What's in a name? How broadband upstarts are branding themselves

Aside from the incumbent operators, there are plenty of smaller broadband players striving to make a name for themselves. But how can ISPs use branding to stand out from the rest of the crowd?

Fierce reached out to a few providers to find out how they came up with their names and how they think customers perceive their brand.


A fiber operator that’s ramping up rollouts in the central U.S., Bluepeak in the past year rebranded from Vast Broadband to its current name. A Bluepeak spokesperson said the operator undertook a months-long process of gathering employee feedback and consulting a brand creative partner.

The rep told Fierce the name Bluepeak “has both literal and figurative meaning to us.” Specifically, it represents “the big skies, open land and majestic mountains that define the areas we serve.”

“Our brand represents our vision to push the boundaries of possibility for our communities through delivering world-class technology and connections to places that have lacked good options for too long. Small cities deserve big city broadband,” the Bluepeak rep added.

In 2022 alone, Bluepeak reached 70,000 fiber passings across Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The spokesperson noted Bluepeak has a net promoter score (NPS) of 50+ in expansion markets where it recently rolled out fiber.

“[Our NPS] validates the positive sentiment that our customers have for their Bluepeak service and the employees that serve them,” said the rep, who also touted Bluepeak’s “transparent pricing” and “community involvement.”

Firefly Fiber Broadband

A wholly owned subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC), Firefly Fiber Broadband this spring hit 20,000 broadband subscribers across rural central Virginia, with plans to make service available to another 50,000 underserved locations in the state.

“Our goal is to make Firefly Fiber Broadband as much a part of our rural lifestyle as the native fireflies; we strive for universal service to all locations in the counties we serve,” said a Firefly representative. “We want our internet service availability to be as ubiquitous as the fireflies in the rolling central Virginia landscape.”

The rep explained to Fierce a few parallels between fireflies and the service the provider offers. Fireflies are a mainstay in rural Virginia, Firefly’s home footprint. Also, fireflies are not expensive to acquire and Firefly “waives its connections fees during initial buildout, making it available to anyone.”

“Fireflies are known for their light and flash,” the spokesperson added. The provider has two service tiers; Light with 100 Mbps symmetrical speeds and Flash, which offers 1 Gbps symmetrical speeds.

IQ Fiber

IQ Fiber is a Florida-based startup that recently scored $150 million to fuel its expansion in the Jacksonville area.

According to Kim Smithers, IQ Fiber’s chief marketing officer, the operator’s brand name “was born out of our desire to create a residential fiber-to-the-home company that offered residents a better, smarter choice.”

“We wanted the name to reflect that simplicity, define what we do and be distinct in the market as the modern, smarter choice for home internet,” she told Fierce.

Smithers added the IQ Fiber brand is meant “to distinguish us as offering only fiber-optic service.” The provider also includes home Wi-Fi as part of each service plan, which Smithers said helps IQ Fiber’s customers “feel smarter.”

“We believe we’ve built a brand that’s smart, simple and efficient in everything we do from construction to install to customer service,” she said. “Customers tell us they like our approach as a broadband disruptor and a company with local service. They tell us they like it when their credit card is charged for exactly the plan amount with no fees or pro-rates and they understand what they are paying for.”