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June 12, 2019

Faster Speed-to-Market for Micro-Data Centers

The business case for micro-data centers is growing stronger by the day as the rollout of 5G gets underway. While its full nationwide deployment is anticipated by 2020, 5G’s bright future promises are already generating a lot of energy. Many industry players, including both enterprises and data center service providers, aren’t waiting to secure the best coverage locations. If you’re not already doing the same, the time to act is now.

The 5G Future Is Now

AEP customers in several states, including Texas and Indiana, currently have access to 5G networks, with many more scheduled to come online throughout the coming year. Mobile hotspots have already been unveiled and are scheduled to provide 5G access in at least a dozen U.S. cities by the end of 2018. The first 5G smartphones are expected to arrive in the first half of 2019, while “always connected” 5G laptops are anticipated mid-year.

As these developments proceed, speed-to-market will become increasingly important for micro-data centers. By working together with AEP, you can get up and running faster throughout our 11-state service territory. Not only will you get to market faster, you may also save on costs. Here’s how:

Be in the Right Place at the Right Time

Close proximity to cell towers provides speed and latency benefits for micro-data centers. You’ll have additional advantages if you’re targeting an area inside or close to the AEP service territory.

AEP will research the areas you’re interested in, help you find available sites, and provide you with all the tools and information you’ll need to do business at those locations. Our relationships with every major wireless carrier can help you facilitate conversations with whoever manages tower sites in your target market. We save you time and hassles by taking on the initial legwork with property management companies if needed.

All of these services are provided at no cost because we want to make it easy for you to do business in our communities.

Not sure if your desired territory is in the AEP service area? Find out in moments using our online service territory locator. You can search by GPS coordinates, address or ZIP code. Even if AEP isn’t necessarily in your desired area, we may service communities close enough to provide you with the coverage you need.

Partners on the Ground

Once you’ve found the perfect site, you’ll have additional local support to help you get up and running as quickly as possible. An AEP engineer will do a site visit to walk you through all the necessary steps — including anything unique to the area — to get your project underway. They’ll be happy to meet with your electrical contractor, general contractor and anyone else involved in the project.

You’ll leave the initial on-site meeting with a complete checklist of everything you’ll need to do before AEP can get you connected.

Making Connections

In addition to meeting with you, AEP works very closely with our local economic development partners to ensure smooth and regular communication regarding the development project. Engineering, distribution and planning teams meet monthly with community representatives to make sure everything runs smoothly when a new business comes to the area.

We provide the benefits of these close relationships to you in turn. You’ll know exactly whom to contact and when at every stage of the process, from permitting and paperwork to inspections and other requirements.

Save Money by Maximizing Efficiency

As you plan for construction, AEP can help you go above and beyond the normal building efficiency standards in your target area or market. You’ll get specific recommendations to optimize HVAC, lighting, high-efficiency motors and controls, servers or other equipment you might need. In addition to saving you money by using less power, you may also qualify for energy-efficiency rebates based on your equipment and region.

Why does a power company want to help you save energy? First, customer satisfaction is our top priority. Second, energy-efficient customers help us run our own business more efficiently by reducing capital costs for new generating facilities and operational costs during peak demand periods.

AEP’s extensive service territory spans more states in the U.S. than any other energy company, and offers boundless advantages for the rollout of new micro-data centers. I can be a resource to help you understand how to put our data center expertise and local economic development relationships to work for you.

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