With announcements about fiber expansion happening every day, it was refreshing to catch up with a local service provider that has been on the leading edge of technology deployments for decades. The above interview with Jim Capuano, CEO for Horizon, and Misty Tuttle, General Manager of Business Operations for Horizon, echo the words of retired Horizon executive John Wilson at the 2002 TelcoTV. In that forum, Wilson encouraged telcos to expand their service and “take a risk and get back to what the telephone pioneers did.”
With Horizon’s expansion of its fiber backhaul network to multiple states and the addition of multiple underserved, Fiber-to-the-home communities beyond their incumbent service territory, it is clear that the Horizon team is heeding Wilson’s advice. And as Capuano alludes to, FTTH is the tool that allows the expansion that would have been operationally more challenging with copper networks. Fiber provides Horizon the foundation for a competitive offering today while providing an upgrade path for tomorrow.
Another big difference between 2022 and 2002 is that access to capital isn’t an issue. Capuano emphasizes that private money is funding the network expansions into rural towns, such as Circleville, Greenfield, and Lancaster, Ohio.
As they expand, they are having to introduce their brand to these new communities. They are using the same sort of community involvement that has served Horizon’s127-year old existence. A pioneer in local content in the early 2000s, they have a 2022 twist that leverages local connections and social media, according to Tuttle.
- 01:04 – Interestingly, Horizon got its start as an alternative service provider way back in 1895
- 03:16 – Capuano describes some of their new builds, including the appropriately named Greenfield, Ohio.
- 04:37 – Fiber future proofs the network and allows Horizon to extend their service in ways copper couldn’t. A 100 gig to the home future is possible with the fiber deployed today.
- 07:46 – Capuano discusses the type of customer penetration numbers required for a project to make financial sense.
- 08:49 – Close involvement with the municipalities is key to gaining local acceptance, according to Tuttle. It also means having a local presence at some level.
- 12:33 – A commitment to the community is important. This includes sponsoring local events, participating in civic organizations, and being a trusted member of the community.
- 13:28 – Tuttle explains how they have pivoted from local content creation, which they were a leader in the 2000s, to working with local social media influencers.