As a Network Technican III, James Billings has worked his way up to the highest level of technician roles at OneNet. He is a longtime staff member of OneNet and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Higher education has played a huge role in James’s work history, but he has found his work home at OneNet.
James has worked for OneNet for about 8 years and State Regents for 15 years total. He began his career with the organization as a record clerk. With his current position as a network tech, he manages OneNet’s towers, handling the tower lights, vegetation management, and all things appearance related at the towers, ensuring that they are working properly and look well maintained. OneNet has 40 towers across the state, so this role keeps him very busy.
James is a valuable member of the infrastructure team. The infrastructure team takes care of all Layer 1 or physical layer work on OneNet’s network, such as like installing equipment at a customer or hubsite location. The team also troubleshoots customer circuits on-site while working with OneNet’s network operations center.
James and the other technicians maintain all OneNet assets in the field such as towers and Oklahoma Community Anchor Network huts, working on everything from cooling to backup power. The team also works with OneNet’s optical specialist on maintenance, troubleshooting and expanding the optical network footprint, ensuring OneNet provides reliable access to the internet.
While James fills many roles at work, he also has a variety of activities that fill his personal time.
James is originally from the eastside of Oklahoma City where he still lives and enjoys any form of sports but especially bowling and basketball. He also enjoys traveling and going to comedy shows in his spare time as well as spending time outside in his backyard. Family is also very important for James, and he loves quality spending time with them.
Two things drive him to succeed within his position. “The appreciation I receive from my coworkers and bosses keeps me going, and there’s something amazing about seeing people having internet in rural areas,” he said.
Ian Litchfield manages the technician team and shared the importance of the role that James and the other technicians fill.
“In my opinion, OneNet’s technician positions is one of the most important and pivotal roles we have. They are the face of OneNet. They have to work in person in front of the customer, whether it is during an outage and the situation is tense or during a turn up when the customer is excited and looking forward to a better quality of service or more bandwidth,” Ian said.
James has made many memories over years with OneNet and the State Regents. His co-workers and our customers are first on that list. “The staff picnics have always been a highlight for me as well as customer engagement for sure,” he said.
Story by Dominique Brignac, Strategic Communications Intern, Fall & Spring 2021