Is It Time to Replace Your Router?

Is It Time to Replace Your Router?

If your internet is slower than expected, it may be time to upgrade your speeds. Or you may just need a new router that can actually handle the speeds you’ve purchased!

In today’s blog, we’ll walk you through signs it’s time for a router upgrade and what to do about it so you and your family can take full advantage of FPUAnet Communications’ high-speed fiber network and greatly improve your streaming, gaming, and overall online experience!

First Step: Look for Signs That Your Router Needs Replacing

Sign #1: Your Router Is Just Plain Old

Start by asking yourself this: just how old is your router? If you can’t even remember when you purchased it, that’s a good sign it’s more than five years old. In fact, many homes and small businesses use the same router they originally bought in the early 2010’s or even 2000’s!

If your router is several years old and predates 2019, it simply lacks the technological chops to take full advantage of fiber’s bandwidth and speeds. Tech experts recommend updating to a new router every three to five years to keep up with technology, so remember that as a good rule of thumb. 

Sign #2: The Router Feels Hot to the Touch

Another indicator that your router is in rough shape and needs replacing is that it often feels like it’s overheating. Now, of course, almost all electronics will warm up while they’re running. But we’re not talking about typical warmth from sustained usage, but rather considerable heat put out from too much processing.

Such excessive heat is a sign that your router is overworked and attempting to handle more than it can, which in turn leads to slowdowns or even dropped connections or reboots. It might also mean that its internal materials and components have degraded or stopped working, causing further problems in transmitting Wi-Fi signals effectively.

Sign #3: You’re Not Getting Anywhere Near the Maximum Download Speeds Your Internet Service Provides

If you’ve noticed that your streaming seems frequently pixelated or distorted—despite paying for a top tier speed plan—it’s quite likely that your router just isn’t up to the job. With fiber internet, data can transfer at nearly the speed of light—something older routers just can’t handle.

If you’re fed up with slow download speeds and have already conducted troubleshooting to rule out other problems, it’s probably time for a new router.

Second Step: Utilize the Latest Wi-Fi Technology

Prior to the start of 2024, the most current Wi-Fi technology was Wi-Fi 6, also called  802.11ax (or an updated version called Wi-Fi 6e launched in 2021), which had been a substantial improvement from previous forms of Wi-Fi technology (e.g., Wi-Fi 5). Indeed, Wi-Fi 6 or 6e, which most new Wi-Fi routers built since 2019 use, will still provide excellent coverage to disperse internet.

However, there is a new Wi-Fi technology hitting the market as of early 2024—Wi-Fi 7! With Wi-Fi 7, download speeds can clock in at up to 46 Gbps, a considerable increase over Wi-Fi 6 and 6e’s 9.6 Gbps top speeds. Additionally, Wi-Fi 7 can use three frequency bands—2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz—simultaneously, a major step up from previous technology.

In short, look for routers built in 2019 or later using Wi-Fi 6 or 6e, or even better, the latest version, Wi-Fi 7. Their more sophisticated software designs are optimized to work with fiber’s outstanding download speeds.

Third Step: Select a New Router

FPUAnet can offer you a powerful managed Wi-Fi 6 gateway experience with the ADTRAN SDG 854-6. This carrier-class gateway can deliver multi-gigabit speeds throughout your home with its advanced Wi-Fi 6 technology and mesh capabilities. 

Fourth Step: Always Keep Your Router’s Software Updated and Protected

Once you upgrade to a new Wi-Fi router using the latest (or at least much more recent) technology, it’s critical to keep that new router up to date! Wi-Fi router manufacturers, like other computer hardware equipment, regularly upgrade their coding and software to keep their products optimized. Diligently updating your Wi-Fi router’s software with the same conscientiousness, you have for your laptop or smartphone will make your router more effective and your internet experience far smoother.

Regularly updated (and newer) routers are also better equipped to prevent cyberthreats and keep your home or small business’s network safer. Hacking, phishing, ransomware and other cybercrimes are, regrettably, on the rise. Simply staying on top of your router’s security upgrades is an easy way for you to enhance your network’s protection.

The above steps will help you determine whether it’s time for you to upgrade to a new Wi-Fi router, as well as select the right one for your needs. But don’t forget to check for software and security updates for your router to keep your network safe and secure, too!

As always, should you have any questions about how to better optimize your internet, FPUAnet Communications’ customer service representatives and technicians are available to help you. And for additional tips on improving your home or small business’s internet, follow FPUAnet Communications’ Facebook page!

New Fiber Zone – Airport Industrial Park

New Fiber Zone – Airport Industrial Park

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Eric Peters
Phone: 772.468.1697
E-mail: peters@fpua.com

FPUAnet Delivers Fiber Optic Internet to Airport Industrial Park
Fiber optic internet delivers many advantages to both businesses and residents

Fort Pierce, FL (May 31, 2024): FPUAnet Communications, a division of Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA), is now delivering lightning-fast internet speeds and top-notch reliability to the Airport Industrial Park.

“Fiber optics offer symmetrical speeds of up to 2 Gigabytes per second (2 Gbps) for uploads and downloads. This increased bandwidth will enable businesses and residents in the vicinity of the airport to thrive in today's digital landscape,” said Jason Mittler, Manager of FPUAnet. “Extending Fort Pierce’s fiber network to Airport Industrial Park is a significant advancement for city growth and expansion,” he added.

fiber optic airport Industrial Park zone

The Benefits of Fiber Optic Technology

FPUAnet delivers fiber optic internet that brings numerous advantages to both businesses and residents. These advantages include:

  • High Speed Connectivity: Seamlessly download and upload large files, stream HD video conferences and access cloud services effortlessly with symmetrical speeds up to 2 Gigs.
  • Reliable Connection: Bid farewell to frustrating internet downtimes! Fiber optic cables are less prone to interference compared to traditional copper cables, ensuring reliable connection.  
  • Enhanced Data Security: Fiber optic technology offers a more secure network connection, safeguarding your crucial business information.
  • Increased Efficiency: Say goodbye to delays and buffering with a high-speed connection that empowers employees to focus on their core tasks effectively.
  • Business Owners: Enhanced Customer Satisfaction Faster internet speeds mean a smoother online experience for your customers and staff while enhancing their overall experience and productivity.

 “FPUAnet's entrance into the Airport Industrial Park demonstrates our strong dedication and commitment to investing in the future development of the Fort Pierce community,” said Eric Peters, FPUAnet Sales Representative. “This new fiber zone will help both businesses and area residents, and establish the region as a center for creativity and economic development, he added.

Ready to Join the Fiber Revolution?

Curious about harnessing the benefits of FPUAnet's fiber internet services? Discover your options within the newly established Fiber Zone at Airport Industrial Park! Connect with our team today by dialing (772) 468 1697 or sending an email to sales@fpuanet.com.

About FPUAnet Communications: FPUAnet Communications is a division of the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) that provides high-speed fiber optic internet service to residents, businesses and institutions in Fort Pierce and surrounding areas. FPUAnet is committed to providing its customers with the fastest, most reliable, and most affordable internet service possible. Additional information is available at https://fpuanet.com

About FPUA: Fort Pierce Utilities Authority is a municipal, not-for-profit utility provider. FPUA’s mission is to provide our customers with economical, reliable, and friendly service in a continuous effort to enhance the quality of life in our community. Fort Pierce is one of more than 2,000 communities in the United States served by a community-owned electric utility, and one of very few who also provide water, wastewater, natural gas, and Internet services. Public utility systems are owned by the people they serve. All benefits from our locally controlled utility remain right here in the community. Additional information is available at www.fpua.com

Is Your Kid Ready for a Smartphone?

Is Your Kid Ready for a Smartphone?

There is no shortage of advice and opinions about when and how to introduce and increase internet access and device usage to children. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, we believe it’s important for parents to think intentionally about when their own children are ready to explore the boundless world of the internet.

In today’s blog, we’ve developed a list of recommended resources and information that parents can employ to make the best decisions for their own kids and families. We’re proud to keep you and your family connected—and we hope these resources help you keep your kids safe online, too!

1. The American Psychological Association’s Health Advisory on Social Media Use in Adolescence

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Health Advisory on Social Media Use in Adolescence provides a concise but thorough review of the current findings about social media impacts on teens. It’s a good place to start because it discusses some of the variability among different age-ranges—and how different each child can be.

