How Facebook’s recent hacks affect us all

Stolen passwords, illegal hacks, election fraud – this may sound like a crime drama, but what we’re really talking about here is a short list of Facebook’s recent troubles. With more than 2.23 billion monthly active Facebook users around the world, even if you’re not using Facebook it’s very likely that someone in your home or part of your family is. And the troubles that Facebook has been going through highlight the importance of protecting your information no matter what you do online.

Kristy CooperHow Facebook’s recent hacks affect us all
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Softcom mythbusters: Real truths about rural internet service

You may think you know your internet, but much of what is passed about as truth is often out of date or even pure fiction. As the premier provider of high-speed internet service for rural communities in Central California, we thought it was time for some debunking.

MYTH: With unlimited plans I get the speeds I’m promised

While other carriers offer unlimited plans and super-high speeds, there are hidden limitations that can affect what you really get. Data may be unlimited, but speeds are not guaranteed. 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.” We know this can be confusing, so we’ve provided the information you need in this article, “The hidden limitations of unlimited plans.”

Kristy CooperSoftcom mythbusters: Real truths about rural internet service
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How the internet can help cut down on screen time

As the days get shorter and nights get longer, you might notice an increase in your family’s screen time. While epic gaming and binging Netflix are OK now and again, too much time staring at a screen can be damaging for everything from health to mood to even relationships. Technology may seem like the culprit here, but there’s no need for a full digital detox. We’ve rounded up a few easy alternatives for using the internet that can entertain, educate and improve your life – all without staring at a screen.

Kristy CooperHow the internet can help cut down on screen time
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The Overlooked Advantages of Softcom

Our ability to provide strong and speedy internet connections is about much more than just towers and techies. We’ve got a lot going on behind the scenes that helps us stand out from the crowd. From in-person customer service with people who feel like family, to no-tricks contracts and super-speedy installation, we go the extra mile to give our customers the very best.

We invite you to take a peek behind the curtain at a few of the things that make our internet services for rural homes, businesses and communities stand out:

Super-Speedy Installation and Service: There are definitely benefits to having our headquarters and operations based centrally where we provide our services. No long waits – in fact, most new customer installations and on-site services are scheduled within a week of inquiry. Need help? Just give us a call. Software fixes and upgrades are often accomplished remotely, within minutes, and without appointments.

Kristy CooperThe Overlooked Advantages of Softcom
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How to lower your electricity bills this summer

Summer’s heat can be fun when you’re heading to the beach or out for a picnic, but not so much fun when it comes to utility bills. It makes sense that as energy use goes up during the summer, so does your bills. That’s why we’ve put together this list of easy ways to save energy while still enjoying your summer. URL

#1: Watch for energy vampires

Energy vampires are appliances or other devices that slowly drain small amounts of electricity, even when not in use, that add up over time. Things like toasters, coffee makers, and digital photo frames are a few examples. Just turning them off doesn’t do the trick. You must unplug them when not in use to stop the energy drain.

Kristy CooperHow to lower your electricity bills this summer
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How summer heat can affect your internet

Summer heat – it wilts flowers, melts ice cream, and makes your internet stop working. Two of these statements are true, but the last one not so much. While summer heatwaves can affect your internet, it’s not a common issue and usually easily addressed. Here’s how heat can affect internet connectivity, and what to do if you suspect the heat’s wilting your online connection.

One common issue during heatwaves are blackouts or brownouts from overloaded electric grids. Electricity powers the towers that provide your internet signal. Electricity also powers the routers and computers you use to receive those signals. Unexpected power outages can negatively affect all of the above. High tech operating systems are complex and in normal conditions when they are shut off will go through a standard shutdown sequence to make sure all running processes have correctly terminated before powering off. A sudden loss of electricity can interrupt important signals and connections and cause systems to experience slow restarts or even leave them in an inoperable state that requires technical support.

Kristy CooperHow summer heat can affect your internet
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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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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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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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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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