LiveOak CFO Steve Smith Discusses Bridging the Rural Connectivity Gap On the Latest NEDAS Podcast Episode
In the latest NEDAS Live! Podcast episode, LiveOak Fiber’s Chief Revenue Officer Steve Smith joined industry expert Ilissa Miller for a conversation on the importance of bringing reliable and high-speed internet service to typically underserved communities. Smith shared the journey of his company’s inception and the vision that propelled it forward, as well as explained what it means to be an “altruistic technology company.”
Smith began by recounting his background in the telecommunications industry, where he gained an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by rural communities due to inadequate internet infrastructure. LiveOak Fiber was created from a deep-seated desire to effect positive change in these regions, offering them cutting-edge technology and reliable connectivity. Smith said he believes regional broadband services have become an essential utility for communities, businesses, and individuals alike.
Smith underscored the company’s core values, which revolve around enhancing the quality of life in the communities they serve through innovative technology. He reflected on the evolution of the telecommunications landscape, with seasoned professionals retiring and a new generation taking the helm. He said LiveOak Fiber aspires to leave behind a legacy by showcasing the right way to deliver connectivity and services, with a strong focus on customer satisfaction and transparent business practices.
“We’re leaving a legacy of ‘this is how it really should be,’” he said. “If you’re going to provide connectivity, a network, and services, this is what we believe is the right way to do it.” This includes ensuring services work reliably and dependably, and that there are no hidden fees to the customer, creating an atmosphere of trust.
Smith also dived into the challenge of educating customers, particularly in promoting the advantages of fiber optic broadband over other options. He emphasizes the company’s unique approach to achieving this, including the launch of their app, which will allow customers to access and manage their own network options.
“What people really want is a way to make the network work for them,” he said. “They want parental controls that don’t require a rocket science degree to configure. They want to be able to turn their kids’ internet off at night. They want to be able to work from home [efficiently. That’s what we’re providing].”
Smith discussed the company’s role in preparing for the evolving technological landscape, stressing the significance of high upload speeds and the removal of data caps. He shared how LiveOak Fiber’s services gained newfound importance during the pandemic, as remote work and online learning underscored the critical need for reliable, high-speed internet connections. He emphasized the importance of building top-notch infrastructure to support this, such as utilizing the latest fiber optic technology when constructing their networks.
LiveOak Fiber’s story is one of innovation and dedication to the empowerment of communities. According to Smith, their mission is to enhance the quality of life in rural areas through reliable internet connectivity. By providing cutting-edge fiber optic broadband, LiveOak Fiber is not just building networks; they’re constructing bridges that connect communities to the digital world.
To learn more about LiveOak Fiber’s forward-thinking approach and their commitment to transforming the communication landscape in rural areas, tune in to NEDAS Live! Episode 39: Bridging the Rural Connectivity Gap with Altruistic Innovation. For more information on LiveOak Fiber’s services, visit their website: https://liveoakfiber.com