Fall Adopt-A-Spot Cleanup 2015

Adopt-a-Spot Volunteers
Clark Lane always looks beautiful in fall colors. And now that we’ve done a little cleaning, it looks a whole lot better.
As part of the Adopt-a-Spot program, nearly a dozen Socketeers went out to pick up some of the wayside trash littering the areas between Paris Rd and the 63/70 interchange. All told, they brought back over 20 bags full of garbage!
The weather lately has been nearly perfect – and it’s important to collect as much trash as possible before nasty winter weather makes it difficult or unsafe. If you’re interested in getting involved, the City of Columbia has a variety of spots around town that could use some love. You can visit the city’s website for more information on the Adopt-a-Spot program, or email volunteer@gocolumbiamo.com.

John McCrady - Socket's You-Make-the-Difference Winner for September!


Congratulations to John McCrady, Business Center Analyst, for being named the September recipient of Socket’s You-Make-The-Difference award!
This is John’s second time winning the award, and in less than a year, no less – his last win was in November 2014. His fellow (and new) techs still have plenty of reasons to nominate him.
“John is so understanding – I know that as a new employee, he was very helpful in training me on how to troubleshoot, as well as [being knowledgeable about] networking in general,” said a coworker who nominated him for the award. “He always has a great attitude towards customers and employees.”
In his free time, John enjoys science fiction novels, sculpture, painting, and John Carpenter films (which are often, but not always, Kurt Russell films as well). He is also the owner of Tom Selleck (his cat).
“You can’t beat the people you meet working at Socket,” said John. “Even when they leave and you see them outside of work – you still end up talking about the things you did here. The connections you fixed, the characters you talk to on the phone. It’s an experience.”
Congratulations, John!

Socket Attends the 2015 Millersburg Celebration!

The Millersburg Celebration and parade were held last weekend, and Socket was more than happy to be a part of it again.
The weather was perfect, and the sky was particularly gorgeous that afternoon - we couldn't help but take some photos! It made an ideallic backdrop for the parade, which started at the Millersburg Christian Church and wound its way down to the Lions Club. At the end, a delicious potluck lunch was waiting for everyone, along with games and music.
We're incredibly grateful to the community for inviting us back year after year - and we plan to be a part of the community for years to come.

Susan Stephenson - Socket's You-Make-the-Difference Winner for August!

Congratulations to Susan Stephenson, Service Delivery Coordinator, on winning the You-Make-The-Difference Award for August!
Susan joined the Socket team in early 2014, and has been a valuable member of the business center ever since. Her typical day can include anything from building hosted phone systems, coordinating schedules, assisting with dispatches, pulling equipment, or, really, “whatever needs attention from a Service Delivery Coordinator.” And that can be a pretty exhaustive list.
“Susan gets things done, and has a positive attitude along the way,” said a co-worker who nominated her. “We should all try to mirror [her] professionalism. She takes the Core Values and Beliefs to a higher level.”
In her spare time, Susan enjoys swimming with her family. Her husband, Migueal, and 6-year-old daughter, Merindy, also love swimming; “My daughter thinks belly flops are the best thing since sliced bread!” Susan also loves playing cards, and “jammin’ to some awesome music with friends and family.”
Luckily for her, she's never short of family to jam with - with two brothers, a sister, three nieces, two nephews and a niece on the way, family functions certainly aren't boring!

“Thank you to all who voted for me!” said Susan. Congratulations!

Socket Visits the OSP Expo in Denver, CO

Four of our team members traveled out to Denver this week for the OSP Expo. They’ll be meeting with other information and communications technology vendors, as well as learning about the latest developments and best practices in the telecom industry.
Over 70 providers, from more than 30 countries, are expected to have representatives in attendance at the expo this year. It’s a great opportunity to learn about some of the challenges facing telecom providers internationally, as well as unique perspectives from other regional ISPs similar to Socket.
As we continue to expand our fiber network, it's crucial for our team members to continue learning about the field and all the latest developments. They plan to attend training sessions on testing fiber, network design and regulatory issues. 
We can't wait to hear what they've learned! More importantly, we can't wait to put that information to use in the coming months to help grow our network across mid-Missouri. 

Socket Sponsors Mizzou Athletics

Mizzou’s home opener against Southeast Missouri State is this Saturday, and we’re ready! Socket is proud to support Mizzou Athletics this season.
You can catch the Socket Post-Game Show on Tiger Radio Network after each football and men’s basketball game. This year, we’ll also be sponsoring a new social media stream at the game. Just use hashtag #ZOUSOCIAL when you share your game day photos on Twitter or Instagram, and your picture could be displayed on the video board during the game!
We hope you'll join us in supporting Mizzou Athletics this season! Don’t forget to catch the Socket Post-Game Show with Mike Kelly on KTGR ESPN 100.5 FM & 1580 AM in mid-Missouri, or on your local Tiger radio station.


