Last Mile Communications (LMC) is pleased to announce the launch of its newly designed website

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Last Mile Communications (LMC) is pleased to announce the launch of its newly designed website.  Our goal with this new website is to provide our visitors an easier way to learn about our team, our services and the broadband & telecommunications industry that we have proudly served for over 20 years.

LMC’s vision to be a worldwide leader of Management Partnering Services, Consulting and Capital Funding within our industry is perfectly reflected in our website’s new look and fresh feel. Additionally, be sure to check our News section for updates, company announcements and the latest information from our industry’s ever-changing landscape.

We hope that you enjoy our updated website by visiting us at lastmile.net. We also invite you to connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, as we have developed into what LMC is today, we took a quick journey back to where we began. Below we depict the evolution of our logo. It is amusing to see how it all started 20 years ago and how our logo truly represents the evolution of design and technology through time!

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Last Mile Communications (LMC) is thrilled to be chosen as one of the “Top 100 Fiber-to-the-Home Leaders and Innovators for 2019”

July 2019, Fiber-to-the-home leaders and innovators for 2019 – “Building a Fiber-Connected World” is the tagline of Broadband Communities magazine, and each year the FTTH Top 100 list recognizes organizations that lead the way in this arena.

Fiber-to-the-home deployment in the United States is beginning to outpace legacy copper broadband, a trend that is impacting service providers and their vendor suppliers.

Fiber-based broadband services, according to an RVA study commissioned by the Fiber Broadband Association, surpassed DSL in 2018 as the second-most common type of home internet connection in North America, following cable. According to the research firm, fiber now passes 39 million homes in the United States (1.6 million of them have multiple fiber passings) and connects 18.6 million homes, up 17 percent over 2017. A large portion – 71 percent – of fiber-to-the-home builds are by large incumbents. The remaining 29 percent are from Tier 2 and 3 providers, including a mix of independent telcos, municipalities, competitive providers and electric cooperatives.

Vendors are also seeing a transition in the equipment they sell. For example, Broadband Trends reported that global DSL port shipments declined 22 percent year-over-year to reach 35.7 million in 2018 as service providers shift their focus to FTTH.

Gigabit service – and beyond – continues to drive the deployment of fiber. Large and small providers alike are not only offering 1 Gbps services but also eyeing a path to 10 Gbps via either XGS-PON or NG-PON2.

It’s no wonder the industry is expanding and the number of companies competing for the Top 100 slots continues to grow. That’s great for the country, even if it makes life difficult for the editors who assemble this list.

The 2019 FTTH Top 100 list represents the whole fiber-to-the-home ecosystem. Optical fiber and fiber cables; passive equipment for connecting, protecting and managing fiber; and active equipment for sending and receiving signals over fiber are the most basic components of an FTTH network, along with software for planning, setting up and managing networks and for provisioning and billing fiber services. The list contains many companies that design, manufacture and distribute these essential products.

To put these pieces together requires firms that finance, plan, design, engineer, construct and install fiber optic networks, as well as those that make equipment for digging, pushing, pulling and attaching fiber. These, too, are represented on the list. Also included are a variety of organizations that advocate for better broadband or create conditions that make FTTH more profitable.

Finally, there wouldn’t be any fiber to the home if not for the deployers – large and small, private and public, incumbent and competitive – that invest in FTTH networks.

Companies newly added or reinstated to the list represent a variety of ecosystem niches. These niches are quite diverse. Three of the new entrants – Consolidated, GVTC and Lumos Networks – are incumbent telcos that are aggressively expanding 1 Gbps FTTH services in diverse rural towns and cities. Consolidated is rapidly expanding 1 Gbps FTTH service throughout the former FairPoint territory, and GVTC and Lumos are encouraging economic development with new fiber builds. Another notable trend is the growing presence of electric cooperatives and competitive providers. Co-Mo Connect is an electric cooperative that was funded without grants and now offers 1 Gbps services to its electric customers, GoNetspeed lures customers with fixed broadband pricing, and Synergy offers managed services to MDUs.

Joining the network operators is a host of companies that provide construction, financing, network planning and powering. Last Mile Communications provides telcos and cable companies with a variety of consulting and capital funding services, and Neighborly connects underserved communities with capital for fiber broadband networks. ESPi offers a series of uninterrupted power supply batteries that provide protection against input power interruptions for FTTH providers. Foresite Group provides broadband engineering and related services. Render is gaining ground with rural providers with its suite of geospatial network deployment solutions to help providers build large-scale projects faster and cheaper, Geograph provides tools for network planning and design, and Tesmec USA provides open-trench solutions for fiber deployments.

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SELECTION CRITERIA

In selecting the FTTH Top 100, the editors looked for organizations that advance the cause of fiber-based broadband by

Deploying networks that are large or ambitious, have innovative business plans or are intended to transform local economies or improve communities’ quality of life
Supplying key hardware, software or services to deployers
Introducing innovative technologies with game-changing potential, even if they have not yet been commercially deployed
Providing key conditions for fiber builds, such as early-stage support or demand aggregation.
To be listed among the FTTH Top 100, an organization may be based anywhere in the world but must do business in North America. Except for broadband service providers, which are inherently local, we give preference to organizations that serve national rather than local markets. Overall size is unimportant, as is corporate form – in addition to for-profit companies, the list includes municipalities, a telephone cooperative, an electric cooperative and a nonprofit research organization.

Although some organizations on the list focus entirely on fiber to the premises or other fiber-based broadband technologies, most deliver or support a mix of broadband technologies. For some, broadband represents only a small part of their business. In making these selections, the editors considered how important the organizations are to advancing fiber broadband rather than how important broadband is to them.

