When was the last time you evaluated your internet speed? Do you think you have the right speed for your current business needs?
As more of today’s business activities are done online and businesses require robust vendor and customer management tools and cloud-based services, having high-speed internet is essential. High-speed internet can put you ahead of your competition, increase employee productivity and customer satisfaction, and build stronger relationships with your vendors.
Employees don’t want to waste time waiting for files to download or upload, or lose a potential client due to a dropped video call. Customers who are put on hold while a representative’s computer “catches up” to display account information can cause frustration—and that customer may choose to take their business elsewhere.
If you haven’t updated your speed in a while, you may be missing out on productivity and revenue. High-speed internet can help your business many ways:
Better Video Conferencing – Be assured that your video call will go smoothly, without buffering or getting dropped.
More Productive Employees – Employees will be thrilled that they can quickly access needed information and don’t have to wait for large files to download or transfer.
Increased Bandwidth – Stop worrying about limited bandwidth or how many users or devices are connected to your internet—the higher the speed, the more bandwidth you have.
Increased Customer Satisfaction – Serve customers quickly and efficiently with Point of Sale (POS) terminals that don’t freeze up or slow down. Take customer calls with confidence knowing you can access their information quickly.
Better Vendor Relationships – Shared platforms such as Google Docs and Dropbox can improve collaboration and make transferring information easier.
Cost Savings – Hosted VoIP PBX solutions can now be an option. Hosted VoIP PBX offers big business features and services at a fraction of the cost of traditional phone service. There’s no large capital outlay or need for additional IT resources.
Ensuring you have the right speed for your business creates a smoother, more efficient operation.
Contact Phil Marchant or Bryce Gardner today at 877.584.1581 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a business internet evaluation and to learn about our internet speed options.
Due to the COVID-19 guidelines presented by the CDC, all May events have been postponed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with friends and family through art and culture.
So, what can you do to stay connected? Technology can bring friends and family to you—wherever you are:
Use Google Photos to upload and share albums—and get the conversation going. It’s like the old-timey slideshows without the slide projector and sheet on the wall.
Get online and play a game. It can be as something as simple as Scrabble or faster-paced like Fortnite or Minecraft. Throw on a headset or use your computer speaker to talk with your teammates.
Chat face-to-face, remotely. There are almost as many video chat apps as there are people!
Check out the popular FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Marco Polo or Skype. And these chats can more than just a conversation. Think about reading a bedtime story or singing a lullaby to your favorite little person faraway.
Plan a virtual get-together via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Schedule a team lunch or coffee break. Plan a happy hour or dinner party with friends and don’t forget about birthday celebrations!
Exercise together through a virtual group Zumba, Yoga or other fitness class.
Check out the popular Meet Up appto find groups based on your talents, skills, hobbies, likes, etc. Many have taken their groups online and found a way to keep the fun going.
Take an online class. You can find anything from learning a new language to carpentry and crocheting online. Keep it local by searching your area’s adult ed center or college to see what courses they might have available.
Enjoy a movie together.Netflix Party allows for group viewing and provides private chat rooms so you can interact with fellow viewers. You can even customize your party with fun user icons, nicknames, screenshots, emojis and GIFs.
Share your Spotify music collection with friends and family. Create a unique list for a special someone or host a dance party.
There are so many internet options and companies out there that provide internet services, how do you choose, or know what service is right for you?
All West Communications internet network is delivered over wires because it not only increases reliability but allows faster upload and download speeds at better pricing for our customers and community.
Why does a wired internet network work more efficiently?
Let start by looking at how each type of network works and how it relates to the services available.
Satellite internet is having the ability to transmit and receive data from a satellite dish. Most satellite companies' connections involves three satellite dishes; one at the internet service providers (ISP) hub, one in space and one attached to your property. The ISP will send the internet signal to the dish in space, which then relays it to you. Every time you make a request (new page, download, send an email, etc.) it goes to the dish in space and then to the ISP's hub. The completed request is then sent back through space to your dish and then to your computer.