The advisory also helps each parent think more about their particular kid’s maturity level (rather than just their age number) when assessing when it’s time to increase internet access. The APA’s health advisory should provide a solid background in the underlying “psychology” of internet and social media usage for children, as well as potential issues they may encounter as they age.

2. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ PhoneReady Questionnaire

Through its collaboration with AT&T, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) developed a 10-question questionnaire to help parents think through their child’s development and maturity before determining whether to let their kid have a first cell phone or other device.

While the AAP’s PhoneReady Questionnaire may not prove to be the decisive factor in parents’ decision-making, it will certainly help them think through the major considerations—both pros-and-cons—in a simplified and well-organized way. We also like that it takes certain factors into account for why parents may actually want their kids to have a smartphone, including for health and safety reasons (i.e., facilitating easy contact and communication between parent and child) and tracking their kids’ location at any time. 

3. Wait Until 8th

Wait for 8th is a comprehensive website that utilizes a “pledge”—a commitment of parents to wait until their kid is in 8th grade before giving them a smartphone (though you don’t need to agree to the pledge or even its suggested 8th grade timeframe to benefit from its information and advice).

As some children receive their first smartphone as early as age 10 (or in some instances, even earlier), many parents will begin to feel the pressure from both their own children and, perhaps indirectly, their own fellow parent peers to allow device use earlier than they judge it best. Wait for 8th’s pledge and numerous resources can help parents feel more empowered to decide to wait until they believe the time is right—and their own child is ready—for smartphones and internet use as they grow up.

4. The AAP’s Family Media Plan

Developed with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Family Media Plan is an outstanding resource to plot out the kinds of internet and device usage—and the amount of time of that usage—for each member of the family over a given time period (e.g., whether daily, weekly, or monthly, etc.).

Users input key information such as the age range of each family member and their individualized online interests and device needs. The Family Media Plan also helps parents model good internet and device usage habits, because children typically follow what their parents do more than what they say.

At FPUAnet Communications, we’re dedicated to keeping families connected, but we also understand the importance of ensuring children's safety online. We hope that the recommended resources mentioned in this blog will empower parents to make informed decisions that keep their kids safe and secure in the digital world. Thank you for trusting us to be a part of your family's online journey!

Building Our Fiber Network: Stages of Construction

Building Our Fiber Network: Stages of Construction

By now you’ve probably heard the long-awaited news: FPUAnet Communications is bringing fiber to Fort Pierce! And we’re just as excited to share the benefits of our advanced fiber network with our community as you are to have all the fast download and upload speeds, generous bandwidth, and reliability of fiber direct to your home.

Over the coming months, you’ll likely see our trucks and teams of dedicated technicians and installers throughout our service area. There’s much work to get done, as delivering the fastest, most reliable internet you can get takes some time and a good amount of effort. Below we briefly explain the main three phases and seven core stages that comprise the process of bringing fiber to our area, including the approximate time frames you can expect each phase to take.

Phase A: Planning and Preparation (approximately 18 weeks)

The first phase of building out fiber begins with our extensive planning and preparation efforts. You may occasionally see surveyors and engineers out in the field carefully studying the installation sites, but much of this work is conducted behind the scenes and out of sight of most customers.

Stage 1: Make ready engineering: During this stage of planning, engineers will design and develop plans and specifications for review and approval for the fiber optic network.

Stage 2: Make ready construction: At this stage in the planning process, the primary focus is on acquiring access to all necessary routes and rights-of-way and finalizing all relevant government permits to ensure the project is cleared to proceed.

Phase B: Construction (approximately 14 weeks)

Next, we move on to the actual construction of the fiber infrastructure. During this intensive phase, you may see us digging holes and installing the equipment and fiber lines. When we're done, we will return all sidewalks and greenspaces to the way we found them.

Stage 3: Construction: The construction stage is focused on building the network by either burying fiber optic cable in the ground or hanging aerial lines (depending on the design of the network).

Stage 4: Splicing: Splicing is focused on connecting—that is, closing the loops—on the various pieces of fiber used to build the network as a whole. These connections are important to ensure data and information flows at the speed of light.

Phase C: Service Delivery (timing may vary)

After months of planning and constructing the fiber infrastructure, our fiber is just about ready to be delivered to your home! The timing of the following final three steps can vary, so please keep that in mind as you await your personal installation.

Stage 5: Service Drops: During this stage, our teams will place boxes in your neighborhood so that they can place the fiber line that will eventually connect the network to your home (again, depending on the design, it could be buried or aerial lines).

Stage 6: Drops Splice: Once the service drop is complete, the splicing team will ensure there is connectivity between the network and an optical network terminal, which will be placed on the side (typically) of your home.

Stage 7: Installation: After the previous six stages are complete, we will light up the network and our installation team will connect your home to receive service.

Remember that, despite the wait and occasional inconveniences over the coming months, once we’ve completed our work, you’ll have access to the fastest, most reliable internet available today. With FPUAnet Communications’ fiber, your family can be more productive, enjoy pristine streaming picture quality for TV and movies, distortion-free video calling, riveting online gaming, and all the other online activities that have become a part of your life.

Should you have any questions about our efforts or would like more information about our internet plans and other services, FPUAnet Communications’ representatives are happy to take your call. And to keep updated on the progress of our fiber infrastructure build-out, follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages!

How to End Peak Hour Slowdowns

How to End Peak Hour Slowdowns

It's an aggravating experience far too often felt by far too many cable, DSL, or satellite internet users across America—the moment you finally get some time to unwind and enjoy your home internet, it's painfully slow and sluggish, sometimes to the point of being all-but inoperable. So why does this happen to so many internet users, and almost always around the same time of the evening? And what, if anything, can be done about it?

Well, thanks to advances in internet technology, the good news is that you don't have to suffer the peak hour slowdowns plaguing so many residential internet customers. Below we explain ins-and-outs of peak hour slowdowns—and how switching to FPUAnet Communications’ fiber is the simple solution you've been hoping for!

Peak Hour Slowdowns—What They Are and Why They Happen

Let's begin by briefly discussing what a peak hour slowdown is. As the name suggests, it is simply the period of time when internet usage in a given area (such as your neighborhood) experiences its highest internet traffic from simultaneous, multiple users.

Though it can vary somewhat, peak hours of residential internet traffic are typically between 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM. In other words, peak hours are the times most Americans are home from work looking to binge their favorite TV series, catch up on social media, game with their friends, or watch and post videos. And just like you and your household, your neighbors down the street or across town are also streaming away at the same time!

With older but still common forms of internet like cable, DSL, or satellite, peak hour usage can overwhelm an internet network. This leads to buffering, slowdowns, or connection problems—and mass frustration, just when most families are looking to decompress. 

Why Cable Just Can’t Handle Peak Hour Internet Traffic

While cable internet served its purpose in improving home internet speeds and service when it was launched and became widely available in the mid-to-late 1990’s, it continues to rely on old technology to provide internet—copper or coaxial cable. Those cables were originally developed to transmit television signals, not internet data.

Today’s families stream far more data at once than they did in the 1990s, and cable struggles to keep up when nearly every home on the street is trying to stream, game, and more all at the same time. With cable, multiple households typically have a shared connection to the network, which means the more your neighbors use the internet, the less bandwidth is left over for you.

Switching to High-Speed Fiber Internet Is the Solution to Slowdowns!

Unlike cable and other older forms of internet, fiber’s underlying technology and sophisticated components can handle substantially more internet at any given time. Fiber doesn’t suffer from inadequate bandwidth like cable does, because it can transfer huge swaths of data to your home’s connection in mere milliseconds along its glass-like strands of fiber optic materials.

Even more importantly, our fiber delivers a direct, private line to your home. That direct connection ensures that all of your home’s available bandwidth is actually yours and not shared with anyone else—including your neighbors! That direct line to your door from our fiber network puts an end to peak-hour slowdowns altogether.

Plus, with speeds of up to 1 gig per second, fiber can provide everyone in your home with more than enough bandwidth to binge TV and movies, enjoy online gaming, video call with loved ones, and stream videos—even all at the same time!

When you’re ready to end peak hour slowdowns and upgrade to fiber, contact the friendly customer service representatives at FPUAnet Communications. Our knowledgeable agents and technical experts are here to explain in more detail how our fiber network can make all the difference in your internet service and answer any questions you may have about our plans.

And follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages to learn more about our advanced fiber network! 

Among Us: What Parents Need to Know

Among Us: What Parents Need to Know

Few parents can go more than a day without their kids talking about their favorite online games. Fortunately, there are many positive benefits to kids playing online video games in moderation, including improving problem solving skills and cultivating social cooperation. And many gamers (and their parents) believe that one particularly popular game does both quite well—Among Us.

One of the most popular games available today, Among Us is an online murder mystery game played by millions of people around the world. In today’s blog, we’ll give an overview of this game with a special focus on what parents need to know before deciding whether or not this game is right for their families.

The Background and Basics of Among Us

Set aboard a spaceship in outer space, Among Us is a “social deduction” game in which one team of players needs to bluff and deceive their competitors into thinking they are not “the bad guys” (and then eliminate those now-deceived competitors), while the “good guys” tackle each game’s tasks and/or eliminate the enemy first—if they can figure out who the enemy actually is before it’s too late!

To survive—and win—the “good guys” must use their deductive reasoning and shrewd reading of social cues to determine who is their true ally and who is their enemy. Conversely, the “bad guys” try to win by outwitting—and eradicating—the heroes through cleverness and outright deceit. 

Among Us is free to play on Android and iOS, though players will view ads on the app. To play the game on a laptop, a PC version costs $5.00.

At a minimum, four players are needed, and as many as 15 participants may play in any one game. Thus, your kid will either need to play with at least three other friends (or siblings) or play it in public mode with other people on the internet.

A Truly Global Phenomenon

First released in 2018, Among Us largely flew under the radar among gamers until the Covid-19 global pandemic sent most of the world inside and hunkered down in relative isolation. Perhaps the game’s considerable social emphasis was the cause of its explosive growth in popularity during the doldrum days of 2020.

Whatever the reason, there’s no doubting its massive worldwide following today! Even a few years after reaching its peak monthly player record, Among Us still regularly clocks in at over 45 million total monthly players.

Gameplay Overview of Among Us

In Among Us, players divide into two teams: “Crewmates” (the game’s heroes) and “Impostors” (the game’s villains). The two primary goals for the Crewmate team are to tackle and finish each game map’s tasks and begin to identify—and eliminate—the Imposters attempting to sabotage the Crewmate’s mission. As the game’s baddies, the Impostors' singular goal is simply to hunt down and kill all the Crewmates while “hiding in plain sight.”

The tricky part is that, on the surface at least, Crewmates and Imposters look exactly the same! Imposters don’t just run around rampantly like monsters in other games. Their sneaky, clever ways of infiltrating the Crewmates make these villains exceedingly hard to identify and capture.

If the Crewmates finish all their assigned tasks for a game’s particular map, or catch and eliminate all the Imposters before that happens, the Crewmates win. On the other hand, if the Imposters kill all the Crewmates first, the Imposters win.

Age Appropriateness and Parental Considerations of Among Us

Like with all other games (and just about everything else in parenting), the age-appropriateness for Among Us will vary based on the individual child and the discretion of the parent.

The Apple Store (for iPhones and iPads) rates the game suitable for ages 9+, while the Google Play Store (for Android-based devices) puts it at 10+. Some commentators, like Common Sense Media, suggest that Among Us is most appropriate for children aged 10 and older. 

Common Sense Media cites the Among Us theme (it is a murder mystery after all), some violence (though, as discussed below, this is relatively “cartoonish” in nature), and the deceptive elements all rising to a more mature level than other games younger children may play. 

Additionally, as with just about any game that includes in-game chatting, the chat feature can also get problematic, as some players employ foul language or even engage in occasional bullying during gameplay.

In terms of violence, it’s worth noting that the Imposters will hunt down and kill the Crewmates as part of Among Us’ game-winning goals. That said, the characters do not appear to be human. They’re almost jelly-bean-shaped, or sometimes likened to Teletubbies. Even the characters’ “deaths” are depicted as simply floating out into space (though some blood appears).

The Benefits of Among Us

Many children love Among Us simply because it’s fun. Fortunately for parents, it also teaches some valuable, real-life skills!

The game forces players to look below the surface, both for achieving the goals of each map, and more importantly for discerning who is an ally. Players cannot take anything at face value and must learn to think critically and practice deductive reasoning.

Among Us also provides opportunities to practice cooperation. Team building and collaborative communication are crucial elements of the game, just as they are in real life.

As with anything else, you’ll want to consider the maturity level of your own kids before letting them log on to play—but if you do, maybe join them for a game or two. You just might find a fun way to bond with them over a newly shared love for the game!

And with high-speed internet from FPUAnet Communications, you’ll have all the bandwidth you need to enjoy the game together—or to get some work done on your own devices while your kids play in the other room!

Call (772) 468-1697 today to ensure your household has the speed you need to enjoy your favorite games, work and learn remotely, and more. We’re honored to keep you connected!

Five Telehealth Services That Make Life Easier

Five Telehealth Services That Make Life Easier

Over the past few years, one of the most significant innovations impacting healthcare in America is the massive expansion of online telehealth services. And given the numerous benefits and conveniences telehealth has to offer, that trend shows no signs of slowing down! From increasing access to specialists to reducing the spread of germs among vulnerable populations, the advantages of telehealth are considerable.

Below we highlight five well-regarded telehealth services, all of which are accessible with FPUAnet Communications’ high-speed fiber internet. We also touch on the telehealth industry’s tremendous growth over the past few years. Whether you’re looking for a faster prescription medication refill or just needing professional advice on whether to take your child or loved one to a clinic for more urgent care, you’ll likely find that telehealth really does make life both easier and more efficient for you and your family!

Telehealth’s Enormous Expansion

Given the benefits discussed above, it’s no wonder that more and more patients are enjoying telehealth platforms. In 2022, about 25% of all patients took advantage of telehealth services. Compared to pre-2020 figures (i.e., pre-Covid), that represents a fivefold increase from just 5% usage by patients! And the convenience and advantages keep attracting new patients to telehealth, both in America and around the world.

Indeed, according to one study, overall global telehealth revenue in 2023 was estimated at a whopping $120.4 billion. That same study anticipated total revenue will reach $285.7 billion by 2028, a staggering figure representing over 23% growth in just five years.

Having considered the value of telehealth services and seen how incredibly fast the industry is growing, we now turn to our list of five telehealth platforms we can recommend.

1. Teladoc

Our first recommended telehealth service is also among the most comprehensive on our list: Teladoc. One of the original pioneers of telehealth in the early 2000’s, Teladoc provides a variety of health and medical needs at all hours, so you can reach out to Teladoc when you need their expertise no matter the time of the day (or night). Teladoc has been particularly recognized for its mental health services, so patients considering online therapy may want to check out its offerings.

2. Amwell

Another thorough and nearly complete telehealth service to consider is Amwell. Best known for its collaboration with the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, Amwell is also well-regarded for its Second Opinion Service. For patients seeking another expert or diagnostician to provide an opinion or prognosis after a previous diagnosis, Amwell might be a good option. Keep in mind, however, that Amwell and its additional services are on the pricier side, though they work with many kinds of insurance, as well. 

3. Doctor on Demand

Like Teladoc and Amwell, Doctor on Demand also offers access to physicians and medical professionals 24 hours a day seven days a week, making it easy to get appointments fairly fast. Doctor on Demand’s offerings tend to be somewhat more expensive than others, but its services are highly rated by users and are quite varied. Fun fact: One of the original founders of Doctor on Demand is the famous television personality Dr. Phil McGraw (“Dr. Phil”).

4. Sesame Care

The most budget-friendly option on our list is Sesame Care. With Sesame Care’s online visits costing as low as $29 each, patients looking for more affordable telehealth will want to check it out.  Sesame Care recently partnered with Costco, whose members receive even better pricing. Unlike the other telehealth services we recommend, Sesame Care does not employ an app to conduct consultations. Simply navigate to its website in a browser and follow the steps to book an appointment.

5. K Health

Our last recommended telehealth service is K Health, which is particularly useful for assessing and understanding your own symptoms. Utilizing the massive quantities of diagnostic and statistical data from many millions of other patients, K Health helps similarly situated patients determine when they may need more intensive health care interventions. Like the other services above, it also provides telehealth through appointments on its app and website.