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“Last Mile Communications Partners” Announces Its Formation

PRESS RELEASE

Fort Myers, FL (July 15, 2019) – Peter Kahelin, longtime cable TV and broadband industry executive, announced the formation of Last Mile Communications Partners, LLC (LMCP), headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida. LMCP’s emergence results from the immediate need for broadband providers to protect and expand their businesses, in a time when revenues, profitability and customer growth are being challenged by the broadening scope of competition.

Kahelin will be LMCP’s Chairperson, with the company tapping 20-year industry executive Ivelisse Cruz to oversee the day-to-day operations as its Managing Partner and President. No strangers to working together, Cruz and Kahelin have teamed a number of times over the years, delivering success within small to mid-size MSO’s in rural, suburban and metro areas alike.

“It’s an IP world now and the landscape within our industry is dramatically changing and becoming extremely competitive”, Kahelin stated. “This has altered the way legacy and new broadband providers need to operate. This is where LMCP comes in, as we have the solutions to these new challenges.”

Cruz added, “The diversity of our world-wide team of Partners and Associates provides the perfect mix of experience and innovation to surpass our clients’ expectations. LMCP’s geographical presence, with representatives stationed within the US, UK, Spain and Romania, among others, provides our clients with easy access to our Team and resources.”

Kahelin is also Chairperson of Last Mile Communications, LLC (LMC). Along with the company’s Managing Partner and President, Bruce Fogelstrom, over the past 20 years LMC and its Team of professionals have experienced a series of highly successful management partnering ventures, with investors and operators. These ventures were located within the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Central Europe and the CIS nations. Kahelin closed by saying, “LMC and LMCP will, at times, share operating synergies and resources to enrich our clients’ experience and successes.”

Last Mile Communications announces the addition of two Junior Associate Partners to its Team

Fort Myers, FL (May 21, 2019) – Last Mile Communications, LLC (LMC) is pleased to announce the addition of two Junior Associate Partners to its roster of telecommunications professionals. The new members of the LMC team will be supporting the company’s service and strategic operations.

Valerie Diaz, Strategic Operations Manager, has already worked closely with the LMC executive team in multiple projects, including the successful Baja Broadband and MaxxSouth Broadband operations. She has ample experience in the marketing, operations and administrative areas of the business, especially in crisis management situations. One of the cornerstone services that LMC delivers to its clients is the Direct Sales (door-to-door) strategy, in which Valerie’s expertise in utilizing the newest field-monitoring and productivity technologies, will further enhance this already successful program.

Emmanuel Diaz, Service Operations Manager, has vast experience in leading sales, customer care, dispatch, technical support and telephony provisioning. His strength lies in the deployment, development and long-term performance of customer care and technical support centers. Emmanuel was a key member of the Baja Broadband and MaxxSouth Broadband operations, where he was instrumental in the implementation and preservation of the LMC vision at the middle-management level.

“We are excited to welcome Valerie and Emmanuel, the next generation of LMC talent, to our leadership team,” said Peter Kahelin, LMC’s Founding Partner and Chairman. “We are confident the expertise and energy they bring to LMC will add to the successes we’ve already experienced in the telecommunications arena, worldwide.”

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Last Mile Communications Announces the Completion of its Management Partnering Project at MaxxSouth Broadband

PRESS RELEASE

NEWTOWN, Conn., (April 3, 2018) — On April 1, Last Mile Communications, LLC (LMC), the international telecommunications management partnering and consulting firm, announced it has added another success to its portfolio, as it completed its three-and-a-half-year management partnering project at MaxxSouth Broadband, an asset acquired by Block Communications, Inc. (BCI) in late 2014.

BCI acquired the broadband asset from Harron Communications. LMC assisted BCI during the acquisition process and took on the management partnering responsibilities of the new entity, MaxxSouth Broadband, upon the completion of the transaction on November 7, 2014. The new company quickly established itself as the area’s premier broadband provider within the 65 communities it currently serves.

“It was our honor to team with BCI, an iconic privately-held United States communications and media firm founded over 115 years ago. One of their key operations within our industry is Buckeye Broadband, a premier cable TV and broadband provider serving the Toledo, Ohio area for over 50 years,” said LMC’s Founding Partner & Chairman, Peter Kahelin.

To ensure BCI’s return on investment in their new venture, LMC assigned five of its key executives to lead the MaxxSouth project, working closely with the local team. Kahelin stated, “LMC’s industry expertise and experience helped deliver strong company growth, best-in-class technical services and customer care, a strong community presence and brand name, and the ability to fully transition the operation into the BCI environment upon LMC’s exit from the project.”

Kahelin added, “We are proud of what LMC and the local team at MaxxSouth accomplished over the three and a half years. Everything came together in a way seldom seen in the business, as we far exceeded all industry metrics. We successfully moved into the 1 Gigabit internet era, launched the locally renowned 24-hour regional sports network, MaxxSouth Sports, and became a key player in supporting programs and organizations within the communities the company serves.”

Today, MaxxSouth Broadband’s service area for its Video, High-Speed Internet and Digital Voice platform stretches more than 200 miles offering services in 23 counties and 65 communities within northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has more than 92,000 broadband customers and its network passes over 114,000 homes.

Kahelin stated, “The team of professionals at MaxxSouth are well poised to join forces with the BCI team to continue the successes created during LMC’s tenure. We are proud of the local team and know we are passing on to Allan Block, BCI’s esteemed Chairman and industry pioneer, one heck of a solid organization. We are honored to have played a part in BCI’s storied legacy.”

