Tag Archives: Maine telecommunications

Investments in Technology

Oxford Networks Continues Telecommunications Infrastructure Investments

Lewiston, Maine – Since 2002, Oxford Networks has been proactively investing in telecommunications infrastructure and technology in the state of Maine.  From its Fiber Optic Network Backbone which now reaches to Boston, to its multi-community Fiber Distribution builds, Oxford Networks has increased the telecommunication capacity and product offerings for businesses and residents across the state of Maine.  Along with its network investments, it has also made investments into Central Office equipment that will greatly expand the services that customers demand.  Below is an outline of some of these investments.

In August of 2010, Oxford Networks completed a project to bring a new CLASS 5 softswitch on-line in the company’s Bangor Central Office on Summer St. This switch addition in the northern part of the CLEC footprint provides additional capacity as the company continues to grow, but equally important, is the diversity options that this new switch provides for designing highly reliable and diverse voice service configurations for customers. This new softswitch has also provided the opportunity to optimize long distance, toll free trunking and SS7 configurations for customers.

Currently underway is a project to upgrade the company’s IP network in its Norway Central office to a Cisco 7606 router that will become one of the core MPLS routers in our IP network serving Norway and other portions of our western Maine footprint. This project is slated to be completed by end of Q1, 2011. This project also includes increasing the link capacity from Norway to other portions of our network.

A new Calix C7 shelf is set to be installed in the company’s Bangor Central Office by the end of 2010.  The C7 is the primary access platform used to provide voice, Internet and WAN services to customers over the company’s fiber distribution networks throughout the state. This new C7 shelf will allow 10Gbps uplinks to the core network while also increasing the capacity and reliability of our service infrastructure in the Bangor/Brewer area.

While many of these investments are “behind the scenes” they are critical to the reliable, robust telecommunications services Oxford Networks customers have come to rely on.  Oxford Networks is committed to leading the way in telecommunications innovation and service in Maine and New England and its core of innovative, professional engineers is making that possible.

Oxford Networks: A Company Dedicated To Innovation

Lately the word innovation seems to be in every business article you read and the topic of conversation at many business seminars. The idea that companies need to transform themselves and “innovate” in this economy is paramount.  We sat down recently with Craig Gunderson, president and CEO of Oxford Networks, to talk about how
Oxford Networks transformed itself from a traditional 100 year old telephone company into a leading cutting edge telecommunications provider and why it was necessary.

As Oxford Networks approached its 100 year anniversary in 2000 there was a deliberate decision to change the direction of the company.  Tell us why that was necessary and how it has impacted the company.

Thanks to some very forward thinking people in the company, there was a realization that telecommunications services and expectations were changing in the marketplace and that the company needed to evolve with that technology in order to stay competitive.  The company assembled a talented group of engineers and business professionals to create a strategy to embrace change and innovation and to create an aggressive growth plan. The group realized that in order for the changes to lead to long-term growth the entire company had to evolve and embrace a different way of doing business.  No small task.

Oxford Networks likes to say that one of its goals is to be “Sustainably Unique.”  What does that mean?

Being “sustainably unique” means being different.  And, preferably, being different in a way that creates value for our constituents:  our employees, our customers, our owners, our partners and for the communities we serve.

Our company culture encourages employees to be receptive to new ideas and new ways of doing things in order for our business to grow and succeed.

Why is being “Sustainably Unique” an important part of the company make-up?

Customers are deluged with more and more marketing messages and more and more choices to meet any of their needs.  This is certainly true in the telecommunications market.  Relatively speaking, we are a small organization.  We do not possess the resources to utilize mass marketing in the way that our large competitors do.  As such, it is critical that we are recognized by all of our constituents as being unique.   We have worked very hard to develop a Company culture that is our source of uniqueness.  Competitors can replicate technology, systems and other investments, but a culture is very difficult to copy.  Our culture starts with a belief that people want to be great and it is management’s job to create an environment where they can win.  Employees are trusted to make decisions as if they owned the Company.  Bureaucracies and road blocks are frowned upon.  Rather than setting up strict rules to protect the Company, values are stressed to present employees with guidelines for intelligent decision making.  The Company works to hire and retain team mates that can thrive in this environment.  For our customers, this culture leads to an environment of speed, flexibility, responsiveness and quality.

What does that quality mean for customers?

Oxford’s employees can make decisions for our customers.  For instance, technicians that are installing services for our customers can make changes on the fly as a customer decides they  want something a little different at the last minute.  Customers calling into our customer service groups talk with friendly, professional and happy employees that are able to be responsive to customer requests without having to fight through a bureaucracy to make decisions.  Our employees work creatively with one another and the customer to design a unique solution to meet the needs of the customer.  At a higher level, employees all feel comfortable and are expected to participate in continuously making improvements.  As such, we are able to best harness the collective wisdom of our employees when it comes to things like our overall network reliability, design, redundancy and delivery process to ensure our customers receive the best possible quality.