The speech below I prepared and presented at CityNet’s 7. Year Anniversary Celebration that we held on October 26, 2006 at the CityNet offices.
Seven years ago, the result of a decision made by the City of Tifton’s leadership came to life. It had been decided that the incumbent providers were not providing and had no immediate plans to provide enhanced cable, broadband or other communication services to the citizens of Tifton. Tifton was in danger of being left behind on the wrong side of the digital divide. This could not happen, thus CityNet was born.
Seven years later CityNet has accomplished great things. CityNet was first to bring broadband high-speed Internet to Tifton ensuring that the community would be on the right side of the digital divide. CityNet was first to provide enhanced digital cable services providing more channels and more value to customers. CityNet was first to provide low cost digital telephone service to the community, finally making it affordable to talk with others anywhere in the country. Finally, CityNet was first in Tifton to offer all 3 services in a cost effective “triple play” package.
But CityNet didn’t stop there. Yes, the services provided by CityNet did yield a competitive edge that 50% of those living in the service area took advantage of. Yes, by providing this competition, other cable, broadband and telephone services that are typically higher in areas with no competition are much more reasonable and competitive in Tifton. However, there were still those that did not have access to either CityNet or another provider for their needs. Thus, coming into the beginning of our 7th year, CityNet launched a county-wide wireless initiative to provide broadband high-speed Internet to those that had nothing more to rely upon than slow, unreliable out-dated dialup Internet service. The response has been overwhelming; so much so that we have had trouble keeping up with demand. That’s a good problem to have.
CityNet was among the first municipal cable systems in Georgia. We’ve learned a lot over the past seven years, the first being these endeavors were not being financed for long enough periods of time. Ten (10) years was thought to be long enough by the industry. As we have learned, the industry has also learned and now systems are financed for periods of 20 to 30 years; thus the recapitalization of the CityNet system. It just made good business sense.
At CityNet, we continue to keep our eye on the future. Advancements in technology never end. Services that were simple wishes and fairy tales of yesterday are realities today. Video On-Demand, Cable Card, and Fiber to the Home are just a few of the newest technologies that CityNet will be embracing to continue to provide the best possible service at the best possible prices.
In seven years, CityNet has put Tifton on the right side of the digital divide, kept prices low for CityNet customers as well as non-CityNet customers. It’s not always about being the first (though there’s nothing wrong with that) but about providing the best service and the best price. CityNet is your system. We hope you’ve enjoyed it these past 7 years and we’ll continue to do our best to ensure that you enjoy it at least 7 more.
Donovan was born and raised in the deep south of South Central Georgia, roughly two hours from the Georgia-Florida line. His father was a guitar player, farmer, and eventually blue color worker for GM. His mother suffered from Scleroderma starting a few years after he was born, so she became a home maker. Growing up as an only child, Donovan’s interest included music (though he really never learned to play anything) and anything dealing with technology, but specifically computers.
He has spent his entire life involved with computer technology either as a hobby or as a career. In his middle to late teens, he ran a BBS (electronic bulletin board system – the precursor to the modern day Internet). He learned about networking computer systems, building computers, and communication technologies as part of his career.
Later in life, he fulfilled his dream of running his own ISP (Internet Service Provider) when he was hired first as the Network Manager and eventually the General Manager of the Telecommunications Department for the City of Tifton, known as CityNet.
Today he runs his own IT business and has been podcasting in some form or fashion since 2011.