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California Internet, L.P. DBA GeoLinks Awarded $87.8M to Expand Rural Internet in California and Nevada

CAMARILLO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On Tuesday, August 28th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially released the results of its Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) auction, allocating $1.488 Billion to close the United States’ Digital Divide. Innovative award winning telecom, GeoLinks, headquartered in Camarillo, California, received a total of $87.8M to expand rural internet in California and Nevada, making it the largest auction winner in the state of California, and 5th largest winner in the nation overall. Ousting big telcos such as Verizon, Frontier, and AT&T, this is the first time the largest winner of CAF in California has been an independent operator and not an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC).

“GeoLinks’ founding mission is to close the U.S. Digital Divide,” said GeoLinks Co-Founder and CEO Skyler Ditchfield. “With this promise of capital from the FCC, GeoLinks will be able to further expand our network into rural areas of both California and Nevada, ultimately providing more than 11,000 rural locations with Internet at 100 megabits per second. We are excited that this new infrastructure will also reduce the cost of bringing high speed broadband access to anchor institutions such as Schools, Libraries, Hospitals, and Community Colleges. You can expect to see GeoLinks fully close the digital divide in California in these areas in the next 2-3 years with the help of our corporate partner the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC). From the beginning it was expected to see the incumbent providers take home big portions of the total fund. However, I am absolutely thrilled that our company, a mid-sized ISP with true rural beginnings, was able to secure the largest grant in CA and be in the top 5 nationally. Not only does this secure a bright future for the rural communities we will service, but it also allows our company to have a secure future and bring more jobs into our local economy.”

As stated by Chairman Ajit Pai in the FCC’s formal release, the successful conclusion of this first-of-its kind auction is great news for the residents of these rural communities, who will finally be able to share in the 21st-century digital opportunities that broadband provides. By tapping the mechanisms of the marketplace, the CAF II auction served as the most appropriate and cost-effective way to allocate funding for broadband in these unserved communities, bringing the highest-quality broadband services to the most consumers at the lowest cost to the ratepayer.

“As part of its efforts to promote ubiquitous broadband access for all Americans, the FCC created the CAF II auction to enable Internet service providers to build and maintain infrastructure in unserved areas throughout the US,” commented GeoLinks’ General Counsel and VP of Government Affairs and Education Melissa Slawson. “I am elated to see that a capable company of our size was granted substantial funding to further propel our mission connect rural California, Nevada, and beyond.”

More information is available at https://www.fcc.gov/auction/903. A map of winning bids is available at https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/caf2-auction903-results/

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact Lexie Olson at [email protected].

GeoLinks

Headquartered in Southern California, GeoLinks is the Fastest Growing Telecom in California and a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, nationally awarded for its innovative Internet and Digital Voice solutions. Ranked in both 2017 and 2018 as one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America on the Inc. 5000, GeoLinks delivers Enterprise-Grade Internet, Digital Voice, SD-WAN, Cloud On-ramping, Layer 2 Transport, and both Public and Private Turnkey Network Construction expertly tailored for businesses and Anchor Institutions nationwide.

GeoLinks’ accelerated success is largely due to its flagship product, ClearFiber™, which offers dedicated business-class Internet with unlimited bandwidth, true network redundancy, and guaranteed speeds reaching up to 10 Gbps. Named “Most Disruptive Technology” in the 2018 Central Coast Innovation Awards, GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ network is backed by a carrier-grade Service Level Agreement boasting 99.999% uptime and 24/7 in-house customer support. With an average installation period of 4 to 7 days, GeoLinks is proud to offer the most resilient and scalable fixed wireless network on the market.

Recognized as a thought-leader in closing the digital divide, GeoLinks 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’s (BDAC) Streamlining Federal Siting Working Group.

More about Connect America Fund Phase II Auction:

A total of 103 providers ultimately won support in the CAF II auction to expand broadband across 45 states. The funding, which will be distributed over the next 10 years, will connect 53% of all rural homes and businesses with broadband download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second. 19% will have gigabit service available. And 711,389 locations—all but 0.25%—will have at least 25 Mbps service available.

Contacts

GeoLinks
Lexie Olson, [email protected]

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Camarillo broadband provider GeoLinks acquires Vectus

Camarillo broadband provider GeoLinks acquires Vectus

READ FULL ARTICLE ONLINE AT PACBIZTIMES.COM

Camarillo broadband provider GeoLinks announced that it had acquired Huntington Beach-based internet service provider Vectus in a cash and stock deal March 20.

The deal brings Vectus’ fixed wireless network and Southern California customer base to GeoLinks, as well as augmenting its team with key staff members, the company said in a news release.

“With founding roots in Southern California, GeoLinks has been familiar with Vectus’s robust wireless network for quite some time,” GeoLinks CEO Skyler Ditchfield said in a news release. “When the opportunity to officially acquire Vectus came to the table, all parties knew immediately that merging networks would be seamless from an operations standpoint, and prove immensely beneficial to existing and future clientele.”

