Tampa, FL – When the first guest steps foot at MacDill Air Force Base for Air Fest 2022, it will be a moment the employees of PBX-Change and Tampa Bay Fiber have been waiting for since 2020. The locally owned business is the military base’s community partner, set to provide the high speed internet that will serve the needs of 150-thousand guests, local vendors processing credit card sales during the 2-day event and countless journalists uploading pictures and videos to their media outlets.
Rebekah Nault is the company’s Business + Community Development Specialist. She’ll be on TV this morning sharing employees’ excitement. The sights and sounds of Air Fest are returning to the base for the first time in 4 years and PBX-Change is there to help make that happen! The last one was in 2018.
PBX-Change technicians were in high gear in the spring of 2020 putting the final touches on preparations for that year’s Air Fest. That’s when COVID-19 hit and changed everything. The event was cancelled just days before the start. Nault and Vice President Bill Heinz shared some of the details with show host Natalie Taylor on Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend. The interview will appear in today’s episode, February 8, 2022 at 10AM on the ABC Action News station.
“It’s very exciting to be able to talk to Natalie knowing that our message is going to reach an even larger audience than what we normally see on a weekly basis,” explains Nault. “There are weeks when I’m at multiple networking events every single day and I get to talk about what we do, but to be able to reach even more people this morning, that’s really awesome.”
Nault was one of the first PBX-Change employees to have the conversations that eventually led to this partnership with the military base. “I met the Public Affairs Officer when I was out there on a base tour. We wound up doing the STEM Fair for the base, providing the internet.” recalls Nault. “Young people were there and we took our “techs” out there to talk to them. It was great!” One thing led to another and the locally owned business became MacDill’s chosen partner for Air Fest too. To say PBX-Change employees were “pumped” and “excited” about the major event that happens every two years is an understatement! In 2020, they had boots-on-the-ground weeks prior to the event making connections.
When COVID-19 forced the cancellation, they refused to let that get in the way of giving back to the community. “Our founder, Martine Yaldor, really wanted to do something to support the community during COVID,” explains Nault. “We took one of the large radios we had prepared to use at Air Fest and repurposed it to help the Tampa Housing Authority. That equipment brought high speed internet to an entire apartment complex,” says Nault. “Things happen. You have to be agile. You have to be quick and make decisions to get things done. That’s what we do!”
Nault and Heinz are sharing the PBX-Change story as their prep work for Air Fest 2022 kicks into high gear. The flight line must be ready in five short weeks when the famed Navy Blue Angels fly high over Tampa Bay! “It’s really exciting doing an interview like this where we are, hopefully, going to find a lot of people that need help,” says Heinz. “They may not know they have an alternative to the big two providers. I think we’re one of the only companies in Florida using Millimeter Wave in conjunction with Dark Fiber to expand our network and our reach.”
When asked what the terms “Millimeter Wave” and “Dark Fiber” mean, Heinz smiles and, without missing a beat, explains how it benefits the local businesses with heightened resiliency andun-interrupted service. “We have a Dark Fiber ‘ring’ that runs around Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. So, even if there’s a cut anywhere on the fiber, it will re-route the other way,” says the Vice President of Sales, who is also their Solution Specialist and a tech-wizard! “We control whatever speeds we want to provide, based on your business’ needs. We give you a very high speed internet connection that is always up and running.”
How does PBX-Change select the community partners they work with? How does it feel to work with the airmen and women at the MacDill Air Force Base? Tune in to the interview to find out! This year’s Air Fest is scheduled for March 26 – 27, 2022. As always, admission and parking will be free. For a detailed list of performances and times, visit www.TampaBayAirFest.com
PBX-Change + Tampa Bay Fiber are a proud partner of this beloved community event hosted every 2 years at MacDill Air Force Base, Hillsborough County’s largest employer. For more information on how we serve businesses year round, visit PBX-Change.