Digital West Blog

California Super Net Neutrality Bill

Posted by Digital West Inc. on 3/19/18 9:30 AM

SB822, state senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and coauthors’s bill that assures net neutrality regulations stay alive in California, went to legislation in the Senate and Assembly on March 13, 2018. If SB822 passes, it joins Washington State’s model open internet bill and could usher the way for Montana, New Jersey, New York and other ally states to introduce similar bills.

Wiener is seeking to merge his bill with SB460, senate president Kevin de León’s (D-Los Angeles) bill that passed the state senate this January. de León’s bill was the first bill introduced after the FCC repeal and garnered wide support. SB460 prohibits “paid prioritization, or providing preferential treatment of some Internet traffic to any Internet customer.” It also prohibits Internet service providers (ISPs) from hindering their customers’ ability to “select, access, and use broadband Internet access service or lawful Internet content, applications, services, or devices of the customer’s choice.”

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Topics: Digital West News, Connectivity, Internet

Net Neutrality Battle in California

Posted by Digital West Inc. on 1/17/18 5:13 PM

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reversed net neutrality rules that regulate broadband providers who connect us to the Internet. This month, the net neutrality battle arrived in Sacramento. State Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced SB822, a bill that requires telecommunication companies doing business in California to guarantee equal Internet access. “We will protect a free and open Internet in our state,” tweeted Wiener.

SB822 will attempt to leverage state Public Utilities Commission regulations that oversee telecommunication companies to compel providers to maintain net neutrality rules.

The bill’s draft would require the state to buy Internet services from companies that comply with net neutrality. It would also require cable franchise agreements, state consumer protection laws, and “state-granted right to attach small cell or other broadband wireless communication devices to utility poles” to adhere to net neutrality rules.

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Topics: Digital West News, Connectivity

How to Choose the Right Internet Connectivity for Your Business

Posted by Meg McCall on 12/1/17 10:06 AM
With so many Internet options (e.g., copper, fiber, VDSL, wireless) available from so many different providers and so many speed combinations (e.g., (5/2, 20/20, 60/5 Mbps), it can be hard to know where to start. Below are some of the questions Digital West asks our prospective customers to help them choose the right connectivity solution for their business.

Clarifying Questions

  • What is your physical location? Your location will help us determine proximity to different circuit types (e.g., fiber, VDSL, wireless, etc.).
  • Do you have more than one location? If so, we’ll take that into account as we design a secure network between your locations.
  • Approximately how many computers are in your office? This provides us a sense of your preliminary bandwidth needs.
  • If you have servers, are they onsite or hosted in the cloud? This gives us a further clue into your bandwidth needs and whether you’ll need a symmetrical connection.
  • What types of files or data do you exchange on a day-to-day basis? Some businesses, such as architecture firms or medical offices, exchange large files that require more bandwidth.Test Your Internet Speed
  • What kind of phone system do you have, on premise or cloud-based, and will it run over this same network?
  • Do you need backup or redundant connectivity? Though no one likes to deal with the occasional planned or unplanned outage, some businesses -- like banks and credit unions -- must have a redundant connectivity in place at all times.
  • What other concerns, budget parameters or issues are you experiencing that we should take into consideration?

With these questions answered, Digital West will guide you to the best solution. And, of course, we’ll handle the installation, set-up, monitoring and ongoing, local technical support! Contact us to request a quote.

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Topics: Metro Fiber, Connectivity

Net Neutrality: Keep the Internet Open

Posted by Digital West Inc. on 7/5/17 10:15 AM

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with support of big cable and telecom companies has been ready to jump on revoking its authority to enforce net neutrality rules. This July 12, dozens of websites, companies and organizations such as Amazon, Creative Commons, Internet Association and Netflix will participate in a "Day of Action" to keep net neutrality from being destroyed. The group is calling for community action in support and awareness of net neutrality.

But, does net neutrality matter? Does it matter which big corporations control the internet? 

Current net neutrality rules prevent powerful broadband providers (Charter and Comcast), as well as giant wireless providers (AT&T and Verizon), from blocking or slowing down access to lawful content. Here's an important detail: these companies can't create "fast lanes" for content providers who are willing to pay extra (and then passing the cost on to the consumer). What that means is your internet service provider (ISP) can't hold you hostage by slowing your Amazon Prime Video or Netflix stream to a molasses crawl (so you keep your cable plan), and your mobile carrier can't prevent you from using telecom apps (like Microsoft’s Skype) instead of your Verizon cell phone plan minutes.

So, does net neutrality as we know it matter? You better believe it does!