Company migration is expected to begin immediately, Ditchfield added, helping GeoLinks build out its ClearFiber network. Customers should not expect to experience disruptions in service during the transition, the statement said.

GeoLinks debuted at No. 6 on the Pacific Coast Business Times 50 Fastest-Growing Companies list in 2017, and ranked No. 640 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. The company reported revenue of $8.8 million in 2016.

The two companies had “synergistic beliefs,” said David Saylor, president and chief technology officer at Vectus, making it a natural fit.

“By combining assets, all current and future customers will now have access to an even more resilient and redundant wireless network,” he said. “Skyler and GeoLinks are highly respected leaders and innovators in the world of telecom, and I speak on behalf of the entire Vectus team when I say that we’re extremely pleased to be combining forces and joining their efforts.”

The companies did not disclose specific financial terms of the deal.

• Contact Marissa Nall at [email protected]

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GeoLinks Overcomes Thomas Fire Disaster With Help From Mimosa

GeoLinks Overcomes Thomas Fire Disaster With Help From Mimosa

Written by Mimosa Networks

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Connect America Fund Phase II, Auction Connect America Fund

Before the Federal Communications Commission
Washington, DC 20554
In the Matter of Connect America Fund Phase II Auction Connect America Fund
AU Docket No. 17-182 | WC Docket No. 10-90

REPLY COMMENTS OF GEOLINKS

California Internet, L.P. DBA GeoLinks (“GeoLinks” or the “Company”) submits these reply comments in response to comments filed on the Public Notice issued August 4, 2017 in the aforementioned dockets.

I. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY

GeoLinks is proud to service the largest coverage area of any single fixed wireless Internet service provider in the state the California. As the Company expands, it strives to reach unserved and rural areas within California and beyond, including schools, libraries and residential areas. GeoLinks provides these reply comments in response to comments filed on the proposed procedures to be used in the Connect America Fund II Auction (“Phase II Auction”) and to emphasize the Company’s goal to promote robust broadband deployment in unserved and rural areas across the United States.

II. DISCUSSION

A. The Commission Should Craft a Straightforward Process for the Phase II Auction That Encourages Participation from Small and Mid-Sized Service Providers

GeoLinks commends the Commission on its efforts to develop rules for the pre-auction process for the Phase II Auction. The Company believes that the Phase II Auction has the potential to ensure broadband deployment to some of the most remote areas of the country and further the Commission’s goals of connecting rural America to high-speed broadband access. However, GeoLinks agrees with the American Cable Association (“ACA”) that aspects of the auction processes proposed in the Public Notice, although potentially sound in some ways, may have the effect of turning off many serious bidders and enabling only larger interests to win bids at higher bid amounts. To avoid this outcome, the Commission must develop pre-auction rules that encourage “vigorous bidding by multiple providers, thereby driving prices lower to efficient levels.”

i. The Proposed Financial Qualifications Metrics Posed in the Public Notice Will Not Promote Robust Bidding in the Phase II Auction

The Public Notice proposes a five-point financial qualification assessment scale to help staff determine whether an applicant satisfactorily demonstrates its financial qualifications prior to the Phase II Auction. Specifically, the Public Notice explains that an applicant with a score of less than three points on this scale “would warrant a more in-depth review of the full set of financial statements submitted with the short-form application, as well as other information, to determine whether the application is qualified to bid the Phase II auction.” While GeoLinks agrees with commenters that the Commission is wise to seek to ensure that an applicant is financially qualified prior to participating in the auction process, GeoLinks echoes the concern of ITTA – The Voice of America’s Broadband Providers (“ITTA”) that the Commission’s current proposal is “overkill with respect to companies that have provided voice and/or broadband services for at least two years.” GeoLinks urges the Commission to recognize that these financial qualification metrics, as proposed, will preclude many small to mid-sized wireless broadband providers from bidding on Phase II Auction areas – providers that are well suited to serve far-reaching rural areas, generally at a lower cost than traditional, large providers.

As an initial matter, GeoLinks agrees with ITTA’s assessment that providers of telecommunications infrastructure routinely leverage debt to fund significant capital expenditures to expand and upgrade networks. For this reason, most telecommunications carriers that invest in their own networks would not clear the thresholds for at least the last two of the metrics proposed by the Public Notice. This is true not just for small and mid-sized broadband providers, but for many large providers, as well. Specifically, as the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (“WISPA”) points out, “every price cap carrier that is already receiving CAF support would fail the Commission’s test.”

GeoLinks agrees with WISPA that “if large, well-established price cap carriers cannot meet the Commission’s test, then it is highly probable that a vast number of potential smaller bidders would similarly fall short.” It seems clear that if the same providers that were eligible to receive multi-million-dollar CAF awards during the first phase of funding disbursement would now be ineligible to receive CAF awards during a subsequent phase, the proposed process warrants further review. In addition, as WISPA explains, such a process would have the effect of rewarding applicants that do not routinely reinvest capital in their own networks.

