Q: What is your name and job title?
Fred Miller, sales guy
Q: What does your company do?
It’s about fiber connections and incredibly good customer service. Black Rock Cable “disrupts the dominant paradigm” in telecom; we think customers should like, even rave about, their telecom provider. With our network of 900 miles of fiber optic cable in NW Washington, we provide private dark fiber connections for customers who need high capacity, reliable Internet; connect to remote offices and ollocation sites, and/or need better connectivity for their corporate communications.
Q: How did your company get started?
While our founder was securing franchise rights for all the communities in NW Washington, our President was adding to his collection of Hawaiian shirts (suitable for all those business meetings, of course) and honing a very simple business model: let customers have complete use of fiber connectivity and they'll go wild with great uses. From converting the first few T1 users back in '02 and '03 to private fiber, our network grew quickly from a few dozen customers in Bellingham to hundreds of customers scattered from Blaine to Bothell. Yes, Google, you can get Gigabit service in Fairhaven.
Q: Who are your typical customers?
Descendents of the legendary self-reliant inhabitants and pioneers of the Great Northwest, those who appreciate simplicity, robust resources, great connections, etc, and a few very geeky people who wear socks with sandals.
Q: Tell us about some interesting trends in your industry?
It's about bandwidth and reliable networks. T1s are now wimpy. Many of our customers are moving to 10Gbps networking. Cellular companies are beefing up their networks bringing fiber to cell towers. And the clarion call to cloud computing can't be achieved without a careful look at how reliable providers' networks are.
Q: What are some reasons for locating your business in Whatcom County?
Black Rock didn't really "locate" here, it evolved from the needs of all the tech savvy businesses we have in the area. We saw what the other guys were too slow to recognize: there is a tech buzz here in Whatcom County, a great set of local service providers, and a lot of creative IT professionals who appreciate what they can do with their own private fiber connections. And then there's the water, the mountains, and a strong local community.
Q: What benefits do you most enjoy from your TAG Membership?
Comraderie. Clearinghouse. Connections.
Q: If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring one electronic device what would it be and why?
A Fitel Handheld Fusion Splicer. With all the submarine fiber optic cables out there, I'd simply dive down, grab some cable, splice in, and bring state-of-the-art connectivity to all my fellow and future island inhabitants.