One of the main differentiator's of community owned networks compared to the big cable and telephone companies is customer service. Being rooted in the community, vested in its success, and employing local residents just means better, more prompt service. A prominent Chattanoogan recently explained:
My last shout-out is to EPB Fiber Optics. This is not a paid commercial, just an opportunity for me to brag on some people who know what they’re doing. I am the first to go on social media and complain about whatever store or business is guilty of subpar service. It’s human nature, and it often makes for a good story. I started using EPB for my cable, internet and phone service about a month ago. I have encountered three problems during that time, none of them major, but all beyond my level of expertise. Each time, I called their help line. Each time, I spoke to local people who did not put me on hold for extended periods, nor did they force me to learn a new language. They always solved my problem within five minutes. My blood pressure thanks you, EPB. This is how it’s done.
We hear these stories frequently with community owned fiber networks. It is hard to do a national study that quantifies the benefits of better customer service, but if we could, we have no doubt the locally owned networks would bury the national cable and telephone companies.