By Amanda Murphy
Diana Pitzer lives on the edge of Brown County and commutes to work in Mason, which is a 1-hour drive each way. Diana is a claims adjustor for a large insurance company. She has been with the company for 15 years. In January 2010, the company approved Pitzer to work from home.
“I leave very early to be at work by 5:30 a.m.,” said Pitzer. “In the evening, it can be an hour and a half to get home. To work at home was going to be fantastic — time-wise and, with gas prices, money-wise.”
There was just one problem. Pitzer’s home Internet speeds were not fast enough to meet her employer’s requirements. This news did not deter Pitzer and she sought a solution.
After more than a year of being told there was nothing that could be done about the Internet speeds at her home by the few Internet providers who serviced the area, Diana came across Connect Ohio and e-mailed a broadband inquiry in April 2011. Connect Ohio Technical Outreach Coordinator Ira Dye responded to Pitzer’s inquiry.
Dye knew Frontier Communications, a broadband service provider, was in the midst of deploying a new, upgraded network and southern Ohio was one of the first stages of this project. Dye reached out to Richard Hutchinson, a regional manager for Frontier, and Tena McIntosh, local manager for Frontier, regarding Pitzer’s situation.
According to Hutchinson, a new ROADM network was being deployed in Georgetown, near Pitzer’s home.
“To enhance its network and improve the overall customer experience, Frontier has begun deploying ROADM Networks (or) Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer systems, which increase the network’s flexibility and deliver higher speeds, among other benefits,” said Patrician Amendola, public relations spokesperson for Frontier.
“Tena called me and said that they would be upgrading my Internet service to a higher speed,” said Pitzer. “Then a representative came out to my house (for a field check) the first week of May.”
Pitzer brought her work computer home on May 27 and began teleworking that same week.
Pitzer estimates a savings of $80 each week by no longer commuting to the office more than 40 miles away. She says she is also saving money by needing fewer oil changes and car repairs. But her biggest savings is time.
“I’m just very excited,” said Pitzer. “I get to sleep in. I can spend 2 more hours a day doing whatever … it’s like a raise … a big raise. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Connect Ohio went the extra mile to find someone to help me.”
“It’s a positive story and her life changed by these upgrades,” said Hutchinson. “Our network is more capable and we’re helping others. The real plan is to get there for everybody – 85% of Frontier’s network will be upgraded within the next three years.”
“Tena’s 20-plus years of technical experience coupled with her knowledge of the Georgetown market were distinct advantages in providing Diana with the speed she required,” said Amendola. “While this high-speed Internet example is for Brown County, similar customer experiences are happening daily throughout Frontier’s markets in Ohio as more and more customers are transferred onto Frontier’s ROADM networks and enjoy the benefits of higher speed.”
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