The five telehealth services highlighted above provide both convenience and peace-of-mind to patients. Of course, a connection to a reliable high-speed internet service, like FPUAnet Communications’ fiber network, is essential.

Indeed, it’s not uncommon for doctors to decline to make a diagnosis if the video connection just isn’t clear enough to assess the patient’s condition and symptoms with confidence. Only fiber internet has both the necessary speeds and generous bandwidth to convey the large amounts of data—video, voice, test results, medical charts, etc.—telehealth consultations require, and without interruptions that impede a proper medical assessment.

In this way, fiber ensures distortion-free video conferencing and clear communication between patient and healthcare professionals no matter which telehealth service you choose. For a fiber internet connection, you and your family can rely on, FPUAnet Communications.

Don’t Lose to Lag: A Gamer’s Guide to Latency and Ping

Don’t Lose to Lag: A Gamer’s Guide to Latency and Ping

When you're in the midst of an intense match, every millisecond counts. But your lightning-fast reflexes don’t do much good if your internet connection can’t keep up! In today’s blog, we’re talking about the secret sauce for a flawless online gaming experience: low latency and ping.

(Spoiler alert: You’re about to discover why gamers in FPUAnet Communications prefer our fiber internet to power their fun!)

What Is Latency?

Let’s begin with some basic definitions, as both latency and ping are terms that are fairly technical. Latency and ping are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually separate (though related) concepts.

First, latency is the amount of time (measured in milliseconds, or “ms” for short) it takes for internet data and information (i.e., a “data packet”) to be sent back-and-forth from one designated point to another.

To put it in gaming terms, latency refers to the total time it takes anything a gamer “inputs” while playing a game on his or her device (and internet) to be received by the game’s server and returned back to the gamer’s device. In Fortnite, for example, that could be a “command” for a character to run in a particular direction or use a skill.

Those commands (or inputs) are sent from a player’s device and internet to Fortnite’s servers and then returned to the player’s home internet and device on the screen. What matters is just how fast that happens, and if there is any delay.

Low Latency (Good!) and High Latency (Bad!)

To reiterate, the measure of the time that round-trip of gaming data takes is called latency—and the shorter amount of time that trip takes, the better! Gamers need the response time of their own inputs and the game’s servers’ responses to those inputs in return to be as short as possible—even undetectable by the user.

This refers to “low latency,” which gamers (and other savvy internet users) value highly. The lower the latency, the faster the response time—and the better the experience for players. Typically, gamers will want latency to be 50ms or less. Ideally, however, 20ms or less is the sweet spot, with single digit latency being the “Holy Grail” for dedicated gamers.

On the other hand, “high latency,” which refers to longer, even delayed responses to a gamer’s inputs can be deeply frustrating and lead to dismal user experiences. Gamers will notice problems when latency exceeds 100ms (or to some particularly-discerning players, even when latency is higher than 50ms). Games will be practically unplayable when latency is higher than 200ms.

That’s why gamers must always consider an internet connection’s latency to optimize their play. And measuring that latency is where ping comes into play!

What Is Ping?

We now turn to ping, which can refer to two ideas in computing. But remember, it’s common to use the terms ping and latency interchangeably. So, first, in common parlance, ping can, like latency, refer to the delay of travel time of data being sent over an internet connection. (This is also sometimes called “lag.”)

Additionally, however, there is a second use of ping that is different but interrelated to latency. In that other context, ping also refers to a utility program on internet-connected devices that sends out a signal to measure the length of time it takes for a user’s device to hit (or “ping”) a server. 

You’ve probably heard that you should “test your ping.” Well, testing ping involves using that built-in utility to measure the response time and even diagnose any network connectivity problems. To keep things simple, ping is usually tested as part of a speed test to help you predict your latency during game-time.

We know these terms can sound redundant or even confusing. What’s important to remember, however, is that gamers will want low latency, low ping, and minimal lag for a better experience no matter what terms are used!

Why Gamers Need Fiber

Having explained these terms, we next turn to why fiber is simply the best technology for gamers to drastically minimize latency and ping.

Compared to older forms of internet like copper-wired coaxial cable, fiber’s advanced materials can send data over an internet connection at nearly the speed of light. That means that fiber’s speeds routinely hit or exceed 1 gig per second! And in general, the higher the download speed, the lower the latency.

But fiber’s exceptional download speeds are just the beginning. Fiber’s generous bandwidth also plays a role in improving latency and ping, as the greater the bandwidth capacity, the more information can be transmitted back-and-forth over an internet connection at any one moment. That allows more data to seamlessly transfer in fewer milliseconds, dramatically lowering latency and improving the response times gamers experience.

How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?

Use our internet speed calculator to get a personalized internet speed recommendation based on how you use the internet.

 

 

So if you’re ready to rid yourself of high latency and the delayed response times due to slower, inferior internet reach out to FPUAnet Communications today. Our knowledgeable agents can answer any questions you may have about our advanced fiber network and plans. And for more tips to optimize your gaming experience, follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages!

Fiber Internet Increases Home Values

Fiber Internet Increases Home Values

Move over kitchens and bathrooms–fiber has moved up on the must-have list for homebuyers. Now more than ever before, people want to work, learn, and access telehealth applications from home. Modern lifestyles require modern internet powered by a fiber network.

In fact, a 2023 study showed that fiber-delivered internet access could increase a home’s value by almost 5%. On average, U.S. consumers would require a 4.9% decrease in price for a non-fiber home, a 3.2% decrease for a non-fiber condo, and a 12.8% decrease for a non-fiber apartment.

What’s the Data Saying?

The Fiber Broadband Association’s (FBA) 2023 consumer research study highlights that fiber is no longer just a bonus–it’s a necessity. U.S. consumers rated high-quality broadband as the second most important amenity in a home, just after a laundry room.

Nearly two-thirds of all consumers consider fiber to be the best internet service delivery method in terms of speed and reliability.

Beyond that, there is an increasing body of research linking investment in broadband networks with accelerated economic performance. Communities with fast and reliable fiber networks often exhibit higher rates of per capita GDP.

Fast and Reliable Internet for Remote Workers

Not only is the Internet a prime source of communication and entertainment, but it’s also essential for the American white-collar workforce. With over 40% of Americans working remotely full-time or part-time as of June 2023, fast, secure, and reliable internet has become an invaluable asset.

Remote workers favor fiber internet because cable internet can be significantly slower and far less reliable than fiber.

Cable internet speeds typically range from 10-250 Mbps for downloads and 5-50 Mbps for uploads. Fiber internet, however, can provide 250-1,000 Mbps for both downloads and uploads—a critical benefit for those looking to use video conferencing tools at home.

The Future of Fiber

Even those who don’t work from home are more likely to want high-speed internet for telehealth applications than they were a few years ago. Five times more patients utilize telehealth services now than before the COVID-19 pandemic, and that number is expected to increase.

Thankfully, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) $42 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program is working to catch up to consumers’ needs. According to the FBA, the amount of fiber deployed over the next five years will nearly match the total amount of fiber that has been deployed throughout history.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, better broadband equals increased property values, more opportunities for remote work, and enhanced access to digital services like telehealth and streaming. And, of course, better opportunities yield innovation.

Increased access to fiber promotes job creation, upward mobility, entrepreneurship, expanding local businesses, and attracting new ones.

Fiber brings massive benefits to communities, so it’s no wonder fiber increases individual home values too! To learn more about fiber availability at your home, contact FPUAnet Communications today. We’d love to get you connected.

Five Reasons to Break Up with Your Current Internet Provider

Five Reasons to Break Up with Your Current Internet Provider

Sluggish speeds, data caps, hidden fees, and poor customer service? It’s not you, it’s them.

Today, we’re highlighting five signs you should break up with your current internet provider—and hook up with FPUAnet Communications’ high-speed fiber internet service instead!

Reason #1 Your Internet Just Doesn’t Have the Speed to Keep Up with You

If you’re like most people, you just can’t wait to binge your favorite series or keep up with live sports or current events. But if you’ve noticed your internet is just too sluggish to keep up with the content you love, then it’s time to show your current internet provider the door!

Older forms of internet like DSL and coaxial cable just don’t have the download speeds that fiber does because they’re literally using materials built for other uses. Cable was made to transmit television signals, while DSL was designed for voice service. Fiber optic cable, on the other hand, can transmit internet signal at nearly the speed of light!