As LMC bids farewell to MaxxSouth, the five LMC executives that led this effort will now take a well-deserved respite. In the near future, these executives will take on key roles within opportunities LMC is currently reviewing with other broadband operators and institutional investors.

About Last Mile Communications, LLC (LMC)

Last Mile Communications, LLC (LMC), is a renowned international telecommunications management partnering and consulting firm with its operational headquarters in Newtown, Connecticut (United States), and satellite headquarters in London, England and Bucharest, Romania. For more information, visit www.lastmile.net

 

Contact for More Information: 

Ivelisse Cruz
Phone: 203-491-7740 (United States)
E-mail: ivelisse.cruz@lastmile.net
Web: http://lastmile.net/

Block Communications to Acquire Ripley Video Cable

TOLEDO, OHIO (September 1, 2017) Block Communications, Inc., a 117-year-old diversified media holding company with telecommunications operations in northern Mississippi and Alabama, serving customers through its MaxxSouth Broadband subsidiary, announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Ripley Video Cable, a cable and broadband services provider in north-central Mississippi.

Ripley Video Cable provides cable television, high-speed internet and digital voice services to residential and commercial customers in the towns of Ripley, Blue Mountain, Falkner and Pine Grove, all within Tippah County, Mississippi.

Allan Block, Chairman of Block Communications We are a family-owned company operating in the cable business since 1965, and so we well recognize the hard work Leon and Diane Bailey, owners of Ripley Video Cable, have done over the years to provide excellent, local customer service. The Baileys’ unparalleled contribution to the cable TV and broadband industry within Mississippi will live on through our MaxxSouth operation because we share a common vision: To be good corporate citizens by giving back to our communities in ways that enhance their quality of life.”

Peter Kahelin, MaxxSouth Broadband President and CEO said, “MaxxSouth will continue Ripley Video Cable’s tradition of outstanding, local customer service and community support, which made the company a staple in the towns they serve Kahelin and his team in Mississippi have led MaxxSouth since 2014, building a record of successful broadband operations, support for community organizations, and dedicated customer service in the long tradition of Block-owned businesses.

Kahelin added, “I am honored to welcome Ripley Video Cable to our MaxxSouth family. Their almost 50-year history as a local business and their dedication to improving the lives of the people in the Mississippi communities they serve is what makes Ripley Video Cable such a perfect fit for us.” In the nearly three years MaxxSouth has operated in Mississippi and Alabama, it has upgraded its physical plant to provide higher and more reliable internet speeds, expanded its video offerings, and improved its retail stores to create a much more pleasant and welcoming experience for its customers.

“My wife Diane and I are confident that Block Communications, through its MaxxSouth Broadband leadership, will serve our communities with a strong commitment to excellence and will carry on our customer-oriented philosophy”, said Leon Bailey, Jr., of Ripley Video Cable. “We are proud to pass the torch on to another family-owned company that enjoys a long, successful history in the telecommunications industry.”

Jodi Miehls, Block Communications Executive Vice President of Finance and CFO added “This acquisition further advances Block Communications’ broadband growth and geographical diversification strategy that was put in motion with the 2014 purchase of the former Harron Communications (MetroCast) properties in Mississippi and Alabama, now operating as MaxxSouth

“We now look forward to investing in the future of Ripley Video Cable and its customers by, among other things, upgrading the network and offering a wider selection of video channels, faster internet connections and a complete suite of advanced business service”, concluded Allan Block.

The transaction is expected to close during the last quarter of 2017, upon regulatory approvals. Last Mile Communications, LLC (LMC) and Milestone Communications, Inc., served as the exclusive advisors to Block Communications, Inc./MaxxSouth Broadband and Ripley Video Cable, respectively.

About Block Communications, Inc. (BCI)

Block Communications is a 117-year-old privately held diversified media company headquartered in Toledo, Ohio with operations in cable television/broadband, commercial telecommunications, newspaper publishing and television broadcasting. The company owns and operates Buckeye Broadband, its cable system serving the Toledo and Sandusky, Ohio metropolitan areas, and Buckeye Telesystem, its facilities-based commercial telecommunications business serving commercial customers primarily in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. In addition, Block Communications publishes two daily metropolitan newspapers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, each of which is the dominant newspaper publication in its market. The company also owns and operates multiple television broadcast stations, among other businesses. For more information, visit www.blockcommunications.com.

About MaxxSouth Broadband

MaxxSouth Broadband’s service area for video, high-speed internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 61 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. Operating as a subsidiary of Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com.

Last Mile Communications, LLC (LMC)

Last Mile Communications, LLC, a management partnering and consulting firm based in Newtown, CT, served as exclusive advisors to Block Communications, Inc. and MaxxSouth Broadband. For more information, visit www.lastmile.net.

Milestone Communications, Inc.

Milestone Communications, Inc., a brokerage and consulting services company in Castle Pines, CO, was the Ripley Video Cable advisor for this transaction. For more information, visit www.milestonecomminc.com.

 

Media Contact:

Jodi L. Miehls

419-724-6257

jmiehls@toledoblade.com

Last Mile Communications (LMC) Announces The Retirement of One of Its Founding Partners & CEO

PRESS RELEASE

Last Mile Communications, LLC (LMC), the renowned international telecommunications management partnering and consulting firm headquartered in Newtown, Connecticut (United States), with satellite headquarters in London, England and Bucharest, Romania, announced the pending retirement of one of its Founding Partners and CEO, Peter Kahelin.

Mr. Kahelin, an almost 40-year veteran of the cable TV/broadband industry, formed LMC with another long-time industry leader, Bruce Fogelstrom, back in 1999.  The firm houses a diverse stable of industry professionals with expertise in all areas of the business, teaming with many of the industry’s prominent investors, lending institutions and operators.

