Top 7 Tech Gifts Recommended By Colorado Valley Communications

Looking for the latest gadget to put under the tree? The holidays are the perfect time to give a loved one your favorite tech device. At Colorado Valley Communications, we asked our employees about their favorite smart devices to inspire you in your quest for a fantastic must-give present.

What is your name?
Hunter Hengst

What is your title?
GIS Technician

What is your favorite tech gift to give?
WIFI/Bluetooth rain gauge and weather meter.

What does it do?
Keeps an accurate report on rainfall and weather conditions .

Where can you find it for purchase?
Amazon

Who is the ideal recipient?
A parent or a grandparent.


What is your name?
Susie Polasek

What is your title?
Regulatory/Access Coordinator

What is your favorite tech gift to give?
Wireless Phone Charger

What does it do?
Charges your cell phone without having to worry about plugging it into the phone. Just set it on the charger and go.

Where can you find it for purchase?
Any place that sells electronics … Best Buy, Amazon, etc.

Who is the ideal recipient?
Anyone who has a cell phone.


What is your name?
Art Hernandez

What is your title?
Network Administrator

What is your favorite tech gift to give?
Apple Products that are released for Christmas. This year there is the Apple iPhone 12 Series, Apple Mac Mini and the MacBook Pro 13” with the A1 Chip!

What does it do?
iPhone 12 Pro Max No Need for a professional photographer and it’s 5G Only; Mac Mini provides a 10 GB Network Adapter for super fast internet browsing; and the MacBook Pro is extremely fast with the first ever Apple Processor.

Where can you find it for purchase?
Amazon, Apple.com, Best Buy and cell phone provider.

Who is the ideal recipient?
iPhone – daughter, through junior high, high school and college, she had a new device each year. As I look back now, I truly believe she broke them just to one up her cheer squad each Christmas. The Mac Mini and MacBook Pro is perfect for the wifey; I can play it off as hers and have fun experimenting 😊


What is your name?
Kay Loehr

What is your title?
Associate Accountant

What is your favorite tech gift to give?
Apple AirPods

What does it do?
Listen and talk “wire-free” through your iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad.

Where is it available for purchase?
Apple.com, Wal-mart or Amazon

Who is the ideal recipient?
Son

 


What is your name?
Amber Sternadel

What is your title?

Customer Relations Assistant

What is your favorite tech gift to give?
Amazon Echo Dot w/Smart Plugs.

What does it do?
It can do quite a bit; my parents use it to make their grocery list, play music, ask general questions, turn their lamps on and off (with the Smart Plugs), set timers/alarms, check the weather, etc. Currently, they use it to turn their Christmas tree lights on and off so they don’t have to try to reach behind it to plug and unplug each day.

Where can you find it for purchase?
Amazon

Who is the ideal recipient?
I gifted this to my parents who surprisingly use it all the time!


What is your name?
Kenn Kasparek

What is your title?
Sales & Marketing Coordinator

What is your favorite tech gift to give?
Ring Doorbell

What does it do?
It provides live and recorded video from your home to your mobile device where you are. It can see when visitors arrive and leave, when packages are dropped off and report crimes to other users in the neighborhood.

Where can you find it for purchase?
Amazon – anywhere where electronics are sold.

Who is the ideal recipient?
Any homeowner.


What is your name?
Sandra Weyand

What is your title?
Accounts Payable/Receivable Associate

What is your favorite tech gift to give?
Alexa speaker

What does it do?
The better question is: What can’t it do? It plays music, gives you notifications when your packages will be delivered, it sets timers and the list goes on

Where can you find it for purchase?
Everywhere, but I prefer Amazon for pricing and ease of return.

Who is the ideal recipient?
One year I gave one to my 85 year old dad because he liked to hear the music and the jokes Alexa would tell. I gave it to my brother-in-law who is 60 because of his love for music. I gave one to my kids, ages 20, 26 and 28 and theirs do things I didn’t even know Alexa could do because they are from the tech age.

This is the all around best gift for anyone and everyone, if you can just find someone who does not have one yet. And the better internet you have, the better it works, so it’s a win-win for Colorado Valley Communications customers.


It’s no secret that smart devices require additional bandwidth, which can take a toll on internet speeds.

So, whatever high-tech gizmo or gadget you give a loved one this year, be sure it’s powered by Colorado Valley Communications. Not only do we offer high-speed internet, but Colorado Valley’s Fiber Service can serve you with Internet speeds up to 100 Mbps with no data caps.

For more information or to see if you’re in our service area, visit our website.

Alert – Scam Email Messages

12/10/2020-

Some customers have recently received email messages claiming to be from Colorado Valley urging the recipient to reply confirming your email and password. Do not respond to these. These emails are spam and you delete them immediately.

 

CVCTX will never ask you for your password via email.

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.” 

School Has Changed. So Should Your Internet.

