Mediacom group vp Steve Purcell manages the company’s operations in Missouri and Kansas, as well as the bulk of Iowa. That’s no small footprint, especially since his team was largely responsible for making Iowa the nation’s first gigabit state.
The company launched 1 gig service across its entire Iowa footprint, meaning more than 300 communities are passed by its fiber network. “From a technical perspective, it took an awful lot of work from an awful lot of people to get all the engineering in place,” Purcell says.
The payoff was huge though, with Iowa towns with populations as small as 250 people now having that fast connection to compete. For Purcell, it looked like Iowa not only catching up, but also becoming a leader in technology. The gigabit rollout is part of a three-year, $1 billion capital spending plan launched by Mediacom in 2016. “Whether building fiber to connect new businesses, launching community WiFi, or giving Iowa bragging rights as the first gigabit state in the nation, Steve and his team have dedicated themselves to making sure the money we are investing in our communities enriches the lives of the customers we serve,” says Mediacom chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso.
One of the keys of success for Purcell has been his strong communications skills.
“We communicate regularly, whether it’s in staff calls or direct conversations. There’s a general understanding from our viewpoint from top down as well as down up that we need to continue to make sure that we are the leader in broadband speeds if we’re going to continue to be successful as a company,” he says. General conversations often revolve around whether or not Mediacom is stages ahead of what is currently available in the local marketplace when it comes to Internet speeds and broadband services.
Even after propelling Iowa forward as the nation’s first gigabit state, the digital divide remains a major focus for Purcell and his territory. He specifically pointed to Des Moines as a good area for tackling as it has seen a lot of recent residential growth. Because of this, Mediacom has been putting a larger focus on making sure it builds out into the service communities around the city as well as the areas of residential growth.
Of course, growth isn’t limited to Des Moines. “We’re doing some testing on WiFi rollouts and continuing to grow and expand not only our residential services in our marketplaces but also our commercial services,” says Purcell.
But that’s not all. Purcell and his team are also heavily involved in Mediacom Business’ Project Open Road, which involves proactively expanding Mediacom’s fiber and coax networks into new commercial service areas.
Regardless of what’s next, the communication tactics Purcell uses will continue to play a major role in moving his territory forward. As someone who has been working with Mediacom CEO Commisso and evp John Pascarelli for a number of years, Purcell notes there’s a mutual understanding of “work hard and lead ahead.” It’s more than a phrase—it’s a way of life that’s helped drive Purcell’s territory forward and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon.
– Katie Nale