A Net Neutrality Protest Is Near…

The battle for net neutrality is on.

Now for those who aren’t really familiar with the term net neutrality, think of it as the basic rights Internet users have to access the Web. This means that Internet providers can’t favor certain websites over others and companies aren’t allowed to charge consumers a fee on popular sites.

Last month, the FCC voted to propose a new review of the rules, with the goal of loosening the regulations on the industry, which aims to slash Title II, the legal framework for net neutrality rules that protects online free speech and innovation.

The proposal also suggests repealing the “general conduct” rule that allows the FCC to investigate business practices of Internet providers that it suspects may be anti-competitive.

But with the new ruling, many of the Internet’s top companies are not in support of this move.

So far, tech giants such as Amazon, Etsy, Netflix and numerous others have all joined the fight—and are calling for a day of action.

Officially, July 12th will be deemed: Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality.

According to Battleforthenet.com: “The FCC wants to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, they’ll allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees. On July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them.”

At Race, this vote isn’t something we’re for. We believe the Internet is a freedom that has incredible power to change our daily lives. We feel that consumers should be able to visit any site that they choose and use the Internet freely. Whether you decide to stream Netflix or shop on Amazon, consumers should be able to stream without the fear of having their speeds throttled or blocked from visiting certain websites.

If you wish to sign up, learn more information or join the movement, visit: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/

 

 

 

Phelan, We Need Your Support!

If there are any residents out there who are frustrated with the ongoing internet issues in Phelan, we urge you send your emails of personal stories and concerns about this to CPUC  with the subject line of Resolution T-17525. The only catch, this email has to be in by 9am on Wednesday, June 21st to make sure the Commission can view the comments.

Please send your emails to:

President Picker - mp6@cpuc.ca.gov
Commissioner Randolph - lr1@cpuc.ca.gov
Commissioner Guzman Acevez - mga@cpuc.ca.gov
Commissioner Peterman - cap@cpuc.ca.gov
Commissioner Rechtschaffen - cr6@cpuc.ca.gov

Phelan – We had such an awesome time getting to know you over the past few days and exploring some of the great things you have to offer. Let’s just say the Pizza Factory was one of our favorites!

You may have heard that Race Communications was in the area and we sure were! We spent several days in your community trying to garner support for our “Gigafy Phelan” project and some of you were even kind enough to let us into your home to show us how you’re currently connecting.

We met some of you at the local Farmers’ Market where we got to hear your firsthand interactions and frustrations with your current Internet situation in the community and learning how it affects your individual households.

We met with some local business owners who expressed their daily challenges about not having adequate Internet to handle vital transactions for the survival of their business.

We also heard about the outages at the local institutions around town, paralyzing everyone in the area.

We even met with community leaders to see how we can together and fix this problem for residents.

Hearing those, countless stories of many Phelan residents using hotspots to “light” their household, but they’re still not providing you with crucial speeds. The average hotspot a has about 5-10Mbps, that’s a fraction of the FCC’s minimum broadband speed of 25Mbps per household. Not mention, we heard the endless stories of how much you are overpaying for this service.

After our short time with you all, we genuinely have a better understanding of how complicated connectivity is in your community and the lengths you are going to get the best service you can. Being on the ground level and learning what obstacles stand in your way, truly gave us an account of how dire and severe things are for YOU.

This is why we have spent the last two years battling  to bring our fiber optic products to the area. This application has been in process for two years and shouldn’t be delayed any further and potential new legislation shouldn’t be a determining factor.

Back in April, things took a turn when Frontier Communications submitted a challenge that would jeopardize Race Communications’ efforts in Phelan. Although their challenge was rejected by the CPUC this did not stop Frontier from trying to submit further comments to persuade the Commission’s vote.

Frontier has told the CPUC that they do in fact provide sufficient and adequate coverage to Phelan, but we all know this is not the case.

The CPUC is going to vote on our proposed project for Phelan this June 29 at 9am. There is still time to have your voice heard about this issue.

Phelan, we seriously thank you for allowing us to come into your community with such excitement and open arms. We look forward to a long-term future with you and our products. We just have to make sure the CPUC makes the decision!

Face to Face with Race: Scott Stevenson

Born in So-Cal, Scott Stevenson has become a jack-of-all-trades at Race Communications. As a Field Engineer, his days are never the same. Find out how Scott spends his days at Race.

How long have you worked at Race Communications?

I’ve been here for a little over two years.

What’s your official title?

I don’t know…let me look at my badge [laughs].  I am a Field Engineer at Race.

