Get to know GeoLinks’ Project Coordinator Tania Wiley

Tania Wiley GeoLinks

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

I’m one of GeoLinks’ Project Coordinators. I help both our team and our clients with basically anything and everything that is needed in the sales process. I can be qualifying an address one minute, and the next I can be helping draw up a proposal, updating orders, or sending post-install information to end users.

2. What’s your favorite part about working for GeoLinks?

I love my team, as well as the great work-life balance. Working here, you don’t get shot down when you have questions, and everyone has an open-door policy. I can even go to our C-level management with questions, and they are always willing to genuinely hear me out and answer. Same thing goes for the rest of the team. Also, never a dull moment here…I work with some funny people!

3. Not having a telecom background, what drew you to the industry, and what elements of telecom do you find the most interesting?

I find the ever-changing platforms within the industry, and the way our team adapts and evolves accordingly, incredibly interesting. For example, we recently starting offering SD-WAN. I was able to witness our teams’ brilliant behind-the-scenes R&D transpire into the physical product our sales team now sells daily!

Tania Wiley GeoLinks4. What do you think makes GeoLinks different from its competitors?

The passion, efficiency, and collaborative dedication that each and every member of our team demonstrates daily. For example, GeoLinks provided a free same-day circuit to Red Cross during the recent local wildfires.

5. Outside of work…what is your favorite past time or hobby?

I love kickboxing and Krav Maga. I took a break for a bit but I plan to start back up soon! I’m also a big fan of the entertainment industry, so catching up on the newest shows and movies at home is where you can find me after work. I also enjoy finding new local and unique businesses to support. There is a lot of momentum coming from the younger generations, and it’s exciting!

6. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

Hmm, that’s a hard one. I’m an open book. But I would have to say that I have an extremely eclectic taste in music. Some current genres I’m listening to are classical music, country, and old school hip hop, amongst others.

7. Born and raised in Southern California, what are your top three favorite things about working and Tania Wiley GeoLinks.comliving in Ventura County?

I’ve been lucky to live close to where I work, so the short commute and living near family definitely tops the list. Next I would say is the weather! Lastly, I enjoy the proximity to LA and Santa Barbara County. While nearby, Ventura County still maintains a small town feel which I love. 

8. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

I would go to Paris! It’s been on my bucket list for a while. I would visit Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, and roam the streets eating all the French cuisine I possibly could!

9. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

Hustle hard, stay humble.

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

I’m a person that likes to learn everything about my position no matter what I am doing, so expanding into a Project Manager role would be awesome! Also, I am excited about all the opportunities that arise in this company, and how quickly they can come about; I’m also grateful about all the talent I get to work alongside. I’m an optimist if you can’t tell. The sky’s the limit!

 

Wildfire Technology Innovation Summit

Lessons Learned in San Diego – Panel at California’s First Ever Wildfire Technology Innovation Summit

Moderator:

Jessica Block, Assistant Director of WIFIRE Lab, Qualcomm Institute, UC San Diego

Panelists:

1. Skyler Ditchfield, CEO, GeoLinks

2. Tony Mecham, San Diego Unit Chief, CAL FIRE

3. Brian D’Agostino, Director of Fire Science & Climate Adaptation, SDG&E

4. Graham Kent, Director, Nevada Seismological Lab, University of Nevada-Reno

Should Your Business Invest in SD-WAN?

Should Your Business Invest in SD-WAN? - Geolinks.com

What is SD-WAN, and how can it benefit your business?

To stay competitive in today’s fast-paced digital landscape, organizations must evolve and adapt their internal networks to support the latest and greatest business software and technology.

Enter SD-WAN.

SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) utilizes software to simplify the process of delivering the WAN (Wide Area Network), ultimately making business procedures quicker, more cost-effective, and more reliable. In order to understand why SD-WAN is growing in popularity, let’s take a step back and look at the fundamental network problems the technology addresses and resolves.

The Origins of SD-WAN

To deliver the services and applications necessary to perform key-business functions, multi-location companies utilize WANs to connect remote offices to both each other and centralized data centers. However, when networks are extended over long distances, operational challenges like high jitter, packet loss, network congestion, and outages can occur. To address these issues, IT professionals have been creating and experimenting with redundant telecommunication links since the 1970s.

Fast forward to the early 2000s, and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) became a highly utilized data-carrying technique for high-performance telecommunications networks. However, the reality is that MPLS infrastructure is both expensive and slow to deploy, therefore becoming restrictive to an increasingly impatient society focused on efficiency and rapid expansion. Thus, come 2013 the concept of a “Hybrid WAN” was introduced to the market. By 2014 networking publications started utilizing the term SD-WAN to describe the new networking trend.