Thus, fiber internet, like the kind delivered by FPUAnet Communications, is capable of extreme download speeds of greater than 1 gigabyte per second. Our internet can keep up with you and stream all the movies, TV shows, and live entertainment you could possibly want.

Reason #2 Your Internet’s Bandwidth Isn’t Giving You the Space You Need to Thrive

You might also find that your current internet provider isn’t giving you the “space” you need to live your best life—and in this case, we’re talking about bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to the quantity of data an internet connection can send to your devices per second. 

While internet speed is fairly self-explanatory and easy to understand, greater bandwidth is just as essential to a home’s internet service as speed. High bandwidth capacity is particularly vital in households with people who stream simultaneously on multiple smart TV’s, enjoy online gaming, or download (or upload) online videos.

Fiber’s cutting-edge materials and state-of-the-art networking make its bandwidth capacity considerably greater than cable and other forms of internet. Fiber’s generous bandwidth means that everyone in your household will have the space they need to do just about anything they want online without fighting over who’s using the internet at a given time.

Reason #3 You’re Done with Monthly Data Caps

If you’re tired of your internet company slowing down your internet with data caps each month, it’s time to dump them and switch to fiber.

You might be asking why your internet company caps your data in the first place. Well, they do so to keep from overloading their systems, which lack sufficient bandwidth to serve all their customers properly (because their technology just can’t cover it the way fiber can). Thus, these inferior internet technologies require providers to “cap” the amount of data each household uses each month.

Those data caps trigger dreaded slowdowns in internet quality, which can really annoy you when you’re trying to binge a series or watch a live sports event. And some companies will even charge extra fees for exceeding your data cap.

Because of fiber’s bandwidth capabilities, you’ll never need to worry about data caps! FPUAnet Communications’ advanced fiber network gives you and your family enough room to spread your wings online without the limitations of data caps or slowdowns cable and other older internet technologies usually require.

Reason #4 Trust Issues—Like Hiding Fees and Costs on Your Bill

Another reason to break up with your current internet provider relates to a crucial element of any relationship: trust and candor. Way too many big internet companies seem to slide hidden fees and costs into their bills to unsuspecting customers.

Initially, these may be surreptitious additions to your bill, often in small amounts. But those do mount up over time, taking a larger chunk out of your annual budget than you originally bargained for.

At FPUAnet Communications, we value being upfront and straightforward with you about our billing and services. We lay out all the costs and fees of our high-speed fiber internet, including any applicable taxes. Keeping trust and open lines of communication with you are top priorities for us, which we will keep throughout our relationship with you. 

Reason #5 Communications Problems—or You Just Can’t Ever Get Through to Them!

Our last reason to split with your current ISP concerns how hard it can be to get through to them! Calling technical assistance or account support to larger internet companies can try the patience of even the best of us. Indeed, with some ISPs, it can take dozens of minutes—or sometimes even hours—to connect to a real human being to help you address your problem.

One of the best ways to “test” your relationship with your current ISP is to call them and start a stopwatch (or use a stopwatch app on your smartphone) and time how long it takes to get in touch with a customer service representative. FPUAnet Communications prides itself on its efficient response time and the resourcefulness of our friendly, local staff. You can feel confident that you will reach us when you need us.

These are just five of the best reasons to cut ties with your current internet company and make the switch to fiber with FPUAnet Communications. To learn more about our fiber network and why it’s simply the best internet you can get, follow our social pages!

How to Prepare for (and Ace!) Your Next Virtual Job Interview

How to Prepare for (and Ace!) Your Next Virtual Job Interview

Virtual interviewing is becoming more and more common in today’s job market. While remote interviewing may be more convenient, the distance and technical difficulties can be awkward, or even jarring, to would-be applicants.  

Fortunately, there are tips from interviewing experts that prospective job seekers can use to get through—and even nail—a virtual job interview. We share some of their key insights and recommendations below.

The Interview Environment: Organize and Professionalize Your Space

You already know you should “dress for success” and make sure that you look your polished best for an interview. But when you’re interviewing from your home, the interview space and background could be distracting, even off-putting, to potential employers. Take the time to make your space look its best, too.

Clean and Declutter: This seems obvious, but make sure you take the time to de-clutter your surroundings, whether it is your bedroom or home office desk. Show your would-be bosses that you quite literally have it together at home, which will make a better impression of being grounded and composed.

Lighting: Proper lighting is a detail too often overlooked. Be sure to “light yourself” from the front, and not from the back! The latter can create a rather eerie, even sinister visage. Where possible, aim for “cool light,” which is whiter in color, rather than “warm light,” which is yellower. These seemingly small details help put your best foot forward.

Interviewing Skills and Tips

There are countless tips on interviewing available online, but we share a few below that are particularly relevant to remote interviewing.

Keep Any Notes Short and (Mostly) Out of the Way

Like in any interview, try to not over-rely on notes. It is easy to get flustered and lose your place in notes, so keep them sparse and well-organized. Index cards placed outside the viewing area may be especially helpful, with key information and points printed largely and visible to you, but out of sight from the interviewers. 

Keep Eye Contact—And Look Into the Camera, Not at Your “Mirrored Image”

Another common mistake is the awkward “stare” that people make when they forget to look into the camera, and instead watch their own reflected image while using the app. You will look less engaged, and even odd, at least compared to applicants that remembered to look “correctly” at the camera.

Watch Your Speaking Pace

Avoid speaking too quickly, a common giveaway of nervousness. Practice and rehearse answers to likely questions, and time how quickly you are speaking.

An Interview is a Conversation

Ultimately, an interview is just another conversation. A back-and-forth discussion makes for a much better interview, so be sure to have researched the job thoroughly and come prepared with questions. Look engaged when the interviewer is speaking by maintaining eye contact (see above about looking into the webcam!) and nodding your head occasionally. Don’t miss an opportunity to add something of value to what the interviewer says.  

Get Internet You Can Rely On

One last tip: Make sure you have high-speed internet with fast download and upload speeds that you can rely on for a steady connection throughout your interview. (Adequate upload speeds ensure your video is clear for the interviewer on the other side of the virtual table.)

With the internet from FPUAnet Communications, you can video call without fear of a dropped connection or glitchy experience, so you can tackle your interview with confidence.

Parental Settings for Smart TVs

Parental Settings for Smart TVs

If you’re like most parents, you may feel frustrated when something as innocent and simple as turning on your smart TV can display gory images from ads for horror movies or suggestions for suggestive—or even outright raunchy—content on the home screen before you even navigate to your preferred apps and platforms.

While parental controls within streaming platforms don’t kick in until you open their apps, there is good news: Many smart TVs have parental control options and settings built right into their operating systems.

Below we discuss some of the settings parents can make on many of the most popular brands of smart TVs. Combining these parental controls on smart TVs with in-app settings enhances protection—and gives peace of mind to parents as they and their families enjoy FPUAnet Communications’ high-speed fiber internet and pristine streaming quality!

Smart TVs With Parental Control Settings

We begin with popular smart TVs that have parental control settings: LG and Samsung, as well as Google TV, which is preinstalled on many well-known smart TV brands such as Sony. Many other brands, including Fire TV, offer similar parental controls (and similar ways of establishing them), so we present these brands as models for exploring your options. 

In general, you can search for safety, security and parental controls in the Settings Menu of any of the models below. Some brands include more features than others, so check each of them out carefully before buying a new model.

LG Smart TV’s

Most LG smart TVs made over the last several years have a few key features to help parents feel more comfortable about letting their children use their television. Specifically, parents can lock channels out entirely, block visual and sound content of certain channels, block programming with certain TV content ratings, and even block access to particular apps. LG also lets parents block inputs to other devices as well, giving an extra layer of protection against “workarounds” a clever child may attempt.

LG uses the most common way smart TVs enable parental controls: the establishment of a PIN and passwords. Parents simply need to set up a PIN to create and manage the protections—and make sure they don’t share that PIN or password with their child! Though it’s probably obvious, be sure to choose a PIN or password that your child isn’t already aware of or cannot easily guess.

Set up is easy: simply navigate to the Settings symbol on the Menu, then click on System Settings, then to Safety Settings, and establish the password or PIN. From there, you can block channels or apps or block out content based on content ratings.

