Tag Archive for: Skyler Ditchfield

Skyler Ditchfield – CEO – Want to stay up-to-date on all of GeoLinks’ latest news and the world of telecom? Check out GeoLinks’ blog by visiting Geolinks.com/NEWS

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GeoLinks, California’s Fastest Growing Telecom Company Raises Private Equity Funding from Group Led by Rock Mountain Capital

CAMARILLO, Calif.GeoLinks, the fastest growing telecommunications company in California, today announced it has secured a significant minority investment from a group led by Rock Mountain Capital (RMC). The investment will power GeoLinks’ accelerated network expansion plans, amplify funding for strategic acquisitions and streamline internal growth and operations.

“GeoLinks launched with the goal of disrupting a multibillion-dollar telecom industry,” said GeoLinks Co-Founder and CEO, Skyler Ditchfield. “We’ve done that by operationalizing a simple, yet profound idea – do everything better and treat your customer how you would like to be treated. Through strategic network growth, technological innovation and unwavering dedication, we’ve continued to deliver high-speed connectivity to more businesses, schools, libraries, hospitals and households throughout California and Nevada every day. Partnering with a premier team from Rock Mountain Capital allows us to scale our growth while reaching more customers in our coverage area and continuing to grow our network.”

“As the largest winner of Connect America Fund II programs in California, and with its cutting-edge fixed wireless technology, GeoLinks is poised for exciting growth over the next decade to meet increased demand for universal high-speed broadband access,” said David Stonehill, Founder and Managing Partner of Rock Mountain Capital. “Skyler Ditchfield and the management team at GeoLinks have an outstanding track record building and operating high-speed, high-quality broadband networks throughout California. With RMC’s support, we are confident the GeoLinks team will continue its technological innovation, stellar customer service and rapid rate of organic growth, and will serve as a platform for potential industry consolidation.”

The investment comes at a time when the company is in the process of deploying its revolutionary ClearFiber+ technology across one of the fastest growing fixed wireless networks in the nation. Capable of connecting businesses and anchors institutions to multigigabit networks in less than 10 days, GeoLinks owns exclusive rights to utilize the technology platform in key spectrum bands throughout the United States. Together with its recent acquisition of network assets and 5G spectrum licenses from TPx Communications, GeoLinks owns the largest coverage area of any single provider in California. Combined with its existing position as one of the fastest growing private companies in America, the company is poised for exponential growth over the next year.

Bank Street Group served as exclusive financial advisor to GeoLinks in connection with this transaction.

For more information on GeoLinks, including new product launches and strategic initiatives, please visit www.GeoLinks.com. For more information on Rock Mountain Capital, please visit www.RockMountainCapital.com.

For media inquiries involving GeoLinks, please contact Ben Gallagher at [email protected] or (805) 276-8322. For inquiries involving Rock Mountain Capital, please contact Abbe Serphos at [email protected] or (917) 699-9661.

 

About GeoLinks

Headquartered in Southern California, GeoLinks is a leading telecommunications company and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Hosted Voice solutions. Ranked on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America three-years running, GeoLinks delivers Enterprise-Grade Internet, Digital Voice, SD-WANCloud On-ramping, Layer 2 Transport, and both Public and Private Turnkey Network Construction expertly tailored for businesses and Anchor Institutions nationwide.

 

About Rock Mountain Capital

Rock Mountain Capital works with entrepreneurs and management teams in the consumer goods & services, leisure & entertainment, and technology, media & telecom (TMT) sectors to accelerate organizational development, execute on organic growth opportunities and pursue strategic M&A and roll-up / consolidation strategies. Rock Mountain invests capital that matches its investment mandate – patient, long-term capital sourced from family offices of successful entrepreneurs, and other like-minded institutional investors. Rock Mountain was founded in 2019 by private equity industry veterans who bring over 30 years of experience investing in and growing middle market companies.

Does Weather Affect Fixed Wireless?

Does Weather Affect Fixed Wireless?
October 10th, 2020 [UPDATED]
First Published January 4th, 2019

Can Weather Affect a Fixed Wireless Internet Connection?

The majority of businesses today have become intrinsically reliant on the Internet. From serving as an accessible means to communicate globally, to hosting e-commerce stores, to conducting online credit transactions and transfers, high-speed Internet connections have become paramount for businesses of all sizes. There are numerous broadband technologies to consider when shopping in today’s business marketplace— from DSL to copper, to fiber, to satellite, to fixed wireless Internet.

When exploring fixed wireless connections, a variety of questions may come to mind. For example, is fixed wireless Internet reliable? Is fixed wireless Internet affected by weather? Does fixed wireless Internet perform as well as a wired connection?

To answer these questions, let’s first take a step back and ask the foundational question, “what is fixed wireless Internet?

what is fixed wireless

What is Fixed Wireless Internet?

