Extended Summer Hours

In order to serve our members/customers better we’ve extended our office hours. Beginning on Friday, June 4th and ending on Friday, July 30th our business hours will be:

Monday – Thursday
7:30am – 5:30pm

Friday
7:30am – 11:30am


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HCPs & Educators: Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants Now Available

The USDA recently announced it is accepting applications for its Distance Learning and Telemedicine program.

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another.

For additional details and how to apply visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants


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Be aware of individuals claiming to be a Colorado Valley representative.

Anyone representing themselves as a partner of Colorado Valley Communications that is not an employee or certified contractor is misleading. Colorado Valley does not currently have any partnerships with outside sales representatives to sell our products or services. All employees and certified contractors have identification as proof of employment. Should someone not employed by Colorado Valley attempt to discuss our services with you, please contact us immediately at 979-247-5911 or info@coloradovalley.com


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How Technology is Changing Rural Medicine

Technology has made many aspects of life easier for people living in rural and remote areas. Applications that support instant communication and connection along with devices and machines that reduce the reliance on city or urban based facilities are some of the solutions that improve daily living. In healthcare, this has been a great challenge, especially for patients receiving ongoing or complex treatment for chronic issues, who may need to travel long distances for various healthcare services.

Although rural communities often have access to local healthcare facilities, there are many other factors that contribute to how they can access healthcare. Some factors include cost of insurance and specialist services, having reliable transport to and from required services, time to attend appointments and confidence in the quality of services. A coordinated approach to healthcare that incorporates technology such as artificial intelligence is the ideal goal for rural communities.

The Biggest Barrier — Geography

Due to limited infrastructure and retention of quality healthcare professionals in rural communities, residents often have to spend time and money traveling long distances to receive specialized treatment in the cities. It is common for patients in rural communities to travel over an hour for a 30-minute appointment — a massive drain in time, energy and resource for the chronically unwell and their families.

This is where an electronic health record (EHR) is crucial to population health management, as it enables healthcare professionals to view a patient’s medical history no matter where they are located. Sharing information electronically means patients can receive more timely and accurate care without traveling for miles to get it.

Clinicians are able to view and evaluate previous visits, tests, diagnoses and correspondence between other specialists, allowing for more accurate and personalized care. Where specialist support is required, tele-health systems can make remote consultations and diagnosis easier and more convenient for both patients and clinicians.

A fully comprehensive EHR would be extremely useful for rural patients as it could, in the near future, include digital device data that displays information on a patient’s health issues and can include information about their lifestyle and habits. The global movement towards technology enabled care (TEC) has influenced the growth in digital devices that monitor and record
personal health data. These include fitness bands, blood pressure monitors, digestible pills that monitor medication reaction and adherence. Most of these devices transmit data from a patch or sensor to an app on a smartphone. TEC offers benefits to rural communities where healthcare infrastructure is limited, but smartphone ownership is high.

Dispensing Medications

One of the major stumbling blocks to patient care — medication prescription and dispensation — can also be done remotely. Medication “ATMs” already in use in rural areas in South Africa and India are ensuring that patients are delivered medication they need without reliance on pharmacists, doctors or other hard to find professionals, but in a clinically safe way. In the future, these “ATMs” could have their capabilities enhanced to effectively become an information kiosk and patient portal that could support diagnosis, testing and medication prescription, thereby eliminating pressure on community health centers and hospitals.

Limited Expertise and Training

One of the major challenges facing rural communities is a lack of healthcare expertise — it is hard for communities to gain access to specialized training, hard to attract existing trained medical staff, and harder to retain them for longer periods of time once they are there.

One of the most tried and tested ways to resolve these problems is to bring specialized training to the existing population, which in addition to solving the expertise problem, also ensures that there is adequate career opportunity and growth for the locals. This also allows existing community knowledge and relationships to be leveraged to improve the human touch in medical care.

Connectivity Ensures Patient Care

There are endless possibilities for technology to make a massive improvement to the current model in health, especially the rural health sector.

At the center of the technology is high speed internet.

