Cyber-security: How to keep your children safe!

The Internet is a great resource for you and your family. At the touch of a button, you have access to a world of knowledge and entertainment. Sadly, the internet is also a dangerous place to hang out – particularly for children. Nearly 60% of teens have received an email or instant message from a stranger – half of them have replied. With summer approaching, the potential for children to wind up on dangerous sites increases since kids have more free time and that usually means more screen time.

So what can you do? Just to get started, let’s list some things you can do almost immediately to help keep your kids safe while they’re online.

It won’t take a lot of time to try these suggestions, and while we’ll talk later on about setting up parental controls through your Race router, the following steps can give you some peace of mind until you can do so.

    1. Place computers in a common area of the house:
      Don’t allow kids to have a computer in their room. You’d be surprised by how much the mere presence of a parent who may or may not be looking over a child’s shoulder while they use the computer can keep a child in line. They have no way of knowing if your eyes are good enough to see across the room, now do they? Make sure the computer’s screen is visible from other parts of the room and isn’t turned toward a wall.
    2. Set reasonable time and usage limits:
      Set rules about what your child can and can’t do when on the internet. Set time limits on their computer use. If they say they’re researching homework, maybe you don’t include that in the time limits – but make sure they’re using it for homework.
    3. Discuss the dangers of the web with your child:
      Sit down and discuss the dangers of the internet. Talk openly and honestly about what’s out there and the kind of stuff they want to avoid. Forewarned is forearmed.
    4. Teach them to protect their privacy
      While they won’t fully understand the consequences of revealing personal information online, you should still make sure your children know:
      * Never to give their name, phone number, e-mail address, password, postal address, school, or picture without your permission
      * Not to open e-mail from people they don’t know
      * Not to respond to hurtful or disturbing messages
      * Not to get together with anyone they “meet” online.
    5. Keep the youngsters out of online chat rooms, and do your best to reinforce the old rule, “never talk to strangers.”:
      Chat rooms are a popular place for sex offenders to meet their prey. If possible, keep your kids out of chat rooms altogether. Make sure your child knows that no matter how nice an online “friend” may seem to be, they are still a stranger, and may not be who they appear to be. ​
    6. Know Passwords:
      Be upfront with your children that you will need to have their passwords for all of their devices and for all of their social media sites. Once you have the passwords, check these sites regularly to see what your child is seeing and posting.
    7. NEVER let your child upload or download photos without your permission:
      Online predators will often send photos supposedly of themselves or request photos of the child.

Turn your ISP into your ally
Before buying any safety product, experts recommend that you work with what you’ve got, starting with your Internet service provider – hopefully that is us at Race Communications!

Your Gigafy Me router includes free parental controls that can limit children’s access to websites and communication features (e-mail, instant messaging, chat) by the time of day and other variables. If you don’t have a router rental through Race, give us a call to have that added or if you have any questions about these features.

Race Communications wins BroadbandNow Awards!

BroadbandNow recently announced their 2019 Service Provider Awards Program. This program is the culmination of a massive, cross-disciplinary effort to highlight excellence among internet service providers across the United States.

As the only consumer resource investing in data aggregation and validation for independent, regional ISPs, the website is rolling out this awards program in order to recognize providers of all sizes that offer excellent service to consumers across the nation.

We are thrilled to announce that Race was ranked in two separate categories from BroadbandNow and our ‘Gigafy Me’ package was recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Affordable Broadband Plans Nationwide AND as one of the Top 10 Most Affordable Gig Internet Plans Nationwide!

We pride ourselves on providing fast, reliable internet at an affordable cost, and we are so proud of the team behind our network. We want to thank them for all their hard work. We also want to recognize our customers for choosing us, a local provider for their home entertainment needs.

We want to encourage our customers to leave us a review with Broadbandnow (be sure to click on the customer review tab). With your help, Race could be recognized in additional categories!

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/

Introducing… Race BasicTV

Race Communications is happy to announce the release of a NEW product – A basic TV package that will be available in all of our markets. Many of our customers have asked for an alternative when it comes to our television offering, and our company has been working to come up with a solution.  Without further ado, let us present our newest product offering: The Race Basic TV package.

What is it?
The Race Basic TV package is a simple television offering that has local and off-air channels. The line up will vary by market based on which local channels are available. The package consists of 20+ channels including ABC, Fox, CW and more.

How much will it cost?
The package will be $28/month plus $7 for the required standard set-top box. This brings the price to $35/month. You’re welcomed to upgrade to a DVR if you need to be able to record your favorite shows.

Who is this package for?
This package is a great addition to customers who stream the majority of their entertainment but miss local news and weather programs. It also perfect for those who don’t watch a lot of television and just need a few channels!

Be sure to check out our sample line up here

National Night Out 2018

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.

This year, Race attended National Night Out in Stallion Springs and Bear Valley Springs while sponsoring National Night Out in Playa Vista. Both Stallion Springs and Bear Valley Springs had dunk tanks – BVS’ was hosted by Race and Race also had a water booth with games for the children in Stallion Springs.

The Race team enjoyed the beautiful weather and getting to know the members of the communities they serve. Residents who have Race services gave their feedback and those who didn’t have service through Race expressed their desire for better broadband in their neighborhoods.

The evening in Stallion Springs finished with a raffle where two lucky kids won bikes that were sponsored by Race. In Bear Valley Springs the line at the dunk tank never slowed down even the Assistant GM of the Bear Valley Springs Association, Cheramy Krueger got dunked!

The Race team looks forward to coming back next year!