The roll out has begun in Mono County!

Race Communications would like to thank the residents in these communities for their patience during the roll out of our fiber-based services and we look forward to begin providing service late summer – Now who’s ready to place an order?

Who’s ready to experience speeds 1000x times faster than Cable or DSL? Remember our fiber optic Internet uploads and downloads at the same speeds, so you will never see that dreaded buffering icon again!

As of today, residents in Lee Vining and Mono City can place orders for their new and improved Internet service, provided by Race Communications!

In Mono County, the process will be a bit different than in previous Race projects. Once an order is placed with Race, our technicians will perform a “drop” from the pole to the side of your home (this can be done aerially or underground depending on the existing infrastructure of your home).

For Lee Vining, once a drop is completed, final infrastructure needs to be done to tie into our network. This means it will be about 4 weeks from the time of the drop until you can receive a in-home installation.

For Mono City, drops will be done concurrently with construction so while you can place an order today, in-home installations will not take place until construction is complete. We expect in-home installs to begin in the month change of September/October.

We encourage you to place your order today so that you can be one of the first to be installed in the area.

Residents in Crowley Lake and Aspen Springs should have begun to see our Race crews around town stranding fiber in the area. At this time, you aren’t able to place an order, but we are getting closer! Crowley Lake and Aspen Springs will be able to place orders as soon at JULY 17th!

Crowley residents will have a similar process to Lee Vining. A drop will be completed in the coming weeks while we complete the tie in to our network. Once a drop is completed, you will need to wait until the infrastructure is complete – about 6 weeks until in-home installations can begin there.

Face to Face with Race: Raul Flores

Raised in sunny So-Cal, Raul Flores oversees all of Race’s technicians and trains them on the best methods to install our fiber optic product. Every day, he oversees scheduling to make sure our installs are done on time. Read more to find out about how Raul spends his days at Race.

How long have you been at Race?

I’ve been at Race for three years.

What is your official title?

I am the Field Manager.

So what exactly do you do?

I basically supervise all the field technicians. My day consists of overseeing the technicians and installs. I handle their payroll and I also manage our fleet vehicles. I oversee 7 technicians. I also stay on top of registration and maintenance for the Race Vehicles.

I work a lot with Customer Service.

How it all works is Customer Services schedules appointments with the customers. They will assign a technician that’s available and they will assign the tech a particular area because there are five areas in our Southern California region. Usually what I will do is look at the schedule to see how it is setup and if I feel I need to move someone around, I will contact Customer Service and see if we can make the changes.

I mostly do scheduling, paperwork administrative duties.

What has been your favorite project while working at Race?

My favorite project…I guess it has to be when I do data projects; I also enjoy training the technicians.

What three words would you use to describe working at Race?

Interesting, different, and exciting.

Bonus Question: What is the first thing you would buy if you hit the lottery?

The first thing I would do if I hit the lottery is, pay off my house [laughs]. I’m not really too materialistic like buying cars and clothes. If anything, I would buy another house to rent. Eventually, that money will run out so I would have some sort of income coming in.

 

 

Face to Face with Race: Eva Borras

When you get your welcome call from Race Communications, have you ever wondered who’s on the other end? Most likely, you’re speaking with San Francisco native Eva Borras, who loves giving customers the best service. Read more to find out how she spends her days at Race.

How long have you been at Race?

I have been at Race for a year and one month.

What’s your official title?

I believe it’s called Customer Service Representative [laughs].

What exactly do you do at Race?

I take inbound calls that are non-technical. I’m really not technically inclined…so I  leave that to the guys [laughs]. I can schedule installations, I do all of the Welcome Calls for the new orders that come into the cue.

I do a lot of spreadsheet maintenance to keep the team up to date. I do order completions as it gets closer to the end of the month. Sometimes, things get overlooked and I go through the orders and provisions in the install cue, to make sure any order that has been completed, really has been completed.

I also do line number porting [which is how customers are able to keep their home number when they switch from providers].

And then, anything else that may come up, but roughly that’s everything I do off the top of my head.

What’s your typical day like?

My typical day is usually very busy. I mean I’m always busy and if I’m not busy, I’m looking into the system to find things that may need to be corrected or updated. All of us are moving so quickly, and there are things that go by the waist side, so I’m always on the search to correct things.

Whether I’m busy with outside info, calls and all that, I am finding things to do to make sure that everything we’re doing is top notch.

What three words can you use to describe Race?

That is a hard one [laughs]. I have more words than three. I knocked it down to: We are definitely awesome, progressive. We are competitive, reliable and friendly. That’s what I think of Race.

Bonus Question: What’s your favorite movie?

You’re going to laugh. It’s an older movie. It’s the 3-D animation, it’s called Up. If you haven’t seen it, go see it. I cried during the whole movie. It was wonderful. It brings out the sentimentality of life and what we’re here for.

Fighting Frontier – Race Responds to the challenge!

At the end of April, Frontier Communications submitted a challenge that would jeopardize Race Communications’ efforts in Phelan, CA. Their challenge was rejected by the CPUC, however this did not stop Frontier from trying to submit further comments. This morning, Race submitted its response and hopes that the CPUC will see the error in Frontier’s ways. Steve Blum from Tellus Venture wrote about this in his blog earlier this week.

