Socket Sends 10 Veterans on Honor Flight


Each holiday season, we try to take an opportunity to give back. This year, we’re proud to be helping Central Missouri Honor Flight send 10 veterans on a flight to Washington, D.C., where they'll visit the memorials dedicated to honor their sacrifices. It is our privilege to support these brave individuals who have served and fought for our country's freedom.

Not familiar with the Central Missouri Honor Flight? Here’s a brief description from their website:
The Central Missouri Honor Flight is a non-profit organization set up to honor America's veterans for their service. The program allows veterans the opportunity to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C. dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices. Top priority is given to senior veterans - WWII survivors, along with other veterans who may be terminally ill. Now, with more than 1,000 WWII veterans dying each day (20 each day in Missouri), time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.

To learn more about the Central Missouri Honor Flight, including how you can get involved, visit www.centralmissourihonorflight.com.

12-27-12 Fiber News Update


As we head into 2013, we are reaching some major landmarks with our fiber network. New areas of phase 2 are now eligible for installations, including the first section of Highway RA and some areas off of Highway F near County Road 248.  We expect to have all areas within our network north of Highway F eligible for installations by the end of January 2013.

We have recently installed service for William Woods University and they now have fiber Internet service campuswide! With new contractors involved with the construction and planning of our network, we are delivering service to more customers each day.

It’s an exciting time here at Socket, and we are happy to have added such good contractors to our team! Follow the fiber blog for an introduction of the contractors coming soon. To check if your area is eligible for service, call 1-800-762-5383 or go to www.socket.net/fiber.

New Electronics In Your Household?


Expecting any cool new toys this holiday season? Many households will be adding some new items to their wireless networks - if you’ve received a video game system, ebook reader, tablet, computer, or mp3 player, you’re probably among them.

Connecting New Devices to a Wireless Network

If you have a wireless router, or use the internet on a laptop, chances are your wireless network is already set up. If so, adding another item is relatively painless:

  1. Check that the item is WiFi-capable. Most items that can connect wirelessly will say so right on the box, or somewhere in the instruction manual.
  2. Find the “Networks” or “Settings” menu, and from there, a list of all detectable wireless networks.
  3. Select your home network from the list and enter in your wireless password. Most items will remember these once you’ve entered them once.

If you’re attempting to connect to a public wireless network at, say, a coffee shop or library, the network will probably not have a password. While this makes it easier to log on, it also means that security is very low on that network as well. Avoid doing anything risky on such a network, like entering credit card information or checking bank accounts.

All devices are different, and if the following steps don’t work, or you feel lost, many users have posted their own guides with step-by-step instructions for specific devices. And of course, you can always call one of our friendly techs for help too!

Feeling A Need For Speed?

If you now find yourself streaming videos from game consoles, laptops and tablets all at once (as is becoming very common in larger households) you may start to see a reduction in your download speed. This is because when all your devices are trying to download information at once, they can run out of available bandwidth to share.

Some devices in particular can eat up a lot of bandwidth – Xboxes and PS3s that are downloading content, the Roku (a device for streaming tv shows and movies) and even new Netflix subscriptions can double or even quadruple your internet usage.

If bandwidth becomes a problem, you may want to consider increasing your package speed. By logging into your customer portal, you can check your current speed, and in some cases even order an upgrade online. As always, if you have any questions, our techs are here to help.

Meet Brian Taylor, Socketeer of the Year!


Our December You-Make-The-Difference winner, Brian Taylor, hadn’t even received his certificate yet before learning that he was also voted our Socketeer of the Year. But since the trophy will take a week or two to be engraved, he’ll at least have something to hang on his wall in the meantime!

The Socketeer of the Year award was started 8 years ago, when Socket’s owners decided to honor one of the year’s monthly You-Make-The-Difference award winners based on their embodiment of our Core Values and Beliefs.

As our Outside Network Administrator, Brian is one of the people in charge of our voice and data network. He does everything from planning out and managing the network, to troubleshooting when things go wrong. And nothing keeps him from doing his job – not even winning this award.

That’s right: Brian had to be pulled from fixing our servers to hear the announcement at the Christmas party that he’d won. And guess what he did right after accepting the award? Here’s a hint – the servers got fixed that night.

It’s just another example of the selfless dedication and technical know-how that his fellow employees mentioned when nominating him. 

“Any time an issue arises, it is usually the case that Brian is already working on fixing it before anyone else has even noticed the problem,” said a co-worker.

“We couldn't operate the way we currently do without him...simple as that,” said another.

Born and raised right here in Columbia, Brian lives with his two dogs and spends his free time hot-air ballooning. So if you see a giant white, blue and red balloon in the sky, wave hello – it just might be our Socketeer of the Year, working on his pilot’s license!

After 13 years at Socket, Brian’s enthusiasm and dedication to his work are just as strong as when he started, and we couldn’t be luckier to count him among our core networking team. Congratulations on your award, Brian, and thank you for all you do!

Happy Holidays from the Socket Christmas Party!


tricycleIf Socketeers are riding oversized adult tricycles indoors, it can only mean one thing – it’s the Socket Christmas Party!

