What Does It Take To Get Fiber In Your City?

High-speed internet allows businesses and residents alike to connect to the world. In addition, faster internet will improve your online experience for education, businesses, and entertainment. At Race, we are committed to bringing high-quality, affordable internet infrastructure to communities across the state of California.

However, before our fiber network becomes available to the community, there are several steps that need to take place. Bringing our services such as fiber internet into communities is an in-depth project that takes extensive research and planning, not to mention the actual building of the network and infrastructure. Today we are giving you a behind-the-scenes look and breaking down what it takes for Race to come to your community. Let’s go!

What is internet infrastructure? 

Before we get into how to build an internet infrastructure, let’s define it. Internet infrastructure is the framework of the internet. It’s made of physical hardware, transmission media, software, and cables that connect everyone to the internet. The infrastructure essentially hosts, stores, and possesses all the information and content you find on websites, cloud services, and applications. It is the heart of the internet. 

18 Months Out – Research and Exploration Begins

This development phase typically begins 12-18 months out from the time the internet is available to the community. During this phase, Race creates a construction plan for the communities. This phase explores exactly how we’ll bring high-speed internet to the city. We work to develop the project in partnership with local authorities. During this phase, we cover permitting and review infrastructure. This covers everything from where roads are located, researching underground utility paths, finding utility easements, and uncovering potential challenges.

9-12 Months Out – Design Begins 

9-12 months out from the launch of services Race enters the design phase. During this phase, our engineers and design team partner with the city to plan out the network. Every inch of our network is carefully planned using data we gathered during our research phase. Our engineers create a map of where we can build based on existing infrastructure and map out obstacles such as existing utility poles, water, gas, and electric lines. 

6-9 Months Out – Construction Begins

The plans are now complete, and it’s time to get to work! Our crews hit the ground during construction and get straight to work laying and splicing miles of fiber cables. This is the time you’ll see our team members out on your street. The team is working diligently to bring you some of the fastest internet in the nation at a great price! 

The construction phase is most vulnerable to outside factors that can delay or stretch out this timeline. Like any construction, Race can be heavily impacted by weather, permitting, and resources. This is especially true while the global supply chain is disrupted due to the pandemic. 

9 Months Out – Spreading The Word

Now that we know bringing high-speed internet to the community is possible, it’s time to make announcements. The announcements come around the same time as construction crews begin arriving in an area – usually around 9-12 months before the launch. Race begins to prepare the citizens for the arrival and announces the services to come. At this point, we build a community page on our website and publish a press release informing residents about the upcoming services and developments in their city or town. We develop pages with community-specific information and allow residents to subscribe to monthly newsletter updates. 

1 Month Out – Sign up 

Construction is now in its final stage. We are inching closer to bringing high-speed internet to the community! Once our building is almost complete, Race releases our order form for your region. This gives you the ability to choose the services you want for your home or business. 

Once services are chosen and construction is complete, we will begin the installation process. The installation process has its own unique steps based on your location so check with your customer service representative to find the process in your area.

Conclusion 

There you have it! It takes time to build a carefully thought out internet infrastructure, but the high-speed internet at the end is worth waiting for. We are committed to providing high-quality internet to communities throughout the country. If you are interested in learning more, check out our services to see what we offer in your area! 

Fiber or Cable Internet – Which is best for you?

Fiber vs. Cable internet, what’s the difference? If you are looking to learn more about your internet options, you’re in the right place. Today we are breaking down the differences between fiber and cable internet so you can decide what is best for your home or business. 

Cable Internet 
Cable was designed for transmitting voice calls and is a common option for home internet. Cable internet uses copper wires that send data via electrical currents. Cable Internet uses the same coaxial cables to transmit data as your TV. Most cable internet providers use the same existing wires present for phone lines or cable TV to send information. 

Fiber Internet 
Fiber internet is cutting-edge technology. Fiber internet also uses cables, but instead of copper wires, the lines contain tiny strands of glass and send information through bursts of light from point A to point B. The light travels much like electricity would through a copper wire. The advantage is that fiber cables can carry multiple signals at once at about 70% of the speed of light. 

Photo from Pexels.com

Availability 
Cable internet providers use the same established and existing cables as cable TV and other devices. Therefore, it’s been around longer and doesn’t require new infrastructure. Because of this, cable internet is widely available and the most common type of internet in the United States. 

Fiber internet, on the other hand, is a newer form of technology. It requires new infrastructure and can be a long process to deploy into neighborhoods for use. However, the demand is growing, and internet providers diligently work to install fiber across the country. Visit Broadband Now to see which fiber internet providers may be in your area.

Speed 
Fiber shines when it comes to speed. It’s capable of bringing much faster speeds than cable. Fiber can reach speeds up to 2,000 Mbps making it an excellent option for homes and businesses that require fast internet connections. Many factors affect wireless speeds. If you stream video services, games, or work from home on video calls, Fiber Internet can meet these demands. 

Cable internet speeds are asymmetrical, meaning cable internet often has slower upload speeds (uploading photos to the cloud) and faster download speeds (streaming a TV show). Fiber internet is more symmetrical, providing even speeds which allow for faster upload and download speeds.  In today’s world, people work from home and go to school remotely. This change demands speedier upload speeds to turn in homework assignments or work projects. 