Why Farms Need Broadband, Too

According to a recently published USDA study, more farmers in rural areas are adopting Internet access. Additionally, there's also a positive correlation between a farm's Internet connection speed and their revenue.
However, it's estimated that around 30% of US farms and ranches still lack access to fast broadband Internet - a sharp contrast to the 8% that lack access in more urban areas. 
It's always been clear to us at Socket that broadband access isn't just a luxury - it's a necessary part of doing business. The USDA report makes clear that farms with broadband access are using their connections to help run their operations, and as faster broadband speeds become more widespread, preventing a "digital divide" between rural and urban areas will be more important than ever. 
We're proud of the work we've done to bring Fiber broadband access to large parts of rural Callaway County. But our work isn't done - and we'll be pushing to bring Fiber access to even more parts of Mid-Missouri.

Jason Vander Veen - Socket's You-Make-the-Difference Winner for July!

Jason Vander Veen with Socket

Congratulations to Jason Vander Veen, Network Design Specialist, on winning the You-Make-The-Difference award for July!
This is Jason’s fourth time winning the YMTD award in as many years, and he’s won it with a different job title every single time.
After becoming Socket’s Technical Support Supervisor just a few months after joining the team in 2011, Jason became the new Residential Supervisor after taking charge of Customer Service as well. (Yes – that’s BOTH departments. Simultaneously.) Then, after spending some time as a Service Delivery Coordinator in the Business Center, Jason moved into his current role as our Network Design Specialist, which means that he helps research and plan out different areas to build fiber to, among other things.
What we’re saying is, Jason’s gone through a lot of business cards.
Although he graduated from Jefferson City High School, Jason has always been a true son of Michigan. Originally from Grand Rapids, Jason never lost his love for his home state. In his free time, he enjoys camping, fishing, and board games. Although free time is probably a little scarce at the moment – in addition to their kids Gavin and Adilyn, Jason and his wife Kim just added baby Lily to the family a few weeks ago.
"Jason has always gone above and beyond for any customer," said a co-worker who nominated him for the award. "From handling difficult customers, to designing fiber plant; Jason is the man."
Congratulations, Jason!

Watch Out For Pop-Up Survey Scams!

We’ve recently gotten some reports of a pop-up claiming to offer free gifts or prizes on Socket’s behalf. These are 100% scams, and are not tied to Socket in any way.
Unfortunately, these types of scams are relatively common, and not limited to using just Socket’s name to elicit trust. Here’s some ways to spot this scam and similar ones:

Don't click it! This scammer is just using a template with fill-in-the-blank spaces.
This ad is NOT from Socket.

How it works:
Most people are aware that pop-up ads can be suspicious. So scammers attempt to make their ads look legitimate by adding in some personalized information – either related to a site you’ve recently visited, or information that can be gathered through your IP address. This info includes general geographic information (like your city or zip code), as well as your Internet service provider.
However, these ads can’t get too detailed – they still have to be generic enough to apply to everyone the scammer might want to target. So all this personalized information will be fill-in-the-blank. If a pop-up is claiming to be from a company you trust, but doesn’t include any logos or information other than a fill-in-the-blank company name, it’s probably a scam.
Other warning signs:
Not all survey scams will look exactly like this one. But there are a few things many of them share in common:

  • “Too good to be true”: Getting a free iPhone in exchange for a five minute survey is an incredible deal – one that should make you suspicious. Always be cautious of sites that offer any sort of prize. If they really had that sort of money, their ad would probably look a little more professional.
  • Missing Info: Is there an "About Us" page, or a physical address where you could find this company? Look for some sort of proof that the company actually exists, and isn't just a single webpage that could disappear overnight.
  • Generic: Rather than try for personalized information, some scammers will use “details” that actually apply to nearly everyone. For instance, scammers love mentioning your recent visit to Walmart.
  • Payment Required: Never, ever, ever enter in your credit card number or banking information. You should never have to give someone money in order to receive a prize. (No, not even for shipping and handling.)

Finally, if in doubt, call the company in question from a verifiable phone number. A few minutes could save you an identity theft headache.
Curious about some other tricks we've seen spammers try to use? Check out our previous post on phishers.

How is Fiber High-Speed Internet Like a Fireplace?

The short answer: both will increase your home’s value by about $5000, according to a new study.
This isn’t new to us. We hear this all the time from real estate professionals, developers, contractors and even residents selling their homes. They all tell us they get more money out of a home when it has fiber high-speed Internet.
In fact, we’ve even been told that access to fiber high-speed Internet can be the deciding factor in whether to buy a particular home or invest in a business location. Business owners say they increasingly need fiber high-speed Internet to run their company and stay competitive. In the same vein, people looking to move into a new area will tell their real estate agent they have to have high-speed Internet available for their home business, their kids’ education or even their television viewing.
The study, done by the Fiber to the Home Council, found that a fiber high-speed Internet connection to your home increases its value by, on average, $5437. Check out the study in the article here.


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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