IndEpendent Technology Award
This year’s Independent Technology Award is not so much for technology itself. While it’s admirable that full-service provider GVTC Communications has brought Gigabit service to rural communities north of San Antonio, the technology itself is hardly new. No, Cablefax is honoring GVTC for using Gigabit technology in a creative way.
In June 2014, GVTC joined with the cities of Boerne (population 10,000), Bulverde (5,000) and Gonzales (7,000) on a first-of-its-kind marketing plan to create the GVTC GigaRegion, a 2K-square-mile area covering parts of North San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country and South Central Texas.
With more than 2,200 miles of fiber optic cable deployed throughout the GigaRegion, the hope is that Gigabit service can spur economic activity, revitalizing the area by making it attractive as a place to reside and do business. As GVTC president/CEO Ritchie Sorrells says, the plan is to market the region as “a center of ingenuity and entrepreneurialism.”
The partnership involves a two-year, comprehensive, integrated marketing plan in which GVTC and the three municipalities intend to push the area as a forward-thinking, high-tech environment. Besides offering a fast Internet connection that will facilitate living in smart homes with easy access to networks, energy and security management, and appliance automation, points emphasized in the 60-page marketing manual stress that Gigabit service will “streamline healthcare with enhanced infrastructure for health information technology systems; optimize emergency response communications with faster and more effective service; and provide interactive, collaborative and customized learning environments in schools.”
The hope is that the technology in the GigaRegion will allow these small cities to compete with larger neighbors like San Antonio and Austin for new and relocating industries. In addition, the infrastructure will ensure the area’s long-term viability by keeping the next generation of business leaders from moving away, thus improving the chance for future growth.
GVTC is working closely with the economic development offices, city leaders and chambers of commerce organizations of the GigaRegion to raise awareness of Gigabit service. Tactics have included creation of logos, branding and an ad campaign.
Much of this was laid out last September when GVTC hosted a GigaRegion workshop to distribute branding and lead development tools to its partners. Attendees received a binder containing marketing collateral that each city, chamber and economic development organization can use to promote itself as part of the GigaRegion, illustrating the municipality is on the cutting-edge of technology development. Each city can use the GVTC GigaRegion logo on signage, billboards, websites, etc. The plan also includes a video as well as tactics for social media outreach.
GVTC also is encouraging use of GigaRegion branding for decals on city vehicles; logos on shirts; highway signs; and any other resident, worker or visitor touch points.
Eyes will be on the GVTC and the GigaRegion to see if it can entice businesses with Gigabit service.
– Seth Arenstein
– Fast Facts
– Some 39K homes and businesses, or more than two-thirds of all GVTC customers, have access to one Gigabit service through its fiber network.
– TC’s charitable arm has donated nearly $2mln to causes since its establishment in 2006. GVTC has been selected a Top Fiber 100 to the Home Company for 7 straight years by Broadband Communities Magazine.