Photo from Pexels.com

Reliability 
Cable internet is less reliable than Fiber internet. Cable sends data through electricity, power outages, extreme weather, and moisture can also cause a loss of connectivity. On the other hand, fiber optic internet is less likely to go down during power outages because it is made of glass and doesn’t use electricity. 

Bandwidth 
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data transmitted over an internet connection. Typical bandwidth uses include streaming a movie on Netflix, video meetings, or web browsing. As mentioned above, cable technology has been around for a long time and was initially used to transmit voice calls, so the demand for bandwidth wasn’t high. However, fiber provides up to 1,000 times as much bandwidth as cable and is an excellent option for a highly connected home.

Photo from Pexels.com

Cost 
For most people, options for fiber internet are more expensive than cable internet. However, costs will decrease as fiber grows in availability and popularity. Race Communications is committed to bringing Fiber internet into communities and is more cost-effective than competitors in the fiber space gigabit starts at $60/month. 

Now that you know the difference between cable and fiber internet, you can make the best choice for your needs. The Internet is not one size fits all. Each person has different requirements for their usage. If you would like more information on internet services contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or send us an inquiry and we will help you pick the right service for you. 

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

This post was originally published in July of 2018, and was updated in August of 2021.

‘Tis the season! Watch out for these scams!

Scams aren’t new; they’ve been around for decades. With technological advances and the rise of the Internet, scams have gotten more elaborate and convincing. They are used to con the most unsuspecting and vulnerable among us.

Most of us have heard of the more common cons out there, such as claims of false inheritances as well as IRS and social security scams. However, new scams are on the rise and they are not always as easy to spot! We have compiled a list with some of the current cons out there! The best way to combat scammers is to be aware of the scams, making you less likely to fall for them! Here’s what to look for so you don’t become a victim.


Free WiFi scams:
Free WiFi scams have become increasingly common, as most of us tend to jump on WiFi when we’re not at home or at the office, as we work to preserve our allotted cellular data for the month. The next time you’re looking for a wireless hotspot and locate one called Free WiFi, beware! These WiFi scams enable hackers to access personal information, emails, usernames, passwords and credit card numbers. This can happen anywhere you try to connect to the internet while on the go, but it is especially prevalent at airports.

Social Media Q&A Scams:
Sometimes on Facebook, people may share “viral” posts which include questions such as: “What was your first car?” or “Who was your best friend as a child?”. If you’ve noticed the most common security questions on Apple or your bank’s website, you’ll notice that these are very much the same. Don’t ever answer them on a public forum such as Facebook or Instagram! If people can get one or two answers like this, they can get into your accounts claiming they’ve forgotten your password.

Utility Scams:
Fraudsters have been taking advantage of rising utility bills to prey on consumers and steal personal and financial information. There are two common types of utility scams—the phone call from a fake representative of your utility company and the more brazen door-to-door promotional pricing or product scam. These scams are particularly prevalent in California with scammers pretending to represent SCE, PG&E and other local utility companies. For example, customers have been notified through phone calls and emails of overdue bills that appear to be sent form PG&E and need to be paid for immediately. Other times, the companies ask for deposits due to new changes in policies, etc.

If you believe you have been scammed or believe someone has attempted to defraud you, be sure and tell the FTC. Your reports help the FTC and law enforcement partners stop scammers. We hope you found this information useful and hope you share your newfound knowledge with your loved ones to help protect them from the long-term damage financial crimes can do.

Please keep in mind that Race will never ask for any personal information through email and all official communication will come from a race.com domain and late notices are always sent on official Race letterhead. Our company does not seek out deposits to fund our fiber deployment nor do we require payments via money orders or gift cards.  

If you’re ever in doubt about someone who claims to represent Race, be sure to ask for their company badge as it is required for all our employees to have proper identification when interacting with customers.

Thinking about breaking out your shovel?

Calling 811 can save you some trouble!

Race Communications recently experienced a major interruption in service throughout California due to a cut fiber line. Cut fiber lines tend to occur during this time of year as this glorious warm weather is a great motivator when it comes to getting home-improvement projects done!

Whether you’re finally getting around to fixing up the patio or you’re adding a new and improved garage or shed, calling 811 should be your very first step! You never know what may be lurking underground.

Water, gas, and electricity are just some of the utilities that may be underground on your property – not to mention your precious fiber lines for internet and phone services. Surely you wouldn’t want to disrupt your service (or your neighbor’s service)! In order to avoid a major headache in the form of a burst water pipe or electrical outage, be sure to call 811 at least two business days before you plan to dig. 

The 811 call center will then ensure that all public utilities are notified about the upcoming dig on your property. You may be asked to mark the area you plan to dig with white paint or white flags, which can be found at many hardware stores.

Then, each organization, either by themselves or via a hired third-party, will mark the area of each utility. Each type of utility has a different color so that you will know what is where. Not sure what the colors are? Here’s a quick recap:

The designated color for drinking water is blue; sewer is green, and gas, oil and steam are all marked yellow. Red is the color for electrical utilities and orange signifies communications – like internet, telephone and TV.

When you call 811, they will also mark for public utilities which are the ones that use the public right of way (or easement) to your house. You’ll need to keep an extra eye out for these as these lines could be responsible for providing service to entire neighborhoods.

So again, don’t break out that shovel before you make the call to 811! Be prepared that the representative will ask you some questions in order to process your request, including your address and nearby cross streets, city, county, the type and scope of the digging project, and a contact number. Now, what are you waiting for? Better get started on that “honey-do” list!