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Split Rock Resort & Golf Club is on Lake Harmony in the western region of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Its 1,200 acres gives the four-season family resort a quiet and naturally beautiful atmosphere for a wide variety of outdoor activities, but the remoteness also creates infrastructure challenges.
Chuck Dickinson, Split Rock Director of Special Projects, says, “Split Rock is a large and diverse facility; we maintain 20 miles of roads as part of the property and do a lot of utility work ourselves in cooperation with utility providers. For example, we ran copper lines and built our own fivemile fiber-optic network to help accommodate the resort’s communications needs.”
Because Split Rock put in more fiber than was necessary for its own use, it was able to work with Frontier Communications — its provider for local and long distance, dedicated Internet and wireless Internet access — to develop a partnership. Explains Dickinson, “Frontier already had fiber on Pennsylvania Route 940, so we asked, ‘What if you were to tie into our fiber?’”
Mike Hornak, Frontier Medium Account Executive, notes, “The term ‘partnership’ is sometimes overused in business but it applies to this fiber project. Split Rock allowed Frontier access to its fiber, which we utilized to complete our last mile to the central office and build our network into the resort. It was a financial win-win deal, lowering both Frontier’s and Split Rock’s costs, while paving the foundation for broadening the product portfolio with network-owned unbundled services, increased bandwidth and enhanced wireless capabilities.”
The fiber upgrade increased Split Rock’s Internet speeds from 10 Mbps to 50 Mbps and expanded the Wi-Fi coverage to more buildings. “All of our resort’s accommodations now have Wi-Fi from Frontier, which is huge. Today’s travelers expect Wi-Fi everywhere. It used to be that guests brought laptops and just wanted hardwire capacity in their rooms. Now, it’s all about wireless devices like iPads, Kindles, smartphones and so on,” Dickinson notes. He adds, “Frontier also supplies Split Rock with a 24-hour tech hotline for our guests to call. This takes the monkey off our backs, and guests like having this resource.”
Dickinson greatly values the customer service Frontier provides to Split Rock. He says, “Frontier’s responsiveness is excellent. I can call people directly without having to deal with a prompt sequence, and Mike Hornak will just call me out of the blue to see how things are going. Very few companies provide that level of service. It’s like night and day compared with our previous communications provider.”
What’s a sure sign of the strong relationship between the companies? Says Dickinson, “The fiber agreement between Split Rock and Frontier was done on a handshake.”