Fixed wireless provides high-speed broadband Internet access to a single location via radio waves. By utilizing antennas, towers, and an express line of sight (LoS) to transmit point-to-point and point-to-multi-point signals, fixed wireless technology is deployable in a fraction of the time – and for a fraction of the cost – of terrestrial fiber. Unlike a standard Wi-Fi connection, fixed wireless networks can be directionally focused to produce dedicated speeds of up to 10 Gbps. When configured correctly, fixed wireless technology can withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, high winds, and severe temperatures, both hot and cold, with the ability to operate over licensed or unlicensed wireless spectrum.

Why Has Fixed Wireless Internet Developed a Bad Reputation?

Although trusted and utilized by global militaries and law enforcement for upwards of a century, over the years of perfecting fixed wireless for commercial use, many small carriers deployed inexpensive equipment that operated across only one frequency. This practice caused a multitude of problems, including interference from other links in the surrounding area. The result? A deceiving reputation for being slow, unreliable, and inferior to wired networks.

Another common misconception that has been tagged to fixed wireless technology is that it is equivalent to satellite Internet quality of service (QoS). Satellite Internet, which is notoriously known for its high latency, operates by transmitting signals from a dish to a satellite orbiting more than 20,000 miles above the earth. This distance is drastically different than a 20-mile point-to-point fixed wireless link.

GeoLinks has put all the misconceptions about fixed wireless Internet to rest in our article “8 Facts to Set the Record Straight About Fixed Wireless Internet”.

Here are the highlights:

  • Fact 1: Fixed wireless Internet is not the same as satellite Internet
  • Fact 2: Fixed wireless Internet Is just as reliable as fiber
  • Fact 3: Fixed wireless Internet is not just a rural solution
  • Fact 4: Fixed wireless Internet can be installed rapidly
  • Fact 5: Fixed wireless radio technology is safe
  • Fact 6: Fixed wireless Internet is much more than a backup solution
  • Fact 7: Fixed wireless Internet is secure
  • Fact 8: Fixed wireless Internet works in any weather

Today’s Commercial High-Speed Fixed Wireless Internet Technology

As with all types of broadband connections, fixed wireless speeds and service varies from provider to provider. From technical equipment upgrades to improved and simplified network management through software, commercial fixed wireless networks have advanced rapidly in recent years. When topped off with the ability to combine and switch between more diversified spectrum links (both licensed and unlicensed), properly-deployed modern fixed wireless networks can deliver gigabit connection speeds that rival fiber connections.

weather and fixed wireless internet
 

Fixed Wireless Internet and the Weather

When we think of our Internet connection transmitting data wirelessly, the effects of weather can be a natural concern. Thus, it’s no surprise that fixed wireless providers are often asked, “Does weather affect fixed wireless Internet?”

The answer? Yes, it can if it’s not deployed correctly – and that is one of the primary reasons the technology gets overlooked. However, with informed engineering and experience, fixed wireless networks can be unaffected by weather. For example, before building out any wireless network, GeoLinks’ in-house engineering team first looks at an area’s terrain, historical weather patterns, rain fade, and thermal ducting. Based on the data collected and considering the distance of the shot and required bandwidth, they choose the best frequency or frequencies and carrier-grade equipment for the specific region and build. With multiple failover paths, every GeoLinks network eventually connects to a fiber optic backbone to ensure true network redundancy. The result? A stable, high-speed fixed wireless network designed to withstand the elements.

Plus, GeoLinks can craft a disaster recovery plan for your business to help you combat any weather event or natural disaster you encounter.

Why Should Your Business Implement Fixed Wireless Internet?

In addition to being weather-proof, Fixed Wireless Internet is:

  • Quick to deploy – fixed wireless Internet networks can be deployed in a fraction of the time of competing wired technologies.
  • Cost-effective – by avoiding costly trenching, fixed wireless Internet networks are far less expensive to build and have a lower impact on the environment.
  • Widely available – because they use radio waves, fixed wireless Internet networks can reach areas “off the grid,” such as rural America.
  • Uptime – Fixed wireless Internet networks have multipoint redundancy built-in. This provides always-on connectivity with close to 100% uptime.

Comparing Fixed Wireless Internet to other Business Internet Options

Fixed Wireless Business Internet Comparison Chart 



GeoLinks’ Fixed Wireless Internet Case Studies – Proof of Concept

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Multi-Site Locations:

A great case study to prove the potential of a well-constructed fixed wireless network is GeoLinks’ project with global coffee distributor Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. In 2016, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was slated to open a series of new locations in Southern California in just 20 days and needed more than 30 circuits to support their public Wi-Fi and POS systems. The company initially contracted to provide a terrestrial connection was projecting massive delays and restrictions of available bandwidth. To meet their quickly approaching deadlines, the company looked to contract an outside local provider to administer a temporary solution. Enter GeoLinks.

GeoLinks successfully delivered more than 30 redundant circuits to all new store locations in just 14 days, enabling the stores to open as planned.

GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ initially was hired as a temporary backup solution while Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s copper network was installed. However, ClearFiber’s seamless operation, combined with further buildout delays, led Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to cancel its copper installations altogether and to use GeoLinks as their primary provider.

