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Aspen Communications

Not every company can boast that their building can be used as an antenna. Actually, it’s likely only one can: Aspen Communications.

Not every company can boast that their building can be used as an antenna. Actually, it’s likely only one can: Dallas-based Aspen Communications. Founder Jimmy Chiles chats about wireless, VoIP, and the world of tall buildings.

Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?

It is apparent to us that companies are becoming more and more reliant on the internet and we don’t see that trend slowing down. As long as that is the case, we believe that our data centers, Internet access, transport, and managed services will continue to be popular. In addition, there are always new opportunities coming along. For example, we maintain a data center on top of 901 Main which is the tallest building in Dallas with 72 floors. It was designed to service broadcasting equipment but over the last 6 months a new kind of tenant has emerged–the Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP.)

A perfect example is Phil Walsh and his company AirCanopy.net who needed to get a DS3 into Waxahachie. He ordered the connection from two different vendors and after 6 months both of them informed him that it could not be done. Mr. Walsh came to us and we had a 100 Mbps wireless link up in two weeks. When that data center was designed in 1985 there was no way to know that the real estate up there would be ideal for Internet Service Providers. We didn’t even know what the internet was.

What makes your company unique?

What sets us apart is our ability to let the market dictate what we do. In the early 1990s, The Univision Plaza was just another high-rise office building. We knew that the telecom market was about to take off so we asked ourselves, “what can we do to attract this business?” We put fiber into the four corners of the building and 25 back-up diesel generators on the roof of the parking garage. We even went so far as to pull out two elevators and use the shafts to run conduit from floor to floor. The people moved out and the servers moved in. We let the market shape us, we don’t try and shape it.

Another aspect that sets us aside from most other companies is that we only cater to businesses and not residential customers. This allows us to keep more experienced technical support on staff. Believe it or not, a residential DSL customer requires more technical support than a T1 customer typically.

What are your main goals for the year ahead?

Our next major project is at the Oil & Gas/Commerce Building. With fiber directly to our existing data center at 2323 Bryan, we can easily offer direct connections to over 65 tier-1 carriers. “The Fort Worth Technology Center” will combine office space, data centers and large connectivity all into one building and will be the first of its kind in Fort Worth.

Another of our goals this year is to present a VoIP offering. We recognize that this will be the wave of the future but we are waiting for the technology to stabilize. We think that will happen in the next 12 months.

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