Kahelin stated, “It has been an honor to serve within the cable TV/broadband industry, which has treated me so well for almost forty years.  During that time, I have had the privilege to work in more than forty countries for some of the most amazing organizations.  I also have had the honor to work alongside some of the industry's best leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.  To be honest, I would not change a thing.  The industry and all the people I have associated with have been my inspiration.  I just hope I have given back as much as has been so kindly given to me over the years.” 

Bruce Fogelstrom, LMC’s Managing & Founding Partner and President stated, “Peter and I met in the mid-1990’s and our working collaboration started as a close and successful one, so much in fact we decided to start our own firm.  For nearly two decades we have worked side-by-side successfully covering partnerships and projects across the globe, with Peter being the workhorse on the frontline and I pulling things together behind the scenes.  It’s truly been a successful formula for us and the many partners and clients we have teamed up with over the years.” 

Kahelin will be stepping down as LMC’s CEO during the 4th quarter of this year and will no longer have a day-to-day association with the company.  The transition process will see Peter and Bruce work closely with Randy Santiago (LMC’s Associate Partner & Chief Operating Officer – the Americas) and the rest of the LMC Partners & Team to ensure they select who among them will take on the role of CEO going forward, to guarantee the ongoing success of the company, its partners and clients.

Although Mr. Kahelin will no longer occupy an active management position within LMC, he will stay on as its Non-Executive Chairman, advising the company.

Adrian Arghiropol, LMC’s Senior Associate Partner & Chief Operating Officer (COO) for LMC’s operations out of Europe stated, “Peter was one of the industry’s pioneers when the cable TV/broadband business started its development in Europe and Eastern Europe during the late 1980’s and throughout the 1990’s.  In fact, LMC was born through its initial work done in these regions.  It will be our honor to ensure LMC’s legacy, that Peter helped develop, continues to thrive after his departure.  Our Team is deep with talent and we will move forward, without missing a step!”

Most recently, Kahelin’s primary focus has been as CEO & President of MaxxSouth Broadband in LMC’s Management Partnership Assignment with Block Communications, Inc. (BCI), one of the United States premiere broadband operators for more than 50 years.  BCI acquired MaxxSouth in November of 2014 from MetroCast (Harron Communications).  MaxxSouth Broadband quickly established itself as the area’s premiere broadband provider within the 61 communities it currently serves.  Richard Zorin, LMC’s Senior Associate Partner & Chief Technology Officer (CTO), who is also working in the MaxxSouth project, has worked with Mr. Kahelin for more than 30 years.  Zorin stated, “As long as I have known Peter he has been tuned into the business at hand 24 by 7.  He will be a hard act to follow.  However, I have been in this industry for more than 40 years and it’s clear to me that the current talent within LMC is poised to carry on LMC’s successful, deep and committed work ethos.”

Kahelin stated, “In the coming months, I will be stepping away from the only true occupation I have known.  To those that know me, this decision does not come as a surprise, as over the past few years they have seen my energy and passion for the business increasingly being passed onto others, hoping they too will revere the industry that has been my true love affair for nearly three quarters of my life.  Thus, the time has come for me to retire and relax a bit, improve upon my inconsistent golf game and focus on family.” 

Kahelin admitted he does not take this move lightly as he will miss the excitement, the drive to succeed and the fine people he has associated with. 

Peter closed by saying, “To be truthful, I am more excited than ever about LMC’s future, as we have a great mix of extremely talented, energetic and inspired international leaders ready to take the company into the next stage of its legacy.It’s time for me to step aside and pass the torch, and for them to take the reins and lead LMC into its ensuing phase of accomplishments and successes.Hence, although it’s always hard to walk away from something you love, the timing is perfect, as LMC could not be in better hands with Bruce and the rest of the Team leading the way.”

Contact for More Information:

Ivelisse Cruz, LMC’s Chief Strategy Officer (CSO)

203-491-7740 (United States)

ivelisse.cruz@lastmile.net

http://lastmile.net/

MaxxSouth Broadband completes expansion of 1 Gigabit internet

OXFORD, Miss. (August 3, 2017)—Just in time for the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University students to return, MaxxSouth Broadband finalized the upgrade of its network to provide up to 1 Gigabit internet broadband services to all of Oxford and to Starkville’s surrounding areas. This upgrade will provide students and these communities with significant speed increases, enabling residents to connect to the internet faster.

Using Docsis 3.1 technology, combined with the existing fiber-to-the-home services that MaxxSouth launched last year, the company now offers all Oxford residents and numerous Starkville areas access to 1 Gigabit internet speeds. The service is dramatically faster than the average speed of internet connection in the country and is available at a competitive price.

“This upgrade is a game-changer for Oxford’s and Starkville’s residents, students and faculty members,” said Peter Kahelin, President and CEO of MaxxSouth. “Investing in infrastructures that provide state-of-the-art broadband services to cities that house important academic institutions is critical to support the development and future of these communities.”

The company also announced that the towns of Bruce, Calhoun City, Derma, Houston and Vardaman now have access to the 1 Gigabit internet broadband service, as part of MaxxSouth’s network enhancements.

Internet speeds at 1 Gigabit represent a download capability of 1,000 Megabits. With the average internet speed in the U.S., downloading a two-hour high definition movie would take about 30 minutes. Using a 1 Gigabit internet service, that same download would take less than a minute.

“MaxxSouth Broadband continues to deliver on its commitment to enhance the broadband amenities provided to the communities it serves,” said Kahelin. “We are devoted to continue our expansion of advanced internet, video and telephony services into other communities throughout central and northern Mississippi. The ultimate goal is that the 61 municipalities that comprise our coverage area will have access to these new technologies.”