The decision to use GeoLinks paid off again when Southern California was hit with a massive storm in the Spring of 2017, causing outages across the state as California’s poor irrigation caused underground reservoirs to flood for nearly two weeks straight. As terrestrial cables live underground, many of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s pre-existing locations operated on copper and experienced extended outages and downtime. All of their ClearFiber™ locations, on the other hand, remained unaffected and avoided outages and downtime altogether.

You can learn more about our success story with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf here, or you can download the PDF of the case study here.

Coffee Bean Case Study

Catalina Island - Does weather affect fixed wireless?

Santa Catalina Island:

Santa Catalina Island is located more than 20 miles off the California coast, which creates an ongoing problem to secure reliable high-speed Internet access. Before 2016, most island residents lived with either unreliable satellite or cellular connections or no access whatsoever. At one point in time, the island commissioned an outside network builder to deliver a fixed wireless connection to solve this problem. Unfortunately, however, the design was dramatically impacted by weather and atmospheric ducting, causing consistent drops, outages, packet loss, and high latency. The poorly designed network left residents and businesses with an unsustainable and unreliable network.

In 2016, GeoLinks was brought in by an affiliate partner to design a custom solution that would deliver Catalina its first-ever reliable and redundant multi-gigabit network. By understanding the inherent issues of thermal ducting and rain fade, and by examining over 50 years of weather patterns, the GeoLinks team, led by CTO Ryan Hauf and CEO Skyler Ditchfield, were able to conceptualize an innovative network design in under two weeks.

Having ample tower coverage supported by fiberoptic backbones throughout Southern California, GeoLinks’ team of expert engineers then were able to construct a fully redundant network in just 60 days. Using multiple paths over various frequencies to deliver long-haul middle mile, the system was built to seamlessly failover when rain or packet loss was detected, preventing the island from ever experiencing a perceived outage.

GeoLinks – The Most Reliable Fixed Wireless Internet Provider

So, let’s answer our initial questions. When engineered effectively, fixed wireless Internet is a reliable technology that can withstand extreme weather conditions and perform equal, if not better than, a wired connection. With innovative companies like GeoLinks building businesses and anchor institutions multi-gigabit networks that guarantee ultra-low latency, virtually no jitter, 99.999% uptime, fixed wireless Internet may very well be the best Internet solution for your business.

Ready to Try GeoLinks’ Weather-Proof Business Internet Option ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet?

Chat with one of our in-house experts to see if ClearFiber™ is right for your business.

Request a Quote
 
 
 

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GeoLinks CEO, Skyler Ditchfield Named to List of 200 Most Influential Business Leaders in California’s San Fernando Valley

July 24, 2020 3:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Camarillo, CA – GeoLinks, one of the fastest growing technology companies in Southern California, announced that its CEO and cofounder, Skyler Ditchfield has been named to the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s (SFVBJ annual “Valley 200” list of the most influential business and community leaders in the region.

“It’s an honor to be recognized amongst this prestigious group of community and business leaders,” said Ditchfield. “I would be remiss not to acknowledge the incredible work my team at GeoLinks has done to put company leadership in a position to be recognized. Their dedication to our mission is something that I am truly proud of.”

Under Ditchfield’s leadership, the company has experienced tremendous year-over-year growth, landing GeoLinks on Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America three-years running.  An industry thought leader, Ditchfield is a voting member of the FCC Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, as well as several other FCC working groups and advisory boards. He is a member of the Forbes Los Angeles Business Council, a board member for Ventura County’s Economic Development Collaborative (EDC-VC) and a strategic advisory committee and board member for the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB).

An industry leader in the closing of the digital divide, GeoLinks was the largest grant winner in the state of California in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Connect America Fund Phase II Auction in 2018. The $88 million award equips the company to roll out high-speed internet service to some of the most underconnected rural areas in California and Nevada. GeoLinks was also the largest construction grant winner for California K-12 schools and libraries from 2016 through 2020, focusing deployment efforts on connecting rural schools and libraries throughout the state of California and beyond.

“[The Valley 200 list] is 200 people we consider the most influential in the [San Fernando] Valley area,” wrote Charles Crumpley, SFVBJ publisher and editor in a July edition of the business publication. “Some are driven business owners or operators. Others are at the helm of organizations that strive to make our community a better place. A few are top educators. Many are professionals. But all are engaged and active. They are the most influential people in our community.”

About GeoLinks

Headquartered in Southern California, GeoLinks is a leading telecommunications company and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Hosted Voice solutions. Ranked on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America three-years running, GeoLinks delivers Enterprise-Grade Internet, Hosted 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.

Keeping You Connected: Beacons of Growth and Recovery

As we continue to navigate our way through the Coronavirus pandemic, we would like to take a moment to connect with you, our customers and partners. While the situation continues to evolve, as does our way of life along with it, one thing remains unchanged — our commitment to keeping you connected.

In March, GeoLinks joined the Federal Communications Commission’s pledge to Keep Americans Connected and we are steadfast in our commitment to do so. This formal pledge is our vow to ensure that our customers remain connected to vital information infrastructure during these uncertain times.

