An Internet mecca’s transformation

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It is always nice to hear former colleagues doing good in this industry.

By Michael Pollick & Doug Sword
Staff Writers

In four years flat, a veteran of the fiber-optic wars and his Bonita Springs company have transformed Lee and Collier counties into an Internet mecca for businesses and nonprofits.

Set up with checks from some rich Collier folks who wanted to give their children and grandchildren a reason to stay in the region, Frank Mambuca and his U.S. Metro network already are proving the economic development clich√© that, “If you build it they will come.”

The latest and biggest trophy client is Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Maine, now being showered with more than $200 million in governmental grants to build a genetic research campus in Collier County.

As the nation evolves quickly from working with its hands to working with its brains, being on the digital river that connects one set of minds with another in a seamless fashion is becoming a critical asset.

Through a quirk of fate, one of the people who understood that first and who helped build the global fiber optic networks landed in Naples.

The broadband system Mambuca put together has speeds that make the phone companies and cable TV companies look like they are standing still.

For a business within trenching range of his 200-mile-long network, Mambuca’s answer to the connectivity question is, “How many gigabits per second do you want?”

“We intentionally designed it to blanket every major thoroughfare that has business on it,” he said.

The U.S. Metro grid catches the U.S. 41 corridor from downtown Fort Myers to downtown Naples and that city’s business district. It makes side stops at Estero and Bonita Springs, and runs out to Immokalee and Ave Maria University.

Article Continued on Herald-Tribune…

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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