Race Communications to update television features powered by Minerva 10.

Thank you for choosing Race as your preferred television provider. Our mission is to ensure that our customers have the newest technology and ensure that the technology is working the way it is supposed to. In the coming weeks, Race will be updating our television software.

Powered by the Minerva 10 platform, combined with other best-of-breed content recommendations, content security, and video processing systems, the new managed service offers us at Race unmatched flexibility vis-à-vis their video services deployment strategy.

What does this mean for you as our customer? Over the coming weeks, you may see changes to your TV layout – we hope the new layout will offer a better customer experience. Your channels and channel numbers will remain the same.

Race is delighted to be able to offer the most efficient and cost-effective solution to transition to next-generation video.  The new managed service supports advanced features including start-over, catch-up TV, and cloud DVR, and delivers a premium viewing experience, consistent across your set-top boxes.

As part of your new premium viewing experience, you will find that your guide is more interactive suggesting similar titles, shows and movies like the ones you watch. In addition, you will find that your DVR is more user-friendly using updated features – not to mention, you will be able to keep all your current recordings! If you have our TV services, you will be notified with a date for your software update in the coming weeks.

About Race Communications
Race Communications is dedicated to providing reliable, high-speed internet and advanced communications at an affordable price. Working in partnership with the California Public Utilities Commission and a number of non-profit community advocacy groups, Race focuses much of its efforts toward building out fiber networks and offering gigabit internet service to communities throughout California.

About Minerva Networks
Minerva is a leading provider of service management solutions for the delivery of advanced pay television services. Over 300 operators worldwide have deployed Minerva’s software platform to offer next-generation entertainment services to their subscribers. For more information, please visit http://www.minervanetworks.com

“Gigafy Phelan” is underway – here’s what to expect!

As Race works to gigafy the communities of Phelan, Pinon Hills, and Oak Hills, the company has begun to revamp existing processes. Starting with the release of Mint zone, homeowners who placed their order with Race immediately received their final in-home installation date. The installation date given was 90 days out from the time the order was placed to ensure that the line extension (aka “drop”) from the street to the home was complete. This timeframe also allowed for the completion of service testing.

As of September 13th, homeowners who have had their drop completed in Mint received a call moving their final installation date by almost 30 days. This process has worked extremely well and Race intends to continue following this model. Our company does NOT believe in overpromising and underdelivering. We want to set realistic expectations with our customers so that they can be pleasantly surprised should their installation date be moved up.

With a new release (“Gold” zone on 9/20) right around the corner, we want to make the process easy to understand and we want those ordering to be aware of what to expect in the coming weeks.

Bringing our services to a community is a resource-intensive project that requires careful research and planning. We hope that most residents have filled out an inquiry form by now (if not, be sure to do so). Residents who have submitted an inquiry will receive an e-mail from Race 24-48 hours before the order form is released for their address and zone. This e-mail will contain a step-by-step to placing an order and will give residents in the area a reminder that the order form will soon be released.

Once a zone is released, residents in that zone can go to our website to place their order. Residents can also call 877-722-3833, but be aware that hold times can be longer around a release date due to a much higher volume of calls than normal.

For order instructions, be sure to visit this blog post – it has a visual guide and thoroughly explains the order process.

Once your order is placed, a sales team member will give you a call to explain the next steps and schedule your installation. Don’t be alarmed if the appointment is scheduled 90-120 days out. This is just to ensure that our contractors have enough time to complete the line extension (drop) to your home.

Here is a quick breakdown of what happens once your order is placed.

  1. Your order is processed:
    Once you’ve placed your order either online or over the phone, the order will be sent to our in-house Customer Service team. Within 24-48 business hours, you should receive a welcome call that will review your order, confirm your selected services and schedule your in-home installation.

Speaking of next steps…

Let’s discuss – Aerial vs. Underground:
For many of our zones, we know beforehand whether your property is an aerial or underground drop (this is why we ask for your address at the start of every form and call). This is all determined in our engineering and construction phase. Now it’s important to know the difference between these two terms. They will dictate how your services will be installed.

  1. Aerial DropsThere are a number of ways an aerial drop can be completed. The most common way we install our aerial drops is a Race technician will install a line from a telephone pole to the side of your home and connect the fiber optic cord along the existing utility line to your home. Aerial drops are usually done within 7-10 business days after your order is placed, but in newly released zones it can take up to 4 weeks. Once the drop is completed, our scheduling team is notified by our contractors. Please allow 2 business days for the drop to be marked as complete as testing must be done to ensure the drop was successful.
  2. Underground Drops: If your home has been deemed an underground drop or you have chosen to be underground, make sure your conduit has been approved by a field engineer. If you do not have conduit, that’s fine too! Our contractors will dig a trench and place a conduit for you – the only downside is this may take a little longer than an aerial drop.

I’ve gotten my fiber lines dropped, what should I expect next?:
You’re almost there! Welcome to the final step of your Race installation process! If your drop and testing have been completed, we will do our utmost to move your installation date up so you don’t have to wait.