Over the last several weeks, we have worked closely with our partners and clients to honor this commitment. When possible, we have granted temporary speed bumps to residential clients who are working remotely due to the “safer at home” guidelines. We have differed billing for clients experiencing difficulties paying their bill due to the loss of business and steady income. We have been diligent in ensuring that no clients’ service is suspended due to an inability to pay their bill because of economic difficulties caused by the pandemic.

“As a telecommunications company, we have been in the fortunate position of continuing our growth trend during a time when many industries have been hit extremely hard by the economic toll of the pandemic,” said GeoLinks CEO Skyler Ditchfield. “Our customers are the heart of our company and are driving our success. In kind, we are committed to fueling their continued success and their return to economic vitality in a very real way by keeping them connected to the networks that keep their businesses running.”

While many businesses have been forced to make difficult decisions such as closing for indeterminate timeframes, we have continued to see a high demand for connectivity over the last several weeks. “Our country has weathered many challenges over its history, and what has inevitably led us through each one has been the resilience and ingenuity of our entrepreneurial and business communities,” said Ditchfield. “We have seen signs of recovery over these last few weeks as our network has continued to grow, connecting new customers on a daily basis.”

As we move forward, please remember that we’re here to help. Whether you need help with a disruption to your business caused by the pandemic or you’re looking to connect a new business, we’re your partners in connectivity and nothing is going to change that.

GeoLinks Comments on Auction of Priority Access Licenses

GeoLinks FCC Comments - Auction of Priority Access Licenses for the 3550-3650 MHz Band 

REPLY COMMENTS OF CALIFORNIA INTERNET, L.P. DBA GEOLINKS

California Internet, L.P. DBA GeoLinks (“GeoLinks” or the “Company”) submits these Reply Comments in response to certain Comments filed on the Public Notice seeking public input on procedures to be used for the auction of Priority Access Licenses (“PALs”) in the 3550-3650 MHz band.[1]

INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY

GeoLinks commends the Commission on its efforts to open the 3550-3650 MHz band and release this valuable spectrum to the market for advanced services.  However, as proposed in the Public Notice, some of the auction processes may have the unintended consequence of making the majority of the 3550-3650 MHz band (at least in certain markets) only obtainable by large companies with vast amounts of capital.  As such, GeoLinks agrees with commenters that the Commission should reject its Cellular Market Area (“CMA”)-level bidding proposal and urges the Commission to refrain from imposing bidding credit caps on small and rural service providers.

 

DISCUSSION

The Commission Should Refrain from Adopting CMA-Level Bidding

The vast majority of commenters agree with GeoLinks that CMA-level bidding should be rejected for a number of reasons.  First, CMA-level bidding will disadvantage smaller bidders, a concept that the Commission has previously acknowledged.  As DSA points out “the Commission explicitly acknowledged the harms of increasing the size of PAL areas beyond counties, stating that ‘the incremental benefit for 5G mobile use of going from counties to MSAs or PRAs would be far less than the incremental costs incurred by other potential users of the band.’”[2]  Further, as NCTA points out, “the Commission explained that ‘increasing PAL license area size further…could disproportionately favor mobile use cases and hinder investment in innovative fixed networks and localized deployments.’”[3]  This is because CMA-level bidding may have the unintended consequence of driving up PAL prices for rural counties that fall within CMAs that encompass more metropolitan counties.  As CCA explains, CMA-level bidding “risks distorting prices for less-densely populated counties subject to CMA bidding, and in so doing, could reduce auction participation and undermine investment and deployment by the very companies in the best position to improve wireless service in America.”[4]  This risk is clearly illustrated by RWA, which provides several examples in its comments to illustrate how “numerous rural counties…would be tied to pricier metropolitan package bid areas for which large and nationwide carriers would be competing, and therefore effectively unavailable to small and rural bidders.”[5]

Moreover, as WISPA and DSA explain, “CMA-level bidding will make it more challenging for companies that may desire to acquire PALs in rural counties that would be less desirable for large carriers looking to establish a larger geographic footprint of licenses,” which could “foreclose, or at least greatly diminish, the ability of competitive and smaller ISPs and other local entities to win PALs in the 172 CMAs.”[6]  Further, as Southern Linc explains, the CMA-level bidding proposal “undoubtedly provides a significant advantage to bidders with larger war chests than have an incentive to bid for larger areas in order to achieve economies of scale.”[7]  The result will be an auction that takes the band “further from its ‘Citizens’ roots,” as API notes.