With the promise of significant cost and time savings, the enterprise client became the first to employ SD-WAN, ultimately causing the market to perceive the technology as an enterprise-only solution. However, SD-WAN also enables small and medium sized businesses to adopt an upgraded corporate-like infrastructure. Therefore, SD-WAN has become a dynamic solution for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Should Your Business Invest in SD-WAN?

So, what is SD-WAN? SD-WAN is a software-based approach to managing WAN connections to more effectively route all network traffic between headquarters or data centers, remote and branch offices, and the cloud.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. The promise of SD-WAN goes far beyond simply connecting multiple office locations.

SD-WAN…

  • Is less expensive than MPLS drastically driving down operational and capital expenditures.
  • Is software-based and delivered via the cloud allowing for quick enablement of new branches or remote offices.
  • Assures optimal application performance and dynamic multi-path optimization and routing.
  • Gives companies the agility to implement changes quickly to accommodate evolving customer and market trends.
  • Reduces security threats through comprehensive encryption and micro-segmentation, ultimately securing the flow of data.
  • Has a centralized orchestrator that monitors all network activity, alerting branches of problems, and enabling the remote remediation of issues.
  • Delivers real-time analytics and reporting across the entire network.
  • …and More

If all of that seems irrelevant to your business, consider that SD-WAN can benefit your business if…

Your Company Relies Heavily on the Internet

How much money would it cost you if your business was down a couple hours? Now, if the answer is not much, then SD-WAN might not be all that profitable for your business. However, if after 30-minutes of downtime your employees would frantically be driving to the nearest Starbucks to get back online, switching or upgrading to SD-WAN is definitely worth considering.

SD-WAN has the ability to combine multiple Internet connections together to act as one. This means that if one connection fails, SD-WAN can issue automatic failover to your backup connection. That’s right, no need to call up your IT provider, wait for a response, and then get manually switched over to the backup Internet connection. It’s “Internet insurance” in real time. Interested in securing true business continuity and 100% uptime for your business? Check out our blog: Disaster Recovery Plan – The Only Way to Ensure Business Continuity.

Your Business Uses Cloud Applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, Etc.

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen an upstream of organizations leveraging software as a service (SaaS) applications and cloud services from providers such as Google, AWS, and Microsoft Azure. This has caused data traffic patterns to move to the cloud.

Because traditional WAN architectures are not built to support this migration, cloud applications repeatedly encounter extra hops, ultimately wasting bandwidth, increasing costs, and generating higher packet loss and latency.

SD-WAN, on the other-hand, defines policies based on business intent and steers traffic intelligently and securely forgoing additional hops. For example, if the app is hosted somewhere in the cloud, then traffic will be automatically directed to it without backhauling to a POP or HQ data center. By adapting this more agile network infrastructure, businesses will experience overall higher application performance.

Your Business Uses Hosted Voice (VoIP)

Hosted Voice - GeoLinks.com

Imagine the following scenario—you have a very important conference call scheduled for 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. You’ve reviewed all the paperwork, made sure everything is in order, and are ready to go. The call starts off well. Then suddenly, unbeknownst to you, someone in your office starts watching a 4k YouTube video and your call starts to suffer the consequences. The other person on the call becomes gargled. You can’t understand what is being said. You keep saying, “What” and “Can you repeat that? Sorry. You’re breaking up.” Not good.

SD-WAN allows for easy prioritization of traffic. This means that conference calling can always be prioritized over YouTube traffic. This ensures business critical applications, such as voice and video, are never compromised due to off-task coworkers. To learn more about business phone systems check out: From POTS to VoIP – A Look at Today’s Top Phone Systems for Business

So, Should Your Business Switch to SD-WAN?

Today, having a static and inflexible network architecture is no longer plausible for companies that depend on Internet-based applications. From the associated cost of digital downtime, to compromised application and voice performance, ensuring your company’s internal network operations are safeguarded to function seamlessly is essential for success.

Still not sure if SD-WAN is right for your business? Talk to one of GeoLinks’ in-house experts to learn more, and find out if  Your Business Should Invest in SD-WAN.

Should Your Business Invest in SD-WAN? GeoLinks

Get to know Noah Laughon, GeoLinks’ Business Development Representative

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

Business Development Representative. As a GeoLinks’ BDR, I primarily work with and manage our Indirect Sales relationships and partnerships within the Channel and Wholesale.  

