By Chris Schweitzer, Auburn Essential Services
It’s hard to believe AES has been around for 10 years already! We’ve grown more than we could have ever imagined. And, in many ways, we feel like we’re just getting started. In the spirit of our 10-year anniversary, please enjoy this list of the Top Ten Milestones that have helped define who we are today!
1) Our first customer
Auburn Essential Services was born out of the need to solve a problem for a local employer. Back in 2005, Cooper Standard Automotive needed scalable and reliable business Internet. If an appropriate solution could not be identified, they would have been forced to relocate, taking many local jobs with them. This event set in motion the beginning of AES.
2) A fiber network rooted in history
The city’s fiber network began back in the 1980s, long before AES was even an idea. Auburn Electric installed some of the first fiber optics in the Midwest for electric substation management. Over the last 10 years, we’ve built this community network very methodically, bringing brand-new, dedicated fiber optics directly to homes and businesses. While our modern network delivers world-class Internet, phone and TV, it also provides communications for the Electric Department’s newly deployed SmartGRID project.
3) Your Community Network
We’ve built AES on this concept: we work for the community—and take great pride in that. As Your Community Network, we operate as an extension of the City of Auburn. We are continually focused on providing services and solutions that keep you connected, current and competitive.
4) AES TV
With much planning and testing, we launched TV as an additional service in late 2012, with a variety of packages designed to fit varying budgets and interest levels. The reception has been overwhelmingly positive. Our fiber network and advanced TV head end will evolve as the TV watching habits of households continually change, demand for broadband streaming TV increases, and the future of traditional content programming unfolds.
5) YCN Channel 22 SD and 1022 HD
While our product offering includes most of the popular national cable channels, we launched Your Community Network (YCN) TV in 2014. This channel is available to AES subscribers in standard and high definition (channel 22 and 1022) and showcases local sporting, school and community events, as well as legacy content provided by DeKalb TV.
6) An extension of our network
We are in the early stages of partnering with the City of Garrett to deploy fiber to its business community. The first phase is focused on the industrial park area. In tandem with this phased approach, we’re collaborating with the city to conduct feasibility studies and focus groups to assess other opportunities to leverage their fiber investment.
7) Local customer service
Excellent customer service—responding promptly, communicating transparently, and accurately resolving issues—is a top priority at AES. We value being Your Community Network and want to work together so that you can get the most out of your AES services.
8) Next Century Cities
The City of Auburn became a founding member of Next Century Cities in December 2014. This nationwide movement associated Auburn with 30 other cities—including Boston, Kansas City, Palo Alto and many more—that are on the leading edge of next-generation broadband fiber networks.
9) Advanced business services
While many people are familiar with AES residential service in their home, AES was actually built for business. We offer advanced business services, including varying levels of business grade Internet (small business, enterprise business), point-to-point (private) data, local loop for WAN connectivity, traditional business voice and advanced IP voice, and data center co-location services.
10) No contracts
The first community focus groups that helped shape AES services nearly 10 years ago asked us to deliver on a few fundamental, yet simple, concepts: great service, fair pricing and no contracts. So from the beginning, our basic small business and residential services come without contracts, special introductory offers or marketing gimmicks. AES was conceived on the premise that the best deal is a quality product at an affordable price—same deal, every day of the year, no matter when you sign up. It seems to be working!
Thank you for entrusting us as your local service provider! We wouldn’t be here without the support of our business and residential subscribers and that of the entire community. We look forward to what the next 10 years will bring!