UPDATE: This is now confirmed. The service is called Rocket Fiber. More here.
We’ve been hearing rumors from many, many sources for months on this one but were hesitant to post anything until we saw this job posting. After all, it seems at first blush a little pie-in-the-sky: Dan Gilbert getting into the fiber internet game. Now, the puzzle is coming together and it looks like Quicken may launch a fiber optic network in Detroit, and soon.
This is a big deal because it is the kind of infrastructure high tech companies need, and better internet access for Detroiters can only help. As we’ve outlined in a previous post, fast internet could be a game changer for Detroit, and 39% of households in the city have no access to Internet at all. It also would make sense, though we have no details, that you’d find fiber under that shiny new M1-Rail and to use it as a backbone. Gilbert chipping in so much for the new streetcar makes even more business sense if he’s slipped cables down there. In fact, fiber is in this RFP from 2013 for M1-Rail. The amount of capacity used by the train and the streetcars for Wi-Fi is a tiny sliver of the capability of a fiber line.
So to the posting. It’s for an Outside Plant Manager. Innocuous at first, but when you’re looking down the qualifications, it becomes very clear what it’s for.
We’ve bolded some of the key items. It also is specifically for Detroit, and it mentions City with capital letters in the way documents involving the city of Detroit often do. It also has the mention of residential locations so we know this isn’t just for use within The Quickening. Here’s a link to the job here, and we put a screenshot here in case they delete it.
The Outside Plant Manager oversees the design, installation, and maintenance of the Fiber Optic plant to ensure service quality exceeds client expectations. They’ll exercise general and technical supervision over Installation Technicians and seasonal staff.
- Oversee the design, installation, quality control and validation of mainline and service drops, ensuring restoration of properties after installation
- Supervise Installation Technicians and seasonal staff, including interviewing and jointly recommending hiring, assigning and prioritizing work, approving timesheets, training, coaching, evaluating work, recommending rewards and pointing out opportunities for growth
- Address customer issues relating to installations
- Ensure proper maintenance to company buildings and emergency back-up system
- Develop and maintain a proper inventory system to control ordering quantities and track items of value, including plant equipment and supplies
- Work with contractors and staff to ensure proper network interface device (NID) placement at residential and commercial locations to ensure smoothest and least invasive installation process for the customer and technician
- Develop and maintain vehicle maintenance program Implement a safety and training program that ensures the operations of staff are within City, State, OSHA and MNOSHA policies
- Guide utilities locator as needed, providing GIS and as-built maps
- Manage permitting and prepare and submit necessary reports on projects
- Maintain data about plant equipment and facilities, including equipment locations and mapping systems
- Work with City Engineering staff to cross reference GIS with plant maps or to overlay and maintain plant mapping on City GIS system
- Participate in the on-call rotation and provide backup to Installation Technicians as needed
Obviously, there’s no word as to scope or size. But between what we’ve been hearing and this, we’re pretty confident on this one. We could be right around the corner of a major move forward, depending on the size and scope, as far as technology in Detroit goes if Quicken fiber happens. What would it be named? GilbertVision? QuickenCable? Whatever happens, they will have to go in front of Detroit City Council eventually to make this go, and then all the wraps will have to be off as it is an open meeting.