Common issues with satellite internet include:
The weather affects the signal path. During bad wind or rainstorms, you should expect poor quality internet, assuming you have internet at all.
Poor latency or high ping rate. Your internet signal has to go at least 22,000 miles in the air two times before it reaches your home. Since you have to send data to space, this creates a lag on internet connecting devices. This lag can affect your internet experience, especially if you're a gamer, working from home, streaming TV, or use VoIP services.
Minor obstructions can affect your signal. Your dish needs to point south because this is where all the orbiting dishes are in outer space. Anything in the way of your dish's signal such as branches or buildings, can affect the quality.
Satellite internet is relatively expensive for the speed you get. For example, Utah Broadband’s highest speed is 60 Mbps for $89.95, whereas All West's lowest speed is 100 Mbps for just $59.95. You can get twice as much speed for $30 less.
A wired network is the physical connection to your home and your ISP provider through either Coax, DSL, or Fiber.
Benefits of a wired network include:
You get better upload and download speeds. When you are connected directly to your ISP provider, there is no lag, which makes your connection faster.
There are no obstructions to block your service. Since most Coax, DSL and Fiber lines are either buried or affixed to utility poles, you won't have to worry about your connection getting disturbed.
With a wired connection, your ISP can offer you better prices and faster speeds than satellite offerings. For example, Wicked Fast internet provides 75 Mbps for $99.95 per month, whereas 100 Mbps will All West is $59.95 per month.
We hope this helps our customers understand the differences between satellite (wireless) and wired internet connections.
Having a fast internet connection depends on what you use the internet for at home, how many devices are using the internet at the same time, and how many Mbps you have from your service provider. As a result of the COVID-19 virus stay-at-home advisory, families are using their internet more than usual for information, schoolwork, working from home, entertainment and more. We wanted to share with you things you can do to make sure you’re getting as much capacity from your Internet connection as possible.
Things you can do to make sure you’re getting as much speed as you can:
- Update your router. Older routers are often not made to handle higher speeds. It might max out at a lower speed resulting in blocking the bandwidth that could be distributed throughout your home.
- Move your router to a central location in your home. Your routers radio signal doesn't just broadcast in one direction. Instead, it's more like ripples in water. If you've placed your router in a far corner of your home, you're most likely reducing your usable coverage and capacity.
- It might be the device you’re using. Older devices are not designed to handle higher speeds. The best way to test if the problem is your device or your router is to directly connect a newer device to your router using an ethernet cable and test the speed. If you are getting close to your full speed on the newer device, but not on your older device, the problem is most likely the age of your older device. If neither device is reaching full speed, it is probably your router.
Keep in mind that not all routers are created equal. Your router signal needs to sync with your modem connection. And your modem and router need to be able to handle the speed you are paying for. For example, if your internet is provided through a Coax cable, your router needs to be compatible with a Coax connection—and if you’ve purchased a 1 Gig plan, your equipment needs to be Gig-capable.
Plume is a cloud-based system that provides you with full-strength, uninterrupted connectivity where and when you need it. The Plume app delivers an enhanced experience through custom guest access, parental controls, and AI Security™ for added protection. SuperPods™ are beautiful, small and plug straight into the wall.
Why you may need to upgrade your speed
The best download speeds and upload speeds for you depend on how you use the internet at home.
Let’s first look at your connection as if it were a water pipe. When it’s just you at home, you normally have enough water moving through the pipe. However, if all your faucets are on at the same time, you may see less water pressure than usual.
The same thing happens with your wi-fi speed. When the whole family is home, your wi-fi gets divided between all the devices connected to your router resulting in a slower connection.
For example, let’s say you have a family of four, and nine devices split between them that include phones, laptops, iPads, and Smart TVs. When everyone is home at least six devices are being used at once for school, streaming TV, surfing the web and gaming. When you have that many devices in use, you need enough bandwidth to support them all. 25 Mbps distributed six ways is about 4 Mbps allocated to each device. Just doing schoolwork on a laptop could use up to 25 Mbps, resulting in very slow internet. The more internet-connected devices you use, the more your speed is distributed amongst them.
