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
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
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!
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
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
This last year has been one to remember when it comes to disasters across the United States. From fires and floods to hurricanes galore, the importance of being prepared was demonstrated time and again as we watched communities struggle to survive. But while most of the attention was focused on assembling emergency supplies like food, water, first aid kits, flashlights and batteries, not much is being said about digital disaster planning.
Forget about natural disasters. Something as simple as an electrical fire or broken water pipes can prove devastating for everyone from small business to solo entrepreneur. Even families are at risk of losing access and control of sensitive files and financial accounts in an emergency.
Kristy CooperHow to prepare for a digital disaster
Cancelling expensive satellite and cable company contracts, aka cutting the cord, and moving to internet-based streaming is continuing to grow at an outstanding rate. In fact, the speed at which people are leaving traditional pay TV is on track to be the biggest upset of the year. In the last quarter alone, approximately one million pay TV subscribers in the U.S. cut the cord and moved to internet-based streaming services. Even ESPN viewers, formerly some of the most loyal fans around, are jumping ship with the company losing more than 10 million viewers in the last few years. This shows a growing trend of consumers who either don’t watch sports, or are tired of the high price that comes with access for it. In fact, one recent survey suggests that 56% of remaining ESPN viewers would drop it in a heartbeat if it meant saving the estimated additional $8 price tag the sports network adds to cable subscriptions each month.
Kristy CooperCord-cutting rates continue to skyrocket
This past year has been filled with milestones for us. One of the most satisfying is the remarkable bond we’ve built with our customers since we launched 25 years ago. As we move into a New Year we’d like to thank you for your insight, feedback and support along the way. Throughout the year you’ve let us know what is interesting and important to you through every click on our blog, website or social media. In fact, we thought it would be fun to round up the Top 10 most popular articles of the past year. If you missed any, here’s your chance to catch up.
Kristy CooperYou clicked – we listened! Most-read articles of 2017
This year has definitely been one for the books – and we’re not done yet! Our 25th anniversary is this year and we’re pretty excited about what we’ve accomplished – and planning for even more. We’ve rounded up some fun facts you may not know about us, and a few sneak peeks into the future. And up front, we’ve just got to say, thank you! Throughout all we do, it’s customers like you who make is all worth it. We’re truly grateful for your trust and loyalty and look forward to many more years to come.
In the early ‘90s, two old college buddies sat in a poorly-lit garage. Both with serious business and tech skills, both with a vision for providing much-needed technology services and support in the rural area they’d grown up in. In 1992, Kevin Triplett (President and CEO) and Scott Martin (Senior VP) began this company providing computer networking and application development consulting. In 1994, Softcom became an Internet service provider, providing dial-up Internet service and domain hosting to residential and business customers throughout California, Nevada & Utah.
We’re excited to announce some big moves we’re making bringing improved internet services to the Delta region. Our technicians have been working hard replacing existing WiMAX equipment with upgraded next-generation 4G LTE. This is a game changer for the region, bringing improved internet for current Softcom subscribers, and opening the door for others who have been told they are too remote for internet access – until now!
Our mission of providing high-speed internet where others fail to go fits perfectly with the Delta region, a unique region composed of thousands of miles of waterways and one of the most productive farming areas in the United States. Remote is a way of life, and people who live and work in the Delta have become used to falling under the radar when it comes to internet access. There are people who live aboard their boats and others who spend their days working in farms or vineyards, choosing to commute a considerable distance or set down roots in the Delta, loving the peace and beauty of the region.
Kristy CooperNew tech brings better, faster, stronger internet to the Delta
We believe that everyone deserves fast, reliable internet service no matter where they live or work. Softcom brings the experience, infrastructure, and technology to stand behind our vision. And we’re laser-focused on giving our customers the fast connections, exceptional customer service, and simple, affordable pricing they deserve.