How the digital divide affects your life

Is your life affected by the digital divide? Rural communities are one of the groups most affected by this phenomenon, but new technologies and awareness of the issues is helping to close the gap slowly. In fact, providing internet access to people who live in rural communities is a big step for leveling the playing field, with the power to transform education, income, communications, healthcare and other basics of life.

What is the digital divide?

Kristy CooperHow the digital divide affects your life
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What do I need to protect my home while I’m away?

Summer is a great time to get away, but empty homes can be a magnet for thieves and trouble. Studies show that burglaries happen more often in the summer than in the winter, a number that makes sense considering windows or doors often left open to let in the warm breezes and fresh air and homes left empty for days or weeks as homeowners enjoy their vacations.

New technologies that only require the use of devices with internet access in the home that communicate with smart phones are making a big difference, though, by alerting homeowners to potential problems as they occur or even stopping them before damage is done.

Check out these ideas you can integrate into your own home.

Kristy CooperWhat do I need to protect my home while I’m away?
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Secrets for a smoother customer support experience

We get it, when things go wrong, calling a tech support line isn’t at the top of your list. Long wait times, bouncing from person to person, and frustrating non-answers are common with other industry help desks. But here at Softcom, we’ve taken all of that out of the equation.

Believe it or not, calling or chatting with our customer support specialists for your internet connection issues or questions doesn’t have to ruin your day.

All it takes is a little preparation and a few easy expectations and we’ll make your day better – faster. Here’s how:

Kristy CooperSecrets for a smoother customer support experience
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Softcom Plans for Fun Summer Events Near You

Softcom team members will be attending a variety of fun and festive events in our community this summer and we hope you’ll meet us there. Representatives will be staffing booths and meeting with community members in person to share information about our company, our services, and the exciting improvements in high-speed internet access for people who live and work in remote communities. We invite friends, customers and anyone interested in what we do to swing by our booth, ask any questions you might have, and find out more about how we can make home, school, work and play so much easier.

June 30: Independence Day Parade

Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. but it’s popular so be sure to come early and get your spot to see the sights and enjoy. Last year’s parade marked the return of the popular military vehicle caravan featuring retired military vehicles and the possibility of a helicopter joining as well. The day also includes the 6th Annual Officer Tonn Memorial 5K Run/Walk, a Fireworks Celebration, Fireworks in the Pool, Horseshoe Tournament, Live Bands, a Kids Zone, and much more. Information about the day’s festivities, parade route, and more can be found HERE.

Kristy CooperSoftcom Plans for Fun Summer Events Near You
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New tower upgrades coming to Herald West, Acampo

The good news just keeps rolling in and we’re happy to share the progress of our latest technology and equipment improvements. The 4G LTE upgrades we announced last month for the Herald East tower have been completed and local Softcom customers are sending us positive feedback of faster, stronger internet service.

With that mission accomplished, we’re moving on to start on similar improvements for the Herald West and Acampo towers, with more in store later in the year. These upgrades have the added benefit of giving us the ability to add new customers and expand our service areas while also improving the quality of service for current customers, a win-win situation for all.

Kristy CooperNew tower upgrades coming to Herald West, Acampo
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Exciting news: The Galt fiber optic cable installation project is a go!

We’re excited to share with you some exciting news: The Galt City Council has unanimously approved for Softcom to provide the City of Galt government with high-speed Internet access delivered by fiber-optic cable, a project that will provide nearly every city facility with significant improvements in their Internet access.

Fiber-optic cable is the industry standard for providing the fastest and most reliable Internet connection across the last mile — the section of the network connected to homes and businesses. Fiber provides the highest possible Internet speeds and data capacity, without having to rebuild new networks in the future once initial cable has been installed.

Kristy CooperExciting news: The Galt fiber optic cable installation project is a go!
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Tips to avoid identity theft online

Identity theft continues to be a major concern, especially for those who shop or do business online. In fact, identity theft hit a record high in 2017, with more than 16.7 million people affected, according to recently released statistics. As consumers have become savvier, and new security measures such as credit card chip technology are fighting back, identity theft thieves are shifting their focus online. By stealing passwords and personal information, they can open accounts, order products, access existing funds and create all sorts of havoc in a very short amount of time.

We’ve addressed email phishing scams and how to outsmart them, plus tips for keeping your family safe online, and are continuing in our effort to help you have the best experience online with even more tips here for avoiding the dangers of identity theft online.

Kristy CooperTips to avoid identity theft online
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Turning our competitors’ mistakes into our successes

There’s an old saying that instead of looking at something as a mistake, look at it as an opportunity to make something even better. It’s no secret that we are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of our service – and sometimes we’ve found that they best way to do that is to watch and learn from the mistakes others in our industry have experienced.

For example, a recent article highlighted Frontier’s dramatic decline as a result of overreaching with their growth strategies and resulting inability to provide customers with adequate internet connectivity. Too many customers, not enough resources, and a lack of focus from their management has created a perfect storm of poor service that’s caused nearly half a million subscribers to leave last year alone. Internet service in Wilton, especially, has been negatively affected by Frontier’s decline, leaving subscribers with little to no connectivity at all.

Kristy CooperTurning our competitors’ mistakes into our successes
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Tower upgrades open door for more customers and better service

If you live in the Herald or Acampo area, we’ve got great news! Upgrades to several of our towers in the area means that in addition to improving the strength and reliability of our service, we can now provide even more customers with the internet access they’ve been waiting for.

Here at Softcom, we’re committed to a high standard of quality when it comes to our customer’s internet connectivity. That’s why we take a “quality over quantity” approach for our services. For instance, when we reach capacity for each tower, our standard practice is to stop accepting new customers in that area to avoid spreading our resources too thin and degrading the service.

Kristy CooperTower upgrades open door for more customers and better service
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How to help our technicians provide better service

While we do everything we can here at Softcom to ensure that your connection is fast, strong, and steady, sometimes we need your help too. Here’s a few simple tips to help us get around nature (and other assorted stuff) to provide faster, better service when you need it.

  • Keep critters away: Wasp nests are probably the biggest pest problem our technicians deal with when providing on-site service for our customers in Galt, Herald, Clements, Acampo, Wilton, Lodi, Lockeford, Walnut Grove, and the surrounding areas. Keep an eye on your equipment and try to discourage nests by setting traps or applying chemicals that will dissuade them from making a home.
  • Clear the clutter: Before our technicians arrive, it’s best to clear any clutter that has built up around antennas, cabling, or any of our equipment. If we can’t get to it, we can’t service it.
  • Watch the weather: In the rare case that it’s raining, we’re unable to climb, shimmy, jump, dance around or service any equipment. It’s dangerous for our technicians and not so good for the equipment either. So if rain is in the forecast and you’re about to make an appointment, it’s best to try to schedule around any bad weather.
  • Natures obstacles: If you’re adding new landscaping, avoid planting large trees with dense foliage near the antenna as it can weaken or block your signal. Trim existing trees or hedge lines that are in the direct path between you and your local tower as well.
  • Check for common issues: Did you know that often the cause of an internet outage can easily be fixed by the user at home? Before you pick up the phone and request a service call, we put together this quick checklist that might help you get back on track without calling in a professional.
Kristy CooperHow to help our technicians provide better service
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