Shentel employs Render’s construction technology to manage Glo Fiber expansion

Oct. 4, 2023
The telco said Render’s technology platform will help decrease construction deployment schedules.

Shentel has selected Render’s platform to manage its Glo Fiber fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) expansion. Glo Fiber provides FTTH multi-gigabit broadband internet access, live streaming TV and digital home phone service available to 183,000 households across Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland with a goal of 450,000 fiber homes passed by the end of 2026.

After thoroughly vetting various vendors, Shentel evaluated fiber construction management solutions to increase contractor productivity and work quality and automate workflows across their build and operations lifecycle.

Shentel said Render’s single source of rich geospatial construction and network data will enable Glo Fiber teams to identify real-time status, contractor productivity trends and time-to-revenue implications.

Further, the service provider anticipates efficiencies due to Render’s API to streamline workflows with their existing ecosystem.

Gaining efficiencies

Render’s network construction platform leverages geospatial, task-level data to provide automation to drive efficiency across projects and teams.

Shentel is gaining efficiencies from Render’s quality assurance features that enable teams to review and validate data inputs and photos captured as work is completed, maintaining quality throughout construction.

“The capabilities in Render’s platform create a unique and valuable way to interact with our construction teams, allowing us greater visibility, flexibility and instant awareness of construction progress, timelines and issues,” said Elaine Cheng, SVP and CIO at Shentel. “Render’s heightened ability to automate processes and teams means we can build more effectively and with fewer resources. Moving to Render will immediately and positively impact our operations and allow us to get broadband to those in our community who need it most.”

Sam Pratt, CEO of Render Networks, agreed and added that Shentel’s “decision to engage Render over alternatives is validating for our team and our 'best-of-breed' approach to network design, construction and operations.”

Focus on expansion

Shentel has continued ramping up its fiber network's reach to new areas. As of the end of the second quarter, the provider invested $99 million, including approximately $90 million for engineering and construction and $8 million to connect new Glo Fiber customers.

For the full year, Shentel said it will spend $260 million to $300 million as it continues to execute its Fiber First growth strategy. During the quarter, Shentel built over 350 new route miles for Glo Fiber, commercial fiber customers, and government grant projects in unserved areas.

In recent months, Shentel lit up Glo Fiber in several cities in Pennsylvania and Virginia, including Greencastle, Shippensburg, Waynesboro and Warrenton. The provider has enabled Glo Fiber multi-gigabit service in 19 markets, with four additional market launches planned by the end of the year.

Shentel has secured franchise agreements to bring Glo Fiber to 18,000 additional homes and businesses, including the new market of Orange in Virginia and other boroughs and townships adjacent to its existing needs in Pennsylvania. Its approved Glo Fiber passings have grown to 478,000 with 65 franchise agreements in 23 markets across five states.

Additionally, Shentel continues to win government grant awards to fund broadband expansions. The company has been awarded over $87 million in grants, enabling it to extend broadband to over 27,000 unserved locations through fiber-to-the-home technology. It added 18,000 new fiber passings, including 400 recent government-subsidized passings, and it now passes more than 183,000 homes and businesses with fiber.