Point Broadband, a new internet service provider, has been making rounds to several Baldwin County municipalities and the county government, all in an effort to lease tower space to bring a new form of broadband access to local residents.
Todd Holt, CEO of Point Broadband and ITC Holdings, said the process of finding tower space for their equipment has gone well, and he hopes to be able to start serving customers soon.
“We expect that we’re going to have access to about 25 towers in the next four weeks,” Holt said. “Those 25 towers will allow us to cover a significant footprint in Baldwin County. We sadly won’t reach every address in the county any time soon, but we’re glad we’ve been successful reaching agreements with a large number of towers.”
Holt said the company had a mid-June timeframe for launching service and signing up customers.
“We’re looking right now at Bay Minette, Fairhope, Daphne, Robertsdale, Summerdale, Silverhill, Loxley and Elberta, just to name a few,” Holt said. “It’s a large area to cover. We’re even working north of Baldwin County up in Escambia County near Atmore to get some towers there.”
Holt said Baldwin County was an ideal location for their business and said he looks for it to be a place where they can provide good, competitive service to existing providers.
“We do think Baldwin County may be our flagship operation for several reasons,” Holt said. “It’s a large county, so it has scale from a size perspective. It’s also a growing county, so as new homes and businesses are being built, we can move at a much faster pace and be able to hit families and businesses so they can have internet from day one. You can’t be in a home or business without internet, so we want to be able to be there and fill that need immediately.”
Holt said one way in which Point Broadband will differ from other competitors in the area is a specific focus on having brick and mortar buildings along with increased customer service.
“We picked a great technology, so we’ve got a solid product we’re going to back up with great customer service,” Holt said. ”We’re going to be the local broadband company. We want that presence in the county, places where people can stop by and talk with us directly and know they can come if they have questions or issues.”
Holt said he expects to see other competitors in the market start to step their game up as Point Broadband gears up and expands service within the county.
“I think the community wins when there is more competition,” Holt said. “We know how to compete well with the big guys, and we’re hoping that it will force those incumbents to get better. You should see them upgrade their networks and upgrade their customer service as a result, so that helps everyone.”
As another part of their business model, Holt said the company has created a program that would give back some of their yearly profits to local charities.
“We’re a faith-based organization ourselves, so we want to take 10 percent of our cash profit every year to donate to local charities that our customers will help us pick,” Holt said. “We want to find a way to give back to the community because we want to be a part of the community.”