Announcing significant technology upgrades at Softcom headquarters

We’re excited to share that after months of hard work (neither rain, nor mud, nor more rain could hold us back!) we’ve finally completed a cutting-edge technology upgrades for our primary tower at the Network Operations Center here in Galt. This is a significant milestone for us and our customers, providing significant improvements in service, connectivity and speed for many of our customers as they are able to transition to high-speed 4G LTE.

Braving this past season’s harsh weather, the Softcom crews have been working non-stop over the past several months to install and test the new equipment on the 195-foot tower located at our headquarters. Many customers have already been switched over to 4G LTE service, while others are scheduled or are in the process of upgrading from their current WiMAX service – all at no cost to them.

Kristy CooperAnnouncing significant technology upgrades at Softcom headquarters
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Softcom named Business of the Month by Galt Chamber of Commerce

We’re excited to share that Softcom was recently recognized as Business of the Month for April by the Galt District Chamber of Commerce. The Galt Chamber of Commerce recognizes a business each month that has proven itself to be a positive presence both financially and through active involvement and support of the community they are a part of.

“Softcom has an exceptional level of commitment to the community that really makes them stand out,” said Chamber Vice-Chair Ann Ullrich, of Parker Realty. “For example, during our recent community Easter Eggstravaganza, the fire department ladder truck wasn’t able to make it for the traditional egg drop. Softcom stepped in and offered the use of one of their trucks at the last minute so that the celebration could go on.”

Kristy CooperSoftcom named Business of the Month by Galt Chamber of Commerce
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Our commitment to your privacy

Internet Privacy is Important to Us

A few weeks ago, legislation was signed into law that made changes to internet privacy. The new law may allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to sell customer internet use data. Prior to this legislation being signed, the law required that ISPs transparently disclose private data collection and sales, prohibiting them from selling customer data to 3rd parties, and requiring that ISP consumers opt in to the collection of their private financial or browsing history data.

According to DSLReports, the vote to dismantle the rules is seen as a massive win for giant ISPs; especially as those like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast now realize new massive advertising income potential by selling their customer’s private internet use data.

Kristy CooperOur commitment to your privacy
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Slow Internet? Here’s what to do

Remember the days of dial-up slow internet?

You’d click through to log in to the internet, go make yourself a cup of coffee, and hope that by the time you got back to your computer you’d be logged in and ready to go. Luckily those days of slow internet are long gone and today’s connections just keep getting better and faster, even for those of us who live in rural areas. Unfortunately, though, slow-downs do still happen once in a while, even when you have a high-speed connection. They can happen for a variety of reasons, and thankfully some of them can easily be solved at home.

While we do everything we can to assure that our customers here at Softcom get the best – and fastest – service possible, keeping things working here at Softcom is only one part of the equation – your own equipment needs to be working properly for you to have the best internet experience.  We know there are other factors that can affect speed, too, so put together a quick checklist to go through when slow internet speeds get you down.

Kristy CooperSlow Internet? Here’s what to do
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How to keep your family safe on the internet

The internet has drastically changed the way that people of every age interact with the world around them. Children now have a wealth of educational and social opportunities at their fingertips. Adults can work, shop, and connect with friends and family members all over the world. There are truly many wonders online, but there are also a vast number of dangers and pitfalls that lie in wait as well.

Even in homes where basic internet safety is practiced, there are still dangers that literally pop up online, even when doing “normal” activities such as reading emails, checking social media,  or doing homework. For instance, 70% of kids ages 8-18 report accidentally encountering online pornography, very often when entering an innocent search term while doing homework. Personal crimes such as stalking or cyber bullying are growing at alarming rates. And cyber crimes including phishing emails and other internet scams cost Americans $800 million last year. In fact, According to Verizon’s “2016 Data Breach Investigations Report,” 30 percent of phishing emails are actually opened, and 12 percent of those targeted click on the infecting link or attachment.

Kristy CooperHow to keep your family safe on the internet
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Softcom Reveals The Truth About “Unlimited” Plans

The Hidden Limitations of “Unlimited” Plans

There’s a trend in the market today of big-name carriers offering “unlimited” data plans that seem like the perfect answer for heavy internet users. Promises of never-ending data may sound great, but before you answer the siren call of data without limits, be sure to take a closer look at what you’ll really get.