Kahelin went on to say that the company’s broadband network upgrades will continue later this year and into the future. He also invites all Mississippi residents to experience the 1 Gigabit service at the new MaxxSouth retail location at 1901 Jackson Ave. West Oxford.

About MaxxSouth Broadband:

MaxxSouth Broadband’s service area for video, high-speed internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 61 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 85,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com

MaxxSouth Hosts a Grand Opening for Its All New Retail Center in Louisville

MaxxSouth is proud to announce the grand opening of the Louisville Retail Center was a huge success! This retail center has been much needed by the community of Louisville. If the residents needed assistance with their bill and wanted to speak with someone in person, they had to travel to Starkville. With the opening of the Louisville Retail Center, they can now receive a hassle free experience.

With the growing success of MaxxSouth Broadband, the upgrades and expansions are a way for the company to say thank you to each of the residents. Former Senator Giles Ward and the entire Louisville Chamber of Commerce showed their support at the event. While there, the attendees got to experience first hand MaxxSouth’s products and services at the state of the art experience table.

You will be able to find the new retail center at 15561 West Main Street Suite C in Louisville. MaxxSouth invites everyone to come by and see what all the hype is about!

Grand Opening Held for MaxxSouth’s Newly Renovated Retail Center in Forest

MaxxSouth Broadband hosted a grand opening for it’s newly renovated retail center in Forest, MS on July 12th. The new facility boasts a more modern décor and state of the art experience table for customers to try out MaxxSouth’s products and services.

MaxxSouth has grown significantly over the past two years, allowing the company to focus more on improvements and customer experience. The original office that was in Forest was very out dated and out of the way for customers to find. This new location will be easier to access with a lot more parking to make it more convenient for the customers.

City Officials such as Mayor Nancy Chambers, Director of Forest Area Chamber of Commerce Allyce Lott, Representative Tom Miles, and Senator Terry Burton attended the event. Tonya Thompson, MaxxSouth’s Regional General Manager, was also in attendance.

The new store location is at 826 Woodland Drive North (Highway 35). MaxxSouth invites all of Forest to come be a part of it’s continuing progress!

MaxxSouth: Think Local, Act Like a National

SOURCE: Alison Diana, UBB2020.com

It may be a lot smaller than main competitor AT&T, but MaxxSouth Broadband expects its combined investment in DOCSIS 3.1, FTTH-powered gigabit service and a big local presence will make it the provider of choice to the region’s residential and commercial customers.

The company, a subsidiary of family-owned Block Communications Inc. , entered this region in November 2014 with about 101 employees. Over this time, it’s consolidated once disparate networks into one larger piece of infrastructure, allowing MaxxSouth to centrally control, manage and maintain the network. Headcount now tops 250.

UBB2020 recently spoke with Peter Kahelin, MaxxSouth Broadband president and CEO, to discuss the operator’s technology decisions, new revenue opportunities and the role it plays in the community. Following is an edited version of that conversation.

UBB2020: Could you briefly describe MaxxSouth Broadband?

Peter Kahelin: They bought the operations from MetroCast. We run as a subsidiary, separate but we all share between each other. We operate in Mississippi and [part of] Alabama as well. We have 61 communities here in Mississippi.

UBB2020: What prompted you to invest in your infrastructure?

PK: Let’s face it, we’re a small operator. We’re not Comcast. We’re not one of the big players. For a small operator today, to make that investment, is a big deal. All our 61 communities are hooked together on one network, spread out literally from north to south. It’s close to a six-hour drive north to south and a four-hour drive east to west. They’re all hooked up on one network.

We saw the need to need to invest in our networks, especially the advanced side, because let’s face it, the world is going IP and we know that. That’s what we want to be, first and forefront, making sure our networks are state-of-the-art and the best you can get in all our communities on the IP side. Two, we had to protect our back yards. A lot of good people put a lot of good work to build these operations and do the right thing by our customers; and [the right thing] was to give them state-of-the-art services, especially on the Internet side.

UBB2020: This is a big investment. What was the impetus behind this decision?

PK: We work hard to run a smart operation. — smart economically, good service; we pride ourselves on being local, compared to the AT&Ts and other companies. Everything is done locally, all the decisions are made locally here, but the decision was an expensive one — to go DOCSIS 3.1 or GPON fiber-to-the-home — but we’re doing a mix of both. We know we have to build out fiber as time goes on in all our networks, but the whole goal was to treat our customers right and protect that backyard, and make sure we could bring 1-gig services on the Internet side to all our customers.

UBB2020: What is the timeframe?

PK: We’ve deployed it in a good chunk of our operations now, and we have more turn-ons as the months progress. The one big turn-on we have coming up will be done in early July, and that’ll be done in Oxford [Mississippi]. It’s where Old Miss is, the big university, and that’s one of our bigger towns. We’ll be 100% turned on in Oxford by early, early July. That’s in time for the school season, when the kids come in for classes in August.

And then we’ll start deploying 1 gig throughout the rest of our systems, and those are the most rural areas, over the coming months. We’ve already started in some areas, deploying 1 gig. The whole goal is to get this rolled out during 2017 and 2018 to make sure 100% of our people have 1 gig.

UBB2020: What impact does ultra-broadband have on your ability to drive new revenue and services?

PK: Increasing our fiber and infrastructure has helped us on the business side. Traditionally, especially, small organizations or rural cable organizations or broadband organizations have not done much with businesses. That’s primarily because, in the old days, cable operations were built in the residential communities and we would avoid Main Street, primarily because they weren’t going to buy our residential services. It was tougher to put cable down main streets. As we expand, we are attacking the main streets. We’re bringing fiber down the main streets or the business streets, and the industrial parks.

