By Wendy Byerly Wood
February 1, 2014
YADKINVILLE — Yadtel recently hired 34-year telecom veteran, Steve Shook, as its central office supervisor. It is his job to assist the company in its ongoing effort to keep its core network on the cutting edge.
Shook, 53, is a Lexington native and resident and is well qualified for his new role with Yadtel. He recently finished a long career at Lexington Telephone (now Windstream) in Lexington where he started as a 19-year-old after being recruited by the company following his freshman year at Appalachian State University.
“I had some buddies who did summer work with Lexington Telephone and they got me started,” Shook said. “The company was looking to hire and thought I’d be a good fit. They trained me and I learned everything from the ground up.”
Shook said he didn’t know what he wanted to do back as a 19-year-old, but he’s glad he chose the path he did.
“This career has really suited me,” he said of his 28-year career with Lexington Telephone and subsequent freelance contract work. “I learned telephony in the beginning and then got in on the ground floor of the digital age. I think that gives me an advantage over some of those today who only know the computer side of it.”
Shook brings his expertise in telephony to Yadtel at a time when the company is heavily involved in redesigning its core system.
“We’ve been at this (redesign) for a while,” said Jose Diaz, Yadtel’s plant operations manager. “And we were fortunate to get Steve in here to fill the Central Office Supervisor’s role. He is well-versed in the telephony world and is contributing greatly to this effort to ensure we offer our customers the best service possible.”
Shook is honest about the requirements of his new job. “The explosion in demand for data services is a challenging one to keep up with,” he said. “The designs we used in the past will have had their day before too long, and it is time for a design that will be able to handle demand for years to come.”
According to Shook, one key ingredient — and one he is working on — is a new piece of equipment called a Brocade MLX-8 that will allow for much greater system redundancy. This equipment will provide multiple paths for redundancy and therefore, few chances for widespread outages.
“Once this new core system is in place,” said Shook, “the chances of large-scale outages will go way, way down.”
And for Yadtel’s 1,400 fiber optic customers in Yadkin County, this means they will more easily be able to Facebook with friends and family, share YouTube videos on their laptops, watch Netflix on their smart TVs and become maddeningly addicted to crushing candies on their tablets — and all with remarkably fewer service interruptions than ever before.