Florida's telecommunications providers are scrambling to meet demand.
Allen Byington admits he's not an IT guy. "I actually got into technology to publish content from another industry I was in — before the web was the web," says the founder and CEO of Electronet Broadband Communications and executive director of Big Bend RHIO (regional healthcare information organization) in Tallahassee.
The firm began with DSL and several years later started building its own fiber network. "In 2008, we began deploying the first business-class VoIP on our network," Byington says. "To do business class, we have to control the network."
Electronet runs separate fiber-optic networks for commercial customers and for the healthcare community. "It helps segregate our traffic and improves security and privacy," he says.
In 2005, Byington and a partner started the Big Bend RHIO "as a pro bono effort." He says Electronet has basically incubated and subsidized Big Bend. The non-profit secure patient record-sharing service provides software platforms connecting 65 medical offices and facilities.