By running fiber to all these communities and hooking them up via fiber, we are able to bring Internet, phone and other services they’d never have gotten because they were just too small so we turned a small community into a big network. With that, we also expanded our fiber to go into business areas. Now that business side or commercial side is growing dramatically since we’ve been here. We’re seeing almost 200% growth on the commercial side. We were small before but we have a large force of commercial salespeople out there working, so that’s a big revenue source. The other thing I should mention is that since we’ve been here — and we’ve only been here about two and a half years — we’ve grown our high-speed Internet product by about 40% and we’ve grown our voice product by close to 100%. It shows that, yes, it is a big expensive investment but our customers or potential customers see us as the provider of choice, primarily because we are investing in that infrastructure. We’re growing residentially and we’re growing commercially.

UBB2020: And you’re opening up brand new markets too, right?

PK: Because we are growing commercially, we have a pretty vast fiber network we can use as transport for other companies. We have some companies looking to us to transport from one factory to another or from a hospital to a hospital; you know, IP data. This is stuff this company couldn’t have done four, five, six, 10 years ago because we weren’t in interconnected.

The Block family, BCI, saw we were growing quickly on our Internet and voice services, both in commercial and residential, and this investment – although expensive — was to protect the back-end we already have, because competition is heavy, but also to expand into parts of the business to have deeper penetration of our services than ever before. And it’s paid off. I don’t think many companies grew 40% on their Internet product over the past two years and I doubt many companies on the voice side have grown by almost 100%.

UBB2020: Was there a big investment in training for this deployment?

PK: On the technical side, yes, it’s changed. Through training and hard work, our people have had to learn how to install the 1-gig product, handle fiber to the home, which has some significant differences — although at the end of the day, it’s still delivering a signal. There’s been a lot of training and a lot of education of our technical people to support this and additional staff.
UBB2020: What is the competitive landscape? PK: AT&T is our main competition in most of our markets. There are some local co-ops that have reached out and gotten government funding, free funding, to enhance their networks and are working to build them to 1-gig as well, so they can be competitive. And of course C-Spire, a solid company that’s been one of the key cell phone operators that’s been trying to get into the broadband business in some of the areas and have done a good job on the commercial side. That’s made it one of the most competitive markets that we’ve worked in.

MaxxSouth Broadband Expands 1 Gigabit Internet Service in Oxford

OXFORD, Miss. (April 24, 2017)— MaxxSouth Broadband leaps into the future with a brand new DOCSIS 3.1 technology upgrade in Oxford. Combined with existing fiber-to-the-home technology that was launched last year, the company will soon offer all Oxford residents access to 1 Gigabit Internet speeds.

“DOCSIS 3.1 is the latest in digital communication technologies,” Peter Kahelin, MaxxSouth Broadband president and CEO said. “The new network will allow for download speeds up to 1 Gigabit in all communities within Oxford. These speeds are dramatically faster than the average speed of Internet connection in the United States.”

1 Gigabit Internet speeds represent a download capability of 1,000 Megabits. With a 1 Gigabit connection, a customer can download a two-hour HD movie in about 25 seconds. The same movie would take 32 minutes to download on a standard 20 Megabit Internet connection.

“Most of our customers in Oxford have Internet speeds of about 60 Megabits per second,” Kahelin said. “The DOCSIS 3.1, along with our current fiber-to-the home technology, will allow us to offer speeds that are up to 16 times faster than the average connection in the city. Higher speeds will benefit students, businesses and residential communities alike.”

The deployment of the new MaxxSouth Broadband DOCSIS 3.1 technology will begin early summer of this year, with all Oxford communities having access to the service by the end of July. Kahelin added that all University of Mississippi students will be able to enjoy the new 1 Gigabit Internet speeds upon their return for the fall semester.

About MaxxSouth Broadband:

MaxxSouth Broadband’s service area for video, high-speed Internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 61 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 85,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com

MaxxSouth Broadband contributes $565,000 to Mississippi State University Libraries

STARKVILLE, Miss. (March 27, 2017)— MaxxSouth Broadband increased its support to Mississippi State University (MSU) by committing an additional $565,000 in monetary contributions to the school’s library Digital Media Center and Rare Books Collection.

Earlier this month, MaxxSouth made its first payment of $440,000 towards the library’s Digital Media Center fund. As a show of appreciation for the recent donation agreement, the Mitchell Memorial Library will name the new center the MaxxSouth Broadband Digital Media Center.

“It is an honor to have MaxxSouth’s name on MSU’s new Digital Media Center,” said Peter Kahelin, president and CEO of MaxxSouth Broadband. “We are always thrilled to help promote and expand interactive academia in our communities; the donation will benefit not only current, but future MSU students and generations to come.”

The new Digital Media Center will be triple the size of the previous one. The center will be filled with new and enhanced features, such as a high-end television production studio—the studio will partner with MSU’s broadcast communications department— and a “One Button Studio,” or audio recording booth. It will also gain a makerspace, where tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters and other technological devices will be available for general use.

“These enhancements will provide additional services that will improve the teaching, learning and research opportunities for our students and faculty,” said Stephen Cunetto, associate dean of University Libraries at MSU. “These services can and will be used by most disciplines and will become the place for creating, teaching and learning the latest digital tools and technologies. Students will be able to record a presentation or interview in our easy-to-use One Button Studio, or do prototyping with the 3D printers in our new makerspace.”

