When the Town of Holly Springs announced two years ago that they were partnering with Ting to provide residential fiber infrastructure throughout the community, no one had a clue how that project would take shape.
Holly Springs was only Ting’s third foray into residential fiber in the United States, and every community is unique. All we knew was that it was a huge project and that it would put Holly Springs on the map again in a very concrete (and 21st century) way.
Over the last two years, Ting has been diligently and constructively working on the many pieces of a puzzle the size of a small, suburban town – from right of way access, to hiring sub-contractors, to marketing in the community, and to the actual installation for customers. The project started with marketing and selling “pre-orders” to interested residents to determine where the biggest pockets of interest would be. Then came the laying of conduit and prepping properties in Phase I of the project. Phase I was Holly Glen, Braxton Village, and Holly Pointe.
The process was not without pitfalls. However, Ting
personnel persevered and corrected every issue as it
happened, working with their contractors and even residents to fix issues as they arose. Ting’s city manager for this project, Todd Rubin, has very high praise for Ting’s subcontractors.
The work to lay conduit and prepare for actual installations has taken longer than originally anticipated, which has led to some residential frustration with the timeline of the project. But Rubin shares that they took their time to make sure the project was done correctly and that residents have been satisfied once their install has been completed. “We’ve gotten into a groove with the different phases at this point,” he says. “There are many variables that dictate how quickly construction is completed and how quickly we can start installing customers once construction has been completed. As progress continues in Holly Springs, we plan on narrowing that gap.”
“We describe it as short-term inconvenience on the way to long-term gain,” Rubin says. “We have communicated about all the timeline changes as they have occurred, and once Ting is finally in the home, our customers are happy and enjoying the improved service.” Despite those timeline changes, Ting has quietly started work on two other phases while they’ve been “lighting up” customers in Holly Glen, Holly Pointe, and Braxton Village. Phase II in Winward Point, Windcrest, Oak Hall, Trotters Bluff, and Morgan Park has completed its construction but hasn’t started installs with customers who pre-ordered yet. Phase III in Twelve Oaks is under construction yet and still taking pre-orders, and hopes are to be lighting up customers in the very near future. Ting has slowly begun to ramp up installations in order to keep up with the high demand.
Phase IV has not yet been announced. Ting is evaluating which neighborhoods in Holly Springs will drive their decision as to where to go next. Policy for determining priority is based on consumer interest rather than size of neighborhood, so get those pre-orders in if you want to be considered next!
Ting is very happy with the progress of the project so far. Rubin says the challenge for him as the city manager has been juggling all the different aspects of starting a new fiber network from the ground up, creating positive differences that make Ting stand out from its competitors, and being a good neighbor as they complete the project. “We learn from each phase, continually improving our process, and we work hard to get to people as quickly as possible,” says Rubin. “It’s all about educating our consumers on the process and tailoring what we do to each neighborhood in each community.”
Ting has enjoyed a great deal of support from the town of Holly Springs – its elected officials, the Chamber of Commerce, and town employees. According to Rubin, the town’s economic development department considers Ting a big part of their efforts to attract business and new residents to Holly Springs. Ting has hired an enterprise sales manager, who will oversee the development of service packages for business clients in all the US Ting markets. He will be based in Holly Springs, so as businesses indicate an interest in getting on the Ting bandwagon, those needs will be addressed.
The Ting team has also grown over the last year. In addition to Todd Rubin, Ting has hired a marketing coordinator, an operations manager, and installation personnel. They are working to locate an “experience place” (they hesitate to call it a “store”) where customers can come in and try out the services Ting offers. Ting is also working with developers to plan for construction strategies in new subdivisions as they are built. “It’s a lot easier to lay conduit when the trenches are open,” Rubin explains. “We work hard to identify property developers so we can get the construction completed with minimal impact on future residents.”
Ting has not wasted any time working on their “good neighbor” status in Holly Springs. Active in the Chamber of Commerce right from the beginning, they have sponsored a number of events and activities such as Beericana, the Holly Springs Growers Market, and the Salamanders baseball team. “We just purchased the naming rights for the North Main Athletic Complex,” Rubin shares. “We are excited that in the very near future, it will be Ting Stadium and Ting Park. We’ve never before been in a position to have this kind of opportunity, and we love being engaged in the community at this level.”
Although Ting’s presence in the Holly Springs community is well-established and focused on long-term goals, the company is also expanding its reach into other markets as it slowly increases its reach into North America. In addition to its Maryland and Virginia markets, it has also launched projects in Idaho and Colorado. The goal is for every town to have its own local team with a city manager in each town to make Ting easily accessible to all its customers. But, for us here in Holly Springs, the Ting installation project is down-home entrepreneurship with very tangible results that benefit a large portion of our community. Stay tuned for additional announcements as Ting continues to add additional neighborhoods.