GIGABIT vs. GIGABYTE – Why is everything so confusing?

Do you get confused when you hear gigabit, gigabyte or megabit? Do you scratch your head when you see abbreviations such as Mbps? If your answer is “Yes” to any of these questions, rest assured you are not alone. We at Race understand this can be confusing, especially for those of you who live in unserved or underserved communities where broadband has been non-existent and we are here to help you navigate through this new terminology.

Many people confuse the terms “gigabit” and “gigabyte” as well as the terms “megabit” and “kilobit”. While both “bit” and “byte” are units of measurement describing digital data, how much they measure and how they are used are different.

A bit is one of the most basic units used in telecommunications. A bit is considered data moving so when we’re talking about internet speeds, the correct term to use is bits per second. Race’s “Gigafy Me” plan provides speeds up to 1Gbps, one gigabit (or a thousand megabits) per second.

Meanwhile, bytes are generally used when describing data capacity such as hard drive storage. One Byte equals 8bits. We measure the sizes of our files and the hard drives that store them in megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes. 

When we need to refer to numbers of bits or bytes as those numbers get larger and larger, we use the prefixes from the metric system (see table below for examples).

prefix multiplier bits-to-bytes bytes-to-bits
kilo- (K) 1,000x 1Kb = 125B 1KB = 8Kb
mega- (M) 1,000,000x 1Mb = 125KB 1MB = 8Mb
giga- (G) 1,000,000,000x 1Gb = 125MB 1GB = 8Gb
tera- (T) 1,000,000,000,000x 1Tb = 125GB 1TB = 8Tb
Source: Atlantic.net

To distinguish between the two when abbreviating them, the lower-case “b” traditionally represents “bit”, whereas the upper-case “B” represents “byte”.Bytes are generally used when describing data capacity. We measure the sizes of our files and the hard drives that store them in gigabytes and terabytes (and, perhaps soon, petabytes!).

This can get confusing for many, especially if they are switching from a satellite or wireless provider that sells their packages based on usage, not speed. With Race, you are never charged for usage and you can rest assured that we won’t be throttling your speed after a certain amount of data is used. With us, you simply pay for the speed you want – and we make selecting a plan as easy as possible.

We offer 25Mbps as our Basic Broadband+ package and 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) as our “Gigafy Me” package. Both packages offer symmetrical speeds which means you are getting the same speed for your uploads and your downloads!

How fast is 1000Mbps or 125MB/s is in terms of usage? Below are examples of files with the average download duration:

  • MP3 file — 3MB, less than 1 second
  • TV episode — 350MB, 3 seconds
  • 720p High Definition TV episode — 950MB, 8 seconds
  • Blu-Ray Movie — 15GB, 2 minutes
Source: myrepublic.com

Bills, bills, bills – what should you know?

When you place an order with Race, we do our best to explain our billing system and process, but we know sometimes you’re just excited to finally be placing an order which is why we have created this brief cheat sheet on our billing process.

When it comes to billing, we try our best to KEEP THINGS SIMPLE – which is why we make sure that we bill you on the first of the month, every month (with the exception of January). It helps you have peace of mind that we won’t be sending your statement on different dates. Everyone has the same due date (the 20th of the month) as well. Starting the 21st of the month, you will begin accruing late fees.

Now that you know the “when”, what about the “how”?

We offer two forms of bill delivery:

Option 1 – ELECTRONIC (PAPERLESS) BILLING: No more paper, no more stamps, and no more headaches! You can choose to receive your statements via e-mail. This allows you to have a digital copy as well as a hard copy should you choose to print your statement.

Option 2 – PAPER BILLING: While we highly encourage everyone to switch over to paperless billing, we understand that some of our customers may want to have a hardcopy of their bills. For customers who choose paper billing, a $2.00 surcharge will apply.

We like to make things easy on you which is why we offer various methods of payment:

Option 1 – AUTOMATED BILLING: Yes, you can set up automatic payments – if you are not already set up, the transition is simple. To automate your billing, please call 877-722-3833, select option 2 followed by option 4 to speak with our billing department who will be happy to assist you with the process. Each time a payment is processed, you will receive an email receipt for your records.

Option 2 – ONLINE PAYMENT: Don’t like auto-draft? Not a problem. Next time a payment is due, simply log on to our online portal via our website (www.race.com), and follow the instructions for online payment using the payment method of your choosing.

Option 3 – PAY BY CHECK: Like to send a check? Not a problem – just be sure to mail your check in advance (remember, your due date is always the 20th of the month) Checks should be mailed to:

Race Communications
ATT: Billing
1325 Howard Ave. #604
Burlingame, CA. 94010

Information about your first bill:
Please be aware that your first bill may differ from your expected monthly total. As we said before, Race runs statements on the 1st of every month so your first statement will most likely include a pro-rated amount based on your start date in addition to the current month’s charges.

For example, if you are installed on the 25th of June, you will receive your first bill on July 1st. Your first bill will include the prorated amount for the month of June as well as the full amount for July.

We hope this answers all your questions – if not, let us know by leaving a comment below!

The Bear Valley “Cruise In” car show tradition lives on!

On Sunday, July 1st, the annual “Cruise-In” car show took place during the Bear Valley Springs 4th of July celebration. The car show was initially set to be canceled due to declining membership and lack of volunteers until the employees at Code3IT decided to step in. Enlisting the help of Race Communications and the Bear Valley Springs Association (BVSA), Code3IT made sure that the show went on!