What exactly does that translate to?

Majority of installations, but a lot of the time, I could be digging in a ditch to help build a trench, or up on a pole attaching wiring. It’s kind of a jack-of-all-trades role.

What’s your day to day like?

My day-to-day could vary, it changes a lot. A lot of the time, I am driving to different locations. Or it could be splicing up on a telephone pole in the morning, and doing an install in the afternoon.

What initially drew you to work at Race?

It was such a good opportunity to work with fiber optic cable.

Do you like fiber optics? 

It’s the way of the future. I am so happy I can get my hands on it.

What three words would you use to describe Race?

Future, Dedication, and family.

What do you like most about your job?

The fact it’s not monotonous. It’s in a ditch one hour and talking to a customer the next. I get to experience new things because fiber optics is the way to of the future.

Bonus Question: Do you have a secret talent?

It’s not really a secret…but I ride bulls. I am a professional bull rider on the weekends!

 

Should You Ditch that Landline?

The battle is on: Landline vs. Cellphone, which side are you on?

With the “Cord Cutting” movement becoming more powerful, more and more people are dropping their landlines and opting for a cellular device as their main communication device.

To date, about two out of five American households have disconnected their home phones and rely solely on cell service to stay in contact with the world.

In fact, a 2012 National Health Interview Survey found that 36 percent of American adults live in a home with wireless service, but no landlines.

There is an increase in popularity in both Smartphones and Voice over IP (VoIP), which allows users to communicate using a Wi-Fi connection instead of a wired phone line.

But should you consider keeping a landline?

While going wireless seems like a no-brainer, there are actually several good reasons to keep your landline. For starters, the landline isn’t as ancient a relic as you may think. A major advantage is many home-security systems actually require a landline. When your home security systems monitors your residence, there are special fire and burglary alarm sensors. If your home is without one, many companies will install a special device that communicates with their dispatch (via cellular connection), but you may incur an extra cost.

Also, cutting the traditional phone line means you may lose some extra security in case of emergency.

When you dial 911 from a cell phone, your phone uses a GPS method to report your location, in case you aren’t able to retrieve it yourself. Sounds awesome, right? But what if you’re in a building? Your cell phone does not have the precise ability to locate which floor you are on.

Although Cellphone GPS technology is getting better, emergency services still have to try and pinpoint your phone within ten to one hundred feet.

In all cases, your landline is connected to your address (including the apartment number) so the 911 operator will have your exact location in an emergency even if you can’t talk.

While Smartphone pack a number of great features that a landline lacks such as: surfing the Web, checking your email, and a built-in camera, your landline is still useable in a black out.

At Race, our fiber-based phone service is for the highest-quality for voice calls. Our basic plan is ideal for very low usage situations, while our full-featured unlimited plan is geared toward typical households. Since our phone service is a traditional landline and not VOIP, it is reliable even in a power outage.

If we haven’t convinced you yet that you need a home phone, give us a call today to speak with a member of our Sales team to help you figure out which home phone plan works for your household. Call us at 1-877-722-3833 or visit us at Race.com

 

 

Guess What Green & Brown Zones?…

The Race train keeps coming!

Guess what’s next? Not one, but two zones are now open for orders!

Both Green and Brown zones, step right up to say good bye to old cooper and hello to fast fiber.

Bear Valley Springs, we are so proud to announce our new releases into two zones!

Ever since we entered the community of Bear Valley Springs, we’ve received your support. Now it’s time for homeowners in Green & Brown to experience what we have been talking about!

Today marks the day that you can officially start placing your orders for our fiber optic product line-up that includes:

  • Race Internet: Make your Internet connection fly–Gigafy. With speeds up to 100 times faster than DSL or cable, Race’s gigabit fiber-to-the-premises makes the Internet feel like it’s right next to you, on your own private network.
  • Race Phone: Race offers fiber-based phone service for the highest-quality voice calls. Our unlimited phone lines come with nationwide calling, a full range of call and phone features, and very low international rates. Since our phone service is a traditional landline and not VOIP, it is reliable even in a power outage.
  • Race TV: This new, top of the line product is delivered over our company’s fiber-to-the-premises network. The service includes all of the most popular US cable channels and has something for movie buffs and sports enthusiasts alike. Enjoy Superior HD-quality video, a variety of news, sports and entertainment channels and the newest in DVR technology and Video OnDemand and offers a comprehensive TV package with close to 300 SD and HD channels.

We know you all have waited anxiously for our services that allow you to upload, download and stream at never before seen speed. Our service allows symmetrical speeds, up to 1 Gigabyte, meaning it downloads and uploads content at the same speed and consistency in both directions.

