AES Continues Network Improvements in 2019

By Chris Schweitzer, Auburn Essential Services

AES is in a time of growth and investment—and it’s all focused on our subscribers and giving them the best experience possible. In the spring of 2017, we told you about interconnection upgrades to our network to accommodate future growth.

These interconnection improvements included:

  • Increased bandwidth capacity (by more than 5 times!) through upsizing our Internet connections to major worldwide carriers
  • More diversified infrastructure feeds to ensure the most reliable service possible

When AES was initially formed in 2005, we built a network infrastructure that would be capacity-rich for the next 10-15 years. Not only has technology changed dramatically in that time (think how often you’ve upgraded your phone in the last decade), but our subscribers’ consumption of services and bandwidth has also grown and vividly changed. There are more users and every user has multiple devices. So, now, nearly 15 years later, we have started making major network upgrades.

Phase I: Core Network Upgrade (COMPLETE)

Last spring, we began a complete upgrade of our core network equipment—this gear is the heart of AES and how we bring advanced services to the front doors of Auburn. This work is complete, and our system now has the continued ability to grow and change with the needs of our subscribers.

Phase II: FTTX Distribution Network Upgrade (UNDERWAY)

Those core network improvements were foundational to this next phase: improving our distribution network. During this phase, we’ll be deploying upgraded fiber to the premise technology (FTTX). This includes updating the ONT (optical network terminal), the device that delivers all our services at your home and business. The ONT is moving from an outside mounting to inside the home (in most cases). Testing has already begun, and starting this spring, all new subscribers will automatically receive the new ONT. We’ll then make this update in phases for existing subscribers over the next two to three years to ensure a positive experience for all. More will be released about this process in early 2019.

Phase III: New & Expanded Services

Subscribers will likely be most excited about Phase III improvements! After we have new core and distribution networks in place, AES will be positioned to offer expanded services, including:

  • Managed Wireless: We are now testing a home/business router with the latest in wireless technology, coverage and capabilities. This service will provide a new option for subscribers who want an increasingly sophisticated home network that’s easy to operate.
  • Smart Home & Business Integration: Enabled by the new Managed Wireless service, subscribers seeking help with integrating connected technologies (lighting, plugs, cameras, door locks, thermostats, security systems, vacuums, speakers, televisions, etc.) will have a partner in building their Smart Home solution.
  • TV: Thanks to a major TV system upgrade in 2019, subscribers will have more choices in how they watch their AES TV services, including 4K programming support, a new viewer interface experience, and the ability to watch TV on any device, anytime, anywhere.

Much of Phase III is well underway already. We’ll let you know when these services become available to all subscribers. We’re excited to offer additional services and, ultimately, more value.

Performance, Reliability and Customer Service Remain Key Focus

The upgrades we’ve made to date—and the ones right around the corner—ensure we can continue to provide the things AES subscribers have come to count on: performance, reliability and customer service. AES has been around for 15 years and, thanks to subscribers, we’ve grown beyond our expectations. These upgrades are really a reinvestment in all of you. As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.

You can contact us the following ways:

  • Phone: 260.333.0100
  • Live Chat: Visit www.auburnessentialservices.net and click on the red “Live Chat” link in the top, right-hand corner of homepage
  • Email: connect@auburnessentialservices.net
  • In Person: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in our offices on the third floor of City Hall