GeoLinks believes that a better metric for measuring whether a broadband provider possesses the requisite financial qualifications for initial consideration for Phase II Auction funding would be a showing in the short-form application that the applicant has provided voice and/or broadband services for at least two years. As ITTA explains, this measure was previously adopted by the Commission in the Phase II Auction Order to “provide assurance to the Commission that the entities that intend to bid in the auction have some experience operating networks or are otherwise financially qualified,” and to “provide the Commission with sufficient assurance before the auction that an entity has at a minimum level demonstrated that it has the ability to build and maintain a network.”

ii. The Commission Should Not Restrict the Use of Consultants Among Small and Mid-Sized Broadband Service Providers

The Public Notice seeks comment on procedures to prevent competitive harm that could occur from coordinated bidding. As part of this effort, the Commission specifically explains that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has expressed concerns regarding employing the same third-party consultant as other applicants despite the requirement that an applicant “takes appropriate steps to ensure that any third party it employs for advice pertaining to its bids of bidding strategies does not become a conduit for prohibited communications to other covered entities unless parties to a joint bidding agreement.” While GeoLinks supports the goal to prevent waste, fraud and abuse of Universal Service Fund resources, the company agrees with the Rural Wireless Association, Inc. (“RWA”) that the Commission must be careful not to adopt restrictions that limit the ability of small and mid-sized carriers to rely on qualified consultants when participating in the Phase II Auction.

As an initial matter, small to mid-sized providers generally do not have dedicated auction experts in house. To be on equal footing with larger carriers that may have such internal personnel assets, it is important that small to mid-sized applicants be able to turn to third-party expert assistance (consultants, experts, and attorneys) in developing their Phase II Auction applications. Given the Commission’s stated goal of encouraging participation in the Phase II Auction from a broad range of providers, the Commission should recognize that there are likely to be far more applicants than consultants with the requisite expertise to provide effective counsel. In order for providers to get the expert advice needed to prepare an effective application at affordable rates, GeoLinks agrees with WISPA, ACA, and NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association that the Commission should allow applicants to “share the costs of a single expert” in order to “encourage greater participation by smaller entities and allow them to compete against larger providers on a more level playing field.”

In order to mitigate the uncertainty that such consultant sharing may cause, GeoLinks supports WISPA’s suggestion that the Commission “adopt a ‘safe harbor’ of conduct that will be deemed to not be a violation of the Commission’s anti-collusion rules.” Specifically, the Company believes that so long as the consultant does not advise another applicant bidding for the same census block group, there should be a presumption that safeguards have been established to ensure the consultant is not acting as a conduit for prohibited communications between or among bidders, pursuant to the Commission’s rules.

B. The Commission Should Craft Spectrum Policy to Benefit Eligible Phase II Auction Areas

As expressed in its opening comments, GeoLinks believes that the Phase II Auction presents an opportunity for the Commission to develop spectrum licensing policies specifically focused on unserved and rural areas. To meet the goals of the Phase II Auction Order, GeoLinks urges the Commission to allow Phase II Auction awardees the opportunity to obtain priority access to spectrum resources with which to serve these eligible areas. Specifically, GeoLinks urges the Commission to i) allow awardees to obtain spectrum resources sufficient enough allow robust point-to-multipoint (“P2MP”) services (for gigabit plus capacity) award these resources on either a “light licensed” or Part 101 basis, and iii) create spectrum license periods and renewal options that allow for investment in the equipment necessary to utilize them. New policies to this effect will allow wireless broadband providers flexibility in how they develop and design networks to meet the needs of the Phase II Auction eligible areas resulting in better application proposals and lower costs.

In addition to this forward-looking spectrum policy, GeoLinks urges the Commission not to create policy that could potentially hinder WISP participation in the auction process. In the Public Notice, the Commission proposes to require each applicant that intends to use radio frequency spectrum to submit information regarding the sufficiency of the spectrum to which it has access to aid the Commission in determining applicants’ capability to meet the public interest requirements of the Phase II Auction. As several commenters have observed, the Commission only proposes to subject applicants proposing to use spectrum to this requirement. As WISPA points out, “the Commission is not proposing to require an applicant proposing to use fiber to demonstrate that it has access to rights-of-way or utility poles for the 10-year CAF Phase II support term,” which, WISPA explains, is “in contravention to the Commission’s stated desire to have technology neutral rules that promote participation by a broad range of bidders.” GeoLinks agrees with WISPA’s suggestion that the Commission can remedy this disparity “by establishing a ‘safe harbor’ for any applicant proposing to use any licensed or unlicensed bands that historically have been used to provide the performance tier selected.”