2. What’s your favorite product or service that GeoLinks offers?

The product that I am most proud of has to be our ClearFiber™ solution. It has continued to change the way the industry thinks of Fixed Wireless while simultaneously diversifying the market for Internet solutions.

Noah Laughon GeoLinks

3. Outside of work…what is your favorite pastime or hobby?

Spending time with my wife and daughter. Granted, my daughter is only 7 months old, so usually that time is spent on walks, throwing toys out of a basket because she is more interested in the basket itself, and making a mess of pureed sweet potatoes.

4. What’s something that most GeoLinks’ clients might not know about the company?

That we started out of the very small rural community of Ojai, Califonia. It is the reason we care so deeply about bringing broadband into underserved areas across California and America. I never knew about the Digital Divide before working for GeoLinks. The fact that schools and communities are still without high speed internet, is simply shocking to me. I am proud to work for a company who is actively working on closing that divide.

5. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

Probably that I play and write music. It isn’t something I talk about a lot but has been one of my longest hobbies.

6. Do you have any cool or unique client case studies you could share with us?

One of the things I always love to share is how we brought a reliable multi-gigabit circuit to the island of Catalina using Fixed Wireless technology. We were able to accomplish something that no other WISP had been able to do by integrating multiple links for redundancy with automatic failover, over 30+ miles of ocean.

noah laughon geolinks7. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

I would take my family to the Cliffs of Moher and explore Ireland as much as possible. I have a decent amount of Irish heritage but have never been myself. That is something I would love to experience with my wife and daughter.

8. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

“We are what we believe we are” – C.S. Lewis.

We live in a society that is driven by what people think about us and who we are. We develop that as a personal belief about ourselves, and in turn, start to reflect that in our actions and thoughts. If you are able to tune that out, learn who you are, and start believing positive things about yourself, you can go pretty far in life. It is amazing what our opinion of ourselves can do to our lives.

9. What’s your favorite part about being a Business Development Representative?

For me, it is all about the people. I get to build lasting relationships, work with new people, and solve new problems every day. It keeps me on my toes and is never boring!

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

We are a company that moves, adapts, evolves, and pushes hard to close the Digital Divide. So the thing I am most excited for is to continue to be a part of that in any way that I can.

Are you a wholesaler or do you work with a master agency? If so, connect with Noah directly by calling 805-640-5560 or emailing him at [email protected] 

Connect America Fund Making Federal Dollars Work for California

Presented at CENIC’s 2019 Annual Conference.

SPEAKER:

Skyler Ditchfield, Co-Founder and CEO, GeoLinks

ABOUT:

The Connect America Fund Phase II Auction (CAF II) was created by the Federal Communications Commission to distribute federal grant dollars to enable broadband infrastructure buildout to rural areas of the country that lack basic broadband services. In August 2018, GeoLinks was awarded approx. $88 Million to deploy high-speed broadband network facilities to eligible areas in California and Nevada (to be distributed over 10 years). In this discussion, GeoLinks’ CEO, Skyler Ditchfield, will discuss the CAF II application process, awarded areas, and opportunities for creating synergies between CAF II and other broadband grant programs. He will also discuss possible pain points and policy changes needed to streamline deployment and ensure CAF II funding is used as efficiently as possible to connect unserved Americans.

Invisible Infrastructure Connecting Rural and Unserved Areas via Spectrum

Presented at CENIC’s 2019 Annual Conference.

SPEAKERS:

Melissa Slawson, General Counsel and VP of Government Affairs and Education, GeoLinks | Louis Fox, President and CEO, CENIC | Rachelle Chong, Attorney/Lobbyist, Law Office of Rachelle Chong | Luis Wong, CEO, K-12 High Speed Network

ABOUT:

Millions of Americans still lack access to high-speed broadband service, especially in rural areas. According to data collected by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), as of the end of 2016, more than 500,000 households were without access to internet service of at least 6 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload, the minimum threshold for high-speed service in California. This is due largely to the costs associated with building fiber networks to these unserved areas. Wireless services may provide cost-effective solutions and bring much-needed high-speed access to these communities and the anchor institutions that serve them. This panel will explore the role of spectrum-based wireless technologies (i.e. fixed wireless) in closing the digital divide; the benefits to various industry segments and success stories using this technology; and what spectrum policy changes are needed to promote this kind of connectivity at both the federal and state levels.

 

Strategies for Addressing the Broadband Digital Divide

Strategies for Addressing the Broadband Digital Divide

Presented at CENIC’s 2019 Annual Conference.