Upload speeds vs. Download speeds
Internet speeds are measured by how much data your internet connection can transfer per second, which is measured in megabits of data per second (Mbps). The number you see in Mbps measures the rate at which a provider delivers internet data to and from your home.
Download speed refers to how many Mbps it takes to download data from a server in the form of images, videos, text and more. Activities such as listening to music on Spotify, downloading large files or streaming tv on All West.tv all require you to download data.
Upload speed refers to how many Mbps you can send data from your internet connected device or server to another. Sending emails, posting photos or videos on social media and video calling a friend all require you to upload data.
When you purchase internet speed, it’s an up to speed. Meaning if you bought 100 Mbps you can get up to that speed. Different wired connections (Fiber, Coax, or DSL) give you different up to speeds. For example, 100 Mbps on a Coax connection will give you up to 100 Mbps download speed and up to 10 Mbps upload speed. Whereas Fiber is symmetrical, giving you equal upload and download speeds.
If your internet plan doesn’t support the amount of data you are uploading or downloading, your internet may slow down. So the next time you’re using your internet connected device and it slows down, it may not be your internet provider but the upload and download speed of your internet plan.
Communities Receive Broadband Services in Time of Crisis
All West Communications promises to keep communities connected
Disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have begun to make a significant impact on how we work and live. Community members are being asked to follow “social distancing” recommendations and some have been quarantined to their home—due to exposure or official “shelter-at-home” orders. People have been suspended from jobs as non-essential businesses are forced to close and other businesses are cutting back staff. Schools are closed and students are being homeschooled through online learning.
All West Communications broadband and telephone services have been deemed “essential” so we will continue operations to keep people connected. We understand access to technology, information and communication is invaluable at this time and we are committed to supporting the communities we serve. For the next 60 days, All West Communications pledges:
(1) not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
(2) waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, customers do not have to worry about how much data they use as we have never imposed data caps.
We are also working with local schools to provide broadband services to students (K-12) who do not currently have services. To those who qualify, the broadband service will be free until May 31st. All West will also waive the install fee of $50.00. To date, we have connected more than 100 students in Utah and Wyoming.
Staff have been directed to follow the CDC’s suggested hygiene practices, including washing hands for 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, and cleaning work areas more often.
Any staff member who is sick or has any sick family members have been directed to stay home. (Employees who come into work appearing ill will be sent home. All employees in our Kamas and Coalville, Utah offices are working from home due to a county “shelter-at-home” order.)
We have suspended all staff business travel until May 1st—at the earliest.
All offices have been closed to walk-ins. However, we are still fully operational and are prepared for a high volume of calls.
All technicians and construction crew follow recommended hygiene practices after each customer interaction.
Technicians have the right to not enter a customer’s home if the customer is displaying symptoms of illness. We ask that customers reschedule appointments once they are well. (No additional fees will occur with any last-minute cancellations.)
For Our Customers:
Although we have closed our doors to customer visits, customers can still reach All West through:
You can also pay your through the online SmartHub system or by calling 866.255.9378 to be transferred to the secure Bill Pay line. Bill payments are also still accepted at office drop boxes.
Matt Weller, All West President, stated, “All West Communications is committed to keeping our communities connected and ensuring students can continue their schooling. We also want to provide the opportunity for online purchasing and telemedicine—both of which are critically important now. We are happy to connect students who need our services and lessen customer worries of losing broadband or telephone during the pandemic.”
Thank you to all our media partners for helping us spread this message:
We asked Plume’s AI SecurityTM Product Head Susmita Nayak to help us better understand how AI Security works and the evolution of whole-home protection.
Susmita Nayak is vivaciously passionate about solving cybersecurity attacks and tackling the evolving threats of hackers, viruses, and spammers. With over 20 years in the science, engineering and technology fields, she has worked for household names such as McAfee, Intel, and now Plume. She gets fired up about working for Plume because they are looking at security more broadly than just anti-virus but rather for every device in your home as a whole, which gives security a more holistic approach.