Along a similar vein, GeoLinks urges the Commission to reject the Rural Coalition’s suggestion that it should require applicants proposing to rely on spectrum (and only those applicants) to submit propagation maps of their planned coverage areas as part of their shortform applications. This proposed requirement is similarly contrary to the Commission’s technology neutral goals but goes one step further to suggest that WISPs are not capable of designing a network utilizing existing spectrum resources despite the fact that most WISPs have been doing so, very successfully, for many years now.

Additionally, GeoLinks agrees with WISPA’s suggestion that the Commission should explicitly state that applicants may propose to use more than one spectrum resource to provide the services proposed in their application(s). GeoLinks has had success using licensed spectrum in the 6 GHz and 11 GHz bands for point-to-point wireless connections for a variety of users but has also broadly utilized spectrum in the unlicensed bands to provide service to its customers – primarily in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. In addition, GeoLinks is in the process of assessing new bands that it might be able to use for expanded service offerings (especially P2MP services). The band (or bands) an applicant will choose to utilize depends on a variety of factors including distance between connections, available licenses, building and subscriber density, equipment options, etc. Just as a traditional wired broadband service provider may use different network elements to deliver service, wireless providers do the same and should, therefore, not be precluded from using all the tools available to them to craft a proposed service solution for eligible areas.

III. CONCLUSION

In conclusion, GeoLinks urges the Commission to develop rules for the Phase II Auction in ways that will provide the greatest benefit to unserved, rural areas. Specifically, GeoLinks urges the Commission to avoid auction procedures that will place small to mid-sized wireless broadband providers at a disadvantage and create spectrum policy to benefit Phase II Auction areas.

Respectfully submitted,

GEOLINKS, LLC

/s/ Skyler Ditchfield, Chief Executive Officer

/s/ Melissa Slawson, General Counsel/ V.P of Government Sales and Education

October 18, 2017

Footnotes that appear in the formal document:

1 Comments of American Cable Association, WC Docket No. 10-90 and AU Docket No. 17-182 (filed Sept. 18, 2017) (“ACA Comments”), at 5. 2 See ACA Comments at 6. 3 Public Notice at para. 58. 4 Comments of ITTA – The Voice of America’s Broadband Providers, WC Docket No. 10-90 and AU Docket No. 17-182 (filed Sept. 18, 2017) (“ITTA Comments”), at 2. 5 ITTA Comments at 4. 6 See ITTA Comments at 4. These metrics are: “(3) current ratio (i.e., current assets divided by current liabilities), where a ratio greater than or equal to 2 would receive one point; and (4) total equity divided by total capital, where a result greater or equal to 0.5 would receive one point.” Public Notice at para. 59. 7 Comments of Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, WC Docket No. 10-90 and AU Docket No. 17-182 (filed Sept. 18, 2017) (“WISPA Comments”), at v. 8 WISPA Comments at 22. 9 WISPA Comments at 22. 10 ITTA Comments at 2-3 citing Connect America Fund; ETC Annual Reports and Certifications; Rural Broadband Experiments, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 31 FCC Rcd 5949, 5985, para. 106 (2016) (“Phase II Auction Order”).11 Public Notice at para. 21. 12 Comments of Rural Wireless Association, WC Docket No. 10-90 and AU Docket No. 17-182 (filed Sept. 18, 2017) (“RWA Comments”), at 4-5. 13 See WISPA Comments at 4-5, citing Letter from Ross Lieberman (ACA), Michael Romano (NTCA) and Stephen Coran (WISPA) to The Hon. Chairman Ajit Pai, et al., AU Docket No. 17-182 and WC Docket No. 10-90 (filed Sept. 15, 2017). 14 WISPA Comments at 5. 15 See WISPA Comments at 5. 16 GeoLinks notes that if small to mid-sized wireless providers were given priority licensing access to sufficient spectrum for P2MP services in the 3.7-4.2 GHz or 6.0-6.4 GHz bands, the Company estimates that these carriers could deliver gigabit+ service at 1/10th the cost of fiber providers (or less). 17 See Public Notice at para. 37. 18 WISPA Comments at 14-15. 19 WISPA Comments at 15. 20 See Comments of the Rural Coalition, WC Docket No. 10-90 and AU Docket No. 17-182 (filed Sept. 18, 2017), at 19. 21 WISPA Comments at 15-16. 22 These new bands include TV White Spaces spectrum, which GeoLinks agrees with Microsoft Corporation should be added to the list of suitable spectrum bands in Appendix B of the Public Notice. See Comments of Microsoft Corporation, WC Docket No. 10-90 and AU Docket No. 17-182 (filed Sept. 18, 2017), at 4-5.

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GeoLinks Makes the Pacific Coast Business Times’ 50 Fastest-Growing Companies List

GeoLinks Makes the Pacific Coast Business Times’ 50 Fastest-Growing Companies List

Original Source

GeoLinks Ranks No. 6 on the 2017 Pacific Coast Business Time’s Annual 50 Fastest-Growing Companies List with Revenue Growth Recorded at 340%.

