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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Ready to stream? Now is the perfect time to cut the cord

If you’ve been hesitating to cut the cord and start streaming, now’s the time to jump in. Deals from streaming services such as DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV, Hulu and Amazon Prime, in addition to stable Internet service from providers like us, means it’s the perfect time to make the switch.

“Cutting the cord,” the process of getting rid of traditional cable TV services and switching to watching television by streaming it via the Internet, is a concept that has existed for some time. However, for people who live in rural areas where internet services were either too slow or not available at all, cutting the cord has been out of reach. Until now.

Kristy CooperReady to stream? Now is the perfect time to cut the cord
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The one thing you need before cutting the cord

Watching TV is not the same as it was when you were a kid anymore. In fact, it’s barely recognizable. Add to that the changes that the internet has brought to home, business, school, work and play and you’ve got a whole new world that is changing dramatically. At the center of it all lies something we’re very familiar with – understanding how best to connect to the world as it is today.

We’ve written about this a few times in the past and are not surprised at all to let you know that 2017 was the year that cord-cutting finally became mainstream. Fed up with high prices and bloated packages, millions of Americans continue to sever their relationship with traditional cable services, instead choosing streaming services that deliver low rates and the ability to get everything they want – and nothing they don’t.

Kristy CooperThe one thing you need before cutting the cord
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Overcoming a serious problem for rural internet users

Even though we live in a time where virtual reality is becoming commonplace and people are buying tickets to Mars, it’s hard to believe that there still exists a “digital divide” between rural and urban areas when it comes to internet access. According to the Wall Street Journal, approximately 39 percent of America’s rural population – about 23 million people – do not have access to internet with speeds that can support email, web surfing, or video streaming for more than one device at a time. That’s compared to only 4 percent of urban dwellers who lack fast internet.

Some internet service providers promise the moon to rural internet users, encouraging them to commit to long-term contracts and high fees with the promise of impressive speeds, yet they fail to follow through and deliver. Just recently HughesNet users complained online that the company’s network is struggling to provide advertised speeds of “up to 25 Mbps,” with users sharing in DSL Reports online forums that they’re often relegated to mind-numbingly slow speeds between 384 kbps and 1 Mbps.

Kristy CooperOvercoming a serious problem for rural internet users
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How to prepare for a digital disaster

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
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Our position on Net Neutrality

The repeal of Net Neutrality is a hot topic in America, and many of our customers have reached out to find out how we feel about it. Here at Softcom we believe that everyone should have the same opportunities to access the internet, no matter where they live, without us getting in the way of you getting the content you want.  In short, what does this mean for our customers? That we’ll continue to provide the best internet access and services to each and every customer without any net neutrality shenanigans. Or, in other words…business as usual!

Kristy CooperOur position on Net Neutrality
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You clicked – we listened! Most-read articles of 2017

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
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Understanding email phishing & how to outsmart it

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
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Internet not working? Before you call for help, check this…

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…
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