Prior to the launch, all of the 4,800 residents had copper wiring running throughout town. Traditionally, copper wiring was designed to handle dated, analog communications such as Morse Code. But in today’s connected world, speed is a necessity that comes in the form of fiber optics.

Now you can experience speeds up to 100 times faster than DSL or cable!

Don’t forget to place your order today at race.com or give us a call at 1-877-722-3833!

 

Face to Face with Race: Shirin Baghadam

While women make up half of the total college-educated workforce, only 29 percent of women work in the science and engineering field. For Shirin Baghadam, an Iranian native, she’s had a lifelong love for math and now she brings that passion to Race Communications.

There’s a lot of work that goes behind Race building out a community. The designing, planning, and engineering are all done by our Outside Plant Engineering Team and we’re proud to have Shirin as part of that group. Read more to find out how she spends her days at Race.

What’s your title at Race?

I am an Outside Plant Engineer here.

How long have you been at Race?

I started last June, so just under a year.

What exactly do you do?

I am a designer on the OSP team. We provide Internet, so for that, we need specific equipment. So basically if we have a place that we want to provide Internet, I look at the place, count the houses, parcels. I decide which equipment we need and how are we going to put them in. What’s the size of the cable? What’s the range? What’s the distance? I design all of this.

How did you get into engineering in general?

I studied electric engineering in Iran. And I previously worked in power design. So I was a designer before. For me, my father was an engineer. When I was in high school, I saw myself more interested in mathematics and physics, so I chose math.

What’s your typical day like?

It really depends on where we are in a project. Like if we’re in the beginning, I am designing. If we are in the middle, I am making splice plans. If we are in the end, I am making reports and making sure every address is correct.

To explain splice plans, half of the job is done by the construction company. So the things I design, I make it clear and understandable for them.

What are three words you would use to describe Race?

I like the company because it is fast-growing. Also, teamwork and reliable come to mind.

Do you have any favorite projects you’ve worked on so far?

I like all of them because I am designing them, but I liked Bear Valley the most because that is the biggest community we’ve done so far.

Bonus Question: What are you currently watching on Netflix right now?

House of Cards [laughs]. I am almost finished with it. But I’m also watching Oscar-nominated films, I am trying to watch all of them [laughs]!

 

 

Working Together – Mono County & Race Communications

As of April 20th, 2017, Race has been vetted by the planning committee, board, and County and is approved to build in Crowley Lake and Lee Vining.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) selected Race Communications to bring fiber optic Internet to the communities of Aspen Springs, Chalfant, Crowley Lake, Lee Vining, Bridgeport, Walker and Sunny Slopes in Mono County, CA.

Race will be the “last-mile” provider utilizing Digital 395’s backbone, which was a federally funded “middle mile” project that provides a 583-mile fiber optic network between Barstow, CA, and Carson, NV.

 As part of the process, Race Communications must adhere to guidelines set by Mono County’s General Plan. Government Code 65300 requires each county to “adopt a comprehensive long-term general plan for the physical development of the county.” Mono County is unique in that the General Plan and Zoning Code have been combined into one document. 

 The section pertaining to utilities is known as Chapter 11 and was originally created in the 1990’s.

This chapter adds an additional layer of approval to the build out of Race Communications’ network and means that the company’s overall plans must be approved before permits can be approved. Race Communications is the first utility company that has had to go through the process since Chapter 11 was finalized. It has been a learning curve both for the company and the county. 

As of April 20th, 2017, Race has been vetted by the planning committee, board, and County and is approved to build in Crowley Lake and Lee Vining. The company expects the remaining communities to be approved in May and June of 2017.

Race Communications appreciates the patience from residents in Mono County. We would like everyone to know that the county has been extremely helpful throughout this process, and Race is ready for the next steps. The company will be applying for permits for all new construction. Once these permits are issued, residents will see Race crews throughout the communities. Certain areas may have seen crews working on our existing infrastructure which we will now be able to tie in and connect once the new builds are completed.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to bring this service to Mono County residents,” said Race Communication CEO Raul Alcaraz. “In today’s connected world, reliable, high-speed internet is an absolute necessity. Not only will homes be seamlessly connected to a wealth of entertainment choices and cloud services, Race’s fiber network will bring significant improvements to local business, education, community services, and public safety.”

 Race has dedicated extensive resources to designing, building and providing fiber-based Internet services to nearly 12,000 homes and businesses in unserved and underserved communities throughout California.