Featured Speakers:

Skyler Ditchfield, Co-Founder and CEO, GeoLinks | Louis Fox, CEO and President, CENIC | Matt Rantanen, Director of Technology, Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association | Sunne Wright McPeak, CEO, California Emerging Technology Fund | Steven Huter, Director, Network Startup Resource Center, University of Oregon

About:

A recent article in the New York Times titled, “Digital Divide Is Wider Than We Think, Study Says” (12/4/18), notes that, “Fast internet service is crucial to the modern economy, and closing the digital divide is seen as a step toward shrinking the persistent gaps in economic opportunity, educational achievement and health outcomes in America.” While the FCC concludes that broadband is not available to 24.7 million Americans, a recent study by Microsoft states that “162.8 million Americans do not use the internet at broadband speed” and that this “discrepancy is particularly stark in rural areas.”

Many projects that might address this broadband disparity have been unattractive to private sector providers, given the difficulty of generating a return on investment necessary for the capital expenditures for construction of necessary middle-mile infrastructure. And, while there is a tendency to see the digital divide as a rural issue, many urban areas show a similar lack of access to fast home Internet, though often for different reasons — lack of affordable broadband and/or lack of motivation for broadband adoption.

The picture is not entirely gloomy: There are many creative approaches to address issues of access, affordability, and adoption, often pooling sources of funds, integrating two (or more) broadband technologies, and through partnerships that involve public, government, and private sector partners. The panelists, all of whom are engaged in every aspect of broadband from public policy to project deployment, will highlight and discuss successful strategies to address the broadband digital divide and engage conference participants in a discussion about how to scale locally instantiated projects to reach across all of California (and beyond).

2019 CENIC Innovation in Networking Awards

This video shows the 2019 Innovation in Networking Awards at CENIC‘s Annual Conference. GeoLinks was honored to be awarded the Christine Haska Distinguished Service Award in recognition of our immediate and effective response to ensure emergency connectivity to communities and organizations affected by catastrophic wildfires.

GeoLinks Installs 88 High-Tech Cameras in Southern and Northern California to Provide Critical Insight in High Risk Fire Areas

In collaboration with ALERTWildfire, UC San Diego, University of Nevada Reno, CENIC, SCE and PG&E, in three months GeoLinks has installed 88 cameras to improve confirmation and response efforts in combatting California wildfires.

CAMARILLO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GeoLinks, a California-based telecommunications provider and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, has successfully installed and provided high speed, low latency, symmetrical data connections to 88 high-definition, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras throughout Southern and Northern California to provide critical situational awareness during wildfire events. In collaboration with ALERTWildfire, University of California San Diego, University of Nevada, Reno, CENIC, Southern California Edison (SCE), and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the multi-hazard camera technology provides data related to fire ignition points critical in informing situational awareness and wildfire response.

This state-of-the-art camera network, developed and managed by UC San Diego and the University of Nevada, Reno, connects firefighting agencies with real-time imagery and environmental data enabling first responders to allocate and scale resources appropriately. Situated on GeoLinks’ vertical solar and wind-powered assets, the collected data is transmitted via GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ network then handed off via a strategic partnership to CENIC’s private research and educational network to reach the universities, fire officials, utilities, and other users. This vital information allows involved parties to confirm ignition locations, verify 911 reports, image fire behavior, and ultimately deploy informed response and public warning.

“To give a little more context on GeoLinks involvement, we really dove head first in state disaster recovery efforts when hundreds of our clients, neighboring anchor institutions, and team members became displaced during the 2017 wildfires,” said GeoLinks Co-Founder and CEO Skyler Ditchfield. “When vital communications towers were destroyed by the fast-moving wildfire, our team worked around the clock to restore critical connectivity throughout affected counties. The same responsiveness transpired during 2018’s wildfire season; this included providing the same-day installation of a high capacity circuit for key Red Cross shelters free of charge. I realized what a difference we could make in this space with our unique capabilities of building rural and urban networks in off-the-grid locations where these are needed. Our dedication, passion, agility, and unique capabilities in supporting disaster recovery, initiated our involvement with our university collaborators.”

State, private, public and first-responder support for the expansion of this camera system is persistent and irrefutable. “The safety of my firefighters and the communities they protect is my priority, so having more information about a fire before we encounter it is an added safety measure that benefits our first responders,” said former San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Brian Fennessy. “Having access to a live view of our highest fire risk areas will greatly improve situational awareness and our coordination with CAL FIRE. In turn, that allows for quicker response times, better response strategies and faster evacuation orders to ensure our communities are better prepared in the face of a wildfire. During the ignition of the Church Fire, I could watch the smoke on my iPhone, the color, the direction, and immediately knew the resources that I needed to deploy and the time they would be engaged. Furthermore, the crews could watch how the fire progressed on their iPads as they approached the fire, real-time situational awareness — these fire cameras are a game changer.”