Google TV (Preinstalled on many Sony, TCL, and Hisense Smart TV models)

Next on our list is the increasingly popular Google TV, an operating system that is preferred by many customers for its easy integration within the Google ecosystem of apps and smart home devices, like Google Nest. You can find Google TV on many brands of popular smart TVs, including Hisense, Sony, and TCL, and on some Chromecast models.

Google TV has an option many parents will immediately appreciate: the ability to establish Restricted Profiles. Through Google TV’s Restricted Profiles, you can set content restrictions and limit what younger members of your family can watch when on their profile.

The only “downside” to Google TV’s approach is that parents (or any older viewer) need to remember to set the TV back to “Restricted Profiles” whenever the parent’s “unrestricted” use is complete. That way, when your children turn on the TV, they will immediately be in the Restricted Profile, with all the protections and limitations you previously established for their profile.

Samsung TV

Lastly, we consider Samsung, another popular smart TV. Like the LG smart TV discussed above, Samsung also lets parents set up a PIN or password to block channels or limit content to particular ratings.

Just follow these simple steps: First, head to your Menu and go to Settings. From there select Broadcasting, and then choose Program Rating Lock Settings. Next, create your PIN. Finally, choose your settings and limitations.

Other Parental Protections to Consider

Beyond setting up parental controls, PINs, restricted profiles, and other limitations and protections within a smart TV, parents should also remember that there are other steps they can take as well. Most apps, like Netflix, have built-in parental settings, including user profiles. These profiles can be set to filter content that is less than kid-appropriate, while still allowing other users to stream what they want in their own PIN-protected profile.

Additionally, streaming sticks and boxes also have parental control settings and options, beyond just the individual apps. Recall that streaming sticks and boxes can turn any TV with an HDMI connection into a smart TV. Roku and Apple TV are two ever-popular streaming devices, and both have settings and restrictions parents can implement.

By employing these recommendations, parents can breathe a bit more easily as they stream on FPUAnet Communications’ advanced fiber network. For more tips on staying safe online, follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages!

Five Tips for Scoring an Esports Scholarship

Five Tips for Scoring an Esports Scholarship

Though many parents may be skeptical about their teen’s passion for video gaming (and the seemingly extensive number of hours they play them), they might be surprised—and even impressed—by the economic opportunities brought about by gaming, especially in competitive esports. Perhaps the most eye-popping impressive statistic parents and their college-bound kids should be aware of is the tremendous amount of esports scholarships available for college: $16 million according to the most recent data!

Below, we provide several tips for gamers who want to take their hobby to the next level and help them pay for their college education through esports.

When combined with their skills and many hours of playing on FPUAnet Communications’ advanced fiber network—the fastest, most reliable internet a gamer can utilize—these tips may help students outperform the competition and get a well-merited scholarship for their future.

Tip 1: Join a Gaming Club and/or Compete for a Spot on a High School Esports Team

If possible, join a gaming club and/or compete for a spot on a high school esports team. Joining a gaming club or playing on a high school esports team puts you in direct contact with players you’re not used to playing against, which are probably your friends and other family members. Those players already know your abilities and weaknesses—and you know theirs.

Thus, to truly get ahead, you need to start playing against different people, and in a more competitive arena. Joining a gaming club can start you on the road to more competitive play, improved tactics and skills, and college-level esports.

Similarly, high school gaming teams provide an environment comparable to competitive esports at the collegiate and professional levels. They also teach additional gaming skills and techniques you might not be well versed in, introduce you to other games you haven’t yet mastered, and give you actual tournament experience—all the factors, in short, that collegiate teams are looking for and that improve your chances of achieving an esports scholarship.

Tip 2: Record Your Gaming Sessions

As you continue to hone your gaming skills and gain more experience playing competitively, we recommend you record your gameplay. It’s simple to do and there are many apps available to create recordings of your games, so check out their features and make a few practice recordings.

Recording your gaming sessions lets you see your progress—and learn from your own mistakes. It also allows you to “show off” your skills and achievements to others and gain feedback from them, too. Even more importantly, esports recruiters, especially coaches, will want to see examples of your esports play (see Tips 3 and 4, below).

Tip 3: Create an Esports “Highlight Reel”

Having tested your mettle in a gaming club or on a team, and recorded and reviewed your sessions to improve your gameplay, consider creating a highlight reel of your best gaming experiences. This is similar to what other high school athletes in other sports like football and basketball do. It takes some time to learn to edit and splice a highlight reel, but it’s a useful skill for self-marketing—and for other areas of life, too.

But don’t just think of a highlight reel as a braggadocious ego trip. An esports highlight reel can be used to pique the attention of esports recruiters and coaches, who are always scoping out rising talent and who need a quick pitch that stands out from the rest of the pack.

Tip 4: Reach Out to College Esports Coaches

Dedicated esports players should attempt to contact esports coaches as early as they can during their college search and application process—preferably even before the application and scholarship process begins, if possible. While esports coaches and recruiters follow Twitch and similar esports platforms to find and assess players, would-be esports scholarship winners should take the initiative and reach out directly to coaches.

Putting yourself on an esports coach’s radar early—and continuing to share progress, achievements and wins with them through your highlight reels—can have an enormous impact on scholarship success. Be confident and assertive in your communications with coaches, but don’t overdo it, either. Striking the right balance between self-confidence and humility is also key, so be mindful of your approach.

Tip 5: Think Beyond the Game

Finally, remember that most colleges aren't just looking to train professional gamers. Indeed, many colleges award esports scholarships to gamers with tangential interests like video production, coding and programming, graphics design, and marketing.

Resourceful applicants should highlight these gaming-related interests and any experience they may have in them in their college and scholarship applications and essays. These additional interests and experiences help candidates stand out—and may just be the decisive factor.

By joining up with other gamers you don’t usually play against, competing on high school teams, improving your gameplay, and showing off your talents online and to coaches, you’re well on your way to winning an esports scholarship. Above all, stay positive, keep challenging yourself, and keep playing!

With FPUAnet Communications’ fast fiber network, you’ve got the speeds and the bandwidth to handle just about any game. And with any luck—and some hard work—all that distortion-free gameplay may pay off in the form of a generous esports scholarship, too! 

Follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages to keep up with esports and to learn more about online gaming. Feel free to reach out to our friendly experts if you’re interested in an upgrade to make your gaming experience even better!

FPUAnet Communications Launches Fiber Internet in Lincoln Park

FPUAnet Communications Launches Fiber Internet in Lincoln Park

Fiber internet is the fastest and most reliable internet technology available

Fort Pierce, Florida – November 16, 2023 – FPUAnet Communications, a division of the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA), is pleased to announce the launch of fiber internet service in the Lincoln Park area of Fort Pierce.

Fiber internet is the fastest and most reliable internet technology available, and it will provide Lincoln Park residents and businesses with the speeds and bandwidth they need to thrive in the digital age.

“We are excited to bring fiber internet to Lincoln Park,” said Jason Mittler, FPUAnet manager.

“Fiber internet will provide Lincoln Park residents and businesses with the speeds and bandwidth they need to work, learn, and engage online. It will also help to attract new businesses and residents to the area, and support economic development.”

FPUAnet is offering a variety of fiber internet plans to Lincoln Park residents, with speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).

Fiber internet is symmetrical, which means that upload and download speeds are the same, making it ideal for activities such as video conferencing, streaming high-definition video, and school work.

FPUAnet would like to thank the following partners for their support in making this launch possible:

  • Allegany Franciscan Ministries
  • The City of Fort Pierce
  • St. Lucie County

“We are grateful for the support of our partners on helping to bridge the digital divide; bringing fiber internet to Lincoln Park,” said Mittler.

“This launch is a testament to our commitment to providing the Lincoln Park community with the best possible internet service.”

The service will be available to Lincoln Park residential customers for as low as $1 per month if they also qualify for the federally funded Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

This rate is made possible through a combination of discounts provided by the ACP, Alleghany Franciscan Ministries, St. Lucie County, and the City of Fort Pierce.

“We want to make fiber internet accessible to everyone in Lincoln Park,” said Mittler. “Our partnerships along with the ACP offer is a great way for residents to experience the benefits of fiber internet at an affordable price.”

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About FPUAnet Communications: FPUAnet Communications is a division of the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) that provides high-speed fiber optic internet service to residents, businesses and institutions in Fort Pierce and surrounding areas. FPUAnet is committed to providing its customers with the fastest, most reliable, and most affordable internet service possible. Additional information is available at https://fpuanet.com/.

