Fiber Construction to Resume Soon!


Spring is just around the corner, and we're hoping to resume construction on our fiber network very soon.
 
Our crews have been in the area placing flags and gauging ground conditions to determine which homes and businesses are ready for installation. We're hoping for some warm weather (after the upcoming winter storm) so we can get back to burying the fiber lines.
 
If you haven't signed up for fiber services yet, now is the time to do so! Get your name on the list so we can get you connected as soon as the weather improves. We'll even let you try the service absolutely free for 60 days.
 
We're eager to get back to work in the area and hope to see you out and about!
  

Bringin' The Heat at the Rootin' Tootin' Chili Cookoff!


Although it’s been a few days, there’s still the faint smell of delicious chili floating though our office…

    

Socket joined 50 other organizations in the Rootin’ Tootin’ Chili Cookoff last weekend, benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia. This event funds the club until its next event in the fall, and allows the club to provide services to nearly 600 area kids.

    

While we can’t tell you the whole recipe (our chef has sworn us to secrecy), we can say that we used over 50 habanero peppers. Spicy! We made sure to warn people, although some chili enthusiasts took our warning as a challenge.

    

An estimated 2000 people attended this year’s cookoff, beating the fundraising goal of $75,000  for the Boys and Girls Club. We can’t wait until next year’s competition… and yes, we’ll be bringing the heat!

    

Nate Compton - Socket's You-Make-The-Difference Winner for January 2014


Nate Compton, one of our residential field service technicians, is January's You-Make-the-Difference winner!

    

Nate started at Socket nearly 3 years ago, and helps install and troubleshoot service for our customers on-site. In the last year, he’s also done work on Socket's fiber network in rural Boone and Callaway counties.

    

As is naturally the case with field work, most of Nate’s tasks take him out of the office. It can be easy to forget that while we’re sitting at warm desks, Nate’s driving through snow and rain to get to the places  that need him.

  

“[People don’t] see what we do,” said a fellow field technician who nominated him. “He was the first one to grab a shovel when the snow storms hit, to make sure that everyone was able to walk on the sidewalk to get into the building. Now if you ask me, that’s making a difference!”

    

Originally from the Joplin area, Nate has lived in Columbia for about 8 years. In between playing pool, poker, and rooting for the Cardinals, Nate has been reading though the Game of Thrones series. So don’t spoil anything!

   

“I'm flattered that all these great people I work with feel that I'm making a positive difference,” said Nate after winning. “Our whole department does a great job and it's awesome that one of us finally won.”

   
Congrats, Nate!

Access Library Services Using Socket Fiber


 
Daniel Boone Regional LibraryIf you're a new Socket Fiber customer, you might be discovering everything you can do online. Or maybe you're on the fence about whether to sign up.
 
Either way, keep in mind that you can get even more use out of a high-speed Internet connection by accessing services from the Daniel Boone Regional Library.
 
You can browse for books online, read newspapers and magazines or even take an online class.
 
If you have an e-reader (such as a Kindle or Nook), you can find and download books without ever leaving home. Cool, huh?
  
It all starts with a library card. If you don't have one yet, you can apply online.
 
Then, explore the library's Digital Branch and everything you can do online!
 

Socket Fiber Story: Shannon Thompson


 
Shannon Thompson is used to being “out in the middle of nowhere.” Her family loves the peace and privacy that their rural property provides. She used to assume this came with a cost, though. No cell phone reception. No high-speed Internet. No premium television service.
 
So when she heard Socket was bringing fiber-optic technology to her area, Shannon was excited. She’d been eagerly awaiting access to high-speed Internet, and she was one of the first in her area to sign up for it.
 
“We used dial-up Internet for years,” Shannon says. “We often found ourselves fighting over whose turn it was to use the Internet.”
 
Dealing with dial-up also meant slow speeds, frequent disconnects and having to wait to get online. It was frustrating to say the least.
 
But those issues have been resolved now with a new fiber Internet connection. Laptops and other devices aren’t tied down to a phone cord, so the family can surf the Web throughout the house.
 
