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Ask an Exec: What are the key factors in choosing a Ting Internet town?

K P Lee writes in, “What are your key considerations in determining where you install fiber optic cable? I would love to see optical fiber Internet offered in Diamond Bar CA (Los Angeles County).”

Director of Ting Networks Adam Eisner discusses a few different factors we consider while making plans to expand to new communities and cities.

Ask an Exec: How are you balancing Ting Internet expansion and the customer experience?

Devon D. wonders how Ting’s expansion into fiber Internet will affect the quality of its customer service.

Adam Eisner, Director of Ting Networks and our latest Ask an Exec celeb, explains how we’re managing staffing levels to ensure all of our customers, whether mobile or Internet, will have the same great Ting experience.

Firefly: Where everybody knows your game


If you’ve got a taste for craft brew, good food, crazy fast fiber Internet and great retro games (and maybe a penchant for cancelled sci-fi shows that really deserved better than they got) then Firefly is the place to be. If you’re in Charlottesville, VA or if you’re ever passing through, it’s a great place to spend an evening, surrounded by games of all sorts.

Owner Melissa gave us the grand tour as Firefly hosted a DOTA 2 Pubstomp for The International 5. It was a great mix of fun, food and frenetic gaming action.

Firefly is among the first businesses in Charlottesville to get crazy fast fiber Internet from Ting and offer it up to patrons via a free Wi-Fi connection. The gig was invaluable for a live streaming event like our Dota 2 Pubstomp; the streaming broadcast came in high definition and without a hiccup.

I had a chance to speak with Melissa about how Firefly came to be, what it’s like stepping up to crazy fast fiber Internet and how the idea for an arcade-turned-bar came to be.

“My long term boyfriend Mark’s dream was to always have an arcade bar. Somewhere where you could hang out, play games with friends and order good food – not just a place to go sit and drink. When Mark passed from cancer in January, I ended up inheriting the bar,” she said. “While I have a business background, running a restaurant has been a new experience for me.”

Firefly’s journey and story is an interesting one and the atmosphere reflects it. There’s the standard bar stuff like draft beer, a pool table and Wednesday night karaoke. There are also a bunch of retro arcade machines, pinball and a ping pong table. Those looking for sit-down fun can play any one of the tons of board games on offer. Aside from the decor, Firefly has great food (including craft beers and healthy snacks) and a spacious layout that’s perfect for drinks with friends or an evening out with the kids.

Internet speed is not a subjective measurement

This is precisely the kind of collusion that leads to people being stuck with the same old shifty service providers. We said “shifty.” With an ‘F.’

The Longmont Compass, a local news source for Longmont, CO residents, pointed out that the fastest Internet service provider (ISP) in the region up and vanished.

Rather than a hard luck tale of an ambitious service provider whose reach exceeded its grasp, though, the truth is a much nastier.

NextLight Municipal Broadband is very much alive and well. Anyone researching local Internet options to find the fastest option in Longmont, though, might never know it. Despite the fact that they are just that: The fastest option in town. By a wide margin.

It matters to Ting Internet for obvious reasons.

In one of our earliest Ting Internet moves, we acquired a local ISP in Charlottesville, VA. By virtue, we ranked second in the list for the state of Virginia. Since the acquisition, we’ve been investing in the network and have boosted overall local average speeds by offering gigabit fiber access to more and more households and businesses. Rather than closing the gap, though, we’ve disappeared, according to

If you’ve ever researched Internet speeds, you’ve almost certainly landed on the connection speed test site, which is owned by Ookla. It has been a go-to source for Internet speed information. These recent changes to the way ISPs are ranked (please read on) mean the results are so heavily weighted toward the conglomerates as to be effectively useless for anyone looking to make an informed choice. They benefit no one but the big, nationwide providers.

Why doesn’t Ting Internet offer multiple service levels?

fiber-no-bgWe believe that crazy fast fiber Internet is the future for North America. For the world, ultimately, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

We want to offer the best Internet access in North America and we want to do it at a reasonable price. What we don’t want to do is play the big conglomerate cable access game.

To that end, we’re going all in on crazy fast fiber Internet access. What we’re offering is symmetrical gigabit Internet access. For homes, it’s $89 per month. For businesses, it’s $139 per month.

We think that the Internet access speeds the incumbents offer become less and less adequate with each passing day. We think the packages they offer are at best, a stall tactic while they try to squeeze every penny out of an aging infrastructure that was never designed with the Internet in mind and at worst, are an exercise in obfuscation.

In short, we believe in the gig and we’re confident in our all or nothing approach. We’re going to leave the middle ground to the traditional cable companies to muck around in. By sidestepping the 25, 40, 53⅓ Mbps options that the traditional copper incumbents offer, we’re stepping over that whole ugly part of the business, too. We think it’s time that Internet access in North America rise above all the scrabbling and positioning and instead step up with a little innovation.

We’re offering an inexpensive $19/mo. symmetrical 5 Mbps fiber connection to homes that want out from under the cable conglomerate thumb but for whom the gig is too much. This isn’t so much a product offering as it is a small, early effort at bridging the digital divide.

Ultimately, we’re offering symmetrical gigabit Internet access. That’s it, that’s all. If you get it, we’re confident that you’ll get it and we’ll do everything in our power to get it to you.

We came, we saw, we lit some fiber

On June 26, with Gigi Sohn of the FCC in attendance, we helped Westminster, MD light up its very own gigabit fiber network. As the exclusive provider for the first phase, we’ll be offering Ting crazy fast fiber Internet and sharing our simple, honest approach to customer service, powerful online tools, no contract and no caps for area homes and businesses.

This is the second Ting town to come online and our first of this sort of innovative (if we do say so ourselves) public/private partnership.

It’s clear that politicians and policy makers are watching the Ting and Westminster, MD partnership with great interest. We’ll do Westminster proud.

Press release (PDF)