At Colorado Valley Communications, we know students need the right tools for academic success.
As students prepare to enter the virtual classroom this year amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, High Speed Internet will be more important than ever.
What do you need to know about your Internet before the first day of school?
Here are some key facts about how certain programs and multiple users can affect bandwidth and speed, as well as some options to explore to ensure your child has access to their virtual classroom at the speeds they need.

Multiple Users
If you are working from home with your child in the virtual classroom, you’re both competing for the same bandwidth and speeds. With multiple users accessing Wi-Fi at once, this can slow your connection down for everyone on every device. Increasing speed can help.

Applications with Higher Bandwidth Demands
Every time a user makes a video call, streams video or downloads large files, it’s taking up your precious bandwidth, especially if you share your network with other users.
There are other bandwidth-heavy activities that may not be as noticeable. Monitor the bandwidth of your router with third-party firmware programs such as Gargoyle or DD-WRT or a network monitoring tool like Glassware.
These programs will show you where your bandwidth is going and allow you to stop certain bandwidth-heavy applications.
They can also help detect any viruses that may be slowing down your connection.

The fact is, there is more demand on your home Internet connection and bandwidth when multiple devices are connected. The good news is that there are some options to help increase speeds.

Find the Speed You Need
The first thing you need to do is figure out how fast your Internet is currently.
There are plenty of free tests out there.
At Colorado Valley Communications, we offer a convenient , which accounts for the number of devices you use in your home simultaneously to find the accurate speed rate you need.

Use Ethernet
Plugging in your devices directly to your router is a surefire way to boost your connectivity.
Using an ethernet cable is more reliable than wireless and many factors can affect your Wi-Fi performance.
Make sure your student stays connected and has the speed they need even when there are multiple users.

Upgrade Options
Finally, school has changed. So should your Internet.
Increase your speed to match your home’s needs by calling the professionals at Colorado Valley Communications.
Since 1998, we’ve 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.

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.

Creative ways to use the internet to connect

Now, as we practice social distancing, that “handy tool” may be becoming a central part of our lives. While it certainly cannot replace good old-fashioned conversations at the neighborhood bakery or hands-on learning in the classroom, it does have the ability to keep us connected in many ways. And let’s face it, generally, we are social beings. The internet provides that outlet.

Here’s a handful of creative ways people are using their internet connection to connect:

We want to make sure you are having the best experience with your internet. Visit our website www.cvctx.com, and feel free to contact us to troubleshoot issues you may be having with Wi-Fi or to increase your bandwidth as your needs grow during this time. We’re in it together.

 

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Update from Colorado Valley Communications

Colorado Valley Communications is focused on keeping you healthy and connected.

At Colorado Valley Communications, we value the health and safety of our customers and employees above all else, which is why we are closely monitoring events concerning COVID-19 (coronavirus). We are sensitive to the impact this pandemic is having on our customers and employees, while recognizing the importance of keeping our fellow Texans connected. With these thoughts in mind, we have implemented the following measures:

What we are Doing Internally

We are implementing policies to protect our employees and customers from exposure to the virus.

  • Employees who feel sick are being instructed to stay home.
  • We are identifying jobs that can be performed remotely and setting those employees up to work from home.
  • Beginning March 13, 2020, we limited foot traffic at our office by closing the lobby. While our lobby is closed, we are not. We have many options to remotely pay your bill including the SmartHub app, which is a free app that customers can download on their Apple or Android devices. Visit cvctx.com/billing for more information about bill pay options.
  • Before any employee will be dispatched to a customer’s home for a service call, we will ask the customer a series of questions to determine the risk of exposure to our employee. If any risk exists, the service call will be rescheduled if possible. If the service call is an emergency, special precautions must be taken by our employee and our customers before a visit can be made.

Higher Than Normal Internet Usage

During this time, many of our customers are working from home, continuing education at home, and may be streaming video or gaming too. All of these applications require higher speeds and may create buffering if the speed you are currently subscribed to doesn’t support simultaneous use of these applications. Check our bandwidth calculator at cvctx.com/internet to find the bandwidth needs for your household, and fill out the online sign-up located on the home page to find out the speed available at your home.

Keeping You Informed

Colorado Valley Communications is making every effort to keep you informed about how we are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, along with ways you can protect yourself and your family. To ensure you see our information:

  • Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/cvctx
  • Follow us on Instagram: Instagram.com/colorado_valley
  • Visit our website: cvctx.com

Please also note we have longer than normal call volumes at this time, so please be patient with us as our team is going above and beyond to make sure everyone has the connectivity they need.

As we navigate these uncertain times, we encourage our communities to stay safe. We recommend you visit the Center for Disease Control (cdc.gov) website for updates on COVID-19 and preventative measures you can take to keep you and your family safe. We are proud to be your local service provider, and as your neighbor, we are here to help you.

Find the Speed You Need!

Is your internet running slow because of too many devices? Use our online calculator to find out how much bandwidth you actually need based on the number of internet connected devices you have.
It’s that easy!

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.