TAMPA, Fl. – PBX-Change has provided the Museum of Science and Industry with a game-changing gift of technology. The locally owned and operated business is giving MOSI the latest tech – a mmWave, virtual fiber connection with high-speed internet of 500mbps!
The in-kind donation, with no expiration date, has already saved MOSI at least $1,000 per month. “This is different than if someone gave us a $12,000 check and allowed us to do something with it,” said John Graydon Smith, MOSI’s President and CEO. “These are ongoing savings that will continue, year after year.”
It’s a marriage made in high tech heaven, bringing together a leader in internet technology and a museum dedicated to science and innovation. “They now have the most modern technology and the fastest connection in the market space because of that technology,” says Rebekah Nault of the PBX-Change gift to MOSI. “It’s a great fit for us!
Installers arrived on-site at the museum last fall and its Director of Facility Operations says it wasn’t at all what he expected. “For geeks like me, what’s neat about this is that they came in, put an antenna on our roof and we had signal! That was it!” recalls Brian Albury with a broad smile. “That’s really cool! If we had to get new internet service like this through Spectrum or the other guys, they’ve got to trench all over our campus.”
Transforming the Camper Experience…
For Janet White, it’s a thrill of a different kind. “Without this, we would not be able to do any of these camps effectively.” MOSI’s Director of Education is referring to their technology camps for kids in grades 2 – 8. “Our 6th – 8th graders are doing higher level coding with Java and Python programming, making their own apps,” says White. “They’re creating video games that play on mobile phones and laptops and they’re also making movies. They’re using green screen technology and then edit those movies.”
“The amount of time it would take us to share something, to upload or put something ‘on the cloud’ so that other teammates in the room could use it, would take way too much time in class,” explains Albury. “We’re able to get even more educational content to campers,” says White, “We don’t have that ‘time suck’!”
With more than 200 campers on site each week, that ‘time suck’ would bring their day to a grinding halt. Thanks to PBX-Change, that’s not happening anymore. “Slow internet is one thing when it’s free at the DMV,” says MOSI’s new President, referring to the Division of Motor Vehicles. “But you can’t go to a place of technology and keep getting kicked off the network! It just doesn’t work.”
Like ‘Peanut Butter & Jelly’ …
Providing the museum with more than just the free installation of mmWave internet was important to the team at PBX-Change, says Nault, who facilitated the high-tech gift. “This is an evergreen donation. That means there’s no end date on this. Yes, we’re a business and obviously we need to make money but we’ve found that whenever we use funds to support the community, instead of spending it on straight marketing, it’s a win, win!”
Case in point is MOSI’s computer lab, then and now. “The computers in there were so old, they couldn’t handle the bandwidth we had then, let alone the bandwidth that PBX is providing us now,” says Albury. “When we replaced those 25 computers all the new ones came with WiFi. So now, with the PBX-Change high-speed internet, our classes are really great! The signal strength is great!”
“It’s really a peanut butter and jelly situation where they’ve got a service that makes us operate better and cheaper!” says Smith. “It’s an amazing mix! Normally, it’s the other way around. We have to think, ‘What are we going to have to spend to make this visitor experience better?’ and the answer here is nothing! We’re saving money! That’s what is so cool about this relationship.” Approximately nine months into the MOSI – PBX-Change relationship, the museum anticipates at least $12,000 in savings on their internet bill alone.
The Need for PBX ‘Copy Cats’ in Transportation…
The local business hopes others will follow its lead and step up to donate in-kind services or financial support to MOSI. The needs are many.
Help with transportation for school fieldtrips is at the top of the education director’s wish list. Pre-COVID, they had approximately 32-thousand student visits per/year in fieldtrips. “The number one problem teachers faced this past school year was getting transportation to bring the kids here,” says White. With no changes in site for the 2022-2023 school year, the MOSI team is hoping local businesses in vehicle or transportation sectors will step in to help. “Just like PBX-Change,” says the educational director. “That would be amazing!”
“Local companies with passenger vans or bus lines could really help the kids if they were to step up to help us host school fieldtrips starting this fall,” says Kenyetta White Johnson, Director of Development. “We know that there are many transportation companies in the Tampa Bay area who would be amazing partners for MOSI.”
“When you lead by example, our customers and other partners will want to come in and support organizations like MOSI,” says Nault, who’s seen it happen before with partners at Tampa Housing Authority, Feeding Tampa Bay and Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research. “In the Tampa Bay region, our ecosystem is supporting each other and that helps everyone move forward. Everyone benefits from this – children, adults and employees,” says Nault.
Being Part of This Neighborhood’s Watershed Moment…
The once blighted neighborhoods that surrounds MOSI in eastern Hillsborough County, is at a watershed moment in its history. Since 2019, the Tampa Innovation Partnership has helped bring in new public – private partnerships, sparking the first university-inspired Institute of Applied Engineering (Rithm), the world’s second largest digital studio (Vū) and its crown jewel, Soaring City, which is turning an old, dying shopping mall into an urban tech corridor and urban living village. The museum has been a staple in this neighborhood since 1962. “For MOSI to have been there this long – 60 years – going through several iterations – is incredible! We’re helping them grow again! That’s what we love to do. That’s our why!”
“The impact that PBX-Change is having on what we do everyday is great. This new technology is a big step for our organization,” says Johnson, who is the person helping local businesses find their ‘why’ for community engagement and connect it back to MOSI. With employee engagement, volunteer opportunities, team building and sponsorship opportunities at MOSI, she gives employers, and their employees, a chance to be a part of something greater than themselves.
That’s certainly how the team at PBX-Change feels about their high tech gift to MOSI! Can you say that about your team at work? Imagine the possibilities if your answer was ‘Yes!’
To support MOSI, contact Kenyetta White Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org For more on educational programs and camps, contact Janet White at email@example.com
About PBX-Change: Founded in 1998, this locally owned business, specializing in business phone and internet services. It’s a registered competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in Florida, delivering voice, contact center management and internet services to business of any size, organizations, schools and local government agencies. For more information, visit www.PBX-Change.com
About MOSI: MOSI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based institution and educational resource. For 60 years, The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) has been offering programs to all in the Tampa Bay community that focus on a variety of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. MOSI is located at 4801 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33617. www.MOSI.org