Since 1998, Colorado Valley Communications has been offering Internet services to the rural areas surrounding La Grange, Schulenburg and Weimar. We currently offer services to the following areas: Borden, Ellinger, Fayetteville, Flatonia, High Hill, La Grange, Moravia, Plum, Round Top, Schulenburg, Warrenton and Weimar.

Colorado Valley’s Fiber Service can serve you with Internet speeds up to 100 Mbps and no data caps. Click here to see if Fiber Service is available in your area. Faster Internet speeds are also available outside of the fiber areas, in some locations up to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps.

Call us at 979-242-5911, email or chat with a customer service representative today to discover the broadband packages available at your home. For more information about all of our services or if you’d just like to learn more about us, visit our website at www.cvctx.com.


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Scam Email & Text Messages

Some customers have recently received email & text messages urging the recipient to reply confirming your personal information or click on a link. Do not respond to these or click on these links. These emails & text messages are spam and you should delete them immediately.

 

CVCTX will never ask you for your password via email as in this example below:

A text message claiming to be from UPS:

Scam offer claiming to be from Colorado Valley Communications, Inc:

 


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Smart Rural Community Provider

La Grange, TX October 8, 2020

The communities in portions of Fayette, Lavaca and Lee counties in and around La Grange, Schulenburg, Fayetteville and Weimar TX today announced that Colorado Valley Communications was recently named a Smart Rural Community (SRC) provider by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. SRC is a national network of communities powered by innovative rural broadband providers that are building a brighter future for small-town America. The program promotes rural broadband and its role in supporting innovative economic development, effective education, efficient energy distribution and use, state-of-the-art health care and other important issues for rural America. 

In order to receive recognition as an SRC provider, Colorado Valley Communications was required to affirm that it offers 25/3 Mbps broadband to at least 50% of its service area; that it has broadband subscription rates of at least 50%; and that it is committed to program principles of collaboration and innovation. As a result of Colorado Valley Communications national recognition, the communities served by Colorado Valley will now be celebrated as Smart Rural Communities in program materials and online at www.smartruralcommunity.com, joining a national network of similarly innovative communities. 

“Congratulations go to Colorado Valley Communications for its hard work to meet these standards, which will help local residents participate in a new world of online digital possibilities. With affordable high-speed internet connections, Colorado Valley Communications will hopefully see the communities it serves benefit from educational and economic opportunities that are competitive with services in any large American city.” – Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst 

NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield also recognized Colorado Valley Communications for this achievement, noting, “We are so excited to welcome another Smart Rural Community provider into this growing network of innovative broadband providers delivering the Internet’s fastest speeds in some of the most remote and rural communities of our country. I applaud Colorado Valley Communications for their commitment to enabling cutting-edge technologies that drive innovation and promote economic development in their region and nationwide.” 


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Why Rural Broadband is Essential

As we continue to practice social distancing, access to the internet has become more important than ever. For those living in rural areas, connectivity is a critical component for creating access to resources, tools and opportunities to thrive and expand.

On April 30, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a study analyzing the benefits of broadband in rural communities. The report identified Achieving e-Connectivity in rural America as a cornerstone recommendation.

The report also finds:
● If broadband infrastructure and digital technologies at scale were available at a level that meets estimated producer demand, the U.S. economy could realize benefits equivalent to nearly 18% of total agriculture production.
● Of that 18%, more than one-third is dependent on broadband e-Connectivity, equivalent to at least $18 billion in annual economic benefits that only high-speed, reliable internet can provide.
● There is a symbiotic relationship between the potential economic benefit of broadband buildout and the complementary adoption of connected agriculture technologies.
● e-Connectivity provides improved quality and higher quantity of information, allowing integration of data to improve business decisions.
● It improves information capture, feeding data to the “Internet of Things,” and making it possible to automate activities.
● e-Connectivity offers real-time information that helps workers focus on the most pressing tasks and triage issues as they arise.
● It also reduces information asymmetries to make more efficient markets across geographies for both products and people.