In addition to the contributions made toward the newly named MaxxSouth Broadband Digital Media Center, the company joined with Mr. John Robinson Block, Vice Chairman of Block Communications, Inc., parent company to MaxxSouth, to donate $125,000 to the MaxxSouth Broadband and John Robinson Block Special Collections Excellence Fund at the Mississippi State University Library. Their combined efforts make this fund possible.

The funds will be used to acquire, maintain, display and make available the rare books and manuscripts in the special collections department in the MSU library.

“MSU is an incredible university providing great resources for the students in our community,” said Kahelin. “We are proud to contribute in any way towards the education of these bright young minds.”

MaxxSouth has been a longtime supporter and contributor to MSU and MSU Libraries. In 2016, they entered into a support agreement with the libraries valued at $750,000, in addition to an earlier donation of a rare and valuable Mississippi law books collection.

The company will be recognized at the Dean W. Colvard Founders level within the Legacy of Leadership program, which is the major giving society for MSU. The Colvard Founders recognizes lifetime donors who donate $1,000,000 to $4,999,999 in support of the university.

About MaxxSouth Broadband:

MaxxSouth Broadband’s service area for video, high-speed Internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 61 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 85,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com

MaxxSouth Broadband Launches Expansion of its 1 Gigabit Internet Technology to Starkville’s Surrounding Areas

STARKVILLE, Miss. (March 13, 2017)— MaxxSouth Broadband announced over the weekend the ongoing expansion of its broadband services to provide up to 1 Gigabit internet technology to Starkville’s surrounding areas. This latest upgrade, scheduled to launch first in the Highlands Plantation community east of Starkville, will be completed in early spring of this year.

“MaxxSouth Broadband is committed to invest in technologies that enhance the quality of life in the communities we live in,” said MaxxSouth Broadband President and CEO, Peter Kahelin. “Our goal is to continue to provide internet speeds that are vastly faster than the average speed of connection in the United States, as well as diverse and exciting video content and affordable telephony services.”

Kahelin went on to describe that the average 20 Megabit internet speeds would take 32 minutes to download a two-hour HD movie; however, with 1 Gigabit internet speeds that same download would take about 25 seconds.

“These ongoing network upgrades come as an expansion of our current Gigabit services in the city of Starkville,” Kahelin stated. “Improved speeds will tremendously benefit students, businesses and residents in the county areas.”

Highlands Plantation is a planned residential student community consisting of over 225 rental properties in 600 acres of land, located less than 2 miles from the east entrance to Mississippi State University.

“Not only are we committed to extending this 1 Gigabit network to new areas surrounding Starkville, but also we will continue our expansion of these advanced internet, video and telephony services into other communities throughout central and northern Mississippi. Upgrades will be made later this year and into the future,” said Kahelin. “We are excited about the enhanced triple-play services we currently offer, but we are looking to ultimately grant access to the newest technologies to everyone in the 61 municipalities that comprise our coverage area.”

About MaxxSouth Broadband:

MaxxSouth Broadband’s service area for video, high-speed internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 61 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 85,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com

MaxxSouth Broadband Reaches over $990,000 in Community Contributions

Oxford, Miss. (January 9, 2017)—MaxxSouth Broadband’s total commitment in sponsorships, advertisements, support and charitable contributions to Mississippi communities over the past 12 months has reached a value of $991,631.48.

The telecommunications company works closely with numerous non-profit and community organizations to determine their specific needs and potential opportunities to contribute. MaxxSouth aims to serve and advance the community its employees live and work in.

“Our employees, myself included, are members of the communities we serve in,” said Peter Kahelin, President and CEO of MaxxSouth Broadband. “We’re strongly driven to give back to the communities we call home. MaxxSouth is committed to continually finding opportunities to serve our family, friends, and neighbors.”

MaxxSouth was especially involved this past year with Mississippi State University (MSU). In February, the company offered a donation of rare and valuable Mississippi law books to MSU libraries, and in April, MaxxSouth entered into a $750,000 support agreement with the university.

A unique event for 2016 was the Amory Railroad Festival featuring MaxxSouth’s American Idol Season Finale Viewing Party to support the Amory-native contestant, Trent Harmon. The viewing party, along with the two MSU donations, made up three of MaxxSouth’s largest contributions this year.

Other events that benefited from MaxxSouth’s sponsorships and in-kind advertising this year included the Pickwick Lake Catch-A-Dream Bass Classic, Carthage Oktoberfest, the Oxford EDF Golf Classic, the Tallahatchie Riverfest, the Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show, the Holiday Marketplace, the Comic and Toy Show and many more. Many of these events gave a portion of their earnings to charities and local non-profits.

MaxxSouth has also made donations and gave complimentary broadband services to organizations throughout Mississippi. Newton County’s three public libraries received Internet services from MaxxSouth this summer, and monetary contributions were given to Neshoba County Allies for Education, Starkville Saints Youth Football League, the Oxford High Science Olympiad Team and more.

“We are excited to connect with our local communities even more in 2017,” added Kahelin, President and CEO of MaxxSouth Broadband. “We love being part of a strong community and take pride in helping it flourish in any way we can.”

To find out more about MaxxSouth’s local contributions, visit their Community First website at http://CommunityFirst.MaxxSouth.com

About MaxxSouth Broadband:

MaxxSouth Broadband’s service area for video, high-speed Internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 60 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 84,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com

MaxxSouth Opens Sixth New Retail Center in Mississippi This Year

New Albany, Miss. (December 19, 2016)— MaxxSouth Broadband is opening a new retail center in New Albany, Mississippi today; this is the sixth new center opened in Mississippi this year.

