How to safely celebrate the holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic

As much as we’d like coronavirus to disappear by the holidays, it won’t. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still celebrate. According to the CDC and other health experts, the holidays don’t need to be cancelled this year, as long as you follow some simple safety tips like the ones we’ve rounded up here.

Check local regulations

First thing’s first. If you plan on hosting a holiday celebration, we strongly encourage you to check your local COVID-19 regulations to determine whether it’s safe (and legal) to have any type of gathering. Whether you’re planning on a small family gathering at home, or a larger socially-distanced event in an outdoor space, it’s good to know your local mandates to plan responsibly.

Kristy CooperHow to safely celebrate the holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic
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New cutting-edge equipment to expand services, coverage and speed

We’ve been busy behind the scenes here at Softcom for the last few months integrating cutting-edge Ericsson LTE equipment into our network that we are confident will be game-changing when it comes to internet service, coverage, speed and reliability for our customers and community.

Ericsson is recognized as one of the world’s leading providers of information and communication technology for service providers. Their technology and services are trusted by our nation’s top telecommunications companies and valued for their consistent success in a fully connected world. During the last few months here at Softcom, we have been working diligently to thoroughly test and integrate the equipment necessary to deploy Ericsson equipment, investing in our technology and in our ability to remain one of the best rural internet service providers in Galt, Herald, Wilton, Acampo, the River Delta, and the surrounding communities.

Kristy CooperNew cutting-edge equipment to expand services, coverage and speed
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What to expect when voting this year

For the first time in history, more than 20 million mail-in voting ballots are being sent out to California votes this year, just one of the many changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your vote counts.

Register to vote: If you haven’t registered to vote, there’s still time. State law requires registration 15 days before an election, however there are options for same-day registration as well. See all the details and register to vote here: https://registertovote.ca.gov/

Not sure if you’re registered to vote? You can check here: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/

Kristy CooperWhat to expect when voting this year
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How to use technology to lessen work-life stress

In an age where technology has given us so many “shortcuts” to make life easier, why do we all feel so stressed? Take one pandemic, add in difficulties adjusting to work, school and life at home, and that equals a whole lot of anxiety. The main reason for these problems, though, doesn’t always lie in the technology, but in the way – or how much – it’s being used.

For example, a study from Common Sense Media shows that smart phones, something designed to give people more “freedom,” actually rarely leave our sides – even at night! According to the study (pdf link), a third of teens actually sleep with their devices — girls more than boys, according to findings (PDF) in The New Normal: Parents, Teens, Screens, and Sleep in the United States. Parents aren’t better, with 62% keeping phones in reach of their bed.

Kristy CooperHow to use technology to lessen work-life stress
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How the pandemic is changing the internet

As the world starts opening back up, it’s obvious that even thought people might talk about “getting back to normal,” a lot of life as we know it will never be quite the same. Almost every facet of life – business, entertainment, food, healthcare, travel, etc. – has been affected and the only certainty we can see in the future is change.

As providers of high-speed internet to rural homes and businesses in the Central California area, we’ve been keeping our eyes on ways technology might change and how it might affect our business, as well as the lives and businesses of those we live and work with here. There is much yet to be discovered, but for now here are some of the ways we see how the pandemic has changed the future of internet use and technology.

Kristy CooperHow the pandemic is changing the internet
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How to choose the best router for Softcom service

One frequent question we often hear from new clients is how to choose the best router for their needs. When setting up new accounts for high-speed internet access, choosing the right router for your home or place of business is an important step, so we’ve rounded up a few guidelines to help your decision.

When Softcom technicians set up a new account, as part of the installation they will configure the router you have chosen to connect to the internet. We do not provide a router as part of the initial set-up, you have the choice of choosing to either rent a router from us (the Softcom Smart Router), or purchase one of your own.

Kristy CooperHow to choose the best router for Softcom service
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How do I set up service with Softcom

If you’re new to the area, or new to Softcom, and wonder what it takes to get set up for high-speed internet access here in the San Joaquin Valley area, here’s what you need to know.

Softcom currently provides internet service to the following cities: Acampo, Clements, Collierville, Courtland, East Stockton, Elk Grove, Galt, Herald, Isleton, Lake Camanche, Lockeford, Lodi, Morada, North Stockton, Thornton, Victor, Walnut Grove, Wilton, Woodbridge, and Youngstown. If you live in those cities or the surrounding areas, you can check to see if you fall within our service boundaries by  checking the map on our website. Even if it seems that you fall outside the boundaries, don’t give up. Please call our customer service team and they will check. We are constantly adding new towers and upgrading our equipment in order to give our customers the best service as we expand our range.

When you call customer service, here’s what will happen:

Kristy CooperHow do I set up service with Softcom
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How to use technology for self-improvement goals

We’re a few months into 2020 – how are your resolutions holding up? If you need some help with self-improvement goals this year, we’ve rounded up a list of the top tech, apps, and ideas that are great for helping you stick to your goals all year long.

YouTube

Much more than movie trailers and music videos, YouTube contains a vast variety of channels that can be used for education and self-development. Whether you’re interested in inspiration, motivation or education, there’s something for everything. Here’s a few to get you started:

Kristy CooperHow to use technology for self-improvement goals
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Tech innovations to watch for in 2020

Game-changing innovations in technology are moving us toward a future life much like the Jetsons. In fact, in many ways, we’re already ahead of that fun futuristic cartoon we all enjoyed as kids. Between Alexa, Roomba, self-driving cars and virtual reality personal trainers, today’s modern world is looking sleeker and more high-tech than George Jetson could ever imagine.

If you’re wondering what’s on the horizon for new technology, we’ve rounded up a few advances we think look pretty cool for 2020 and beyond.

Kristy CooperTech innovations to watch for in 2020
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The hidden dangers of pop-up internet providers

Pop-up shops are nothing new if you’re talking about sunglass kiosks in the mall or specialty chocolate shops at the holidays. But pop-up internet providers are a whole different ballgame. Before falling under the seductive spell of super-low pricing, it’s important to understanding how these start-ups work and what they can (and can’t) provide.

Pop-up internet companies are small start-ups that provide internet coverage at too-good-to-be-true prices, often in rural areas that have limited choices and resources. Their ability to offer unlimited data comes from short-lived agreements or loopholes that allow them to access and provide data for a short time using a larger company’s system (such as AT&T or T-Mobile) until they are discovered and cut off.

Kristy CooperThe hidden dangers of pop-up internet providers
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