Northwest Aerospace News Issue No. 25 February | March 2022 | Page 26

Hitting a

High Note

By Chris FiitzGerald , MM , BMUS
The names change , but a lot of the faces are the same . I fell in love with Northwest Washington long ago . So long ago , that I was doing independent IT consulting for local companies and recommending service providers with names like Black Rock Cable and data centers like Fiber Cloud , if you remember them . They were symbiotic providers of dark fiber and high bandwidth private business solutions in the area , and really the only game in town back then . Black Rock provided the fiber infrastructure for large organizations like national carriers , cellular providers , banks , school districts , local government , and aerospace companies . Fiber Cloud provided the data center space and internet connectivity . Wave was just a local cable provider at the time .
Eventually I went to work for Fiber Cloud , and when Wave made a strategic decision to become a fiber-based services provider and acquired Black Rock in 2012 , I was brought on to help manage what had been the Black Rock fiber footprint and have been here ever since . Starting with a team of two , we have grown to eight enterprise sales reps serving Northwest Washington and have been one of the top performing teams in the company .
After several other acquisitions of our own on the West Coast , Wave Business merged with RCN and Grande Communications and has since bought Digital West ( central California ), enTouch and Harris Broadband ( Texas ), and parts of WOW ! ( Illinois , Indiana , and Maryland ). With all of these coming together , we ’ ve recently rebranded as Astound Business Solutions – with a network of close to 31,000 route miles of fiber covering 12 states coast to coast . It ’ s been an amazing journey going from a local telco to now being the sixth largest cable operator in the United States . And I still love it !
Before I got involved in communications I believed my destiny was in music . I played the bassoon and earned undergrad and graduate degrees in music . The plan was to be a music professor , as I love to teach . I did some gigs on the side as I studied , but after graduating I moved into sales and finally into technology , which had always been a passion of mine . I was doing basic programming at age 10 , rebuilding computers throughout high school , and now I help businesses understand and leverage technology , including communications , for success .