Second, the Commission’s CMA-level bidding proposal is overly complex.  While AT&T praises the Commission for offering bidders “the flexibility to bid utilizing two different market area structures,” the creation of two distinct auction processes and two distinct types of bidders may lead to confusion or a lack of participation in the auction.  As Verizon explains, “the proposal for [CMA]-level bidding is not package bidding” and would add “unnecessary complexity to an already-complex auction.”[8]  While the Commission sites as a benefit to CMA-level bidding the ability to obtain “an aggregation of counties, rather than having to bid for the counties separately,”[9] it fails to explain how this benefit (which will only really be a benefit for a few auction participants) will help further the goals of the Auction.  As NCTA points out, auction complexity caused by the Commission’s CMA-level bidding proposal will have “unintended inefficiencies – including inhibiting price and demand discovery – without providing the correspondence benefit of reducing the overall number of potential biddable items.[10]

Third, CMA-level bidding is simply not needed for bidders to obtain PALs across an aggregation of counties.  As WISPA explains, “PALs in multi-county areas can be assembled through county-level bids that afford bidders greater flexibility to design bids in a way that does not include undesirable counties in the CMA-level bid.”[11]  And as DSA explains, “large bidders have access to sophisticated auction resources to track auction progress and generate bids that they upload each round into the Commission’s bidding system.”[12]  GeoLinks agrees with DSA that “the Commission’s CMA-level bidding proposal is a solution in search of a problem,” because “the Commission itself provides no justification for the proposal in the Public Notice.”[13]  As OTI explains, the proposal yields “no substantial benefits in reducing burdens for the Commission or even for the largest mobile carriers that set out to acquire PALs in every county in a CMA.[14]  The fact is that CMA-level bidding is just not needed and could cause more harm than good.

For these reasons the Commission should refrain from adopting its CMA-level bidding proposal.

The Commission Should Not Establish Bidding Credit Caps

GeoLinks maintains its position that if the Commission truly wants to release “flexible-use mid-band spectrum to the market” in order to further “deployment of fifth-generation wireless, the Internet of Things, and other advanced spectrum-based services,” it must allow the playing field to remain level throughout the entire auction process and eliminate the bidding credit caps it proposes in the Public Notice.[15]  Specifically, GeoLinks urges the Commission to refrain from imposing bidding caps on could-be auction winners that may otherwise not be able to match the bidding power of large companies.

RWA asserts that caps are necessary because “in prior auctions, deep-pocketed applicants that nevertheless qualified as small businesses were able to freeze out the small and rural providers that actually serve the areas.”[16]  However, this argument does not actually explain why caps are needed or why they are the appropriate solution.  It seems that instead of encouraging the Commission to adopt caps to ensure there is no gaming of the bidding credits in Auction 105, RWA should be asking the Commission to take steps necessary to ensure that small and rural providers are the ones receiving those credits.  GeoLinks would agree with such an ask and urges the Commission to adopt safeguards to ensure that bidding credits only go to small and rural service providers that fall within the Commission’s intended definition.  This will ensure that RWA’s concerns are addressed without hamstringing small and rural carriers in the Auction 105 process.

For these reasons, GeoLinks urges the Commission to refrain from imposing caps of the amount of bidding credit a small business or rural service provider may receive.  If the Commission does determine that bidding credit caps must be implemented, at a minimum, GeoLinks urges the Commission to increase them significantly.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, GeoLinks urges the Commission to reject its CMA-level bidding proposal and refrain from imposing bidding credit caps on small and rural service providers.

 

Respectfully submitted,

California Internet, L.P. DBA GeoLinks                                                  

/s/ Skyler Ditchfield, Chief Executive Officer

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

 

November 12, 2019

 

[1] Public Notice, Auction of Priority Access Licenses for the 3550-3650 MHz Band; Comment Sought on Competitive Bidding Procedures for Auction 105; Bidding in Auction 105 Scheduled to Begin June 25, 2020, AU Docket 19-244, FCC 19-96 (rel. Sept. 27, 2019) (“Public Notice”).
[2] Comments of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, AU Docket No. 19-244 (filed Oct. 28, 2019) (“DSA Comments”) at 4, citing Report and Order, GN Docket No. 17-258 (Rel. Oct. 24, 2018) at para. 27.
[3] Comments of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, AU Docket No. 19-244 (filed Oct. 28, 2019) (“NCTA Comments”) at 4, citing Promoting Investment in the 3550-3700 MHz Band, Report and Order, 33 FCC Rcd. 10,598 (2018) at paras. 20 and 39.
[4] Comments of the Competitive Carriers Association, AU Docket No. 19-244 (filed Oct. 28, 2019) (“CCA Comments”) at 4.
[5] Comments of the Rural Wireless Association, Inc., AU Docket No. 19-244 (filed Oct. 28, 2019) (“RWA Comments”) at 3-4; see also at 4-9.
[6] Comments of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, AU Docket No. 19-244 (filed Oct. 28, 2019) (“WISPA Comments”) at 4 and DSA Comments at 5.
[7] Comments of Southern Communications Services, Inc. dba Southern Linc, AU Docket No. 19-244 (filed Oct. 28, 2019) at 4.
[8] Comments of Verizon Communications, Inc., AU Docket No. 19-244 (filed Oct. 28, 2019) at 2-3.
[9] Public Notice at para 29.
[10] NCTA Comments at 3-4
[11] WISPA Comment at 3.
[12] DSA Comments at 11.
[13] Id. at 10
[14] Comments of the Open Technology Institute at New America, AU Docket No. 19-244 (filed Oct. 28, 2019) at 8.
[15] Public Notice at para. 1.
[16] RWA Comments at 3.