To our customers and supporters, we hope you will read through our response and know that we are fighting for all unserved and underserved areas and that we believe everyone has the right to have access to adequate broadband.

RACE TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC REPLY COMMENTS TO

COMMENTS SUBMITTED BY FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS

Race Telecommunications, Inc. (“Race”), hereby submits its reply comments to the Frontier Communications (“Frontier”) comments concerning the proposed approval of $28,572,819 from the California Advanced Services Fund (“CASF”) of Race’s Gigafy Phelan project.

Race has thoroughly reviewed the comments by Frontier, and we ask that the Frontier comments be disregarded and unheeded based on the fact that Frontier did not adhere to the specific guidelines as set forth in Decision D.12-02-015 section 3.12 — Evaluation of Challenges[1]. During the policy discussion, Frontier participated in and made recommendations to support the challenge process regarding Parties’ comments (3.12.1). The rules are not unknown or ambiguous.

Frontier’s latest comments clearly contradict the current rules for challenging as stated in section 3.12.2 Discussion:

“Any party that challenges a CBG as being served or (for applications for unserved areas) underserved will have to provide documentation that the CBG is in fact already served (e.g., a copy of a customer bill).”[2]

At this time, Frontier has provided no documentation that the CBGs in question are served; but rather submitted a late challenge response[3] to the CPUC on April 19, 2017 stating that it intends to build to a portion of the homes in the project area.  The CPUC staff responded to this letter declining the challenge based on the strict guidelines of the challenge process, citing lack of timeliness on Frontier’s part, and based on the fact that information provided by Frontier shows the company only intends to serve half of the households in the project area, “the vast majority of which Frontier did not indicate as capable of achieving CASF-minimum speeds.” [4]

Irrespective of the procedural inconsistencies — for which Frontier’s challenges alone should be rejected — it is clear that Frontier’s attempts to interfere in Draft Resolution T-17525 are anti-competitive, monopolistic, unreasonable, and will result in further delay of fulfilling the CASF’s mission to promote deployment of high-quality advanced communications services to unserved and underserved high priority areas.

Race has been a CASF grant recipient since 2010 and our work has resulted in the deployment of state-of-the-art communications infrastructure to thousands of Californians.  It is our experience that CASF and CAF (Connect America Fund) have always co-existed. Based on available information, we have found that although CAF funding has been awarded to a region, it does not guarantee completion as presented in Resolution T-17522[5].

In the resolution, Frontier requested CASF-funding for the uncompleted areas they had previously been awarded CAF funding for. In addition, CAF funding is only available to ILECs and LECs — meaning Race is barred from receiving any of the available CAF funds. However, ILECs and LECs such as Frontier are free to receive CASF funding in addition to CAF.[6] Frontier has previously received CAF funding for the same project they subsequently received CASF funding for in resolution T-17484[7]. Frontier’s comments on customers paying twice for broadband are disingenuous.

Should Race’s resolution be rejected on this basis, it would go against previous precedent and discourage CLECs and wireless carriers from applying for CASF funding. The end result will inevitably lead to less competition, less innovation, and ultimately penalize California residents. The objectives set forth in California Public Utility Code Section 709[8] are clear.

  • To continue our universal service commitment by assuring the continued affordability and widespread availability of high-quality telecommunications services to all Californians.
  • To encourage the development and deployment of new technologies and the equitable provision of services in a way that efficiently meets consumer need and encourages the ubiquitous availability of a wide choice of state-of-the-art services.
  • To assist in bridging the “digital divide” by encouraging expanded access to state-of-the-art technologies for rural, inner-city, low-income, and disabled Californians.
  • To promote lower prices, broader consumer choice, and avoidance of anticompetitive conduct.
  • To remove the barriers to open and competitive markets and promote fair product and price competition in a way that encourages greater efficiency, lower prices, and more consumer choice.

In resolution T-17322[9] where DRA challenged Frontier, Frontier responded that “in the spirit of fairness, due process, and rapid deployment of broadband to unserved and underserved Californians, the grant be approved via existing rules.” The CPUC acknowledged and agreed.

Race now asks the same, and we respectfully request that the CPUC disregard Frontier’s comments. They neither meet the strict guidelines of D.12-02-015, nor are they consistent with the objectives of the CPUC. Doing anything but dismissing Frontier’s comments would set a dangerous precedent for Californians needing broadband in the unserved and underserved areas for which CASF was designed.

 

[1] D.12-02-015, Guidelines, page 33

[2] D.12-02-015, Guidelines, page 34

[3] Frontier Challenge letter April 19, 2017 (http://cdn.downloads.race.com/frontier_phelan_challenge.pdf)

[4] CPUC letter dated April 26, 2017, (http://cdn.downloads.race.com/cpuc_phelan_challenge_response.pdf)

[5] Resolution T-17522 (http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M167/K792/167792231.PDF)

[6] CAF Funding Map, (https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/caf-2-accepted-map/)

[7] Resolution T-17484 (http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M153/K450/153450700.PDF)

[8] PUC Section 709 (http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/public-utilities-code/puc-sect-709.html)

[9] Resolution T-17322, (http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/WORD_PDF/FINAL_RESOLUTION/137226.PDF)