Luckily, the good folks over at the Peachtree Banquet Center are very accommodating. Plus they put out a fantastic meal for us (bet you can’t ride bikes around the dining table at your Christmas dinner)!

Socketeers also got to pose with their family and friends for caricatures from two artists in attendance. Having a nice portrait to take home made saying goodnight a little less difficult, as did having some Mo-X buses to drive everyone home.

We hope your festivities this month are as filled with joy as ours were, and from everyone at Socket, Happy Holidays!

panoramic christmas party photo

It's a Socket Bake-Off!


Customer service appreciation week jimmy john's lunch at socket
Customer service appreciation week jimmy john's lunch at socket

It began with soup… and now, Socket’s superchefs are battling it out with baked goods.

As part of our commitment to the Food Bank this holiday season, we’ve been looking for ways to raise funds. And since we’d been looking for an excuse to have another cook-off, we decided to have a bake sale!

Each contestant brought in 24 servings of their best home cooking to sell, and whoever sold all of their items first would be crowned the winner. And finally, at the very end of the day, Jason V. managed to sell the last of his Chocolate Mega-Muffins! (They were aptly named).

We collected nearly $250 in proceeds from the sale, putting us even closer to our year-end goal. Thanks to everyone who donated!

Meet Vicki Winton, Business Account Coordinator!


This month's You-Make-The-Difference Award winner, Vicki Winton, is officially described as a business account coordinator, but that hardly does justice to the multitude of jobs she gets done.

“Vicki is our ‘go-to gal’ for all those things that don't seem to fit under a category,” said a co-worker. “Van need maintaining? Out of mailing labels? Need a recommendation for a dry cleaner? Talk to Vicki. She's always a joy to talk to, always cares enough to ask how people are, and really cares about the answer.”

“To know her is to love her, and to work with her is bliss!” said the co-worker who nominated her for the award.

Vicki has been at Socket for a little more than a year and is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. She says the best part of working for Socket is the variety.

“I appreciate that I can research easements, obtain construction permits, answer fiber questions, stock post-its, call an electrician, order ID badges, plan meals ... from my desk to Staples, to Sam's Club, to the Callaway County Courthouse ... all in a day's work,” said Vicki. “There is NEVER a dull moment.”

Anyone who’s worked with her knows that Vicki can brighten up a whole day, and for these reasons, we’re proud to name her our You-Make-The-Difference Award winner for November. Congratulations, Vicki!

Socket's You-Make-the-Difference Award is given monthly to the employee who best exemplifies Socket's Core Values and Beliefs. Recipients of the award are nominated and voted on by their peers. To view other winners, visit www.socket.net/ymtd.

Company Meeting at the Blue Note!


Customer service appreciation week jimmy john's lunch at socket
Customer service appreciation week jimmy john's lunch at socket

Every couple of months, Socketeers gather to discuss company progress and goals. And while this is always informative and productive, you can’t get every employee into the same room without making it fun!

We had a delicious lunch catered by Buckingham’s BBQ, and gathered at the Blue Note for the presentation. A huge thanks to the staff for helping us set up (and giving us a little tour backstage!)

Of course, if you’re going to have lunch at the Blue Note, you have to get there in style… don’t worry, all employees kept their arms and heads inside the vehicle while it was in motion. But we can’t promise there wasn’t any seat-kicking.

All in all, it’s been a really fun day, and we’re looking forward to wrapping up 2012 and starting off 2013 with a bang!

12-6-12 Major Fiber Installations


fiber mapProgress continues on our fiber network as we continue scheduling more installations for new residential and business customers in the Millersburg, MO and Fulton, MO area.
 
Recently, we delivered Fiber Voice service to City Hall in Fulton, MO, which is a major milestone for our network. A major aspect of the RUS fiber project is delivering service to critical community institutions and this definitely helps us reach that goal. 

We are also currently working to provide fiber broadband service to William Woods University in Fulton. Part of our goal is to connect local universities and public schools with high-speed Internet, allowing students better access to educational materials or services and HD video content in classrooms.
 
Other major installations we have recently completed include Callaway Community Hospital, Callaway Clinic, and Ovid Bell Press. It is an exciting time for Socket! Learn about the impact that Fiber had at Callaway Community Hospital in this video.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leOB6Vh07M8
 
To see if installs are currently being scheduled in your area, call 1-800-762-5383.

We've never seen this much Jell-O...


For all its jiggliness and reputation as a “light” snack, Jell-O is actually quite heavy… at least, when you’re moving full warehouse-style pallets of it around.

We spent a few hours sorting through snacks on Thursday night, as part of our partnership with the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. Each box of Jell-O had to be separated into multiple bags for individual families to take home.

Replacing the bags of Jell-O snack packs back into the box was a bit like playing a game of Tetris. But with a little wiggling (sorry!) we got over two dozen boxes packed full. Socketeers brought friends and family, so we also got to have a lot of fun meeting new people and helping the community.

The Food Bank could still use volunteers, especially during the busy holiday season. If you’re able to donate time, food, or money, please visit sharefoodbringhope.org for information on how you can help.

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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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