GeoLinks Earns Spot on Inc. 5000 List Third Year Running

GeoLinks Earns Its Place on the 2019 Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America List for the Third Year in a Row

August 16, 2019 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time | Original release published on BusinessWire.com

CAMARILLO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On Wednesday, August 13th, 2019, Inc. Magazine revealed that GeoLinks earned a place on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, for the third year in a row. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Achieving a three-year growth rate of 256%, GeoLinks represents the one in eight companies that have made this list three times.

“With the incredible team we have in place here at GeoLinks, I have no doubt that we will make next year’s list and beyond,” commented GeoLinks’ Co-Founder and CEO Skyler Ditchfield. “We have the best team there is in telecom, and I am both humbled and proud to lead such a dynamic group of hard-working and innovative individuals. Our mission at GeoLinks is to one day close the digital divide—this makes keeping motivated really easy for each and every one of us. Truly, the best is yet to come!”

Not only have the companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 (which are listed online at Inc.com, with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 20) been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2019 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding median growth rate of 157 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $237.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 1,216,308 jobs over the past three years.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” said Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.”

With the release of this year’s ranking, GeoLinks remains the fastest growing Internet Service Provider (ISP) and Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) in the state of California, and the second fastest growing ISP in America.

For media inquiries and interview requests, contact Lexie Smith, VP of Business Development, at [email protected].

About GeoLinks

Headquartered in Southern California, GeoLinks is a leading telecommunications company and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Digital Voice solutions. Ranked three-years running on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America, GeoLinks delivers Enterprise-Grade InternetDigital VoiceSD-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 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.

More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000

Methodology

The 2019 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2018. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2015 is $100,000; the minimum for 2018 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Inc. Media

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Inc. took home the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. The total monthly audience reach for the brand has been growing significantly, from 2,000,000 in 2010 to more than 20,000,000 today. For more information, visit www.inc.com.

The Inc. 5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that celebrates the remarkable achievements of these companies. The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions.

For more information on Inc. and the Inc. 5000 Conference, visit http://conference.inc.com/.

GeoLinks Formally Approved by USAC to Begin CAF Build Out

The Universal Service Administrative Company has officially cleared GeoLinks to begin CAF II build outs in California and Nevada

CAMARILLO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) formally approved GeoLinks to start receiving funding for the Company’s Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) buildout in California and Nevada. Announced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in August of 2018 as the largest CAF II winner in the state of California, and 5th largest winner in the nation overall, with GeoLinks’ deployment plans and Letters of Credit officially approved, the innovative telecom will officially begin broadband deployment this summer.

Awarded a total of $87.8M in the auction, GeoLinks will provide more than 11,000 rural locations across California and Nevada with Internet at 100 megabits per second. The Company is also confident that this new infrastructure will simultaneously reduce the cost of bringing high speed broadband access to anchor institutions, such as Schools, Libraries, Hospitals, and Community Colleges, throughout both states.

“We are thrilled to have officially cleared both the FCC and USAC’s approval process for CAF II,” stated GeoLinks’ Co-Founder and CEO Skyler Ditchfield. “While the announcement back in August was undoubtedly exciting, we are now officially in the position to begin deployment throughout both states.”

With the GeoLinks’ team fully prepared to break ground, the Company is now looking forward to participating in the FCC’s LIFT America Act, which will support another $40B worth of broadband infrastructure deployment in aims of closing the digital divide.

For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Lexie Smith at [email protected]

FCC Comments – Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, DC  20554

 

In the Matter of

Preparation For Incentive Auction of Upper

Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses In                            AU Docket No. 19-59

The 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz Bands

(Auction 103)

 

REPLY COMMENTS OF CALIFORNIA INTERNET, L.P. DBA GEOLINKS

California Internet, L.P. DBA GeoLinks (“GeoLinks” or the “Company”) hereby submits these Comments in response to the Commission’s Public Notice released in the above-captioned proceedings.[1]

I. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY

GeoLinks is one of the fastest growing Internet and phone providers in America and the fastest growing telecom in California.  As such, and in order to be truly competitive within its service territory, the Company has a vested interest in promoting policies that allow fixed wireless broadband service providers to access spectrum resources suitable to providing high-speed broadband service.  Traditionally, fixed wireless ISPs have operated in the unlicensed bands (i.e. 2.4 and 5 GHz).  While several fixed wireless providers, including GeoLinks, have been successful in utilizing the unlicensed bands, their application is limited.  The availability of PAL licenses in the 37, 39, and 47 GHz bands, in addition to others the Commission is currently crafting rules for, could provide fixed wireless providers opportunities to provide fiber-like high bandwidth services and robust backhaul for 5G services in areas and in ways it was not previously possible.

GeoLinks applauds the Commission’s efforts to make more spectrum resources available for wireless uses and for seeking comment on ways to structure the upcoming Auction 103 to try to ensure participation from smaller companies.  While the Company believes that these efforts are a step in the right direction, it is concerned that Auction 103, if not structured the right way, will result in all available spectrum resources being consumed by large companies with seemingly endless capital.  As such, GeoLinks offers the following suggestions to help the Commission put would-be auction participants of all sizes on more equal footing in order to encourage additional licensees and innovative use of the 37, 39, and 47 GHz bands.

