If you still have some shopping to do for the holidays, and plan to get much of it done in the comfort of your own home, you’re not alone. Americans let their keyboards do the talking this year by racking up record numbers for online shopping sales that show their love for finding what they need whenever and where ever they want, as long as it’s via the internet. With numbers like $5.03 billion in online sales on Black Friday and $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday alone, it’s no surprise that 79% of U.S. consumers say they prefer to shop online.
While online super stores like Amazon and WalMart claim a large share of online sales (about half of U.S. households are estimated to have Amazon Prime subscriptions), small businesses and online entrepreneurs are also doing well. In fact Adobe Analytics is predicting this holiday season to have a record-breaking $100 billion in online sales.
Kristy CooperInternet Online Shopping Experiences Explosive Growth This Year
Softcom customer Elisa recently shared her story of why she left Softcom – and then returned just 3 weeks later. Life on a rural farm had its perks, but reliable internet access wasn’t one of them – at first.
“We started out with dialup in the early years and it was like getting email by donkey back then. Life on a farm these days does require internet access. I get my news online, stream Netflix, even take online exams or do work for classes I’m taking, all requiring reliable internet connections. I was watching TV one day and noticed an ad by HughesNet, which promised super-fast speed Internet for rural communities. I called them and they promised speeds of 25 mbps for the same price as I was paying Softcom, so I signed up.”
Kristy CooperWhy Elisa left Softcom – and came back
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. Soon after, they were joined by Dean Barbera as COO. 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.
Ignoring emails from financiers in Kenya promising shipments of gold is pretty easy. But when an email arrives from a business you work with, a close friend, or colleague asking you to click on a link about your job, your account, or this weekend’s party, what do you do? Over the years, phishing emails have matured from obvious, laughable scams to sophisticated emails that cleverly conceal their deception while seeming to come from trusted sources. And no matter how smart or savvy we get about them, they just keep on coming. In fact, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), phishing attacks in 2016 shattered all previous years’ records with a 65% increase from 2015 and a 5,753% increase over the past 12 years.
Phishing scams work by tricking you into clicking on a link or attachment that can infect your computer or take you to a website that looks real, but isn’t, and can steal your private information. According to the APWG, 100,000 new phishing attacks get reported every month, and thousands of people fall for them.
Kristy CooperUnderstanding email phishing & how to outsmart it
Nothing’s more frustrating than when you’re right in the middle of a dramatic show, an important video chat, or super competitive game and – bam! – your internet stops working. While we do everything we can here at Softcom to ensure that your connection is fast, strong, and steady, the occasional outage can happen. Did you know, though, 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 (or back in the game!) without too much time or stress.
Kristy CooperInternet not working? Before you call for help, check this…
(or) The day our tech got schooled by a 5-year-old
A funny thing happened to one of our techs during a recent service call. A family had reported their rural internet service was out and we sent Kurtis to the rescue. The problem was found and solved pretty quickly – some connecting cables had been accidentally moved inside the home. But the whole time Kurtis was there, the family’s little 5-year-old let him know how much this internet interruption had interrupted her life, with all the sass and authority only a Kindergartner could muster. Kurtis had trouble keeping a straight face – it was the best call of the day!
Kristy CooperThe profound effect internet has on day-to-day life
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
When we found out there was a chance to participate in one of the most popular events in Wilton, we jumped. The Wilton Firefighters Association Chili Cook-Off and Classic Car show is an annual event with fun activities that brings people together while supporting community organizations.
Held at Fog Willow Farms near Elk Grove, the event will also feature other local businesses and vendors, crafts, a kid’s fun zone, live entertainment, a BBQ lunch, raffles and a silent auction. Fog Willow Farm is located at the end of Cecatra Drive off Green Road in Wilton and offers plenty of room for vendors, activities, the car show, and lots of off-street parking. You can find out more information about the venue and directions at fogwillowfarms.com.
Kristy CooperHow do Softcom and spicy chili go together? Come to Wilton to see
We’re excited to let you know that here at Softcom headquarters, we’re in the process of deploying our first commercial offering of “fiber to the suite” technology for our first handful of commercial customers here at our facility at 545 Industrial Drive in Galt.
Fiber optic connections are exceedingly fast compared with traditional copper connections. Fiber optic cables relies on light instead of electricity to transmit data, which offers numerous advantages. The end result is that fiber-optic cable gives us a way to offer the fastest possible internet connections capable of handling extreme bandwidths. According to a report from the FCC, fiber optic providers consistently offer 117% of advertised speed, even during times of peak demand.
Kristy CooperFiber Optics installed at Softcom Headquarters
We’re pleased to announce a series of new upgrades on the Kettleman Tower, one of the Softcom facilities that serve our customers in the region encompassing the south part of Clements and the north part of Linden. A full-size lattice tower has been constructed near the existing structure which will allow us to upgrade our equipment at that site, paving the way for higher connection speeds and 4G LTE connectivity. Service to our current customers should not be affected during this transition, which is expected to be finished by the end of July.
We are continually looking for ways to add or improve our equipment and services in order to provide the best in service, connectivity and speed for our customers as we continue to reinvest into our network. Our team has been working on completely upgrading nearly every piece of equipment at our Kettleman site to make sure our customers have the best online experience possible.
Kristy CooperSoftcom announces new upgrades to Kettleman Tower
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.