Data may be unlimited, but speeds are not guaranteed

While many carriers offer “unlimited” data to a certain extent, their plans are filled with a lot of asterisks and if/when scenarios that will affect the quality of your service. Only a certain amount of data per month is guaranteed to be delivered at 4G LTE speeds.  As of March 1, 2017, Verizon / AT&T caps it at 22 gigabytes; T-Mobile at 28 gigabytes. After you go over your 4G LTE cap, you are eligible to be “deprioritized” for the remainder of your billing cycle and your connection reduced to “3G speeds.” Depending on how much streaming or data-consuming work you do from your home or office, this could result in a week or two of streamlined internet speeds at the top of your billing cycle, followed by weeks of frustratingly slower connectivity.

Kristy CooperSoftcom Reveals The Truth About “Unlimited” Plans
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New towers, technology, and service areas coming in 2017

4G LTE Internet

Here at Softcom we’re kind of obsessed with finding ways to make our network better, faster and stronger than ever. For our customers, that’s a good thing. We’ve been providing network service since 1994, back in the days of dial-up internet. Remember that annoying sound? It took years to get that out of our heads! Since those days we’ve remained dedicated to our customers and community, always seeking out new ways to get them connected with new towers and technology, even when they live in areas that other companies won’t go. Twenty-two years later and counting, we’re pretty proud of what we’ve built, and still on the path to make it even greater. So let us introduce you to 4G LTE internet service.

In our latest triumph in technology, we’ve been rolling out new towers and technology over the last year (with even more scheduled for 2017) that allow us to offer 4G LTE. The new service offers extremely high speed service for video, VOIP, and general internet surfing. Now, when our customers ask us, “Can I use Softcom to replace my expensive satellite TV service?” the answer is Yes! Binge Netflix, stream the Superbowl, let your kids watch their favorite shows, the world online is yours with 4G LTE.

Kristy CooperNew towers, technology, and service areas coming in 2017
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Five must-haves for a productive home office

If you have the opportunity to work from home, and want the best results for your efforts, it’s important to set up your office for maximum productivity from the start. A home office has many benefits, most popular being the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours and design a workspace you love. As you peruse packages from your local internet provider and start picking paint colors, though, don’t forget to consider these 5 essential elements for a truly productive work-at-home experience.

Connectivity: In today’s working world, no matter what you do, high-speed internet is absolutely essential. Choose a local internet provider that offers secure, reliable, and high-speed internet. Even if you live in a rural community, advancing technology has made it possible for people in remote locations to enjoy the same high-speed connectivity as their urban neighbors. That means you can upload videos, participate in conference calls, lead a webinar and hold a Facebook chat, no matter where you’re located.

Kristy CooperFive must-haves for a productive home office
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Signs you may have been hacked – and what to do next

While the internet has opened the world to us, unfortunately it’s also opened us to the world. Attempts to gain unauthorized access to online accounts and computers have become an almost daily occurrence, and it’s become important for even the most casual of internet users to learn how to protect themselves.

From banking accounts to emails to social media, it’s important to be vigilant. While you may not always know exactly how you’ve been hacked, you can keep an eye out for common signs of trouble, and be ready to take action with a few quick strategies for countering and protecting yourself online.

Kristy CooperSigns you may have been hacked – and what to do next
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The Future of Watching Sports Online

People’s love of sports will never change, but the way they watch them definitely will. As many people are cutting the cord on traditional cable options, they are turning to on-demand viewing options for everything from the Olympics to the Super Bowl and in between. The future of watching sports is definitely changing, here’s what to watch for:

Viewers are turning to live streaming over traditional TV: According to Deloitte’s most recent “Digital Democracy Survey,” U.S. consumers are more inclined to stream entertainment from an Internet service than tune in to live TV. And internet-video services are valued more highly than cable or satellite TV among Millennials and their families.

Kristy CooperThe Future of Watching Sports Online
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