About FPUA: Fort Pierce Utilities Authority is a municipal, not-for-profit utility provider. FPUA’s mission is to provide our customers with economical, reliable, and friendly service in a continuous effort to enhance the quality of life in our community. Fort Pierce is one of more than 2,000 communities in the United States served by a community-owned electric utility, and one of very few who also provide water, wastewater, natural gas, and Internet services. Public utility systems are owned by the people they serve. All benefits from our locally controlled utility remain right here in the community. Additional information is available at www.fpua.com.

Esports Scholarships: What You Need to Know 

Esports Scholarships: What You Need to Know 

If you have a gamer in your life, whether it’s your own kid or a family friend’s child, you likely know how much video gaming is integrated into their lives. But even beyond the meteoric success and outright appeal of video gaming to young people (and even many not-so-young people), gaming now provides tangible benefits to serious players: competitive esports and esports college scholarships.

Parents of college-bound gamers might want to pay attention below, as we discuss college-level esports and the burgeoning ecosystem of esports scholarships. And don’t forget that the high-speed fiber internet delivered to smart TVs and gaming devices by FPUAnet Communications may just give the budding esports scholar in your life the edge he or she needs to own the competition!

Varsity Esports Are Exploding Across Colleges and Universities    

Following the 2010s and the exponential growth of video gaming and esports, it’s obvious now that collegiate esports are truly taking off as a legitimate competitive endeavor. This explosive growth is mostly due to advancing internet technology like FPUAnet Communications’ fiber network and apps that make gaming more social and more competitive, as well as increased talent among players. Indeed today, there are approximately 500 American colleges and universities offering esports scholarships.

Every year, more and more colleges and universities across the United States add varsity esports programs to their rosters. And yes, we did say “varsity”—as in intercollegiate competition, not just a club or diversionary dorm room duel. Robert Morris University was the very first college to create a varsity esports team back in 2014—and the trend has only ballooned since then. 

At the varsity and college level, schools typically create individual teams of players around particular games. This gives gamers the opportunity to advance and even excel at strategies and tactics suited to the complexities and skill needs of that title, enhancing the competitiveness of each game and of esports more generally.

Beyond enormously popular and well-known titles like Fortnite (played by untold millions of people around the world both casually and competitively), several other titles are most commonly played at varsity level esports in colleges and universities in North America. In particular, Call of Duty, League of Legends, Rocket League, Smash Bros, and Valorant are among the most frequently duked-out games in collegiate esports.

Other games are also increasingly popular, however. Overwatch is noted for its hero customization and intense fighting, requiring stout players and almost preternatural reaction skills to succeed. Additionally, Rainbow Six: Siege and its almost alchemical blend of gaming genres like strategy and tactical shooting has attracted legions of players to the game based around Tom Clancy’s novels. Both games are fielding more varsity teams and are increasingly seen at college-level esports tournaments.

Collegiate Esports Give Rise to Generous Scholarship Opportunities

Because there are actual competitions and bragging rights to be bandied about, colleges are also competing for the best talent in esports. Thus, more schools are also providing scholarships for their best esports players. That means real dollars are increasingly available that the top gamers can put toward the costs of their higher education. Indeed, in 2017, Harrisburg University became the first college to offer full-rides to its leading esports competitors, including room and board!

Already, an estimated $16 million in college scholarships exist just for esports players—not a small sum for a sport that barely existed only a decade ago. And as collegiate esports continue to rise, we can expect more schools to establish varsity programs, as well as expand their existing esports teams, too.

All this burgeoning esports growth at the college level means that more scholarships—and even larger dollar amounts—are likely to be dedicated to esports gamers. Hence, for the truly talented and committed gamer, esports should be taken seriously, and gamers should consider taking steps to make themselves more competitive for esports scholarship opportunities.

The Esports Gender Divide

Despite the stunning growth in collegiate varsity esports, we hasten to note an important issue inside the gaming and esports community—the gender divide. Though females make up almost 50% of all video gamers (49% to be precise, according to one 2023 analysis), statistics show that men receive 90% of esports scholarships.

With patently lopsided statistics like that, the divide has not gone unnoticed. Arguments abound for this staggering disparity, but at least one likely reason for the imbalance is that most of the games more typically played by female gamers are less likely to be the games that comprise competitive varsity esports in colleges.

With that in mind, however, savvy female gamers with a keen interest in esports games that are played at the varsity collegiate level may want to be particularly on the lookout for scholarship opportunities that have too frequently landed in the hands of their male counterparts. Their unique backgrounds and talents may help give young women an edge over their compatriots in the coming years—and also help broaden and improve the sport as well.

To stay on top of the ever-changing and always-exciting esports scene, follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages. We’re confident that our high-speed fiber internet can improve any gamer’s experience and perhaps even help prepare them for competitive esports and the worlds of opportunity they open!

Where to Stream Football This Season (2023-24)

Where to Stream Football This Season (2023-24)

With the heat of summer waning and autumn’s crisper air approaching, it’s time for another much-awaited season of the year: football season! And with significant changes and moves among college football team conferences, and major newly-signed players joining the ranks of the NFL, the 2023 football season looks to be one of the most impressive in recent memory.

But in addition to the moving and shaking occurring in the sport itself, many football fans are perplexed—or even frustrated—by some other changes in the way they enjoy their game: the recent shake-ups in broadcasting of live football games. Indeed, many fans are worried that they won’t be able to follow their favorite teams or catch the best games of the week.

Fortunately, with the advanced fiber network of FPUAnet Communications, you can find and stream college and NFL football games live—and with a sharp and pristine picture, too! Below we discuss where you can stream both college and NFL football this season. We’ll walk you through all you need to know so you can keep up with your favorite teams and enjoy all the action!

Streaming College Football

College football fans face no shortage of outstanding face-offs this season. While the traditional networks—ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC—air many marquee matchups, you’re going to need additional providers to get the most out of this year’s college football gameplay. At first glance, finding channels for college football can seem downright byzantine!

Some networks have special deals with individual conferences and schools for many of the year’s prime showdowns, including Fox (Big Ten), CBS (SEC), and NBC (perennial broadcasting home to Notre Dame football). However, it’s ESPN and its affiliated channels that provide the most coverage of college football.

That means it’s critical to have access to ESPN2 and ESPNU as well as to ESPN (and the networks). For even more college games, you’ll also want to check out CBS Sports Network and FOX Sports 1 (FS1), as well. Beyond these options, don’t forget about channels devoted to specific college football conferences, including the Big Ten and SEC, which also have their own networks, as do the ACC and PAC-12.

But you don’t need a cable cord to enjoy it all, thanks to high-speed fiber internet from FPUAnet Communications! For cord-cutters and streamers wishing to capture as many of these channels as possible, selecting a live-streaming TV app is your best first step.

For starters, Hulu + Live TV is an outstanding option for a few reasons, including its deal with Disney and ESPN. You'll get streaming access to all the college football games available on ESPN's channels plus most live network channels too.

Many fans also rave about fuboTV, a streaming service originally tailor-made for sports that brings you a ton of college football every week. And Sling TV's Orange + Blue package includes a suite of channels for many games, as well. You'll want to make sure that the teams and conferences you care most about are covered by the streaming apps and channels in any of these three options, but for most fans, any of them will suit.

NFL Football Streaming Options

For pro football fans, there are also a wide range of ways to watch your preferred team—while also keeping an eye on rivals, too! Like with college football, networks like CBS and Fox cover AFC and NFC games on Sundays. However, viewers are subject to local market games (and potential blackouts, as well), severely curtailing their options.

Fortunately, streaming technology and high-speed internet like FPUAnet Communications’ fiber network have opened a whole new way to follow the entire season without the drag of cable subscriptions! Indeed, NFL fans have several options (and price points) that may suit their professional football preferences perfectly.

Let’s begin with the big kahuna in live football streaming today: NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV.  Though expensive, NFL diehards will find it indispensable, as you can watch just about any NFL game you want. And yes—that means you can follow your favorite team (and its arch-nemesis to boot) whether you are in that team’s broadcasting market or not! Or if your team is just not cutting it on any given Sunday, you can use NFL Sunday Ticket to easily flip to another game in progress. It’s a phenomenal way to keep track of the NFL this year.