A Race technician will be present for this step, we like to refer to this as the “Day Of” or “In-Home” Installation.

For the day of install, it’s really helpful if you know where exactly you want your equipment to permanently be. Remember, once the technician installs the equipment, you cannot move it again.

The first piece of equipment the technician will install will be the Optical Network Terminal (ONT), which is a piece of equipment that takes the fiber optic cable and converts it into an Ethernet connection. After the ONT has been installed, the technician will install any other equipment you may have ordered such as a DVR or set-top box. Once all your equipment is in place, it’s time to run a speed test to make sure your Race services are up to par. Once that is done, the technician will show you how to access your network and provide you with your login information.

Congratulations! You are officially connected to your new Race services. Now it’s time for you to upload, download, surf and stream at never before seen speeds. If at any point in time you have any questions about your products or any of our services, feel free to visit our website at race.com or give us a call at 877-722-3833.

Thank you for choosing Race!

The battle for better connectivity in Rural California

Over the last decade, California’s urban centers have become technology hubs, cities where free Wi-Fi and fiber-optic lines are ubiquitous. But in low-income neighborhoods, across the state’s inland regions, and in rural communities — often home to large migrant populations — families struggle to connect at all.

Some elected officials see that reality as proof that a digital divide is leaving many people behind. And they’ve set out to remedy it.

In 2007, the state established the California Advanced Services Fund to offer companies incentive to help bridge the gap. The program has allowed broadband providers to apply for nearly $300 million in grants to bring fiber optic, copper, and other cable lines to some of the poorest and hardest-to-reach regions in the state.

The goal was to connect 98% of the 12.9 million homes across California, one that as of 2016 was within a few percentage points of being fulfilled. But while nearly 12.3 million homes in urban areas had some form of wireline broadband service by that year, less than half of roughly 680,900 households in rural areas had been connected.

This month, the reboot of the CASF program, which began in 2017, continues, with a new round of comments and suggestions landing at the California Public Utilities Commission. While incumbent and independent providers such as Race attempt to navigate the new bill, many California residents continue to pay too much for poor internet service. Many of the issues boil down to incumbent providers not fulfilling their end of the deal.

For example, when the CPUC allowed Frontier Communications to buy Verizon’s wireline systems in California, it imposed a long list of conditions, including commitments made as part of settlements reached with organizations that objected to the deal. Some of those obligations required Frontier to upgrade broadband service to more than 800,000 homes. In a recent complaint filed with the CPUC, the California Emerging Technology Fund claimed that Frontier “does not intend to honor” its commitments, including, among other things, the upgrade schedule it offered in 2016.

In addition, Frontier Communications failed to meet California phone service repair standards in 2017. It’s supposed to restore service within a certain amount of time 90% of the time in any given month, in every one of its Californian service territories. According to two draft resolutions currently with the CPUC, two of Frontier’s three subsidiaries missed the mark every single month.

Race Communications is dedicated to providing reliable, high-speed internet and advanced communications at an affordable price. Working in partnership with the California Public Utilities Commission and a number of non-profit community advocacy groups, Race focuses much of its efforts towards building out fiber networks and offering gigabit internet service to communities throughout California. As the battle continues for better connectivity, Race will continue to work towards its goal and mission to provide the best in Internet technology and customer service.

sources:
latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-digital-divide-rural-communities-20180118-htmlstory.html
https://www.tellusventure.com/blog/page/3/

The thing about construction is…

It is a moving target! With larger projects such as our “Gigafy Phelan” project, construction will hit the ground running in all areas at once. However, construction can only occur once engineering and permits have been completed. This means that our crews will work on multiple zones at once, but release dates can be delayed or changed if there are engineering or permitting delays.

We do our best to keep everyone informed of the release dates and can sometimes be hesitant to share too much, we do so to avoid disappointment in the communities we serve.

Bringing our services to a community is a resource-intensive project that requires careful research and planning. From start to finish there are 4 main phases to our process, each with its own sub-steps and processes.

1. Research and Exploration.
We spend a lot of time in this phase, developing a construction plan for the communities we are researching and working with local authorities on permitting and other issues.

2. Design.
We use the data gathered to create a map of where we can build based on existing infrastructure and obstacles.

3. Construction.
This is the step you see the most. Once our plans are complete, our crews get straight to work laying and splicing miles of fiber.

4. Sign up and Installation.
Once our construction is almost complete, we will release our order form for your region, and you can choose the services you want for your home or business. This will initiate the installation process which has its own steps.

Next up for release are the following zones and projects – exact release dates will be given in the coming weeks:

Bridgeport: Late August
Walker: Late August
Phelan – Gold Zone: Mid to late September
Phelan – Peach Zone: Early to mid-October

If you live in Phelan and want to learn more about what zone you are in, please visit our “Gigafy Phelan” coverage map

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!