Perched on the roof of the Weston Centre, new internet equipment is being installed.
It’s a huge step for a local technology startup, and when complete, it will be the first building in a future access ring for a gigabit-speed network created by San Antonio-based Jump Fiber LLC.
Founded by former AT&T Inc. executive Corky Roth, Jump Fiber has ambitious plans to deliver high-speed internet to luxury apartments, condos and office towers in San Antonio’s urban core. Roth estimated that it takes a month from initial agreement to installation.
Gigabit speed, or 1,000 megabits per second, is the same speed offered by Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber. With that speed, a user can download a 2-hour, high-definition movie in about 25 seconds, according to Fast Metrics. It enables lag-free video conferencing, something that’s already installed in the Weston Centre’s executive club and inside BBVA Compass’ ground-floor retail branch. It’s something that tenants in the property are looking for as they transition from a traditional internet service provider to one that also sells cloud-based phone systems.
Jump Fiber is coordinating with Boston-based American Tower, the contractor in charge of the roof wireless internet infrastructure for installation in Weston Centre. The startup plans to negotiate agreements with several other buildings in the network and has plans to use a hybrid fiber and wireless system using small cells. The small cells are planned to transmit 10 gigabits for each building, but plans are flexible to meet demand.
“The fiber to wireless allows Jump to maneuver,” Roth said in an exclusive interview with the Business Journal. “We will use each type of technology where it best fits.”
One differentiator the startup is banking on is its flat organizational structure.
“Our model is a lower volume, higher touch,” Roth said. That “means not building up layers in the organization, so keeping that decision-making process as close to the customer as possible.”
The startup described itself as “well-funded” by undisclosed investors, though it is still in bootstrap mode. It is not currently raising capital for expansion. It has five employees and plans to hire more in the coming year.
“Usually, companies like this [in telecommunications] are bought and sold,” Roth said. “We are starting from ground zero, and it gives us the opportunity to build this organization.”
Jump Fiber sees itself as integral to San Antonio’s revitalization of downtown as a place for technology companies.
“Maybe we don’t get an Amazon deal this time. But maybe a year from now, as we continue to work this ecosystem to bring in high-tech jobs and companies, we may be toward the top of that list the next time around,” Roth said. “We know that this gigabit infrastructure is a foundational [part] in that ecosystem.”
Originally posted on San Antonio Business Journal
Written by Kristen Mosbrucker