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Your Local Connection

  • Posted on: 19 January 2022
  • By: djoyce

Blacksburg, Virginia, 01/19/2022

People are always asking, "What makes WideOpen Blacksburg's fiber connection better?" We just talked to a Comcast customer who was trying to edit some photos over the weekend and upload them to their cloud storage. They said it literally took two days to upload the edited photos. They did a speed test, and while they had 300 Meg down, they were only getting 6 Meg uploads.

Our fiber network is fully symmetric, which means our upload and download speeds are equal. If you order our 250/250 service you have 250 Meg down and 250 Meg up. Ditto for our 500 Meg and Gig service: 500 down, 500 up; Gig down, Gig up.

And unlike those "other" companies, we are your local network provider. Our headquarters are right here in Blacksburg, and our staff are all local. Stop by and see us if you have questions.

Adding Some Fiber to Your Life

  • Posted on: 17 December 2021
  • By: djoyce

Blacksburg, Virginia, 12/17/2021

Many folks in Blacksburg have cable services in their home and wonder how life with fiber to their home might be.

Our Vice President of Sales, David Sobotta. moved in February 2021, from the North Carolina coast back to Piedmont where he grew up. He also went from copper-cable-modem service to a fiber to the home (FTTH) neighborhood.

Below is an excerpt from his blog on the changes he noticed. He has a long history in the technology industry including twenty years at Apple

"Like many people who have been on a cable modem for decades, my experience has been a roller-coaster with some very frustrating experiences. By the time we moved in February 2021, our speeds had increased to 488 Mbps down and 24 Mbps up. Because of bundling, our phone service also was delivered by cable modem. The numbers looked impressive on the surface.

However, with a job that involves clients in over twenty states and a home office over seven hours driving away from our corporate office, experience had taught me that I could still expect problems with video conferencing which had become critical to meeting the needs of our clients since the pandemic.

Video conferencing with a cable modem, even with the best speeds that my cable modem company could deliver, involved using both the phone and my computer to establish a video-conference link. Collaborative tools just did not have reliable connectivity and even worse, sharing large files was anything but instant.

Our move let us subscribe to a symmetric 500 Mbps fiber connection provided by our local telephone company. Now joining a video conference whether through Zoom, Teams, or GoToMeeting no longer ties up our home phone line for audio. A simple click of a link delivers both video and audio that are crystal clear.

As our move cut the cable cord, I initially worried about how my wife would take to streaming. While she cannot see all of her favorite shows live, she has not had to give up any shows and she has found a far broader choice of shows. We get local live television through Paramount+. We rotate through a number of streaming services, cancelling them sometimes for several months until their content has been refreshed. My wife who is somewhat reluctant with technology changes has learned how to stream the shows that she wants without any help from me.

We are saving close to $500 per year and every service that we have is far better than what we had."

David’s full post is available at Adding Fiber To Your Life.

Having Trouble Finding Those Last Minute Gifts?

  • Posted on: 9 December 2021
  • By: djoyce

Blacksburg, Virginia, 12/09/2021

Protected

Shopping for certain people can be stressful, but especially when Christmas is right around the corner. Whether it's members of your family, coworkers or friends, there are so many options. Luckily, we've found a great guide of gift giving from The Verge! They have a wide variety of tech, gaming, and even fitness & wellness options. You can even narrow down your search by choosing a specific price range. Check out the guide in the link below:

https://www.theverge.com/22759813/holiday-gift-guide-best-tech-gadget-un...

The Home Security Series: SimpliSafe

  • Posted on: 15 November 2021
  • By: djoyce

In this 3-part series, we'll be checking out the best home security systems on sale today.

Blacksburg, Virginia, 11/15/2021

Protected

The final home security brand we're covering in this series is SimpliSafe. SimpliSafe is great for people who want a system that's the easiest and most straightforward to set-up and use.

SimpliSafe has a wide range of products, including indoor and outdoor cameras, motion sensors, smoke & carbon monoxide detectors, and temperature & water sensors. You can choose to build your own security system, or pick from one of their tailored bundles. SimpliSafe has multiple packages to choose from, depending on how secure you want your home to be.

Another perk of SimpliSafe's system is their 24/7 monitoring center. SimpliSafe's monitoring specialists use video footage to give authorities eyewitness evidence. That means if you're busy and can't get to your phone, SimpliSafe's team will review data and video evidence from the devices around your home to confirm that something actually happened, and can alert local authorities.

With WideOpen's quick and reliable fiber network, you can be sure your security system will never miss a thing.

To learn more about SimpliSafe and their products, visit https://simplisafe.com

- The WideOpen Team

A Local Airbnb Host Shares How WideOpen Blacksburg's Network Was a Game Changer for Their Home & Business

  • Posted on: 8 November 2021
  • By: djoyce

We asked Warren Neily how things were going after his first year on WideOpen Blacksburg's fiber network. Warren’s property is the last house at the far end of our rural fiber network:

"Wide Open Blacksburg was a game-changer for us in Ellett Valley! We struggled forever with slow speeds from Verizon, including paying extra for “band-width boosters” that throttled down mid-month after the allotted megs were consumed. Forget Netflix—we couldn’t stream anything.

BUT Adding Wide Open Blacksburg changed things for us overnight.

Overall better EASE OF LIVING. Finally, we have speeds to allow today’s family to function. Now we ARE able to work remotely--which was not possible before due to speeds / buffering. Plus, the kids stream content all they wish—no fear of throttling or monitoring controls to “save it” for work hours.

VALUE – cost-effective AND better. We could see value immediately in what we paid, vs what we got/ or didn’t get before. The math was simple.

BONUS to Business… adding new Wide Open Blacksburg service helped increase our AirBnB revenues. WIFI, if listed as an amenity, requires a documented speed making mid-week bookings harder. We regularly received critical reviews about slow internet—but no more! Now it’s mostly 5-Star reviews mentioning “great farm-experience paired with a week of Zoom Calls”—that’s what it takes to support today’s working professional traveler!

Kudos to Wide Open Blacksburg—we are getting great service for a price we never thought possible on our rural, remote hillside."

You can check out Warren's beautiful Airbnb by visiting the link here: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/24334209?source_impression_id=p3_1636385601...

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