In late February, following an article I released on Feb. 18 about Access Media 3, also known as AM3, Melissa Mercado, marketing director of AM3 sent a press release to my inbox. The title read “Access Media 3 Announces Blacksburg Network Upgrades, Improves Internet Service to Area Residents.”
A read through offered that AM3 “recognized a need for updated infrastructure and quickly moved to make necessary changes to improve service in the area” when it acquired properties from Shentel last year.
Vito Caraguilo, senior vice president of technology and product development, noted in the release, “We have seen an increase in recent years of Internet usage due to the age of streaming video and owning multiple computing devices that require Internet connection.”
He went on to say AM3 needed to upgrade to a more capable infrastructure to meet consumer demands, and so with months of work, it has “increased bandwidth delivery to individual properties and a more reliable internet product overall.”
Even addressing the fact that Blacksburg has an abundance of student housing, the release noted that students no longer have to log-in to their accounts daily to access the Internet.
It continued with the CEO citing AM3’s belief in consistency and quality, and that the improvements will be ongoing in Blacksburg.
This prompted a second conversation with Mercado, one that lasted three times longer than our first. My intentions were to uncover more specific information about the release and the upgrades, so as to publicize the press release for student customers of AM3.
What came from it instead was the illumination of misperceptions that students may have about AM3, and the service it provides.
How does Access Media 3 operate in Blacksburg?
First, I must clarify my misunderstandings of AM3’s operations. In my previous article, I state that AM3, located out of Oak Brook, Ill., did not have representatives or technicians in the Blacksburg areas. In fact, Mercado assures me it does, saying, “We have many service technicians in the area. We also have a property relationship coordinator that is there regularly.”
She went on to say that these technicians can monitor the bandwidth in the area, and most importantly, “AM3 is always responsible for the services it provides, 100 percent.”
Mercado would not give me the location of these workers, saying the actual location was irrelevant, but she assured me that AM3 is very much in Blacksburg.
At this point in our conversation, I left the role of the questionnaire. The topic of the press release was swept aside, as Mercado began asking me about my experience with AM3.
My role as a customer was trivial, but I gave my take on their service honestly; it wasn’t a stretch from what other students have said before. Complaints of slow service speeds intrigued Mercado, and before long, she gave me a view of AM3’s Internet speeds that I hadn’t understood before.