During Telecom Bust, Small Has Proved Beautiful

Niche equipment vendors find a new customer class

4 min read

22 October 2003—Provo City, Utah, 40 miles southeast of Salt Lake City and deep in the heart of Mormon country, is as big on economic development as it is on recreation. Ensconced among mountains, canyons, and three national forests, it has 300 high-tech businesses, including Novell Inc. and the genealogical software firm MyFamily.com Inc. Not only does the city want to keep these businesses, it wants to attract more like them.

To that end, in 2001, the city’s power company, Provo City Power, came up with a plan to build a high-speed fiber-optics telecom network for the city’s 70-square-kilometer area. Says Kevin Garlick, energy department director of Provo City Power, ”We run the electric utility so well, we had to go out and find another challenge.” 1003tele01.jpg

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

Keep Reading ↓Show less