Precision Group Case Study

Electric Plant Board Expands Fiber Network to Small Business & Residents of Franklin, KY

Precision Group’s president, Drew Hardin, is a 20+ year broadband industry veteran. With roots as an installer and fiber manager, the transition to President & CEO of Precision Group, a power and fiber components company, was a natural progression.

“The idea for Precision Group started from my days in operations,” comments Hardin. “Really just frustrated with some of the support we received as a service provider in the industry and wanting to create solutions for problems specific to power and fiber deployment.”

Several years ago, a consultant referred the Electric Plant Board of Franklin, KY to Hardin as a resource to help find materials and create a framework for their municipal fiber network.

About the Electric Plant Board (EPB)

The Franklin Electric Plant Board (EPB) has served over 5,000 customers in the city limits of Franklin, KY as an electric utility and acquired the fiber network from the city in 2005. With 20 employees the EPB stands ready to serve the community offering 24-hour-a-day service.

The Existing Fiber Deployment Problems

The city of Franklin started the fiber system 11 years ago. Franklin’s large commercial industrial customers pushed for the fiber network seeking adequate service that met their speed and reliability needs for their businesses.

“The city quickly realized they didn’t have bucket trucks,” said Wayne Goodrum, Fiber Optic Manager for EPB. “They didn’t have resources to be on the poles. It was a more natural fit for the electric utility to take it over.”

But owning and operating bucket trucks wasn’t enough.

“When the Electric Plant Board first purchased the system from the city, we didn’t have a background in fiber optics,” said Goodrum.

Shaping the Fiber Network

A consultant that was helping the EPB referred Drew Hardin of Precision Group as a resource for sourcing material and getting started.

“Drew had been in my shoes,” said Goodrum. “He had been a manager of a fiber operation that was growing fast. So, he understood what we were trying to accomplish. He understood what our hurdles were. Some of the lessons he had learned he could help us not go through some of those same steps and jump ahead and show us the shortcuts and show us the ways to make our jobs easier.

Drew was instrumental in showing us the materials we needed, the testing equipment we needed. He helped us pick out the fiber we use, he helped us pick out the cabinets. When we said we needed a splicer he brought in 3 different companies and showed us what our options are. So, he really helped shape how our system looks. He really showed us how to be in the business.”

As a smaller utility the Electric Plant Board did not have a fiber optic purchasing department.

“We could call Drew and Ashley from Precision Group and say, ‘this is what we need,’ and they were doing the shopping, they were looking for the products,” said Goodrum. “So, both have really been instrumental in helping us get to where we’re at now. We really appreciate them.

As a small municipal, if you’re first getting into the business, there’s so many different vendors. There are so many different products out there, testing equipment, cable enclosures. It’s great to work with someone like Precision Group, they’ve helped small utilities, and not only will they sell you the product, but they’re also going to come out and show you why it’s the right product and they’re going to help train you on how to use it. So, I would encourage any small utility that’s getting started to reach out to Precision and let them help you get started.”

City of Franklin Aerial View Courthouse
Electric Plant Board Bucket Truck
Drew Hardin Presenting Products

Better Connection. Better Experience. Problem Solved.

“When we purchased the system, the city had 34 larger customers, the banks, the major industries”, said Goodrum.

“The EPB decided to focus on small business growth. So, we started expanding the fiber network out and offering fiber to small businesses. Our goal was 200 customers and we quickly achieved that through small businesses. Then we started looking at residential growth. Our goal was 20%. If 20% of our residential customers took our service, we could make it work and we could build out residential. Almost immediately from the start our number was 35%-40% and in some areas we are at 60% right now using our service so it’s been a lot more positive than we could have expected.

Customers love the fact that we are hometown, we live here, we know most of these people. They like the fact they can come to our office, or they can call us and they know we’re going to take care of them.”

Small Business Store Fronts in Franklin Kentucky

Exceeding Customer Expectation

“We hadn’t been in business very long and there was a train incident, said Goodrum. “That train tore down some of main fiber through town. We didn’t have the tools, the equipment. We didn’t have the resources to get it up as quick as we’d like. We had one person splicing. So, I called Drew at like 10 o’clock at night and I was asking if he knew fiber contract companies we could call to help come in and do some of the splicing for us. And Drew lives in Nashville so he’s an hour away and he said, “Well why don’t I just drive up there and I’ll start splicing.” So, Drew’s our vendor but he came up and spliced all night to help us get our network back up and running. So that’s who they are. They’ve been great to us and we’re very proud of their accomplishments and we really appreciate all they’ve done for us.”


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