On August 30th, four legislators and two staffers visited our Mesick office to discuss the broadband improvements AcenTek has been deploying. Senators Michele Hoitenga, Roger Hauck and Rick Outman, along with Representative John Roth and staffers Mindy Hernandez and Dakota Baker came to see, firsthand, the process behind providing fiber fed services to our customers.
This visit provided our staff with an opportunity to explain what we do and the impact it has on the communities we serve. We started off by sharing the history of AcenTek. Understanding our background helps to explain the ongoing work we’ve done as our company has grown. We spent some time explaining how our customers’ needs fuel the desire to offer them the highest quality products and services. We told our legislator friends about the $55 million investment in fiber we have made in Michigan, to date, as proof of our commitment to our customers. There are many steps in the process of providing fiber services to our customers, and this visit offered a great opportunity for us to share that process, from early planning all the way through to installation. Next, we took our guests to visit a field construction site where they got to see the process of an underground installation.
After information was shared, there was a chance for the visitors to ask questions. Joelle Demand, our representative from Telecommunications Association of Michigan (TAM), commented that through this dialog, those in attendance were able to “connect the dots on what all is involved to deliver fiber-served rural broadband.”
Visits like this one are important for AcenTek. Every fiber build we do is extremely expensive. In order to continue to build fiber to our customers we need to be able to afford those big price tags. Meeting with legislators about the importance of providing fiber optic services to our customers is how we make them aware of the need and the cost of these projects. “Gaining the awareness and support of legislators is particularly important as grant funding and guidelines are being defined,” stated Corey Compagner, Operations Manager at AcenTek. “Our state associations work to make the legislators aware of what we do, but it is important for us to share our concerns with them directly and let them see the results of our efforts firsthand. With many first-term legislators, it is important that we build relationships with them to gain their support.”