Q&A with Rodney Ballance, Founder of Patriot Broadband:
Patriot Broadband is America’s only internet service provider franchise company and it uses advanced fiber optics and radio wave frequency to deliver a strong and fast signal to customers.
When Rodney Ballance moved to rural Missouri he didn’t expect to struggle with internet connectivity – but when he did he decided to research the best technology available to fix his problem. But Rodney is well aware that there are new advances in technology every day – what does that mean for Patriot Broadband?
Q: Elon Musk just launched Starlink – an initiative to bring low-cost, effective internet to outlying communities. What does this mean for Patriot Broadband?
A: For me, it shows how critical the situation is all over the world. If Elon Musk is looking to solve the problem – you know it is real. The internet situation in rural America is dire and big companies and government so far haven’t done much to help. Trying to fix this problem from outer space is like calling a plumber from a thousand miles away to fix a leak under your sink.
Q: What are the differences between satellite internet options and broadband options for rural Americans?
A: Satellite internet connections are plagued by inconsistency. A mild storm can shut you down for hours, a serious storm for days. In fact, think about what is always reliable during any sort of natural disaster – radio. Fiber based fixed wireless radio networks are a hundred times more dependable.
Q: Patriot Broadband is now a franchise. How much internet technology know-how do franchisees need to be successful?
A: Well, I didn’t know much when I started, but some of the same experts I’ve learned from now help train franchisees. I would say interest in technology and a basic knowledge of construction is helpful but specific knowledge is not required. We teach you everything you need to know. We set up your Patriot Broadband network and provide continued support for our franchisees.
Q: What kinds of things do you teach Patriot Broadband franchisees?
A: Franchisees take part in a comprehensive training program with 30 hours of classroom training and 10-20 hours of in the field hands on experience. We deliver a broad overview of how the entire system works, then drill down into detail for various aspects of network maintenance, installations and customer service. We focus on the software we use for customer authentication, make sure they understand how to create and follow up with service tickets and best practices for ensuring the highest level of customer up-time in the industry. There is a whole lot more but rest assured that we want franchisees to have loyal happy customers, so we supply them with all the knowledge they need to succeed.
Q: Last, but not least, the internet has certainly changed the world in the last few decades. What do you see as the future of internet?
Amazing advances are being made in the area of AI (Artificial Intelligence). We see connectivity in automobiles and even surgical procedures. I anticipate this technology being utilized in doctors remotely performing some medical procedures. I can also envision more and more people being able to work from home, increased online shopping and a transition from traditional K-12 education to kids learning from home with small community interaction. With one or both parents being able to work from home, I believe online education of their children is just a natural transition that will provide a safer environment for their children.