I. DISCUSSION

A. The Commission Should Make “White Space” Available for Auction

In the Public Notice, the Commission explains that it does not propose to make the “white space” that results in the 39 GHz band if incumbents chose to receive modified licenses, retaining only “partial PEA holdings (i.e., covering less than the full geographic are of a PEA).[2]  GeoLinks does not believe that leaving these “white spaces” unused promotes sound spectrum policy, especially when these white spaces can be used to further the deployment of advanced spectrum-based services.

In the Public Notice the FCC makes several proposals that would enable small businesses (e.g. small service providers) to participate in Auction 103.  However, as small providers have advocated in numerous proceedings, PEA-sized license areas can be too large.  For example, in the 3.5 GHz proceeding, GeoLinks previously advocated for smaller license areas because PEAs can so vastly differ in size as well as in urban vs. rural make up.[3]  The example GeoLinks provided, specifically, was PEA 2 in Southern California, which encompasses eight counties[4] and includes both large populous areas and large swaths of rural areas that are currently deemed “unserved” by high-speed broadband services.  If smaller “white space” license areas were made available within this PEA, for example, it might allow smaller carriers to provide more pinpointed services to specific communities without having to try and compete with the large providers for an entire PEA.

Attachment A hereto is a screenshot of PEA 2 taken from the California Interactive Broadband Map.[5]  The shaded areas represent areas that are considered unserved (no broadband access).[6]  While most of these areas fall within Connect America Fund Phase II grant areas, this map illustrates that large PEAs can contain both metropolitan areas as well as unserved areas. If “white spaces” in the 39 GHz band exist in PEAs that could be used to help provide much needed services to unserved rural areas, it stands to reason that the Commission should make those areas available to companies that wish to use them.  Conversely, if a remaining “white space” were to fall within a more populated area, allowing smaller companies the chance to utilize that spectrum would only serve to promote competition against companies who may opt for PEA-sized licenses.

GeoLinks fails to see the logic in creating auction procedures to encourage small companies to participate but refrain from creating possible license areas that these small companies could utilize – especially when they are available.  Moreover, not making these smaller license areas available will lead to these areas remaining unused, which will most likely disproportionately affect rural areas.  As such, GeoLinks strongly urges the Commission to reconsider its position to exclude “white space” areas from Auction 103.

B. The Commission Should Eliminate the Proposed Bidding Credit Caps

GeoLinks has previously expressed that incentive auctions tend to only benefit large companies with large amounts of capital to spend.  For this reason, GeoLinks commends the Commission on its decision to implement bidding credits for small businesses and primarily rural service providers.  However, while the bidding credits set forth in the Public Notice will help level the playing field for all bidders in the Auction 103, the Company believes that if the Commission truly wants to “promote small business and rural service provider participation in auctions and in the provision of spectrum-based services,” it must allow the playing field to remain level throughout the entire auction process.  Specifically, GeoLinks urges the Commission to eliminate the bidding credit caps it proposes in the Public Notice.[7]

GeoLinks recognizes that most companies eligible for the bidding credits do not have access to the kind of capital needed to even come close to reaching the bidding credit caps set forth in the Public Notice.  However, this does not mean it’s impossible. To truly create an auction process that promotes the deployment of advanced spectrum-based services, the Commission must account for the financial differences between larger companies and smaller, competitive companies or those focused on serving rural areas.  For example, if a small competitive broadband provider or rural service provider were to successfully raise enough capitol prior to the auction, it is possible that that company could compete head-to-head with a larger provider for the same block of spectrum within a specific license area.  In this circumstance, the smaller/ rural service provider should not be hamstrung by a limit on bidding credits, which could mean the difference between obtaining needed spectrum or not.  To promote innovation, these smaller companies must be given an opportunity to obtain spectrum licenses. Therefore, GeoLinks urges the Commission to refrain from imposing bidding caps on could-be auction winners and make the Auction 103 bidding credits applicable to all bids made by an eligible company, no matter how large.

II. CONCLUSION

GeoLinks applauds the Commission’s efforts to make more spectrum resources available for wireless uses and to encourage small businesses to participate in Auction 103.  However, in order to truly promote expanded participation in the Auction, GeoLinks recommends that the Commission reconsider making “white spaces” in the 39 GHz band available for auction and remove the bidding credit caps that will only serve to hamstring smaller providers from bidding against large providers.

/

/

/

/

Respectfully submitted,

 

GEOLINKS, LLC

 

/s/ Skyler Ditchfield, Chief Executive Officer

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

 

May 15, 2019

 

Attachment A

FCC Comments - Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses

[1] Incentive Auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz Bands for Next-Generation Wireless Services; Comment Sought on Competitive Bidding Procedures for Auction 103, Public Notice, AU Docket No. 19-59, FCC 19-35 (rel. April 15, 2019) (“Public Notice”).
[2] Public Notice at para. 5.
[3] See Reply Comments of California Internet, L.P. dba GeoLinks, GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed January 29, 2018).
[4] PEA 2 encompasses Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.
[5] See http://www.broadbandmap.ca.gov/ (screenshot taken May 10, 2019).
[6] Based on California’s definition – areas that are not served by speeds of at least 6 Mbps down/ 1 Mbps up.
[7] See Public Notice at paras. 11-17.