Plus, the higher bandwidth means everyone can connect at the same time and still do virtually anything online. They enjoy watching bull riding videos and television shows using the Internet, as well as online shopping. And fortunately, it wasn’t too difficult to get everything going.
 
“The installers answered all my questions and walked me through everything they were doing,” Shannon says. “They were just great.”
 
A rural lifestyle doesn’t have to mean limited access to technology, and Shannon is thankful for that.
 
“We’ve been here almost 20 years and were always anxious for something better,” she says. “Now it’s here, and I’m really happy.”  
 
 

Travel Safely With Your Computer


Do you have a fun getaway planned? With the weather we’ve had, we don’t blame you a bit.
 
If you’re heading to a tropical locale this season (or maybe just taking a summer trip) you might be planning to take a laptop computer or tablet to stay connected while you’re gone.
 
Here are a few tips to help avoid damage to, or theft of, your devices:
 
Avoid leaving your computer or tablet in extreme heat.
 
Laptops frequently have heating issues even in normal climates. However, excessive heat can cause a computer's inner workings to burn out, among other problems.
 
Never leave a laptop in a hot car, especially for long periods of time. Be sure vents aren’t blocked while in use. For extended use in a car or hotel room, consider a stand or cooling pad to open air flow at the bottom of the computer, where vents are usually located.
 
Don’t put your laptop or tablet in checked baggage.
 
Airlines don’t treat baggage as fragile. Instead, place your device in a carry-on bag. Most airlines will allow a carry-on and one additional personal item such as a laptop bag, briefcase or purse.
 
Once on the plane, store your laptop under your seat instead of in the overhead compartment to avoid damage from other bags.
 
Use public Wi-Fi wisely.
 
There are numerous places to connect to free wireless Internet while traveling: the airport, coffee shops and more. This makes staying connected a breeze, but be careful with what information is entered on an insecure Internet connection.
 
Avoid entering credit card or other financial information, and always look for a padlock symbol on websites to indicate they are secure. Update your computer’s anti-virus software before a trip to prevent hackers from accessing your computer on an insecure wireless network.
 
Always keep your devices close.
 
Laptop computers and tablets are extremely convenient and useful, but also easy to steal. Keep a close eye on them in public places and never leave a device unattended, not even for a quick bathroom break.
 
Don’t leave your laptop or tablet in a highly visible place in the room; instead, tuck it into your suitcase or the in-room safe.
 
Just follow these basic precautions and your computer or tablet will continue to be a great way to access information and stay in touch with friends – on vacation as well as back home.

Let The Plunge Times Roll!


Last Saturday, 10 Socketeers donned their best nerd gear and went out for a short, brisk swim.
 
Outdoors.
 
Socket is proud to help sponsor the Polar Plunge, an annual event held to raise funds for Special Olympics Missouri. Volunteers jumped into Stephens Lake, which firefighters were busy cutting a hole into up till the hour of the event. It didn’t scare our Plungers, though – they were one of the first few teams to dive in this year!
 
In all, 601 people took the Plunge this year, managing to raise over $97,000 and counting. If you’d like to learn more or donate (you still can!) visit www.somo.org.
 

Socket Fiber Needs a Name!


 
We think it's time our fiber-optic service had its own distinct name.
 
A name that conveys the amazing ability of fiber to transfer voice and data using lasers and light and glass strands. Something that sets it apart from DSL, wireless, satellite and cable. Because it's so much faster, so much more reliable and much more capable of meeting the demands of tomorrow's Internet.
 
What words or phrases come to mind when YOU think of fiber?
 
Tell us your idea and we might end up using it! If so, we'll give you a $50 gift card to Flat Branch Pub & Brewing (and some major bragging rights).
 
But we'll warn you - you've got some stiff competition from our employees. They've already submitted more than 70 potential names! But don't let that scare you off - we'll take as many as we can get!
 
You can post your suggestions in a comment here, or over on our Facebook page.
 
Thanks, and good luck!
 
 

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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