What makes Plume’s security more reliable and smarter than other security services available?
The landscape for cybersecurity services for consumers is very focused on anti-virus, but technology has evolved so much that it’s not enough. The average home has so many more types of devices now, and each device has many attack surfaces, so securing the home requires new thinking. Antivirus protection is cumbersome to install on so many endpoints and isn’t supported on IoT devices and as such doesn’t scale to the smart home. Additionally, IoT devices need zero-day protection for which behavioral learning and anomaly detection is best suited. On determination of zero-day threat, the device must be quarantined to prevent the attack from spreading to other home devices.
From the figure above based on data collected across a subset of Plume homes in Q4’19, on average 91% of Plume homes have had a security incident. Attacks span different types across malware, botnets, phishing and more. A staggering 85% attacks are on personal devices shows the lack of endpoint protection on these devices, possibly due to the inconvenience in installing them. Also noteworthy is the 15% attacks on IoT devices across NAS, Cameras, Media Set Top Boxes, Game Consoles, TV and more.
Plume’s approach provides whole-home coverage, meaning it acts as the gateway into your home stopping dangerous connections from or to devices in the home. Would you let a stranger into your home? Most likely no. It’s an invasion of privacy and safety for your family. The gateway acts as a force field that shields devices, making sure your data and privacy are safe. Plume uses artificial intelligence to monitor threats across a growing scale with adaptive WiFi deployments at more than 15 million homes and half a billion devices. It allows us to understand device behavior and spot new threats faster. Our service is designed to adapt to all the different types of devices and all different types of threats making it smarter than other security options.
What is your favorite security feature in the app?
I love that you can see all the devices connected to your network. This is important for security because you can dive into each device and see all the blocked content that it has tried to visit. Plume also has the ability to quarantine an infected device, so you can take action to solve the problem while the rest of your devices stay unaffected. For example, let’s say someone hacks your smart doorbell. Plume’s service will immediately quarantine the device and stop the hacker from impacting that device or penetrating your network further and doing even more damage.
Just like the common cold, viruses get smarter and adapt to their environment. Plume is unique because it is constantly learning your home behaviors to better adapt to threats.
What’s your top tip or trick for customers with Plume to manage their security?
Knowledge is power and having the knowledge about what is happening in your home keeps you and your family much safer. I highly recommend using the Guest Access features to create different access passwords for visitors or guests entering your home. Devices, like people, carry bugs; and if the right type of virus is present, there is a potential risk in it infecting your network. By limiting what they have access to protects not only your household but your guests too. When you give that device a different password with an auto-assigned expiration, you are limiting its access to your network, which makes it easier for you to control them from accessing other devices with your personal data.
What does the future of smart home security look like? And, how is Plume preparing for future threats?
Plume looks at the security of the whole home, we are working on not only cybersecurity but the physical side as well. We believe we are just scratching the surface on how to make your home safer and are looking forward to rolling out some new enhancements.
Predicting the cyber future is tricky because we don’t know what threats will be, while hackers and viruses continue to get smarter. When you do machine learning you can find the patterns of abnormalities and address them easier. We are also developing a better understanding of device behavior. The more comprehensive data we get from device feeds the better we can identify any new threats.
All West partners with Smart Home Services provider Plume®
KAMAS, Utah | March 2, 2020 – All West Communications, a Broadband, TV Streaming and Phone provider with operations in Utah and Wyoming, announced its partnership with Plume®, a smart home services platform designed to improve broadband coverage and speeds and help personalize and secure the home network. Powered by cloud-based artificial intelligence, Plume offers an integrated solution that is controlled from the Plume app.
The new service will further enhance the online experience for All West customers through custom guest access, parental controls, and AI security for added protection of their devices. Plume works alongside All West’s existing broadband connection, allowing customers to make the most of its ultrafast speeds in every corner of their homes.
