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!

Gigafy your life, Gigafy your business!

Our projects don’t just consist of homes and families that need better connectivity – our communities are also filled with small business owners. We know that adequate broadband is a necessity for businesses in today’s digital age and we can’t wait to see what many of the local business owners can do with our ultra-high speed Internet.

With our expansion into new communities, we feel that we should address and clarify some key differences between residential services and business offerings.

  • Our business plans are not just limited to commercial buildings – if you live and work from home (content writer, graphic designer, web developer, etc) and feel that a business plan may be right for you then you are welcomed to sign up for our business broadband services.
  • A key difference between business and residential plans is that while Race offers static IP addresses, it is only offered to businesses. Unfortunately, Race does not offer static IP options for residential customers. So if you need a static IP, a business plan is the way to go.
  • While we only offer two plans for residential customers, Race offers a variety of plans for businesses starting at just $60/month.
  • Race offers fiber-based phone service for the highest-quality voice calls. Our unlimited phone lines come with nationwide calling and very low international rates. Our business plans are just $35/month – that is a bargain compared to any of our competitors!
  • We have dedicated business representatives that can assist you every step of the way – from order to install!

We also offer broadband services and tailored solutions for enterprise clients – for a business or enterprise quote, contact Chris Hajj at 877-722-3833 and dial extension 129.