WILSON — If you’re in commercial real estate, you’re in a good position to see the value of a municipal high speed broadband network. “It does nothing but help us from an economic development standpoint,” says Will Corbett, a commercial real estate appraiser in Wilson, North Carolina. “Its ability to attract industry is impressive. The fact that the average citizen benefits too is gravy.”

Corbett says he’s primarily a residential customer of Wilson’s Greenlight city broadband network, but also uses it at the office he works from.

“We’re thrilled with it,” he says. “My kids can be on tablets watching streaming media, my wife on a device and I’ll be working on my laptop and none of us complain about speed or not being able to watch Netflix.”

Don’t try that with basic cable.

He says a cousin from Baltimore who is an app developer constantly complains about the Internet speeds they have there and is envious of Wilson’s speedy network when he visits.

Personal service means a lot

One of the biggest complaints among may people who use the commercial Internet providers is that service is gruesome. Not in Wilson.

“The big thing for the day to day user who isn’t technically savvy is that the customer service is out of this world compared to Time Warner Cable, which we had seven years ago,” Corbett says. They were lucky enough to live on a street used as an early test area, so they switched to Greenlight not long after it went online.

“When you call customer service, you get a person with no wait or hold. If they need to come out, they give you a time, not a window of times.”

Then, “It’s someone from the community who comes out. Several times when I’ve called, I got the same person, a name I recognized. It was like calling a neighbor, that easy.” He notes that he was calling to get a password for a new sports channel.

“I feel as if they look at us as partners and part of the community, not as customers,” he says.