Socket Fiber Story: Philip Walters


 
Philip Walters lives five miles outside of Fulton, and couldn’t wait for Socket’s new Fiber services to reach him.
 
“When the fiber came down the road, I just knew I’d love it. Every other system we had tried out here had been challenging, so it wasn’t even a question that we’d try the fiber once it was available.”
 
Now that he has it, he’s been able to work remotely – while still enjoying rural living.
 
“It’s always been a dream… I’ve got the option now of connecting to our server and doing work as if I was in our office in Chicago!”
 
Hear Phillip’s Story:

Reduce Computer Strain With 5 Quick Tips


Many computer users experience pain, strain, and soreness after a long day in front of their computer, either at home or at work.  However, just a few slight adjustments to your workstation can reduce the daily fatigue and strain resulting from long days in front of a monitor.
 
Here are five easy items to adjust that will leave you feeling better all day:
 

  • Chair – Adjust your seat before fixing up everything else in your workstation. Your hips should be as far back as they can go in the chair, and your knees should be a little lower than your hips. Adjust the height until your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Monitor – Once your chair is adjusted, sit down and make sure the top of your screen is level with your eyes and about an arm’s length away. This will reduce craning and neck strain.
  • Keyboard – When typing, make sure your wrists are neutral - not bent up or down. Line up the “b” key with your bellybutton, and relax your shoulders.
  • Mouse – One way to reduce stress on your dominant hand is to alternate mouse usage between hands. Yes, you’ll probably feel weird using a mouse on the other side of the computer, but you’ll get used to it within a day or two. Make sure that mouse movement is coming from your elbow, rather than your wrist.
  • Phone – If you’re frequently taking calls at your desk, don’t use your shoulder to cradle the receiver! Free up your hands by using a headset instead – your neck will thank you.

Of course, no matter how well your work station is set up, it’s always important to take short breaks every hour or so. Grab a drink, stretch, or take a little walk – anything to get your blood flowing and reduce muscle strain.
 
With these tips, you’ll start feeling happier, healthier and a little less sore at the end of the day.

Socket Fiber Story: Sharon Wright


 
Initially, Sharon Wright had some reservations about installing Fiber to her home. What would she possibly need it for? And why was it any different than satellite?
 
She was a little surprised when Socket’s owner himself offered to sit down with her to go over her concerns.
 
“Carson invited us over to the office… didn’t rush us through, asked what questions we had, and was very kind and helpful,” said Sharon. “I like it when an owner appreciates his customers. We were very much impressed.”
 
Now that she has Fiber, she can’t imagine going back to any other service.
 
“I use it for email, looking up history… Any time I need a recipe, or something medical, or news,” said Sharon. “Oh! And games! We have games on it, and I love the games!”
 
Hear Sharon’s story in this video.

Manage Your Multimedia Multitasking


If, like most technology users, you’re convinced that you’re a successful multitasker… you’re probably wrong. Multiple studies have shown that multitasking leads to slower and worse performance, and that we simply aren’t as good at it as we think we are.
 
While it’s now almost universally accepted that texting while driving is often as, if not more, dangerous than drunk driving, many of us still allow ourselves to be distracted by our phones and web browsers when trying to accomplish other tasks.
 
Whether you’re trying to get your work done, study for an exam, or just getting in some good time with a book, focusing can help you get it done better and faster. Here are some tips for staying on task:

 
Disable Notifications:
Does your phone buzz at you every time you get a text, tweet or Facebook message? Just turn it off. Disable the social media notifications, and set your phone to Do Not Disturb. Or just silence your cell and put it out of sight.
 
Close Your Email Client:
Resist the urge to check your emails. Set aside a specific time to go through your inbox, rather than dropping what you’re doing as soon as you see something arrive.
 
Clean up:
A desktop full of open tabs, notifications and windows can distract you from the task at hand. Close all programs you aren’t using, and refrain from opening up web pages to read “later.” In fact, if you don’t need to, don’t open your web browser at all.
 
Set Timers:
There’s always the option of setting a good old-fashioned egg timer, and forcing yourself to work on whatever you’re doing until it goes off. If your self control doesn’t allow for a solution that simple, try one of these applications:
  • For Mac: Self Control – Enter in a URL and Self Control will prevent you from accessing it for up to 24 hours. Uninstalling the app won’t disable the timer, either.
  • For Chrome: Nanny – Block specific URLs, or set timers to restrict how long you can be on a site.  You can also have certain sites blocked on just weekdays or during work hours.
  • For Firefox: LeechBlock – Like Nanny, you can block sites or create timers. LeechBlock will also keep track of the time you spend on your “block” sites, so you can better see where you’re getting distracted.

With these tips, you can minimize the distractions and get that work done – leaving you plenty of time to catch up on Facebook guilt-free!

