Celebrating Four Years of Growth & Change

Celebrating Four Years of Growth & Change

Lit Communities is excited to celebrate four years of growth and change! While many startups fizzle out after 3 years, we’re just starting to get Lit. We began with a simple idea – to provide connectivity for rural and underserved urban communities by creating strong public-private partnerships. Our “why” has always been to connect everyone no matter where they live. Our model was, and still is, very different, so it took a while to gain traction. Launching everything during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic slowed our progress. Still, our team persevered; strapping on their boots and raising more capital to keep the lights on. Our values never wavered and the process was finally recognized as a catalyst accelerating the fiber race happening across the nation. That passion and belief allowed us to partner with some of the best broadband investors in the world. We finally had an opportunity to prove that our FULL process was going to change the way people looked at the industry and public-private partnerships. We started with 4 employees, grew to 10 and are now over 70 employees with each new addition bringing that next level of passion to light up the nation.

Over the past four years, we’ve proven our model works for many communities. From Medina, Ohio to Brownsville, Texas, we’ve shown the validity of our process and the opportunities it can provide to residents. Lit enables municipalities with the resources, experience, and financing needed to deliver connectivity as a 21st-century utility. We can serve residents others can’t because of our strategic P3 model. Lit’s CEO, Brian Snider, worked from an initial vision starting over eight years ago and now we have the data to back it up! We succeed where incumbents fail because our entire team is laser-focused on building long-term partnerships with both residents and cities to be there for the long term in the communities we intend to serve.

Medina County, Ohio

After receiving funding and creating a partnership with Stephens Capital Management and The Pritzker Organization in February of 2021, Lit’s pilot Community and first locally branded subsidiary, Medina Fiber started construction. In coordination with Medina County Fiber Network, Medina Fiber has deployed last-mile fiber to the premises and passed roughly 16,000 homes in Seville, Westfield Center, Montville, and Medina City, Ohio. Beginning in 2022, Medina Fiber expanded to another 4,033 residential and 260 business locations through an $11mm American Rescue Plan (ARPA) investment and a strategic partnership with Lorain Medina Rural Electric. This allowed us to build unique P3 deals and become the swiss army knife disrupting the broadband industry.

Medina Fiber just left my place… As of now, I don’t see myself switching to anyone else. It’s unbelievable how fast it is now

Brownsville, Texas

In March of 2022, Lit and its wholly owned subsidiary, Lit Fiber – BTX were selected by the city of Brownsville to provide fiber connectivity to residents. A public-private partnership agreement was signed just a few months later in July of the same year. Our work in Brownsville began with a community-wide survey. The results of which enabled local decision-makers to hear from residents and identify needs and priorities before moving forward.

> 66%

Brownsville households surveyed indicated they were without cable, fiber optic, or DSL.

> 99%

Brownsville households surveyed reported download speeds lower than 100 Mbps.

I have to rely on hotspots for internet access since broadband is not offered at my location at this time and sometimes it is not fast enough to support 3 children signed in to online classes.

York, Pennsylvania

Also in 2022, Lit and Lit Fiber – York were selected by York County, PA for a public-private partnership to pilot FTTH last mile services in New Freedom, Seven Valleys, and Glen Rock. This exciting partnership will bring fiber connectivity to over 3,000 residential and business locations across York County. Lit Fiber – York and York County plan to expand access to more than 75K homes and businesses through the build out of their county owned middle mile network and the last mile fiber network owned by Lit.

> 28%

York households surveyed indicated they were without cable, fiber optic, or DSL.

> 57%

York households surveyed reported download speeds lower than 100 Mbps.

It should not cost rural homeowners thousands of dollars to connect to internet service. [Current Provider] will not provide me internet service, because they state I live too far from the main road.

Today is both a celebration of our success and a moment to recognize the support of countless individuals that helped bring our idea to life. We can’t name every partner, but for those who stuck by us while we were striving to achieve our dream, we can’t thank you enough. This is the embodiment of Lit, we build connected Communities. 

While doing the right thing is a simple idea to have, the practice of doing right by the community takes a village. It’s these true partnerships that help bridge the digital divide and connect residents no matter where they live. Thank you to Medina County, Brownsville, York County, and our other partners. Your commitment to digital transformation will be a positive inflection point in the history of your communities. We also want to thank our many Lit employees who help us bring new possibilities to underserved communities every day. Supporting the residents of these communities toward a better future is, and will always be, the spark that keeps us Lit.

The FCC Seeks Challenges to Its Broadband Map. Your Community’s Input Is Crucial.

The FCC Seeks Challenges to Its Broadband Map. Your Community’s Input Is Crucial.

Birmingham, AL Federal funding is now available for the rapid expansion of high-speed, broadband internet across America, and your community’s input is needed to help ensure it gets its fair share.

Chief Strategy Officer Rene Gonzalez of Lit Communities’, an organization that works to bring broadband connectivity to municipalities and local governments is touting the importance of participation. “This information is critical for the under-served and unserved communities to ensure this Federal funding for broadband finds its way to the proper areas,” said Gonzalez. “It takes less than 5 minutes, and the process is simple.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking households and businesses to participate in the agency’s Broadband Data Collection Campaign. The short survey will be used to identify coverage gaps in the current FCC nationwide map that tracks broadband availability down to the individual address level.

The primary purpose of the map is to validate the accuracy of the information and identify areas with such gaps in broadband internet service – the kind of high-speed connectivity that’s now crucial for social, government and economic activities – like remote work, running a business, accessing government services, online banking, education, workforce and local economic development.

The FCC is seeking challenges to the broadband coverage map by Jan. 13, 2023. The map is used to influence funding decisions. Broadband expansion is expensive. A true picture of availability is critical and it’s easy to participate. 

This 2-minute tutorial video explains the process. Or simply share the steps below.

  1. Go to broadbandmap.fcc.gov. Type your address in the search bar and select the closest match from the dropdown. Note: If the locator dot is not on the correct rooftop, click “Location Challenge” to provide the correct information.
  2. Scroll down to view the Internet Provider, Technology, and Speeds reported available at that address. If any information is incorrect, click “Availability Challenge” and select the Provider with inaccurate information. Note: If your locator dot is red, then no internet options have been reported at your address.
  3. Scroll down further and report the reason you’re challenging the reported information. Select the certification box at the bottom of the form and click “Submit.”

Helping to ensure that the FCC map and data is accurate can accelerate the process of making high-speed internet available to those who need it most in your area. Please encourage participation to all in your community. Time is short and the impact can be long-lasting.

Lit Communities partners with municipalities/local governments to build fiber networks in a way that keeps the community’s needs front and center every step of the way. Lit Communities is currently working with the following municipalities/local governments: Medina, OH; Defiance County, OH; City of Avon, OH; Berks County, PA; York County, PA; Monongalia County, WV; Brownsville, TX and Kendall County, IL.