In a recent interview with Rural Telecommunications of America’s Chairman Don Workman, he explained the make up of their trail-blazing organization, and how the Innovative Systems MG-TV Live Streaming is playing a significant role in their success.
IS: Could you tell us a little about RTA, what you do and the areas that you serve?
Workman: Rural Telecommunications of America (RTA) is a National Rural Internet Service Provider. We are focused on delivering gigFAST INTERNET™ to every home within our service areas. Our gigFAST NETWORK™ is comprised of 13,000 fiber route miles and 14 data centers across the US which currently provide Internet to approximately 200,000 subscribers through our Wholesale, Residential and Business service offerings.
IS: Why did your leadership settle on Innovative Systems?
Workman: Actually, our conversations started with a referral from one of our vendor partners. We then conducted testing and felt Innovative offered a state-of-the art platform that we should move forward with. The quality has actually exceeded our expectations.
IS: How do you see the MG-TV video platform benefitting your target markets?
Workman: While many customers in the urban areas are cutting the cord, we believe an OTT streaming service for the rural communities is still a very solid offering. For example, many of these areas do not have good coverage for over the air local channels and they require cable or an OTT service for their local channels. In fact, we recently surveyed our service areas, the results were incredible. 74% of RTA’s current customers are interested in RTA’s gigFAST TV™ streaming offering.
IS: What are your plans for rolling out the new video service?
Workman: We are planning to launch in all of our current markets. We are first starting with a select test market, then launch to the test area within 30 days. Following a successful launch we will then launch to our remaining service areas over the next 30-60.
The quality of the MG-TV Live Streaming platform so far, is incredible, it is far and above the competition and we are looking forward to working with Innovative to increase the feature sets.Don Workman- RTA Chairman
IS: RTA is going to wholesale your video offering, what is the gameplan?
Workman: We provide wholesale bandwidth to more than 60 rural WISP’s today. We would like to expand our service offerings to those WISP’s and others that are joining the RTA family. We believe many of the rural WISPs are looking to expand their markets, but struggle with the capital or finding the skills required to deploy IPTV or VoIP. We are providing the rural WISP community with our gigFAST TV™ solution. This offering is a simple solution with minimal start-up costs and a truly state of the art streaming IPTV platform with RTA providing the management and support of the IPTV platform via our gigFASTCLOUD™. We have already lined up our beta customers and expect to begin testing by the end of the year.
IS: How has the interface with RTA and Innovative Systems teams been for setup and launch?
Workman: Our relationship has been fantastic. The entire Innovative team from the management to the engineering has been super responsive and helpful. Recently, our video group went through Innovative Systems training and I received very positive feedback from my entire team on the training.