‘We Out-Googled Google’

Dec 7

Recently, Lake Nona has been making headlines with its robust technology infrastructure. Read more below about how our 11-square-mile community is leading edge when it comes to gigabit connectivity.

‘We Out-Googled Google’

Excerpt from the Orlando Business Journal on Dec. 4th

While Orlando wasn’t selected for Google Fiber, mixed-use planned community Lake Nona refused to wait for gigabit connectivity to come to it.

“We were able to bring gigabit connectivity to market five to six years earlier,” said Ron Domingue, vice president of Dais Technologies, the Lake Nona-based IT company that helps keep the community connected. “We out-Googled Google.”

The 7,000-acre community developed by Tavistock Development Co. LLC, which houses projects such as Medical City and the planned $60 million U.S. Tennis Association’s national campus, got its gigabit service in 2011.

Unlike other parts of Orlando that may lack fiber cables, Lake Nona faced little to no obstacles when it came to laying out fiber because its developers knew right away that they wanted a technologically advanced community.

However, major service providers were not too interested in gigabit connectivity back then.

“When Tavistock sat down to do the master plan for the community, technology was crucial,” said Dais Technologies’ Domingue. “They worked with commercial providers to get gigabit connectivity, but when they laid out timelines and price points, they were much more aggressive than what our commercial providers were able to do. So they just went ahead and created a new Internet service provider.”

And that’s how Dais Technologies was born. “There wasn’t anyone out there that could do this type of work,” Domingue said.

Lake Nona, which covers 11 square miles, 7,000 acres, and has 10,000 residents with 5,000 employees and 7,000 students — has seen growth similar to the effect Google has had on Kansas City.

Thanks to the work Dais Technologies performed to create a gigabit community, that helped attract tech firm Cisco Systems Inc. to partner with Lake Nona in 2012 for information and communication technology planning.

In a 15-year deal, Cisco works with Lake Nona to create a Smart+Connected city — one of nine global iconic developments in the world.

A few of the key highlights in the partnership include Cisco helping transform Lake Nona’s projects into connected sustainable communities using the intelligent network as the platform. Residents, workers and visitors will experience urban services that provide enhanced living standards and Lake Nona can drive additional revenue by monetizing technology-led service offerings.

Looking for a new location with a fiber hub? Try Florida’s Lake Nona

Article originally appeared in Chief Executive Magazine on Dec. 4th

CEOs who need big, fast digital pipes—and, increasingly these days, that could be just about anyone—are looking closely at metro areas that can hook them up with 1-gigabit broadband networks ranging from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Dublin, Ohio, to Detroit. But near the Orlando airport, the 11-square-mile Lake Nona development represents one of the single most concentrated areas of 1-gigabit bandwidth in America, and the rapid development of this sunny economic enclave is ratifying investors’ decisions to “build it and they will come.”

The community of about 10,000 residents features Medical City, a healthcare-innovation cluster, and a residential area called Laureate Park that each benefits in big and particular ways from the fast data network that opened for business in 2011.

“We’ve really built a city and developed an innovation ecosystem at the heart of it,” said Jim Zboril, president of Tavistock Development Co., which built Lake Nona. “We’re using technology to connect an ecosystem of people, whether it’s residents or for economic development.”

Lake Nona initially emphasized becoming an education hub with what Zboril called a “robust system” that begins with innovative pre-kindergarten operations. Then Tavistock and its partners set their focus on building a health and life sciences cluster that culminated in construction of the medical school at the University of Central Florida in Lake Nona, as well as a $1-billion Veterans Hospital and a $300-million children’s hospital.

Lately, Lake Nona has pivoted to broadening its economic development efforts to general commerce.

And while there have been lots of elements of success, including what Zboril called a “culture of collaboration” among local companies, major national tech companies, and Lake Nona government, the 1-gigabit backbone has been crucial.

“We built a complete fiber network throughout this property and deliver everything from content all the way to the device,” Zboril said. “We have a company that provides cable, Internet, telephone, security and fiber infrastructure and a company that does installation and low-voltage wiring, so we can influence the customer experience from end-to-end.”

Lake Nona also offers a shared distributed antenna system that ensures 100% reliable cell phone and mobile data coverage throughout the buildings of Medical City, an important consideration “as buildings sometimes become impenetrable by some wireless signals,” Zboril said.

Overall, Lake Nona demonstrates what forward-thinking and determined developers can build around a fast Internet network—and how CEOs and their companies can benefit from such a system.