The 88 new cameras are located throughout high fire-risk areas throughout California. SCE and PG&E, along with public agencies and the general public, have access to the camera feeds around-the-clock through the www.alertwildfire.org website to monitor wildfire activity. Up to 160 cameras are expected to be installed by GeoLinks throughout SCE’s service area by 2020, which will allow approximately 90 percent coverage in high fire-risk areas. Similar efforts are underway at PG&E to cover their service area.

“I see this project as more of a mission than just a new line of business. None of this would be possible without the amazing work of Dr. Neal Driscoll of UC San Diego and Dr. Graham Kent of UNR who have been the pioneers of this work,” continued Ditchfield. “Our collaboration is now to super charge their founding efforts. Also, big kudos to the utilities for getting this underway; it truly shows their dedication to making a difference in future fire mitigation. The effects of this work will be nothing short of lifesaving.”

For media inquiries contact Lexie Smith, GeoLinks’ VP of Business Development, at [email protected].

About GeoLinks

GeoLinks, a Southern California based telecommunications provider and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, is recognized on both a state and national level for its unparalleled capabilities in supporting disaster recovery. Named “Most Disruptive Technology” in the 2018 Central Coast Innovation Awards, GeoLinks’ innovative proprietary network, ClearFiber™, utilizes a combination of terrestrial fiber optic backhaul, carrier-grade full-duplex fixed wireless equipment, and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed spectrum, to deliver ultra-reliable high-speed broadband Internet access to businesses and anchor institutions throughout California. With the unique ability to build solar and wind-powered redundant telecommunications facilities “off the grid,” GeoLinks is able to deploy broadband to remote and unserved communities in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost of fiber. Consequently, the company is recognized as a leader in closing the digital divide and proudly sits on an array of national boards, coalitions, and working groups, including: the Schools, Healthcare & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition; the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA); the Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast (BCPC); and the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. Recently the Company received the Christina Haska Distinguished Service Award from CENIC for GeoLinks’ pro-bono services providing critical data circuits to institutions during California’s recent natural disasters.

About CENIC • www.cenic.org

CENIC connects California to the world — advancing education and research statewide by providing the world-class network essential for innovation, collaboration, and economic growth. This nonprofit organization operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and others at vital public-serving institutions. CENIC’s Charter Associates are part of the world’s largest education system; they include the California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California State University system, California’s Public Libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, USC, and the Naval Postgraduate School. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions and industry research organizations around the world, serving the public as a catalyst for a vibrant California. For more information, visit www.cenic.org.

Get to know GeoLinks’ Director of Client Operations Matt Price

Matt Price - GeoLinks

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

As the Director of Client Operations, I am tasked with overseeing a large portion of our day-to-day client facing activities. This mainly includes service installations and customer service. In addition, I work heavily with my counterparts in our Support and Infrastructure Departments.

2. What’s your favorite part about working for GeoLinks?

The technology. I am amazed to see the things we can do with wireless and solar technology.

3. What got you to the position you are in today…what came before GeoLinks?

Attention to detail and team work got me to where I am today. So much of what we all do in modern life requires a fast pace. Taking time to plan, review, and discuss the details with my colleagues has been extremely helpful for me. Before GeoLinks I worked in hospitality while attending University and then in Medical Device Sales post University. While working for a medical focused IOT manufacturer, I was first exposed to the more technical side of Wireless technology – which I found very interesting. Learning how GeoLinks leverages similar and more powerful wireless technology was a huge part of my desire to join the team.

4. What’s something that most GeoLinks’ clients might not know about the company?

I think the one thing that most clients may not know about us is that we are local and live with our core operations and support taking place at our Camarillo Headquarters.

GeoLinks - Matt Price5. Outside of work…what is your favorite pastime or hobby?

My favorite activity outside of work is going to see live music.

6. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

I am a big Sci-Fi and Fantasy Movie Buff.

7. What’s your favorite (either personal or work-related) tech product or device? Why?

My favorite tech product would be the Nintendo Switch. I often play games with my nephew.

8. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

I would go to Europe. I studied History at University and would like to see some of the historic landmarks of England, Ireland, and Scotland up-close. I am not sure how much I could pack into just one day, but I would try my best.

9. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

I would have to say the Golden Rule. Treat others the way that you would like to be treated.

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

I am most excited for continuing my growth and furthering my career. I’ve learned a lot working here GeoLinks, and I am ready for more!