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Topics: Digital West News, Connectivity

Getting To Know You: Your ISP Data is Up For Sale

Posted by Digital West Inc. on 4/12/17 10:00 AM

At the end of March 2017, The House of Representatives and the Senate voted to reverse the landmark Federal Communications Commission (FCC) privacy protection regulation that requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get consumers' permission before selling their data. The President is supportive of the roll back bill, meaning it’s unlikely he will veto the measure.

Just to be clear, ISPs (such as Charter, TimeWarner and Verizon) necessarily carry much of your traffic data and this allows them understand what you do online, especially your search data. Although you can switch from Google to Firefox, switching your ISP (many of which are often monopolies) to one that protects your privacy isn’t as easy. As former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told the Huffington Post, “…if I don’t like the practice of my network provider, I’m out of luck.”

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Topics: Connectivity, Security

7 Key Benefits of Fiber Optic Connectivity

Posted by Digital West Inc. on 2/21/17 11:00 AM

Digital West has been working to make high speed fiber Internet more accessible to the Central Coast since 2010. Today, the Digital West fiber optic network helps municipalities run smoothly, businesses experience better returns and communities grow.

As the range of fiber infrastructure grows, fiber connectivity becomes a more affordable and simpler upgrade to your business technology. Let’s take a look at  the seven key benefits and advantages when you upgrade to a fiber optic network.

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Topics: Metro Fiber, Connectivity

Fiber Optics or Copper: Which is Right for My Business?

Posted by Meg McCall on 8/20/14 11:21 AM

Whether you’re a small business or have offices and clients across the globe, having a fast, reliable Internet connection is pivotal to your business. If you don’t have knowledgeable IT staff on hand to help you understand the options available, you run the risk of experiencing IT headaches down the road, not to mention wasted resources.

There are multiple factors that impact both reliability and speed, including the type of Ethernet cable, whether you’re running cable short distances or long (e.g., down the street to your ISP), and the type of connection itself. Here’s a quick primer on the differences between fiber optics and copper cabling.

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Topics: Metro Fiber, Connectivity

What does the World Cup have in common with the Internet?

Posted by Sharon Durant on 7/1/14 3:59 AM

Known as the world’s second largest sporting spectacle, trailing behind only the Olympics, the 2014 World Cup has brought about a flurry of excitement and national pride. Die-hard soccer fans have been counting down the days for years waiting for their sport to re-enter the spotlight. And those of us who couldn’t care less about soccer are suddenly huge fans of the sport. News reports stream in hourly, #worldcup is constantly trending on Twitter, and you can get instant live updates just about anywhere you look. All around the world, people are glued to their TV sets watching these games that only come about once every four years. So what does any of this have to do with the Internet? Inspired by the article “12 World Cup Teams and their Tech Company Equivalents,” we came up with some comparisons of our own:

1.) Competition is fierce. Comcast acquiring Time Warner, AT&T acquiring DIRECTV, Level 3 acquiring TW Telecom…

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Topics: Digital West News, Connectivity

More Businesses Choose Digital West Metro Fiber

Posted by Sharon Durant on 5/30/14 2:34 AM

Brian Clausen, CEO of Experts Exchange, sees the difference that Digital West Metro Fiber makes to the productivity and capabilities of his business.(See video.)  But Experts Exchange certainly isn’t the only business in San Luis Obispo that has experienced the benefits of the ultra-high-speed Internet connection. Dusty Davis, Owner and Creative Director of design agency Fertile Minds, stated this about his new fiber Internet connection: “We love it. The biggest difference we've noticed is the absolute lack of latency… that responsiveness makes a much bigger difference than we anticipated.” Other high capacity companies in San Luis Obispo that depend on our robust Internet connection to keep their operations running effectively are Mindbody, Mainstream Energy, Rosetta, iFixit, Taylor & Syfan, Lindamood-Bell Learning Process, and Sports Warehouse, to name only a few.

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Topics: Metro Fiber, Connectivity

How does the Comcast & Time Warner Cable merger affect me?

Posted by Sharon Durant on 5/8/14 3:08 AM

News reports have been flooding in over the past several weeks regarding Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable, which would create the largest Cable conglomerate of our time. Businesses and informed individuals are decrying the situation as monopolistic and stunting of the free market. All the while, the merger continues.

Current regulations state that organizations are only allowed to serve a maximum of 30% of U.S. households, thereby allowing competition in the free market. With the acquisition of Time Warner Cable, Comcast will exceed that 30% limit, so they had to find a loophole. The answer came in a regional customer trades with Charter Communications. If you live on the California Central Coast, there’s a good chance your cable service provider will be changing. In fact, like some of us you may have already been seeing Comcast representatives around town scoping out the area. Your options for cable services are slim already, and it’s only about to get worse. In fact, last month the Consumerist awarded Comcast with the “2014 Worst Company in America” award, based on consumer voting polls.

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Topics: Connectivity