CAMARILLO, CA (PRWEB) OCTOBER 03, 2017

GeoLinks, an industry-leading Internet and Phone provider, earned the No. 6 spot on the Pacific Coast Business Times’ (PCBT) 50 Fastest-Growing Companies list released Friday, September 22, 2017. Proudly serving the Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties, the PCBT’s annual list highlights the 50 fastest growing companies, both public and privately owned, across California’s Central Coast.

Ranked by revenue growth from 2014-2016, this year’s list highlights GeoLinks alongside other nationally recognized companies such as MindBody, Patagonia, Deckers Brands, Procore, and Sonos. While listed as No. 6 overall, GeoLinks took the No. 1 spot for fastest growing telecommunications company in this year’s round-up.

“This has been a monumental year for GeoLinks,” said GeoLinks’ CEO Skyler Ditchfield. “From officially earning our CLEC and public utility status in May, to rebranding and launching nationally in June, to making the Inc. 5000 list and being appointed to the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee’s Streamlining Federal Siting Working Group in August, I’m excited to say that this is really just the beginning of our projected growth. As a locally founded company, this recognition significantly resonates with the entire GeoLinks’ team. Our first customers were in Ojai and Ventura. The vast majority of our staff lives locally. Our kids go to school throughout the Tri-Counties. Ultimately, we wouldn’t have achieved such accelerated growth without our community’s support. That being said, this is not only a big win for GeoLinks, but it’s a huge shout out to all of those who have believed in us along the way.”

Recording more than 100% growth in annual revenue for the past six consecutive years, and on track for its seventh, GeoLinks’ accelerated success also earned the No. 5 spot on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Telecommunications Company in America released in August of 2017.

The PCBT’s 50 Fastest-Growing Companies will be honored at an evening gala reception hosted at Santa Barbara’s new Moxi Museum on October 19th from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

For media inquiries or additional information, please contact Lexie Olson at lolson(at)geolinks.com.

About GeoLinks

Headquartered in Southern California, GeoLinks is a leading Internet and Phone provider and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Hosted Voice solutions. Ranked No. 5 by category on Inc. Magazine’s 2017 Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America, GeoLinks delivers Enterprise-Grade Internet, Layer 2 Transport, Hosted Voice, and both Public and Private Turnkey Network Construction expertly tailored for businesses and Anchor Institutions nationwide.

GeoLinks’ accelerated success is largely due to its flagship product, ClearFiber™, which offers customers fixed wireless on the most resilient and scalable network ever built. From land procurement, to construction, to permitting, and more, GeoLinks does everything in-house, expediting installation periods nationwide. Boasting ultra-low latency, 99.99% uptime, sub 10ms jitter, and a 4-hour max response time, GeoLinks prides itself on delivering the industry’s best Service Level Agreement backed by round-the-clock in-house customer support.

Recognized as a thought-leader in closing the digital divide, GeoLinks proudly sits on an array of national boards, coalitions, and working groups including the Schools, Healthcare & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, the Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast(BPPC), and the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee’s (BDAC) Streamlining Federal Siting Working Group.

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GeoLinks using Silicon Valley-style office to attract employees

GeoLinks using Silicon Valley-style office to attract employees

Read Article Online by following the above link.

GeoLinks co-founders Skyler Ditchfield, left, and Ryan Adams in the lobby of the company’s new [Silicon Valley-style] headquarters in Camarillo.

 

Ventura County telecommunications company GeoLinks hopes to lure tech talent to Camarillo with a new Silicon Valley-style office, tripling its workforce after doubling its revenue two years in a row.

The company inherited the 38,000-square-foot space — tricked out with an onsite gym, pool tables, a jukebox and arcade games by previous owner Zindagi Games — and added a kitchen stocked with healthy breakfast, lunch and snack options in the hope of filling it with around 100 additional staff.

Rebranded in June from its former name, California International, the internet service provider was “bursting at the seams” prior to the move, said CEO and co-founder Skyler Ditchfield.

“Once people kind of find out what we’re doing here behind the scenes and meet with us and speak with us, the facility kind of sells itself,” said President and co-founder Ryan Adams. “Our big focus is on our clients but also the culture. We want people when they walk through these doors not only to feel appreciated but to want to come in every single day.”

GeoLinks debuted at No. 6 on the Pacific Coast Business Times 50 Fastest -Growing Companies list in 2017, reporting prior year revenues of $8.8 million. It also ranked No. 640 on this year’s Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies.

The company has a few initiatives in the works to connect to local universities, as well as employing several graduates from Thomas Aquinas College, but “we’ll take talent, wherever it’s from,” Adams said, from project management, communications and sales employees, to more technical applicants.

