Mary Jan Hedman2017 in Review


I am pleased to welcome you to St. Joe Valley Metronet's Annual Review for 2017.

2017 was a year that brought new initiatives and notable achievements, including the longest network expansion ever for a single subscriber, and we will get to those in a few minutes. Keeping with our mission of providing the highest quality and reliable service and with our fiber extending more than 200 miles in two counties, we undertook a plan to make our network even more robust and more secure to protect the interests of our growing number of subscribers.

An internal committee comprising members of our board of directors and Metronet staff began an Enterprise Risk Management process to look at threats and potential issues, from the obvious to the implausible, that could negatively impact not only the network but all aspects of our business and operations.

We followed the COSO ERM Integrated Framework. In a series of meetings over several months we talked about how to further protect our subscribers from interruption in frequency and duration of outages.

In broad terms, the committee came up with four goals:

Relocate fiber to ensure path diversity;

Separate backbone routes to reduce impact of a single incident;

Make sure there is access to all fiber that runs underneath public rights of way and relocate backbone where access to private property could be an issue; and

Create easy to implement backup infrastructure and bypass procedures where concentrations of fiber may be at higher risk from a single incident.

We are taking advantage of these network improvements and route restructuring to maximize exposure to new subscribers. We will be making the network more reliable while creating new opportunities to grow our business.

We're being more proactive. While we've always worked with the Geographic Information System and location services to keep contractors aware of Metronet fiber, Facilities Manager Ben Hudson is engaging more with builders and contractors in the design and planning phases of their new construction and development projects. Careful site planning before construction begins can mean existing fiber routes won't need to be relocated or may allow for installation of new access points.

Work to improve processes and the network is continual; there is no finish line or ending point. We will therefore, continue to work at our ERM process for our subscribers, service providers and vendors.

I cannot let this opportunity to update our 2017 progress pass without mentioning education. You know that a key part of Metronet's mission is to support public and private schools with the fiber they need to provide the bandwidth to support growing demands of teachers, students and administrators. A 14.5 mile network expansion completed in 2017 brought our fiber to nine more Penn-Harris-Madison schools. It's the longest network expansion to serve a single customer. Our Fiber to Schools initiative continues to connect new schools. In Mishawaka, the high school, Emmons Elementary and John Young Middle School were connected; Marian High School, St. Anthony's, Christ the King, and St. Matthew's schools also started using Metronet fiber.

Customer service and business development are drivers of three other initiatives in 2017.

Connecting with new subscribers and service partners was a key goal in launching our redesigned web site. Although it was time for new look and functionality, the redesign, led by Director of Business Development and Strategy Ben Miller and effected by South Bend Code Works, makes it easier to engage new and existing subscribers and service partners.

And our office space in Leighton Plaza was remodeled and expanded to improve conference and meeting space, staff workspace and technology access.

These are the highlights of Our Year in 2017. For more specifics, click Next below to browse through our annual review.

Mary Jan Hedman
Chief Executive Officer