To Our Loyal Energize Customers:

I apologize for the less than perfect service. Phone calls have been dropped and the internet speeds have slowed. 

The one question that covers it all: WHAT IS GOING ON??

And the one answer that covers it all: Bandwidth. 

On August 24th, 2017 Energize had a major outage. This outage was the result of the installation of some new equipment within our Network Operations Center, the “NOC”. The purpose of this equipment is to handle the flow of all Energize traffic throughout our Fiber to the Home Network. Essentially, it's one large router. As many of you know, electronics are not what they used to be. I remember the console TV that was at my grandparents house. It was old, had a poor picture, and you had to manually change the channel but it never stopped working. This is not true of today’s electronics; they have a much shorter life and we expect more out of them than the 1970’s console TV. Energize was launched in 2007 and after operating for 11 years nonstop, system maintenance is a must. The PES IT department worked countless hours preparing but as we all know, things did not go as planned and many of our customers experienced spotty service for 2 to 3 days. Since that outage, we have invested countless hours evaluating our NOC and developing a plan to insure reliability. 

Now to the issue at hand, bandwidth. This is an internal and external problem. People use more data than ever before. Streaming video, online gaming, college courses, commercial-business customers all require more bandwidth than even a year ago. In October 2017, our Power Board voted to increase two of our internet backhaul contracts to help alleviate the external bandwidth issue. One of those backhaul increases was delivered the week of January 22nd during a late night maintenance window. The other is scheduled for delivery in April and, once in place, Energize will have TRIPLED its backhaul capacity. 

So why are we still experiencing system issues? Internal bandwidth. Even though the external bandwidth is far more than we currently need, traffic is bottlenecking internally on our system. This can be easily compared to vehicular traffic flow. Picture all of the internal network communications as cars traveling on a two lane road and it connects to an 8 lane interstate. Until the two lane road is widened, the 8 lane interstate is useless and traffic will remain slow.  IT has been working diligently to address this issue, to widen our two lane road, but it has proven difficult to resolve. The remaining work to remediate the bottleneck requires a maintenance outage and steps are being taken to prevent a repeat of the events of August. Once we coordinate all the resources needed to perform the work, an outage will be scheduled at the most convenient time for our customers. If any part of the process does not appear to be going as planned the system will be restored to its current state. Critical system functions such as phone service will be the priority and experience the least amount of down time.        

One of the main focuses all along has been to work behind the scenes and perform work in a manner that is not customer effecting. Unfortunately, the bandwidth problem itself has grown to be customer effecting on a daily basis.

Please know we take each call and report of poor service to heart. PES and Energize are working to address all issues and provide the customer service, support, and a quality product all our customers deserve.

 


A. Richard Kelley

President & CEO