Rocket Fiber Wants Detroit to be Work From Home Capital

Once part of a list of cities with the worst reputations, Detroit is on a rebound and one company wants to see it top lists of best places to work from home. Rocket Fiber is bringing 1,000 times faster internet to the Motor City to do that.

Light Reading noted that at the peak of Detroit’s troubles in 2013, half its street lights didn’t work and many buildings were abandoned — and 56 percent of residents and 70 percent of students didn’t have home Internet access at all, much less the kind needed for things like Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calling.

"Low latency fiber internet enables people to really interact in real time and that’s one of the great promises of fiber internet and RocketFiber,” said company Co-Founder and CEO Marc Hudson. "We believe it’s going to help make Detroit the work from home capital of the world."

They launched this vision in early 2015 as part of the Quicken Loans family of companies, but still needed to build their own company network before they could network the rest of the city. That’s where Dell comes into the story.

"We picked Dell to come in and help us stand up our IT side of the house whether that was our computer monitors all the way to our servers in our data center all the way to some of the software we’re running," said Hudson. "Dell has been that partner for us and helped us really make that as painless as possible as we stood this business up."

Hudson also partnered with us on a Future Ready Detroit panel discussion earlier this year in connection with our Future-ready Cities ranking which preceded our Future Ready Workforce study. The business is drawing attention beyond just the Detroit area – making headlines in the UK (ironically on this past July 4th) and in the broader entrepreneurial world.

"Even though we’re a startup business, [Dell’s] been a solid partner in understanding that where we are now is not where we’re going to be in a couple of years and we need to be able to make investments now that are scalable but yet at a price point that makes it affordable for a startup company," Rocket Fiber Co-Founder and CTO Randy Foster said.

Laura Pevehouse

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.