Launched to serve rural broadband customers around Ojai, the company got its first real break in 2013 with the Lake Sherwood development contract south of Thousand Oaks. From there, it moved toward business-to-business services in the Greater Los Angeles market before launching its wholesale business selling to other ISPs, now around a third of its revenue.

By offering fixed wireless, rather than fiber or satellite, the company has also picked up state contracts for schools, hospitals and libraries in remote areas of California and other states. Since government grants from programs like the Internet for All Act and the Connect America Fund help cover upfront costs of installation, it joined a Federal Communications Commission advisory committee working group and the Schools, Health & Library Broadband Coalition to advocate for additional resources, including the use of “white spaces” frequencies proposed by Microsoft.

“We’re helping shape policy for how to expedite procurement of federal lands for internet services, and we’re pushing other agendas in terms of getting more spectrum freed up,” Ditchfield said. “Right now all the wireless spectrum is owned by all the cell operators. They have an abundance of it, but they’re hoarding it, and we really need that freed up to be able to connect these rural areas and low income houses.”

If company revenues and federal programs continue to grow, GeoLinks might look to open additional satellite locations for rapid deployment, like the one it already has in Santa Fe Springs serving Los Angeles customers. But the two Ojai-native founders said they would never want to uproot.

“Nothing beats Ventura County,” Adams said. “It doesn’t matter how many homes we worked that week, or if we worked over the weekend, there’s a certain energy in this building, and it’s contagious. I don’t feel like this is a job, even though there’s a lot of work that happens, to be a part of something that’s growing like this.”

The company brought on a director of corporate wellness and culture to help handle the transition from a 50-person operation to a much larger one, as well as adding fitness and nutrition programs.

Teambuilding through group activities, basketball games and yoga classes help introduce people to the leadership team, promote interdepartmental communication and enable regular wellness checks.

But it remains to be seen if the Silicon Valley approach will help it find the right talent.

Companies have to make sure they’re not focusing too much on the “soft perks” over things like time off, workplace flexibility, salary and stock options, said Maria Ballesteros-Sola, assistant professor of management at CSU Channel Islands.

“Perks come down to the underlying culture, and not the other way around,” she said, but added that “big conversations and big ideas can be generated at the water cooler and the conference room. If you have the foosball table, and people start playing to disconnect and re-energize, they might have the conversation to solve a problem or a new project.”

Early on, competitive salaries were tough to match, and raises to retain workers stretched the budget, Ditchfield said. But with the continued growth, the company has not only brought up salaries, but invested in sustainability initiatives like solar and wind at its relay stations, as well as considering onsite childcare options.

“One thing we talk about internally here is ‘what is our living wage?” Ditchfield said. “We don’t want to ever be paying anyone a level of pay that they’re suffering with. We want to get to a point where we have a minimum threshold of salary that we hire people on, and if there’s a job below that, we either need to automate it or consolidate it.”

And if there’s anywhere to promote work-life balance, Ballesteros-Sola said, it’s the Central Coast.

“It’s just imperative for us to do this organically to where we came from,” Ditchfield said.

• Contact Marissa Nall at [email protected]

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GeoLinks acquires One Stop VoIP, furthers national strategy

GeoLinks acquires One Stop VoIP, furthers national strategy

by Sean Buckley |

GeoLinks acquires One Stop VoIP, furthers national strategy

GeoLinks, an emerging hybrid wireline-wireless service provider focused on business customers, has purchased cloud-based provider One Stop VoIP, signaling the next step toward becoming a larger national service provider.

By acquiring One Stop VoIP, GeoLinks will be able to add Hosted Voice to its growing cadre of data services. Under the terms of the deal, which is GeoLink’s first, the service provider will migrate all of One Stop VoIP’s key staff, existing customers, Unified Communications capabilities, and IT infrastructure.

Now that it has finalized the acquisition, GeoLinks said that it plans to launch a full set of hosted voice services by the end of the third quarter of 2017.

To ensure the transition into becoming a voice provider, GeoLinks named One Stop VoIP CEO Dexter Allen as senior director of VoIP business development. Paul Kasavets, COO and co-owner of One Stop VoIP, will join GeoLinks as senior director of VoIP operations. Allen and Kasavets will join the GeoLinks team in their headquarters on July 12, 2017. GeoLinks said that all One Stop VoIP customers will continue to receive consistent service coverage during the transfer, while GeoLinks’ clients can expect new Hosted Voice deployment by the beginning of September.

GeoLinks CEO Skyler Ditchfield told FierceTelecom that One Stop VoIP products and services align well with the company and its fixed wireless product, ClearFiber.

“We’ll be adding a new offering, which is VoIP, to our product set in the next 45 days,” Ditchfield said.

The acquisition follows the company’s effort to rebrand itself from California Internet LP to GeoLinks as well as its launch into the national market, induction as a competitive local exchange carrier public utility and headquarter relocation.

