Fiber network looks to bolster local economy

It used to take an hour and 31 minutes to upload one of its high-definition product demo videos for editing.

Now, it takes 2 minutes and 26 seconds. recently became one of the first businesses in Lafayette to connect to Lafayette Utilities System’s Fiber service.

LUS started rolling out its fiber network to business customers in October, and many are just beginning to discover the possibilities for economic development.

“I guess I could draw the parallel to when someone started building the electric utility system to power a light bulb. No one could have envisioned what we use electricity for today,” LUS Director Terry Huval said.

“We’re still on the threshold of what this level of bandwidth will drive in our community.” recently started shooting 2- to 4-minute videos of some of its products, but amassed a three-month backlog of videos because of the time it took to get them ready for its website.

Now, the company can upload the 500 megabyte files in minutes, making it viable to outsource them for production.

“Everyone on our team uses the Internet, and everyone on the network gets to do their job a little faster,” Cox said. “Everyone’s a little more efficient, so as a business, we get more done.”

Fiber is also allowing to do other things it wasn’t able to do before, Cox said.

The company is considering the possibility providing live video customer service on its website, he said.

“There’s probably going to be three or four other things we can do with this technology,” Cox said. “We just don’t know what those things are yet.”

Cox and other business leaders hope to explore new some of the new possibilities this week at FiberFete.

Billed as “a celebration of our connected future,” the three-day conference will bring together representatives from companies such as Google and Cisco, as well as leaders from cities such as Seattle, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia to explore how fiber can improve the lives of residents and enhance business development.

About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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