“Our efforts are focused on improving the customer experience,” said Peter Kahelin, CEO at  MaxxSouth Broadband. “This new location, along with many of the others we have opened  recently, will bring us face-to-face with the local customer base.”

The New Albany center will be located at 312 Park Plaza Drive, by the Walmart. In the past few months, MaxxSouth opened five other new retail centers in Amory, Philadelphia, Houston, Louisville and Forest.

By the first quarter of 2017, MaxxSouth will expand their presence to Red Bay, Alabama with a brand new retail center. This will not only be the first retail center in the Red Bay area, but also the first retail center in Alabama. Around this time, MaxxSouth is also planning to open a brand new, larger retail center in Oxford, just off Jackson Avenue W.

“These retail centers will allow current and potential customers to experience MaxxSouth services firsthand,” said Karen Mowery, local Director of Customer Care. “With our own state-of-the-art experience” table, customers can try out our high-speed Internet services on laptops and iPads or test our unlimited digital phone services. They can also enjoy our HDTV services while waiting to be serviced.”

MaxxSouth Broadband has doubled its employees in the past two years, allowing for a greater focus on improvements in customer service and experience. The telecommunications company is making statewide efforts to improve the customer experience by making major improvements and renovations in existing retail centers in addition to the new offices.

“We have completely remodeled the inside of current offices to give customers the full high-tech experience that MaxxSouth offers,” Mowery said. “With these new improvements and expansions into new locations, we can increase our presence in these communities and provide better services to each of our customers.”

About MaxxSouth Broadband:

MaxxSouth Broadband’s service area for video, high-speed Internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 60 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 83,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com.

MaxxSouth Broadband receives “Best of Oxford—Readers’ Choice” Award

Oxford, MS (July 8, 2016) – The Oxford Eagle has recognized MaxxSouth Broadband as “Best of Oxford—Readers’ Choice” for June 2016.

A telecommunications company, MaxxSouth Broadband services digital phone, high-speed Internet and video for 20 counties and 60 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama.

“It really is an honor to receive such a recognition,” said Evan Ricks, Public Relations Coordinator for MaxxSouth. “We are proud to service our communities in the best way possible!”

The recognition highlights the hard work MaxxSouth has put into building the best options for video, Internet and telephone services in the Oxford area, Ricks added.

“The dedication of the team at MaxxSouth has truly paid off for our customers,” Ricks said. “MaxxSouth consistently strives to provide the best possible services in our communities.”

About MaxxSouth Broadband:

MaxxSouth Broadband service area for video, high-speed Internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 60 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 80,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com.

Ribbon Cutting Held for New MaxxSouth Office Opening in Philadelphia

MaxxSouth Broadband proudly unveiled a newer, sleeker, and more modern Philadelphia office on Tuesday, April 19th. MaxxSouth staff, local officials, chamber personnel, and local business owners all gathered to officially open and tour the new location. Some features of this new facility, located at 110 Canal Place, include a modern lounge area, dual large screen HD televisions, and an iPad, laptop, and phone display for customers to sample all of MaxxSouth Broadband’s services.

“One of the things MaxxSouth prides itself in is community involvement,” Tonya Thompson, MaxxSouth’s General Manager for the region, said at the event. “Part of that involvement includes making the company more visible, and this is just one way in which to do that.”

MaxxSouth invites everyone to stop by and check out the new location for themselves!

MaxxSouth Broadband Announces Six-figure Support Agreement with Mississippi State University

Starkville, MS (April 13, 2016) – MaxxSouth Broadband — a provider of high-speed Internet, cable
TV and phone services in northern Mississippi – has committed gift-in kind support to the
Mississippi State University Foundation valued at $750,000 as part of the company’s continued
commitment to higher education in the region.

As part of the support agreement, MaxxSouth Broadband will provide advertising and other
services to MSU Libraries and to a variety of other programs at the university over a three-year
period. This support will provide for a positive impact not only to the students enrolled at MSU,
but to the Mississippi community in general that benefit from the various programs that MSU
and MSU Libraries provide to local residents.

“Universities play such an important role in society, so we feel it is our duty to give back,” said
Peter Kahelin, President and CEO of MaxxSouth Broadband. “The purpose of our support to the
Mississippi State University Foundation is to maintain and enhance the academic excellence for
which this fine institution is known for, and the benefits they bring to the Mississippi
community as a whole.”

The impetus for the latest gift was the generous February donation of a major collection of
rare, early Mississippi law books to the MSU Libraries Special Collections Department by John
Robinson Block, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade,
which, like MaxxSouth, are subsidiaries of Block Communications.

That donation, which means the most extensive collection of Mississippi Territory imprints
published prior to 1817 are now housed at Mississippi State University, opened the door to
further conversations about MaxxSouth support.

“MaxxSouth and Block Communications, Inc., with their generous contributions, have
demonstrated just how invested they are in the communities in which they operate,” said
Frances Coleman, Dean of Libraries at MSU. “This helps promote our vision of delivering
excellent programs of teaching, research and service.”

As a result, MaxxSouth Broadband will be recognized as a donor into the MSU Foundation’s
Stephen D. Lee Society level within the prestigious Legacy of Leadership.

“It is truly wonderful to see how our relationship has blossomed with MaxxSouth Broadband,”
said Asya Cooley, Director of Development for the MSU Foundation. “This company is a
significant contributor and conscientious steward of our learning environment.”

Through its Community First program, MaxxSouth Broadband has already contributed
thousands of dollars to the areas it services, delivering on the company’s mission to give back
and support its communities in ways that enhance their quality of life.

About MaxxSouth Broadband:

MaxxSouth Broadband service area for video, high-speed Internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 60 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 80,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com