Besides offering new VoIP capabilities, the service provider is expanding its federal government capabilities as part of its national expansion effort.

“We’re really expanding the government division and it represents about a quarter of our business so it is taking off rapidly,” Ditchfield said. “We’re going to be using that to pull us into new opportunities on a national scale over the next year or two.”

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California Internet Expands Nationally Rebranding as GeoLinks

California Internet Expands Nationally Rebranding as GeoLinks

Southern California’s fastest growing B2B ISP California Internet expands nationally relocating company headquarters and changing company name to GeoLinks.

VENTURA, CA (PRWEB) JUNE 13, 2017

California’s fastest growing B2B ISP, California Internet LP, is excited to officially announce its new brand name, GeoLinks. The company’s rebranding coincides with a variety of notable company milestones including its official launch into the national market, induction as a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) public utility and headquarter relocation.

“We’ve reached a pivotal moment in GeoLinks’ history,” shared GeoLinks Chief Revenue Officer Phillip Deneef. “We chose to migrate away from the name California Internet due to overwhelming demand pulling our company outside of state borders. Wanting a name that isn’t geographically correlated, we ultimately decided on GeoLinks—Geo meaning Earth in Latin and Links because we are linking the world with the most advanced connectivity available today.”

With the company’s accelerated growth, GeoLinks officially welcomed its 50th employee in June and expects to employ upwards of 100 within the next 18 months. In effect, GeoLinks is thrilled to simultaneously announce its national headquarters are moving to Camarillo, California. The recently acquired 38,000 sq ft office building, previously home to Zynga Games, features a fully equipped employee gym, basketball court, spacious kitchen, break room, and much more.

“Our new office is a direct representation of our cutting-edge company culture,” said GeoLinks CEO Skyler Ditchfield. “In addition to the incredible amenities, I plan on bringing a wellness coach and private chef on board to promote health and wellness throughout the entire staff. I am very aware of the fact that we spend more than one-third of our lives at work these days so it’s important to me to give back to my team by creating a fun work environment that makes them eager to come to work every day. GeoLinks is bringing ‘Silicon-Valley Style’ to Ventura County.”

What’s next for the booming ISP? With Ditchfield and GeoLinks’ instrumental lobbying efforts in the recent passing of AB-1665 Telecommunications: California Advanced Services Fund, otherwise known as the Internet For All Act (IFAN), and GeoLinks’ California Public Utilities Commission Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity, GeoLinks will continue to expand coverage and service offerings while developing strategic partnerships with national carriers and federal level agencies such as HUD, the Department of Interior and the Department of Education.

“The certificate from the California PUC is an important step for GeoLinks as it allows it to not only provide fast Internet service to customers but also Voice over Internet Protocol services,” said its regulatory counsel, former CPUC and FCC Commissioner Rachelle Chong. “This certificate makes GeoLinks eligible to provide E-rate Internet and voice services to eligible schools, libraries and health care providers under the FCC program, and to provide California Teleconnect Fund services under the CPUC public purpose program. Given a goal of the company is to help bridge the digital divide for rural schools and libraries, this is an important milestone.”

GeoLinks assures customers and partners that its underlying corporate identity will remain unchanged for all legal and regulatory purposes issuing no major alterations to their contracts, support or contact information.

For media inquiries, interview requests or to schedule an office tour, please contact Lexie Olson at lolson(at)geolinks(dot)com.

About GeoLinks:

Founded in 2011 by CEO, Skyler Ditchfield, and CTO, Ryan Hauf, GeoLinks is the fastest growing B2B fixed wireless ISP in Los Angeles, California. With immediate access to Southern California, GeoLinks services the largest coverage area of any single provider in California delivering enterprise-grade internet, layer 2 transport, and turnkey construction that is expertly tailored for all businesses and Anchor Institutions such as hospitals, libraries and schools.

With industry leading installation times, GeoLinks’ flagship service, ClearFiber™, offers customers fixed wireless on the most resilient and scalable network ever built. Boasting Sub 25MS latency, 99.99% uptime, sub 4ms jitter, and a 4-hour max repair time, GeoLinks is proud to offer the state’s best industry service level agreement.

Amongst its many accolades, GeoLinks was the largest construction grant winner for California K-12 schools and libraries in both 2016 and 2017. Servicing thousands of businesses across the state, GeoLinks officially became a CLEC and public utility in 2017.

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Fixed Wireless —A Viable Solution to Close the Digital Divide

California Internet CEO Skyler Ditchfield Presents Fixed Wireless as a Viable Solution to Close the Digital Divide at SHLB’s 7th Annual Convention

At SHLB’s 2017 Annual Convention, California Internet CEO Skyler Ditchfield took the stage addressing how and why California Internet’s fixed wireless technology is a viable solution when looking to close the digital divide in United States’ rural communities.

