We had a great ribbon cutting today at the St. Petersburg Chamber. We had a great crowd, we had great food. The Chamber, when we talked to them about doing this ribbon cutting, they took the ball, they ran with it, they got with Ellen Breckenridge, with our marketing team. And I’ve got to tell you, it went off without a hitch. I mean, it was perfect.
We had a lot of local businesses here today that we got to communicate with and network with, and we were able to put a short presentation together to really talk about what makes us different from anybody else. We got to talk about our products and services, like the internet, Voice over IP, we talked a lot about Cloud Connect, we talked a lot about SD-WAN, we talked a lot about the managed routers and managed firewalls that we can provide. So really overall, it was a wonderful event.
We also talked a little bit about what makes us unique in this market. We talked about how we own and manage the fiber network. We take it directly to the customer’s telco closet, so there’s no middleman. We’re not sharing on the network, the bandwidth they purchased, it’s their bandwidth. Symmetrical connection up and down. We had a lot of great response from that information today, and overall it was really a great event. Kudos to the Chamber for helping us pull this off today.
Well, listen, we are so excited to have an amazing organization like Uniti Fiber in our community. Because I’ll tell you why, in St. Pete, we call ourselves the lucky ones. We are living in paradise. We are living in the best state in the country for business, and we are literally along the waterfront in the most beautiful area. But we also do business here, we just don’t walk around in our sandals on the beach, we’re doing business every day. And in order to do good business, you need great technology.
The folks that we are attracting here demand the best, and that’s what Uniti is doing for us. It allows us to make sure that we offer those solutions to any business that’s interested in paradise. And what’s going to happen next in paradise is more of this. So what Uniti sees is a market that’s dynamic, just like we see, they see there’s people here that are really trying to make a cutting edge, bleeding edge, leading edge technology, while living in paradise. So when I see Uniti come here and invest the way they are, lay their own fiber down, really help our businesses and institutions, I’m in.
There’s been a tremendous amount of growth and expansion in this market over the last couple of years. We have built over 1100 route miles in this area, majority of which is in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Only 1% of that network, roughly, is above ground. We actually tested the resiliency and robustness of this network last year during Hurricane Ian. We were hit by a category five hurricane, we did not have any network that we necessarily had to restore, but we had the contacts that we could pull in to help the municipalities get their things restored. And we want to be able to do that across the board. Anytime we get hit by a natural disaster, we want to be able to respond like that. All of these things make us a unique provider in this area. Our entire network was custom-built all the way down to the engineering.
So we have such a great network in Pinellas County and St. Petersburg, and we are thrilled to be here. And we really look forward to the future of growing this network, and really partnering with these businesses and the Chamber of Commerce in this area, and can’t wait to see what the future brings.