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Innovation, Leadership and Industry Savvy: Get to know Michael Morey, President and CEO of Bluebird Network

In which sector is your company most closely aligned?

Internet of Things

What does your company do?

Bluebird Network is a communications infrastructure provider and data center operator. Since 1999, Bluebird Network, headquartered in Missouri, has provided dedicated fiber internet and data transport services, via its own fiber infrastructure, to Carriers and Enterprises in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa and the surrounding states. Bluebird owns two data centers: an underground facility in Springfield, MO, and a facility in the Quad Cities. Bluebird operates more than 11,000 fiber route miles of high-speed broadband and fiber-optic connections with over 82,000 on-net and near-net building and 156 Points of Presence (PoP) sites spanning the Midwest, including the major cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield (MO and IL), Tulsa, Peoria, Rockford, Bloomington-Normal, and the Quad Cities.

How long has your company had a presence in St. Louis?

1999

What makes the St. Louis region an ideal home for your company/organization? Why do you choose to operate your business here?

St. Louis is the gateway to the west since it’s one of the largest cities in Missouri, and an important cultural landmark. St. Louis businesses require a high-speed, state-of-the-art internet connection to keep pace with the high-speed demands of a busy metropolitan area. Through Bluebird Network’s office, the company provides internet to schools, manufacturers, and other local businesses.

What has been the most valuable resource (person, tool, organization) for helping your company grow? How did you find it? How do you utilize it?

The most valuable resource for helping our company grow has been focusing on our promise to empower customers through their digital journey. In doing so, we are continuing to engage in a new era of productivity in the Midwest. Speed, security, and reliability are utilized through our practices. Being in a fortified, redundant data center with multiple routes to the internet adds a great level of security for clients with efficient uptime, with no surprises.

What advice would you give new tech companies that are trying to navigate the current market?

Our advice is for providers to stay in trend with the current status of the Midwest market. Smaller communities are getting connected to larger metro areas and smaller providers are answering the call. Areas like Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois are ripe for opportunity in 2023 for all to benefit. Providing the network and infrastructure in the Midwest addresses this need/consumption of data and this will drive the growth of networked data centers in smaller communities.

What new practice or policy did you put into place over the pandemic that has positively impacted your company?

In an effort to support ongoing telecommuting efforts for businesses, Bluebird Network performed expedited temporary bandwidth upgrades and continued to have technicians on-site in many cases to upgrade or install vital connectivity in service areas across Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and the surrounding states. The positive impact of our decision is still benefiting us today, as we continue to gain a trusting and supportive customer base. This has allowed us to expand in multiple areas.

Tell us about the next big thing in your technology sector. How will this affect your business?

In 2022, 5G has changed the way data center operators work which has shifted to cloud and edge computing. Additionally, data center operators incorporated automation for seamless 5G deployments and network management. In the future, we will see a doubling if not a tripling down for data centers. 5G demand is on the rise and there is no stopping it. Therefore, more and more bandwidth is needed to deliver data center customers’ services and products. As 5G continues to roll out in smaller communities across the Midwest, there is a tremendous opportunity for edge providers to bring computing resources closer to the consumer, for improved performance and lower latency.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud to share from 2022?

In 2022, Bluebird Network accomplished a network expansion in Waterloo, Iowa with 11.74 route miles of fiber in the local community and a fiber expansion in Salina, Kansas. The new network builds have a Point of Presence (PoP) within the Salina, Kansas and Aurora and DeKalb, Illinois communities. The Salina community benefited from 13.63 new fiber route miles, while the Aurora and DeKalb communities gained initial builds of 4 miles and 1.68 fiber route miles. The buildout allows local businesses and organizations to leverage Bluebird’s full suite of high-quality, high-speed fiber connectivity.

What exciting development is on the horizon for your company in 2023?

A new, diverse fiber route to Chicago is also underway with the expansions into Aurora and DeKalb, Illinois. Bluebird Network is currently constructing strategic routes in Illinois beyond Aurora and DeKalb and following network expansions into Dixon and Sterling-Rock Falls, Illinois, Bluebird will have added an additional 114.4 route miles of fiber in Q4 alone.

How can people learn more about your company or get involved in what you are doing?

Bluebird Network agents are independent sales representatives driven by very important work at Bluebird. Connecting customers with services they need is the cornerstone of what makes Bluebird a great company and we are committed to the agent community.

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