VENTURA, CA (PRWEB) JUNE 08, 2017

More than 300 attendees gathered at the Hyatt Regency in Arlington, Virginia last week, May 31st – June 2, 2017, for the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition’s 7th annual convention to discuss how industry leaders can connect rural anchor institutions and close the United States’ digital divide. With focus on how to build broadband networks in rural communities, California Internet’s CEO, Sklyer Ditchfield, took the stage sharing the proven success of fixed wireless technology and how it is a viable solution in closing the digital divide.

Accompanied by California Internet’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Phillip Deneef, Ditchfield began his address by reminiscing on his humble beginnings, affirming internet was fundamental in providing the tools and inspiration needed in his entrepreneurial journey. He continued by showcasing a variety of successful case studies that demonstrated how California Internet successfully deployed fixed wireless utilizing renewable energy, such as solar power and wind turbines, to connect extreme rural locations. Employing a 100% in-house approach to engineering, design, land procurement, construction, and data connectivity, Ditchfield further explained how fixed wireless is not only the fastest but also the most cost-effective solution available on the market today.CEO Skyler Ditchfield Presents Fixed Wireless

“I recognize the skepticism and wireless anxiety that people have surrounding fixed wireless technology,” stated Ditchfield. “People think that the technology is inherently flawed, when that’s just not the case. With proper engineering, it is not only possible, it’s feasible to connect rural anchor institutions, in effect, helping close our country’s digital divide. Myself, Phillip, and our entire team back in California, are driven to continuously advance innovation in broadband delivery, and that’s just what we’re doing. I want all rural anchor institutions to know that California Internet offers full turnkey solutions, from network instruction, to bandwidth delivery, via our innovative fixed wireless technology.”

Outside of his speech, Ditchfield and Deneef had the opportunity to further interface with newly inducted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and SHLB Executive Director John Windhausen over dinner at Chesapeake Room. The evening allowed the regional carrier an opportunity to share and reiterate its experience and success using fixed wireless to reduce the digital divide. Ditchfield and Deneef’s efforts were met with understanding, appreciation and support.

“We are at a pivotal moment of change in our country, and schools, libraries, health providers, and other community anchor institutions (CAIs) have the power to unite and move us forward,” said SHLB Executive Director John Windhausen. “California Internet has proven that fixed wireless is a viable solution for our rural institutions.”

In the days following the convention, Ditchfield and Deneef met with various anchor entities to initiate the process of acquiring the funds needed to achieve their digital goals. With additional support from the recent passing of California’s AB 1665 Bill, California Internet is on a fast track for national expansion. Moving forward, California Internet plans to work towards securing additional grant money, developing strategic partnerships and expanding its metro footprint with a 100gbps backbone and ability to deliver 10gbps via fixed wireless.

For media inquiries or to schedule an interview with Skyler Ditchfield, please contact Lexie Olson at lolson(at)geolinks.com

About California Internet:

Founded in 2011 by CEO, Skyler Ditchfield, and CTO, Ryan Hauf, California Internet is the fastest growing B2B fixed wireless ISP in Los Angeles, California. With immediate access to California’s rural communities, California Internet services the largest coverage area of any single provider in California delivering enterprise-class internet, layer 2 transport, and turnkey construction that is expertly tailored for all businesses and Anchor Intuitions such as hospitals, libraries and schools.

With industry leading installation times, California Internet’s flagship service, ClearFiber™, offers customers fixed wireless on the most resilient and scalable network ever built. Boasting Sub 25MS latency, 99.99% uptime, sub 4ms jitter, and a 4-hour max repair time, California Internet is proud to offer the state’s best industry service level agreement.

Servicing thousands of businesses across the state, California Internet officially became a CLEC and public utility in 2017.

About SHLB:

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition was created in 2009 in Washington, D.C. to help address the shortage of adequate broadband for anchor institutions and their communities. [“SHLB” is pronounced “SHELL-bee”] The SHLB Coalition is a broad-based organization of anchor institutions, commercial companies and non-profit broadband providers, foundations, public interest groups, and others that work together to develop and support policies to improve broadband connectivity for anchor institutions and their communities in all regions of the country – urban, suburban and especially rural. We receive financial support from membership dues, from our events, and from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The SHLB Coalition is founded on the belief that deploying broadband networks to serve anchor institutions is a cost-efficient and vitally important investment in our nation’s future. Deploying broadband to anchor institutions can improve broadband access to millions of people (students, low-income and elderly people, migrants, etc.) who may not otherwise have access to the Internet. Anchor institution personnel can train people about broadband services and technologies, thereby stimulating broadband usage and demand. Furthermore, high-capacity “Middle Mile” broadband networks serving community anchor institutions can be used as “jumping off points” to serve surrounding residential and business consumers. Several studies show that building high-capacity broadband to community anchor institutions has a multiplier effect that generates tremendous economic growth for the community and the nation.

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