“When we are able to deploy broadband ubiquitously, think of all the things we will be able to design, harvest, and develop,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Broadband in rural America will be as transformative in the 21st century as rural electrification was in the last century.”
What are some other ways broadband internet brings rural communities together? Consider our top five benefits of reliable high-speed internet access.

1. Telehealth

Telehealth, or telemedicine, refers to virtual medical appointments or services and it is possibly the most important example to highlight when discussing remote care. More than 60% of those who live more than a 70-minute drive away from a physician don’t have internet service that can handle telehealth.
Rural hospitals and clinics can quickly and securely access larger medical centers with specialists and advanced equipment. MRI, radiology, health records, and speedy contact with experts, helps get proper treatment to patients more quickly.
It also allows patients to live chat with doctors from the comfort and convenience of their home. Doctors can use remote diagnostics and alternative healthcare delivery methods to better save lives.

2. Virtual Education

According to a 2017 congressional report, “America’s Digital Divide,” 12 million school-aged children in remote rural areas don’t have broadband access at home.
Amid the global pandemic, virtual education is another important benefit of broadband internet access in rural communities.

Both educators and students are calling for reforms and extensions of broadband deployment in rural areas, as extended school closures show how essential internet access is for education. With online courses and national testing materials available, schools no longer need to rely on outdated methods.

Not only does virtual education benefit the next generation with alternative ways to learn, most universities and colleges offer continuing education and degree programs for rural students, who may live hours away from the nearest campus.

3. Remote Work

The most effective economic development strategy for many rural communities is entrepreneurship. Considering the impact of COVID-19 on the labor market, many businesses have been forced to close, but an increasing number of companies have transitioned to remote work.
The defining aspect of whether a business can still function remotely is broadband internet access.

The perception that high-speed internet access is an essential tool for small business success and management is especially prevalent among youth, according to the Center for Rural Affairs. For example, one poll found 95 percent of individuals ages 19 to 29 “believe having high speed internet is important for doing work from home or managing a home-based business.”

To be able to work from home, employees need high-speed, secure internet that can handle group video conferencing, large file transfers, and online collaboration tools.
Another important point to consider is that the availability of jobs that can be done remotely is largely dependent on high-speed internet.

4. An e-Commerce Economy

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than $100 billion of e-commerce sales were facilitated by rural broadband in 2013.

Similarly, approximately $9.2 billion of retail ecommerce sales were facilitated by rural broadband in 2015. An estimated additional $1 billion would have taken place that same year had rural broadband penetration been equivalent to that in urban areas.

This number is growing exponentially.

Consumers are turning to the internet not only to shop, but to save money with promo codes, sales and free shipping. Broadband connects shoppers to savings.

5. Connectivity and Quality of Life

Broadband internet is what conquers the aforementioned Digital Divide and helps end the feeling of isolation experienced by many people in rural areas, particularly younger generations who must adapt to the use of technology to improve their future workforce opportunities.

Quality of life is living where you want without sacrificing the comforts of technology. More people move into rural areas where they can maintain their standard of living. When connectivity is optimal, existing or new businesses can reach the world, attracting high-quality, enterprising employees, no matter where they reside.

Broadband internet is a lifeline for rural communities, with the ability to transform lives and equalize access to information. That’s why at Colorado Valley Communications, we understand the importance of staying connected more than ever.

We’ve been serving rural Texas since 1953 with affordable and reliable voice and internet services. We offer high-speed internet to the following communities in our service area: Borden, Ellinger, Fayetteville, Flatonia, High Hill, La Grange, Moravia, Plum, Round Top, Schulenburg, Warrenton and Weimar. Click to see where we are building out our network and to request high-speed internet in your area.

Don’t have broadband in your home? Get started today by calling 800-242-5911.


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Unplug Modems During Lightning Storms

PLEASE remember to unplug your high-speed modem and router during lightning storms.  Surge protector can’t always protect your equipment.  If your internet connection runs through the phone line, disconnect the cord from the jack because power surges can also travel through the phone line and fry your equipment.

 


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