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

SB 822 Squashed by Assembly Committee

On May 30th of this year, the California Senate approved Senate Bill 822, a bill that aimed to reinstate the net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last December. Today, June 20, 2018; the California net neutrality bill was gutted in the Assembly committee meeting.

The California net neutrality bill that advocates hailed as the “gold standard” for Internet protections, was “eviscerated,” its chief backer, Sen. Scott Weiner said, in a committee hearing Wednesday morning.

The Senate Bill would have barred ISPs from blocking, throttling or engaging in paid prioritization. SB822 would have also prevented ISPs that don’t abide the prohibitions in the bill from contracting with California state and local governments.

However, in an 8-0 vote, the state Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee adopted amendments to SB822, which removed the provisions that would have given the state the strongest prohibitions against discriminatory treatment of Internet traffic in the country.

Among its recommendations were to allow a debated ISP practice called “zero rating,” where some websites and apps don’t count against a consumer’s data allowance. Opponents view zero rating as a backdoor way of discriminating against online services that don’t sign on with free-data deals with broadband and wireless companies.

Race Communications was in full support of the bill and is saddened by the outcome of today’s committee meeting. Our company will continue to maintain a pro net-neutrality policy and hopes that our peers will continue to do the same.

Sources:
https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-net-neutrality-bill-eviscerated-13011048.php

California Senate passes SB822 defending net neutrality!

Today, the California Senate voted to approve SB822, a bill that would reinstate the net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last December. The bill acts as a gold standard for states looking to protect net neutrality. Race Communications believes in SB822 and is in full support of the bill and net neutrality.

The Senate passed the bill that would institute rules like those implemented by the FCC in 2015. The bill will forbid the practice of zero-rating services to give them advantages over competitors. It will bar ISPs from blocking, throttling or engaging in paid prioritization.

S.B. 822 would ban these actions and prevent ISPs that don’t abide by these prohibitions from contracting with California state and local governments. That means ISPs who aren’t net neutral can’t get government contracts from the state of California.

Other states that have passed or have their own net neutrality bills in progress include Washington, Montana and Rhode Island. Also, a New York state senator has introduced a bill similar to California’s in New York.

The bill still has to clear the state Assembly before it can be signed into law.

Does the FCC Think You Have Sufficient Internet Service?

If you read our previous blogs about AB 1665 and Net Neutrality, you know that the FCC and the State of California are implementing new regulations that will have an impact on carriers like Race Communications when it comes to receiving funding for broadband projects.  To date, Race has been awarded approximately $71 million from 10 separate CASF grants covering 60% of project costs. 

At the end of 2017, the FCC determined which areas in the country are eligible for funding from the Connect America Fund (CAF) to bring broadband internet to unserved areas. The eligible areas are determined through the data that the FCC receives from broadband providers every 6 months.  

Here’s the catch.  

The data that determines if your area is eligible for funding isn’t based off of actual service being provided.  Consumers are considered “served” if a broadband provider indicates that they can provide service to “any census block where at least one home could potentially get 10/1Mbps broadband service within a reasonable amount of time.” Yes that’s right.  That means if you live on a block in which a broadband provider can potentially connect just one home with required speeds, then the entire block is deemed served.  

Here’s the kicker.

The newest data from the FCC shows a reduction of unserved areas by 30% when compared to the data just 16 months prior.  That means less areas are eligible for funding from the CAF and makes it more difficult for providers like Race to submit for grants.  Race will continue to excel in providing service to the underserved and rural communities.

You can contact the FCC here at the Consumer Complaint Center to let your voice be heard.