After weeks of preparation and advertising, 50 cars, trucks and motorcycles lined the parking lot of the BVCSD vying for the first place prize. Some of the entrants included a 1948 John Deere truck, a 1963 Ford Galaxie and a 1955 Chevy Belair. The proceeds from the entry fees will be donated the Bear Valley Springs Shooting Range.

The winners were determined by the public who cast their vote by submitting a ballot to the judges. So without further ado, here are the winners of the 2018 “Cruise-In” Car show!

1st place – People’s Choice: Herb and Terry Martindale, ’31 Ford Model AIMG_7747
2nd place – People’s Choice: Bob Wright, ’41 Ford Truck
IMG_7741

3rd place – People’s Choice: Don and Marilyn Bailey, 2012 Ford Shelby
IMG_7744

Sponsor’s Choice: Kevin Applegate, ’17 Ford Model T
IMG_7751

See you next year, everyone!

 

About Code3IT:
Code3IT is a one-stop shop for any IT needs, be it network security, data migration or advanced server setups. The company has clients from all walks of life including city government offices, police departments, and HOAs.

For more information about Code3IT, please visit their website.

Race Communications’ Summer Review.

2018 has been filled with releases, events, and expansion for Race Communications. In May, the company officially opened a new office in Tehachapi, CA where the company has a strong fiber footprint in the outlying communities of Stallion Springs, Brite Valley, Oak Knolls and Bear Valley Springs. Race has hired several local residents to build their marketing and sales team and is revving up their efforts in their service areas in the High Desert and Central Valley.

The month of May also brought the release of the first part of the “Gigafy Phelan” project, a hard-fought project that was approved in July 2017, after years of challenges and obstacles.

Since June 2018, Race has installed 98% of the residents who had previously inquired about service in the released zone – the release came two full months ahead of the initial target date of August 2018. “Gigafy Phelan” was not the only project to be released – the “Gigafy Occidental” project in Northern California was also released and installs began immediately. At this time over 70 percent of the community has signed up for services from Race.

The release of these communities has given Race the momentum to continue their expansion and Race opened a new field operations office in Phelan, CA and marked the occasion with a BBQ Kick-Off and ribbon cutting ceremony on July 21st. The company was recognized by Congressman Cook’s office for their efforts in the area and for their continued work in rural unserved and underserved areas across the state.

 

Race looks forward to the second half of 2018 and continued progress. Race is on a mission to provide affordable high-speed broadband to the communities where larger carriers have ignored the needs of the residents. Race will continue to support net-neutrality, promote broadband access and adoption, and will continue to seek out new projects in unserved and underserved regions in California.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to those who have chosen Race as their new service provider as we could not have done this without you. Our customers are part of the Race family, and we look forward to providing our customers with the newest technology and the friendly customer service they have come to know.  Stay tuned for more exciting news from Race as the year progresses!

 

What is fiber optics and why is it better than copper?

Today, your Internet and TV services are probably connected to your home via copper wires. This technology has been around for over a hundred years, and it certainly wasn’t built for today’s uses and demands. Race Communications recognizes this and is working to build a network that will provide fiber optic internet to homes across the state of California. Now you may be wondering, what is fiber optic technology and is it better than copper? If so, why?

Fiber optic technology is far better and faster than copper at transmitting information, such as the bits that make up your favorite websites, Netflix shows, or online games. Fiber-optic cables are made of glass, and they use lasers to transmit information — close to the speed of light!

Investing in fiber-optic networks can significantly increase bandwidth potential and reliability. As mentioned earlier, copper infrastructure is limited because it was originally designed for transmitting the telegram! Think about that! The same infrastructure has been in use since the telegram – no wonder most homeowners are familiar with the slowdown that occurs when the clock hits 6:00 pm and everyone is home from work.

The signal for copper networks degrades as the signal is carried from the central office (CO) so distance is a huge factor in your internet’s performance. In contrast, when traveling over a long distance, fiber optic cables experience less signal loss than copper cabling. This is known as low attenuation. It is estimated that fiber loses only three percent signal strength going over 320 feet in distance. By contrast, copper loses 94 percent over the same distance.

While not everyone needs gigabit — or 1,000 megabits per second — the move to faster speeds is inevitable, and more companies are trying to offer these services, just look at Spectrum and Comcast. However, these providers do not use fiber optic technology and instead rely on the old copper wires. This means that the speeds will rarely (if ever) be symmetrical, data caps will apply and reliability will be an issue.

There are a number of factors that can cause outages when a company relies on a copper network – temperature fluctuations, severe weather conditions, and moisture can all cause a loss of connectivity. Old or worn copper cable can even present a fire hazard, due to the fact it carries an electric current – since fiber is made of glass it doesn’t present the same hazard!

Fiber optics is an amazing technology, but unfortunately, very few homes have direct access to fiber networks today. This is in large part due to the resource-intensive process of deploying new infrastructure – but Race Communications hasn’t let that slow us down, thanks to grants and partnerships with public and private entities!

If you are lucky enough to live in one of our fiber communities, don’t hesitate!

Submit an inquiry today to find out if you live in our fiber footprint (or if we are coming to a neighborhood near you soon) – or give us a call at 877-722-3833 to place your order!

Sources:
https://smallbiztrends.com/2015/08/fiber-optic-copper-wireless-internet-transmission-methods.html
https://www.atlantech.net/blog/8-advantages-of-fiber-optic-internet-over-copper-cable