Being a competitive carrier, Ting is a logical partner for Blue Suede Networks. Since it launched in 2014, Ting offers FTTP services in 16 markets. Ting expects service to be available to the first wave of Memphians by the third quarter of 2024.
A phased approach
Blue Suede Networks’ fiber network will be built in phases. The company’s fiber network will pass at least 85% of Memphis premises, including 85% of the city's low-income premises.
The first residents are expected to receive Ting’s fiber internet services in Memphis in the summer of 2024, with ongoing network construction projected through 2030. Once complete, the network can serve up to 315,000 addresses, with Ting operating at launch as the exclusive residential and small business internet service provider.
"We are excited to partner with Ting and the City of Memphis to provide better, faster fiber-based connectivity, which will foster greater economic, educational, and entrepreneurial opportunities for all Memphians now and for generations to come," said Charles Elliott, CEO of Blue Suede Networks.
Focus on affordability, equity
A big focus of Ting’s partnership with Blue Suede Networks is to drive broadband affordability and equity. Blue Suede Networks is partnering with The City of Memphis, Ting, United Way of the Mid-South, The Works, Tech 901 and ER2 to maximize eligible low-income households in federal broadband benefits; create access to tablets and laptops; deliver computer and digital literacy training; and offer specialized technical support.
Elliot Noss, CEO of Tucows and Ting Internet, said its partnership with Blue Suede Networks reflects its vision to bring services to cities traditionally overlooked by other providers for broadband service.
“We would like Memphis to be the most fiber-connected city in America and a national model of digital equity. Based on research, over 40% of residents are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, and more than 45% do not have high-speed internet in their homes,” he said. “Serving communities like Memphis is exactly why Ting returned to being an ISP—to bring fiber internet service to underserved cities.”
When the network launches next year, Memphis residents and businesses can subscribe to Ting’s 2 Gbps symmetrical internet plan for $89 per month, and qualifying low-income residents will be offered the same service at no cost once ACP is applied. Working with Blue Suede Networks and the City of Memphis, Ting plans to establish a digital equity program that encourages broadband adoption, connects residents to affordable devices, and offers digital skills training.
Ting and Blue Suede Networks created a partnership with financially sustainable goals for both parties. The expansion into Memphis enables Ting to bring its expertise to a largely under-served fiber market.
To lead its marketing and adoption strategy in Memphis, Ting will partner with the Vibranium Network, a team of marketers and entrepreneurs led by Keith Clinkscales, specializing in using cultural influence to create impact and build wealth in African-American communities. A two-time Peabody Award winner with ESPN and the former CEO of REVOLT Media & TV, Keith is an outstanding media professional with a track record of spurring cultural change through storytelling that has a lasting impact on the entertainment industry and communities.