In case you missed our town hall…

Here is a recap of our recent town hall meeting at the Rood Administrative Center:

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We know many of the residents in our service area lead busy lives and were not able to attend our town hall meeting on Wednesday, January 30. Don’t worry – if you missed the meeting, you can catch it on Facebook through the Nevada County page or on Youtube through the Nevada County Media page once the video is uploaded.

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There was a great turn out for the town hall meeting on 1/30/2019

Lead by Race Communications’ CEO, Raul Alcaraz, the meeting provided a lot of helpful information for the community. Alcaraz covered the company’s history, products and pricing as well as the project’s long history and bright future! Alongside Alcaraz, were several of the Race executive team.

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From left to right: Raul Alcaraz – CEO, Domenic Pacini – VP of OSP & Engineering, Carlos Alcantar – CTO, Jim Miller – VP of Sales & Marketing.

While construction is still a few months away, Alcaraz assured residents that the project would be completed within the timeframe set by the CASF grant. Fiber to the home networks are changing the internet landscape and new fiber networks have quickly become the gold standard for cities across America, and Race is going to ensure that Western Nevada County does not get left behind.

To date, Race has been awarded eleven separate grants through the CASF program to advance broadband adoption and infrastructure deployment in areas such as Mojave, Tehachapi, Phelan and Bridgeport. Of these CASF projects, 9 have been completed and our tenth project is well underway. Bright Fiber will be our 11th CASF project. We have seen a huge benefit from our fiber networks in all of our CASF projects.

It has been a long journey to get to where we are – and there is still work to be done. However, we believe we have the expertise needed to get the project completed within 18 months, if not sooner.

Over 500 residents have paid a $119 deposit for gigabit service, and some deposit payers were wondering about the status of their money. Race will honor everyone’s deposit by applying it as a credit to their first bill. In addition, Race will also be giving deposit payers one free month of data service. In order to apply the credit, Race will create client IDs and provide account and login information to all deposit payers.

We understand that some people may move or simply not be interested in receiving service anymore. For those deposit payers, Race will provide a refund within 30 days of receiving a request. The refund request form can be found on nc.race.com

If you have questions about availability or want to see if your home or business will be in the planned fiber footprint, please check our map on nc.race.com or visit the map directly.

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!

Help the “little” guys out and have your voice heard with the FCC!

BE HEARD AND HELP SAVE TELECOM COMPETITION!

Many of you know that competitive internet access and telecom service is worth saving. Without competitive access, many consumers across the nation would be left at the mercy of the larger, incumbent providers.

A recent petition submitted to the FCC by the US Telecom Association, representing AT&T and other incumbents threatens other competitive carriers. We need you to speak out to save competition today!

The details: The 1996 Telecommunications Act allows competitive carriers like Race Communications and Sonic to rent bare copper lines from incumbent carriers, and to use spare fiber between cities. These critical “unbundled network elements” (UNEs) enable competitive carriers such as Race Communications and Sonic. Sonic uses UNEs to deploy equipment and provide their Fusion and FlexLink services, and to backhaul their gigabit fiber service. UNE copper services enables fiber deployment by allowing companies to aggregate demand and serve members while they deploy fiber.

The bottom line: If the petition passes, it will eliminate the right of independent carriers to serve customers on copper lines, and to use fiber to connect our networks around the state. This would impair the ability of providers like Sonic to deploy new gigabit fiber service. It is critical that we stand together to fight for competitive telecommunications, and we hope that you will join us and Sonic.

Visit savecompetition.com now and leave a public comment letting the FCC know you oppose the USTelecom petition. Together, we can make sure the FCC knows that approving the USTelecom petition is a huge step backwards for competition and for consumers.

Thank you for your support!

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/