GeoLinks’ CEO Skyler Ditchfield Appointed to the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

The Federal Communications Commission announces Skyler Ditchfield as a member of the newly re-chartered Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

CAMARILLO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On May 16, 2019, Chairman Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced his appointment of Skyler Ditchfield, Co-Founder and CEO of GeoLinks, to serve as an official member of the newly re-chartered Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). Of the 39 listed appointees, Skyler Ditchfield serves as the only Southern California representative.

According to the FCC’s official release, “In its second term, the BDAC will continue its work to craft recommendations for the Commission on ways to accelerate the deployment of high-speed Internet access, or ‘broadband,’ by reducing and/or removing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment and strengthening existing broadband networks in communities across the country.” The release continues by outlining the BDAC as an opportunity for interested stakeholders to exchange ideas and develop recommendations to the Commission on broadband deployment, to enhance the Commission’s ability to deploy broadband to all Americans.

Previously appointed to the Streamlining Federal Siting Working Group in 2017, and the Disaster Response and Recovery Working Group in 2018 (both BDAC sub groups), Ditchfield’s elevated appointment will enable him to provide strategic recommendations and influence action to close the digital divide on a national scale.

“I have been continually impressed by Chairman Pai, his administration, and all the work that they have done thus far,” stated Ditchfield. “They’ve truly worked hard to level the playing field for all sized ISPs. They’ve put forward significant new dollars towards broadband investment and are staying true to their promise of closing the digital divide. With GeoLinks’ founding mission being to close the digital divide, we have a multitude of case studies that have proven capable of closing the gap in California. Being that all of these projects demonstrate proven and transferrable methods, I am very excited to get to work with both the BDAC and my two designated working groups to cultivate the most realistic and feasible path forward nationally.”

The renewed BDAC will hold its first meeting on Thursday, June 13, 2019, in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, located in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public. The FCC will accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. The Commission will also provide audio and/or video coverage of the meeting over the Internet from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live.

The FCC’s official Public Notice can be accessed online via the following link: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-announces-re-chartered-bdac-membership-and-first-meeting

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact Lexie Smith, VP of Business Development, at [email protected].

About GeoLinks

Headquartered in Southern California, GeoLinks is a leading telecommunications company and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Digital Voice solutions. Ranked first in category on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America in both 2017 and 2018, GeoLinks delivers Enterprise-Grade Internet, Digital Voice, SD-WANCloud 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.

Contacts

Media Inquiries:
GeoLinks
Lexie Smith, VP of Business Development
[email protected]

Local internet service provider wins $87.8 million in government funding

 Local internet service provider wins $87.8 million in government funding - GeoLinks - Ryan Hauf

Photo taken by GeoLinks Co-Founder and CTO Ryan Hauf

 

A local internet service provider is going regional, thanks to $87.8 million in funding from the federal government.

GeoLinks, an 8-year-old Camarillo-based ISP that primarily serves businesses and rural areas, is among several companies that will receive funding from the Federal Communication Commission’s Connect America Fund Phase II Auction. The company plans on using the capital to bring high-speed internet to rural communities previously lacking connectivity.

The first phase of the fund was held around five years ago and catered to larger, national ISPs.

Money from the fund’s second phase, which totals around $1.5 billion, will be paid out in monthly installments over a 10-year period. GeoLinks will receive $731,000 monthly starting in May, according to CEO Skyler Ditchfield. The company is primarily focused on providing internet service to rural regions and businesses that may be overlooked by the nation’s larger ISPs.

Ditchfield said money from the Connect America fund would allow GeoLinks to create a residential division but said the focus would still be on primarily rural areas.

“It enables connectivity in rural parts of California,” Ditchfield said. “People that live in those locations can try new business ventures, educate themselves better and enable a lot of new internet services like video.”

GeoLinks currently provides internet service to various parts of Ventura County and most other Southern California counties. Local areas serviced by the company include rural parts of Ojai and Thousand Oaks. The company also services entities such as schools, libraries and hospitals in rural areas across the state.

The company plans on using the bulk of the money for new equipment and infrastructure, such as towers, wireless links and distribution. GeoLinks also plans on using around $5.5 million of the funding it will receive to service areas on the California-Nevada border. While GeoLinks will use some of the funding to begin servicing parts of Camarillo and Oxnard, it will also allow the company to make a larger regional push into the Central Valley and around northeastern parts of the state.

The company is allowed up to six years to use the funds to build out its network, although Ditchfield said GeoLinks aims to complete work within four years. As payments will be doled out throughout the next decade, funds received after the network is built will be used for operating costs, such as rent and maintenance.

Applications for the third phase of the fund will likely open in late 2019.

Tyler Hersko covers business news for the Ventura County Star. Reach him at [email protected] or 805-437-0312.

MORE: Camarillo-based GeoLinks joins universities on wildfire project