"All West is excited to bring our community the next level of speed, personalization, security and control by partnering with Plume," said Matt Weller, President of All West. "As leaders in broadband technology, we know that the modern smart home requires a personalized approach tailored to each person, home and device. Plume does just that."
The Plume integration brings All West customers:
• Plume Adaptive WiFi™ which intelligently monitors, adjusts and optimizes your network for peak performance.
• HomePass® which lets users control guest and child access to their network, set up profiles, and pause access to the Internet.
• AI Security™ to detect and block potential security threats, customize content access, and block unwanted ads.
• Elegantly designed, powerful tri-band SuperPods that plug directly into wall sockets to ensure reliable coverage.
• The highly-rated Plume app puts you in control of all of these smart home services.
Plume will now be part of the standard offering for new and existing All West customers. The Smart Home Services offering includes up to two SuperPods for $9.95 with add-on pods available for an additional fee. For more information, visit www.AllWest.com.
About All West Communications
All West Communications is a telecommunication company based in Kamas, Utah and provides broadband, TV Streaming and phone services to rural communities from northeastern Utah to southwestern Wyoming. Our broadband-powered network delivers technology services that give people access to information, entertainment, and communications across town and around the world. We’re neighbors serving neighbors, dedicated to creating opportunities in the communities we serve. To learn more, visit www.allwest.com.
Plume is the creator of the world's first Smart Home Services Platform. As the only open and hardware-independent solution, Plume enables the curation and delivery of new services rapidly and at massive scale. The Plume service bundle which includes Plume Adaptive WiFi™, HomePass®, and AI Security™ is managed by the Plume Cloud, a data- and AI-driven cloud controller currently running the largest software-defined network in the world. Plume leverages OpenSync™, an open-source framework which integrates into a broad set of silicon & platform SDKs for connection to the Plume Cloud. Plume’s smart home service and back-end product suites are proven to help communications service providers around the globe deliver on the promise of fast and reliable internet throughout the home, while increasing ARPU, improving NPS, and reducing call-in rates, truck rolls, and subscriber churn
Continuing education and enrichment helps people improve their lives
The Oyster Ridge BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) is a legal entity made possible through an agreement between Western Wyoming Community College and Lincoln County School District #1 to offer educational services not specifically being provided by either of them. The mission of the Oyster Ridge BOCES is to serve the higher education needs of the community through education and skill set training.
A Variety of Classes
Located in Diamondville, it offers continuing education and enrichment in the following areas:
Vocational, technical and professional education
Broadly based education in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities for degree seeking and non-degree seeking students
Personal growth, recreation and leisure, along with mental and physical fitness
Bridget Stewart, Executive Director of Oyster Ridge BOCES, said, “Our BOCES is designed to provide high school and adult learners with adult basic education and online college-level classes as well as fill any other educational niche that we can handle more effectively than either WWCC or LCSD #1 could do alone. We work closely with both LCSD #1 and WWCC to ensure that our educational programs provide a seamless transition from high school to college and enable people who have been out of school awhile to smoothly transition back into educational or training programs.”
Connecting with All West
Oyster Ridge BOCES currently gets 100 Mbps fiber internet and Hosted VoIP phone service from All West. (As their broadband needs grow, All West will be able to provide internet speeds up to 1 Gig.) The relationship between the two organizations began in 2016.
Phil Marchant, Corporate Sales Executive, explained, “All West expanded their fiber optic footprint throughout portions of Kemmerer and Diamondville during summer 2016. Later that fall, Oyster Ridge BOCES signed up for high-speed broadband and had their phone numbers ported over to All West.”
He added, “Oyster Ridge originally received their data and voice services over copper lines from the incumbent telco. When I initially contacted Bridget Stewart about All West’s fiber, she was excited to switch in order to get higher internet speeds. In June 2019, Bridget reached out to All West and asked about a new phone system to replace their analog voice service and provide enhanced features such as voicemail to email, music on hold and after-hours auto attendant. After some discussions with her and finding out the needs of Oyster Ridge BOCES, I proposed All West’s Hosted VoIP business phone system. In August 2019, All West installed this system.”
