When the Founder and President of TDS USA, Jeff Dodig faced a potentially daunting task, he turned to TPx. It was at the height of the pandemic as he and his team were working with officials in Hopewell, Virginia, on a plan to deliver Wi-Fi to low- and moderate-income students and residents in the city. While it sounded easy enough, the headwinds they faced might have discouraged most companies. But not Dodig.
As the head of an IT vetting agency, Dodig regularly works with managed service providers (MSPs). The team contacted several MSPs to find a partner, but was surprised to learn that most could not provide a quick turnaround on scoping out a solution of this size. TPx, however, stepped in and offered a complete proposal within the tight deadlines TDS USA and the client had.
Building ‘A Great Solution’
The city of Hopewell is roughly 25 miles southeast of Virginia’s capital, Richmond, and is home to an estimated 4,000 low- and moderate-income students.
Amid the pandemic, Dr. Concetta Manker, Hopewell’s IT Department Director, wanted to make the downtown area accessible via Wi-Fi for residents to give students the connection they need to excel in their virtual classes. She developed a plan to use funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to bring the plan to life.
TDS USA and TPx developed a solution for managed networks, firewalls, and wireless access points. The plan would have been challenging but doable during regular times, but the supply chain issues that arose amid the pandemic made it more complicated.
“They put their heels in the ground and started to dig in,” Dodig said of the TPx team. “They were able to build out a great solution. There are a lot of moving parts of this project, and TPx ensured everybody was in alignment every step of the way.”
A ‘Quick Response’ Was the Key to Success
TDS and the city needed a partner that could move quickly. The TPx team understood the customer’s vision and acted quickly to provide an accurate scope of requirements and resources. Because they didn’t have an opportunity to tour the city, the TPx team used satellite imagery to assess the community’s needs. Within about a month, thanks to TDS USA and TPx, the city submitted a Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CCPF) grant request to meet deadlines and secure the necessary funding.
“At the initial stages of the project, a quick response enabled TPx and TDS to win the bid,” said Leo Dodig, TDS USA’s Vice President of Technology and Cloud Sales. “We only had about two or three weeks to put together the proposal and submit it. There were a lot of late nights, answering questions and calling the client. But the quick responses from the TPx team are what enabled us to proceed with the project submission.”
Equally important was the ability to navigate the restrictions and supply chain disruptions arising amid the pandemic.
“TPx had the flexibility to work around those different issues,” Leo Dodig said. “If certain suppliers didn’t have something in inventory, the TPx team went above and beyond. They looked beyond their registered vendor network. That made a huge difference, especially to the customer.”
The team is completing a fiber ring and building an Internet signal to the residential area that’s part of the city, and it is also lighting some city parks as part of the second phase. Ultimately, the project’s beneficiary wasn’t the city but the local students.
“Being able to start something like this is a big project, and finishing it is an experience we will never forget,” Jeff Dodig said. “There was a lot of passion in this project to make that happen, and the TPx team helped make this project work. TPx worked through everything that would come up in a project like this.”
For more information about how TPx and TDS USA partnered together to help the City of Hopewell, read the full case study.