models (LVMs) making significant strides. It can be difficult to predict what tomorrow’s bandwidth needs will be, as the landscape seems to change daily. But one thing is certain: demand will continue to grow, and you will need to adapt your network to ensure your customer’s needs and expectations are met seamlessly.

There are two simple and highly cost-effective ways to better ensure adaptability. The first is carefully planning slack into the network. The second is allocating plenty of spare fiber in your cables and spare ports in your terminals and housings. That will give you even more flexibility for population growth and for business opportunities for you and the community.

Build for Success: Theirs, and Yours

If you design and build your network with speed, reliability, and adaptability in mind at every stage, you’ll help ensure success for your business and the communities that rely on you to stay connected to this essential service.

If you missed our webinar Building Broadband Customer Loyalty for Long-Term ROI,” you can watch it here.

This series features insight into important broadband industry issues from industry leaders.

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