Carter Old, President and CFO of Tachus, Talks About How He Started Tachus and the Future of Tachus Fiber Internet
October 14, 2020
I have always loved helping launch bold, ambitious companies. Immediately prior to co-founding Tachus, my last venture involved bringing much-needed, affordable, high-speed broadband via a dedicated satellite to the State of Alaska, where the digital divide is huge and Internet service can be unreliable. I’m proud to say that satellite is on track to be launched in 2021.
But you don’t have to go all the way to Alaska to find these problems. They also exist right here in Houston.
I’m sure you can relate. You start streaming a movie on Netflix, and it freezes up. You’re on a Zoom call for work, and the audio is choppy. Or maybe your Internet service just goes out for no apparent reason right before a big deadline or during a major presentation. Especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people still working from home,fast and reliable Internet connectivity is a must.
Over the last few years, more and more people have wanted to cut the cord and move to streaming services instead of cable, but they haven’t been able to. They’re trapped, and you may be, too, because your broadband service is unreliable and inconsistent. Unfortunately, you just can’t trust it. Tachus co-founder Hal Brumfield and I knew this problem needed a 21st Century solution, and we had the experience to tackle it.
We chose Fiber to the Home technology because it’s the best choice for today’s world of streaming TV, gaming, connected home security cameras, and the Internet of Things. We’re building our residential, buried 100% fiber optic network from scratch, and it’s durable—it will last for twenty to thirty years. It’s also enterprise-grade, meaning you’ll get the same type of service and reliability that a major corporation would receive, and its bandwidth capacity is truly unlimited.
So how did Tachus get its start? Hal and I met around the middle of 2016. We hit it off from the get-go, as I had a tremendous amount of respect for his tech-savvy and entrepreneurial experience, and he appreciated my background in having both successfully financed and been on the ground floor of several ambitious, tech-focused ventures. While at the time I was very intrigued with Hal’s efforts in attempting to crack the code on residential broadband, I was busy helping finance and grow several other business ventures. We kept in touch periodically until the first part of 2018, when some residential fiber initiatives he was working on in a similar yet different business model to Tachus came to fruition.
That’s when we decided to join forces and create a different kind of Internet provider. A company that would meet the 21st Century needs of residential customers with a 21st Century approach and technology. Better yet, a locally-focused Texas company that would service Texans with respect and a focus on community.
By the end of 2018, Hal and I had partnered with a Houston-based private equity firm, Crosstimbers Capital Group, to form and launch Tachus. We’re thrilled to have Crosstimbers’ backing and partnership. Like us, they’re eager to invest in the future of Houston’s communities. In early 2019, we started building out our first neighborhood in the Lake Conroe area. Within a little over a year, we brought Tachus’ network to over 10,000 homes. By the end of this year, we plan to pass an additional 15,000 homes and expand into The Woodlands and Kingwood regions. And we’re just getting started!
We’re scaling aggressively because we’ve seen—and heard—just how strongly Tachus’ Texas born-and-bred product resonates with customers. They appreciate our simple service and that we’re straight shooters. There are no hidden fees or unexplained jumps in monthly bills. If any questions arise, current or prospective customers can pick up the phone and speak with our customer service team at our headquarters in The Woodlands.
As with any rapidly-growing company, there are some growing pains, too. If there’s an issue with Tachus’ network that’s not up to Tachus standards, we’ll even credit part of the monthly fee back to our customers. This happened earlier this year when a third-party construction crew cut into our network and disrupted Tachus service, all at the peak of work-at-home during COVID-19. We didn’t hesitate in crediting our customers for our service’s down time on their next bill because we hadn’t completed our fiber loop that would have prevented any service interruption from happening in the first place. Believe me—it hurt to do that, but these kinds of commitments help Team Tachus hold ourselves accountable in holding up our end of the bargain to customers who trust and depend on our service 24/7/365.
For too many years, customers have been suspicious of Internet providers because of frustrating gimmicks, fine print, asterisks, and hidden fees. From the beginning, Hal and I pledged to create the kind of residential broadband experience that we would want to have at our homes. It’s a sea change in how folks have been treated. And it’s an honor to be earning the trust of our customers one Texan at a time.