It's Customer Service Appreciation Week!


Here at Socket, everyone is involved in creating an exceptional customer experience. So when it comes to celebrating Customer Service Appreciation Week, everyone gets to join in!
 
We began this week with a hot breakfast waiting for the staff, and followed up with an ice cream social on Wednesday. We've also been sprinkling some gift card raffles in throughout the day as well.
 
Of course, the best gift we can get this week is feedback from our customers! If you've had an above-and-beyond customer service experience with Socket, take a moment to tell us about it by emailing kudos@socket.net. We'll pass along your thanks to the rep that took care of you, as well as their supervisor.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Definition of Broadband Is Outdated – Let’s Change It


Recently, several Internet service providers have balked at the idea of broadband service being reclassified as 10 Mbps by the FCC. Socket is not one of them.
 
Under current FCC definitions, broadband in the United States is defined as 4 Mbps. Any ISP seeking to build out a broadband network using government funding or subsidies must therefore provide speeds of at least 4 Mbps to the users they plan to serve.
 
Socket received funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to build a fiber network to the underserved residents of rural Boone and Callaway Counties. This network currently provides speeds of at least 100 Mbps per household (25 times faster than the minimum), with faster speeds available to business customers. And we’re hoping to push that speed even higher.
 
Technology marches faster than anyone ever predicts. Just four years ago, the definition of broadband was a mere 768 kbps – that’s kilobits. The idea that those speeds would be adequate for people working from home or taking online classes today is unthinkable. So what will that threshold be in 2020?
 
Building new networks is costly and time consuming, and as a result, any company hoping to do it will need significant funding. It was true of both our power grid and our landline telephone system, and those networks have provided an immeasurable benefit to our nation as a whole.
 
Using these funds confers a responsibility to provide a broadband network that will have an equally beneficial effect – one that will last for decades to come. A 4 Mbps network does not meet those standards. In fact, a 10 Mbps network may not, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.
 
Add your voice to the conversation – learn more about what other ISPs are saying, and check out the full FCC proposal here.

Demian Cook, Socket's You-Make-The-Difference Award Winner for September!


Congratulations to Demian Cook, Business Center Analyst, for being named the September recipient of Socket’s You-Make-The-Difference award!
 
Demian started at Socket in 2012 as a Business Center Analyst, and is now a Tier II with the department.  In her current role, Cook helps business customers with any service issues, as well as helping serve as a resource for her fellow agents.
 
"Demian is always willing to help out despite being as swamped with work as she is," said a coworker who nominated her. "She's a wonderful teacher, explaining things clearly, or in different ways, if it didn't make sense the first time."
 
Raised in Montgomery County and a graduate of Wellsville-Middletown R1, Cook originally worked as a network analyst for the military before deciding to try something new. For the next 9 years, Demian worked with children in a variety of roles, including as a preschool teacher and for the Head Start program, before ultimately deciding to jump back into IT.
 
“Each day is a new challenge,” said Demian, when asked why she likes working at Socket. “Plus, everyone here is down to earth and focused on one thing – providing a great customer experience.”
 

Socket Ramps Up Fiber Speeds


Socket’s Fiber broadband just got even faster.
 
After the successful launch of our rural Fiber network in Callaway County, we had to add some much-needed capacity. As a result, we were able to increase our speeds tenfold to all of our current Fiber customers! Speeds now range from 100 to 300 Mbps – more than enough to satisfy even the heaviest Internet users, and up to ten times faster than cable.
 
Customers are getting these speed increases at no additional charge. And you can try it out at no charge too – just sign up for our free 90 day trial and experience Fiber speeds for yourself.
 
Give us a call at 1-800-SOCKET-3 to get set up, or visit www.socket.net/fiber to learn more.

Socket Sponsors The Como Cyclocross Series


Socket is happy to sponsor the Como Cyclocross series for the third year running - if you’ve stopped by our office on a Tueday night, you’ve probably seen them in action!
 
Cyclocross is a form of bike racing, where participants are required to quickly dismount and remount their bikes to get over hurdles, hills and any number of other obstacles on the track.  The series is 12 weeks long and starts in September each year.
 
Each Tuesday though November 18th, Cyclocross racers will be borrowing Socket’s front lawn to use as their race track. If you’d like to check it out, stop on by! Each event has a $5 entry fee, but you don’t need a USAC license. To learn more, check out www.comocyclocross.com.

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Who is Socket

Founded in 1994, Socket is a Missouri-based telephone and Internet service provider with the largest service area in the state.

Socket is a privately held company that provides families and businesses a choice for local and long-distance phone and Internet service. We combine the highest quality customer service with in-depth technical knowledge.

Our network serves more than 20,000 residents and businesses in more than 400 Missouri cities, and our customers enjoy simple billing and quick, friendly service.
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