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telecom

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This 43 Year Old Telecom Company Is On a Mission To Close The Tech Gap

Brigitte Daniel is the Executive Vice President of Wilco Electronics Systems, Inc., a Black owned telecom business that has been in operation for over 40 years.

For the past four decades, this family owned business provided affordable cable and technology services to low-income communities as well as commercial, governmental, and educational institutions, in Philadelphia. The cable TV division of the business was acquired by Comcast in 2018.

telecom business
Brigitte Daniel, left, executive vice president of Wilco Electronic Systems, and her father, Will Daniel, founder and president of Wilco Electronic Systems.

Now the company focuses on telecom services that include residential and commercial security and surveillance solutions.

In this interview, we discuss bridging the tech divide, how technology is being used in the real estate industry, and the importance of making technology available and affordable to Black communities. Brigitte also provided details of the Comcast acquisition.

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Tony O. Lawson


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Black Owned Telecom Firm Donates 500 Free Phones to Help Families in Puerto Rico

Figgers Communication, one of the nation’s largest Black owned telecom companies and networks, has sent 500 satellite phones with unlimited calls, texts, and data to help families affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“The hurricane destroyed the entire island’s telecommunications’ network,” said Freddie Figgers, 28, founder of Figgers Communication that has designed his own phones and developed his own network. “We’re trying to do all can to help these families communicate with each other, and especially their loved ones.”

Four years ago, Figgers developed the custom-designed phone the “F1” phone that has automatic anti-texting functionality and super-fast charging.

Next month, he is releasing the F2 the company, which will be waterproof and shatterproof. Figgers Communication is currently one of the few telecoms in the country that manufactures its own phone and provides its own service.

As Figgers, who grew up to adopted parents in Quincy FL, looked at the devastation in Puerto Rico, he said he had to do something. Figgers said the SIM cards are fully activated for 90 days free of charge.

“We all need to do our part to make sure that Puerto Rico gets back on its feet.” These SIM cards and phones will be distributed out in San Juan to individual families and at San Juan Airport.

Figgers is a childhood prodigy. At age 9, Freddie Figgers took a part an old IBM personal computer five times that his father bought at a local Goodwill Store.

On the sixth time, he got it working. At age 13, he started working for the city of Quincy as a computer technician and network administrator in its NetQuincy department, setting up the city’s network and helping residents.

At age 16, Figgers started Figgers Computers, repairing computers and installing wireless area networks. By age 17, he created a cloud-based hosting network that stored data for more than 70 clients – law firms, car dealerships and dozens of other companies.

By age 18, he had created his own computer operating system. Figgers also designed a VOIP – Voice over Internet Protocol network – that transmits voice to and from the USA from more than 80 countries’ landline and mobile connections.

He achieved another milestone in 2011, when the FCC approved the company’s application to own spectrum, leading to the construction of the company’s first cellular tower.