What does Stewart think of the internet and phone services from All West compared to the services previously used by Oyster Ridge BOCES? She replied, “With our previous communications provider, we were always having internet issues which made it difficult to test students and get work done. Now that we have All West’s fiber internet, we no longer have those problems. We also love our new Hosted VoIP phone system. It’s allowed us to work more efficiently.”
Given the vital importance of All West’s services to students and staff, Stewart appreciates the responsive customer service and tech support Oyster Ridge BOCES receives.
“I think All West’s customer service and support is excellent! I know someone will be here quickly if we have an issue. The best thing is, All West will always try and help you over the phone first, which is great,” said Stewart.
Marchant noted, “Oyster Ridge BOCES has been amazing for our All West team to work with. Since it’s an education center, having the fast speed of our fiber internet offers the students and staff the most effective classroom and work environments they can possibly have in rural Wyoming.”
Past Successes, Future Plans
This time of year is a natural opportunity to reflect on 2019’s accomplishments and look ahead to 2020’s goals, and Stewart was happy to share her thoughts on these topics.
“The thing I am most proud of when it comes to the Oyster Ridge BOCES is that we truly are helping people. We want everyone to be successful in what they do, and we are here to assist them however we can. In 2020, our goal is to increase awareness in the community about everything Oyster Ridge BOCES has to offer,” Stewart said.
Fiber is coming to more communities in Sweewater County, Wyoming!
Did you hear? All West Communications was recently awarded a USDA grant of $4.79M to provide broadband services to residents and businesses in Granger, Farson, and Eden, Wyoming. And while some of the project phases will take three to four years to complete, we are making plans to get the project started in the coming year.
What does this mean for you?
More broadband options with plans that include speeds from 100 Mbps to up to a Gig.
More entertainment choices with a variety of TV package offerings, premium channels, and added features you won’t find anywhere else.
More ways to connect to the people and places that matter to you most.
More opportunity to grow your business and compete with the growing online market.
More accessibility to work from home or gain new skills through online learning.
More comfort through telemedicine and internet-based security systems.
More business solutions with hosted VoIP and managed Wi-Fi options.
The best part? You will be getting the best the industry has to offer in the way of broadband. Services will be offered over a buried, all-fiber infrastructure—not susceptible to bad weather, faulty satellite dishes, natural obstructions like mountains or a dense grove of trees, or the occasional traffic accident that takes down a utility pole. You can rest easy knowing that your broadband service is protected.
The details. All West will build close to 100 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure connecting approximately 320 homes, 20 businesses, 18 farms, a Granger school, and a K-12 school campus in Farson. We will keep you updated on the plans so check back and watch our Facebook page for more details.
The internet is a public network that allows you to access various webpages such as Google, or any website such as AllWest.com.
How does the internet get on your digital device?
Digital devices and the internet speak different digital signals, so the first piece of equipment you need to connect to the internet is a modem. A modem is the translator between the digital signal of your device and the analog signal the internet uses. It converts digital data signals into radio signals and back from your device to the internet.
When using All West’s internet services our modem is what establishes and maintains a connection with internet service and your device. A connection to our services can be made several different ways depending on the infrastructure available in your area. The most common connections are made through Fiber, Coax (cable) and DSL (phone line). These connections also have different speeds to help transfer the data from the internet to your device.
Once you have established a modem, you will need a router if you are trying to connect to more than one device. The router takes the signal from the modem and distributes it to both wired devices and wireless (Wi-Fi) devices. The router also controls the area in which you can receive a wireless signal.
Not all routers are created equal. Your router signal needs to sync with your modem connection. And your modem and router need to be able to handle the speed you are paying for. For example, if your internet is provided through a Coax cable, your router needs to be compatible with a Coax connection—and if you’ve purchased a 1 Gig plan, your equipment needs to be Gig-capable. All West offers Plume to ensure you have the proper connection. Our routers also ensure your router is protected and allows us to trouble shoot any connection issues.
Having the right modem and router in place gives you a better internet experience.