I remain concerned that when cities and local governments are prohibited from investing directly in their own broadband networks, citizens may be denied the opportunity to connect with their nation and improve their lives. Local economies will suffer as a result, and the communities’ ability to effectively address education, health, public safety, and other social issues will be severely hampered. ... I fear that preventing local governments from investing in broadband is counter-productive and will impede the nation from accomplishing the Plan’s goal of providing broadband access to every American and community anchor institution.
Municipal Network SpringNet is Great for Local Businesses
On September 11th, we interviewed Todd Murren, Director of SpringNet, for our Community Bradband Bits podcast. Todd told us the story of how travel giant Expedia, chose Springfield, Missouri, as the location for their call center and how SpringNet services them with its high capacity network.
Expedia originally planned on working with a large national carrier to provide connectivity. When it was time to seal the deal, however, promises were broken - the telecommunications company revealed it would not be able to provide the needed bandwidth after all. Expedia almost walked away from Springfield. Thanks to SpringNet, however, and its 350 fiber miles and first class business services, Expedia stayed. SpringNet saved 400 new local jobs.
Todd gave us more examples of how SpringNet has contributed to the local economy as it serves over 200 business clients. In addition to these examples of how SpringNet directly influences the local economy, keep in mind the positive ripple effect. Here a quick list from Todd:
JMark Business Solutions – a local managed services company that SpringNet has assisted in their rapid growth and success.
John Deere Remanufactured – [SpringNet] participated in attracting of this global company to select Southwest Missouri as the location for a new manufacturing facility.
Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation – participated in the expansion plans of this local business at multiple new manufacturing sites.
Sunrise Media Partners – participated in the expansion plans of this local call center business.
Corporate Technologies Advantage – participated in the expansion plans of this local call center business.
Mercy Orthopedic Hospital - participated in the expansion plans of this major regional healthcare provider in the establishment of their new orthopedic facility.
Mc Lane Company - participated in attracting of this national company to select Southwest Missouri as the location for a new distribution facility.
Todd also shared this graphic, which shows a steady increase in usage. The chart shows a snapshot of the 12 month SpringNet aggregate Internet traffic that flows into and out of Springfield via SpringNet. These numbers represent Internet business conducted by approximately 200 business customers (the most recent months are toward the left of the graph).
Todd gave us a quick tutorial on what the numbers show:
Light Green – represents an average traffic measurement for each of the 365 days during the past year. This measurement of an average of a 24 hour period represents the amount of traffic our customer’s upload to the Internet.
Blue – represents an average traffic measurement for each of the 365 days during the past year. This measurement of an average of a 24 hour period represents the amount of traffic our customer’s download from the Internet.
Regarding the light green and blue lines, please keep in mind the impact when you average a number.
Pink Line – represents the maximum 5 minute download traffic measurement increment for each of the 365 days during the past year.
Dark Green – represents the maximum 5 minute upload traffic measurement increment for each of the 365 days during the past year.
This graph surprised us in the much higher upstream usage than downstream. However, Todd reminded us about the impressive co-location facility, SpringNet Underground, that they operate. We would expect co-location facilities to send more data out than they take in but it is a reminder nonetheless of the fundamental need to move away from the private-sector model of building networks where upstream is much slower than the down. Modern businesses and even residents have a need for robust upstream capacity.