Of course, not everyone needs the breadth of NFL football coverage that YouTube TV’s NFL Sunday Ticket provides. Even with Sunday Ticket, to enjoy every NFL game this year, you’ll still need access to other streaming football apps and channels, including Prime Video’s streaming-exclusive Thursday Night Football. And don’t forget that the NFL action on Sunday doesn’t end with the afternoon games. You can catch Sunday Night Football on NBC’s streaming app, Peacock, too, making your day of rest (and football!) complete.

Like with college football, you’ll want to have a live-streaming TV app for even basic viewing. The previously lauded YouTube TV is one option, as are Fubo and Sling TV's Orange + Blue package. And again, Hulu + Live TV and its ESPN connections are another superior choice, particularly with its easy access to Monday Night Football.

We hope our guide to streaming college and professional football will help you better navigate the sometimes-tangled web of options available today. For more tips on making the most of FPUAnet Communications’ high-speed fiber network, follow our social pages!

What the Recent Spectrum/Disney Debacle Means for You

What the Recent Spectrum/Disney Debacle Means for You

In early September 2023, millions of Spectrum customers turned on their TVs and discovered that some channels, including ABC and ESPN, were suddenly missing from their television lineup.

The reason for the blackout? A contract dispute between two giants in the entertainment and communications industries: Disney and Spectrum.

Though the quarreling has abated, and the blackout is now over, millions of viewers remain uneasy about the dispute and its impact on their lives—especially football fans, some of whom lost ESPN access right in the middle of watching a game! And many are wondering what, if anything, they can do to give themselves more agency to prevent such a dispute from disrupting their lives.

Below we briefly explain the dispute between Disney and Spectrum. We also discuss how switching to streaming television by utilizing FPUAnet Communications’ high-speed fiber network can help viewers avoid losing their favorite shows in the next corporate clash.

The Combatants: Spectrum vs. Disney

Let’s begin with the players in the dispute. Spectrum, owned by Charter Communications, is one of the biggest cable television providers in America.

Disney, which controls far more than just Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and a host of other beloved Disney characters, is a media powerhouse. The brand owns ABC and ESPN, as well as FX and many other television channels. That means Disney is ultimately responsible for some of the biggest, most profitable brands and titles in all of entertainment and sports, including Monday Night Football.

And when the two couldn’t come to an agreement on their contract, it looked like no one would win—especially television viewers.  

What Caused the Disney-Spectrum Dispute?

Contract negotiations are usually dull affairs, even when the stakes are high. But the Disney-Spectrum dispute was different, and not just because millions of people lost their content. At the heart of the dispute is what every cable provider must pay annually to provide their customers with channels: carriage fees.

Carriage fees are paid by cable companies to the content producers—in this case, Disney, and its ABC, ESPN, FX, National Geographic and other affiliates. Disney was demanding a higher carriage fee than Spectrum was willing to pay.

When neither company was willing to bend, Spectrum lost the ability to bring those channels to its customers, leading to a blackout for customers across 41 states.

The outrage was immediate, as viewers and fans realized they were blocked out of content they’d been waiting for all year, especially major sports events and tournaments. “College football season is just starting—where are the games?”  “What happened to the U.S. Open?” “What about Monday Night Football?”

And the anger wasn’t just limited to living rooms at home. Sports bars and other restaurants contended with furious customers, who had planned to watch marquee matchups live and amongst a lively crowd, just as they always had, before realizing they couldn’t, thanks to the corporate squabbling. 

In the end, after more than 10 days, the two sides had a “meeting of the minds,” and settled their dispute. ABC, ESPN, FX, National Geographic, and the other Disney-owned channels returned to Spectrum cable channel lineups. But cable viewers have not forgotten. And cable may not be quite the same again.

The Rise of Streaming

The ten-day blackout may be over, but the core issue extends beyond just these two companies and their dispute. With the rise of streaming TV platforms and services, which give more power to consumers to choose the kinds of content they actually want to pay for and view, cable companies and their longstanding tradition of “channel bundling” are facing a reckoning.

Cable’s channel bundling and its inherent inefficiencies are symptomatic of a broader problem in the cable television industry. These days, cable packages are just too bloated—and too expensive—for most customers. And those customers now have the option to stream TV, which gives them much more control over their content choices and their home entertainment budget at the same time.

Understanding, that customers are jumping ship and leaving cable behind. Indeed, according to some market analysts, five million people end their cable subscriptions every year as they make the switch to streaming services.

Streaming Gives Consumers More Control

One popular misunderstanding is that cutting the cord means you’ll only have access to on-demand content (like Netflix). But streaming actually allows you to subscribe to services that give you just about any television content you want—including live TV.

That means you can enjoy live sports action, breaking news and analysis, network comedies, prestige dramas, documentaries, lifestyle-themed shows, and almost everything else you liked with cable. And you’re far less dependent on the whims and market maneuverings of a massive company and its team of legal eagles to make decisions that cut you off from your favorite programming.

If nothing else, the Disney-Spectrum debacle should remind consumers of two radically different but interconnected realities: their utter powerlessness in carriage fee disputes as a cable customer, and their power to bypass those shenanigans through the freedom of streaming TV.

And with the reliability and pristine picture quality fiber internet from FPUAnet Communications delivers, consumers can feel in control of their home entertainment once they cut the cable cord and switch to streaming.

Keep following FPUAnet Communications’ social pages to stay on top of more streaming entertainment news!

Eight Real-Life Ways Fiber Internet Makes a Difference

Eight Real-Life Ways Fiber Internet Makes a Difference

Just about any of our customers who have already made the switch from older forms of internet (like cable) to fiber broadband will tell you that fiber’s advanced technology is vastly superior to anything else they’ve used.

From downloading files at near-lightspeed, to voluminous amounts of available bandwidth for handling multiple applications simultaneously, to more reliable material components that provide pristine streaming TV and movie experiences, fiber is simply heads-and-shoulders above cable, DSL, and satellite internet.

But those are just technical specs—and that doesn’t tell even half the story! Fiber internet, like the kind delivered by FPUAnet Communications, can genuinely enhance your quality of life in a myriad of ways, including the following eight use cases we’re proud to support in Fort Pierce.

1. Telehealth Expedites Critical Health Interventions

We begin with everyone’s top priority—keeping their family healthy. And the internet now plays a significant role in delivering healthcare to millions. Telehealth, which allows physicians and other medical professionals to provide initial consultations (and other healthcare) from a patient’s home, has expanded massively in recent years.

Telehealth helps doctors and patients assess when more urgent in-person care is needed (and when it’s not). Prescriptions can get filled faster with telehealth, and consultations over the internet can even assist in properly applying first aid to injuries.

Telehealth consultations can be performed quickly and reliably thanks to fiber’s bounty of bandwidth, which lets audio and video data transfer between doctor and patient seamlessly. Many doctors won’t make a diagnosis when a poor internet connection causes choppy video calls, but that’s not a problem when the patient has fiber!

2. Remote Work Improves Convenience and Productivity

While remote work isn’t for everyone, it can be life-changing for caregivers who need a little more flexibility. Plus, while avoiding the hassles of commutes and traffic delays, remote workers also save money on gasoline and reduce their carbon footprint.

While many workers and employers decide to go fully remote, even partial remote work flexibility can be a blessing. But it takes a particularly robust internet connection to facilitate remote work (especially video conferencing), which isn’t always supported by inferior connections like satellite.

Fiber's symmetrical downloads and uploads let workers send and receive large files and transmit data during long meetings and conferences, making a remote staff member genuinely feel part of the team!

3. Distance Education Allows Students to Gain Skills and Get Ahead

Access to higher education is more attainable than ever, thanks to the multitude of online distance learning opportunities available through colleges and universities around the country.

From undergraduate and graduate degrees to technical certifications, the internet puts education within reach for many who thought it was impossible or beyond their means while helping them achieve the skills necessary to meet their career goals.

Fiber internet’s enormous bandwidth facilitates reliable distance learning and even genuine classroom experiences. It allows students and professors to share large files like presentations or lectures in real-time and enables video conferencing to foster learning and growth, including one-on-one student-faculty interactions—all without sweating frequent distortions or outages that frustrate students on older internet technologies.

4. Lifelong Learning Keeps the Mind Active and Engaged

Beyond bringing official degree and certificate programs to students, fiber internet also facilitates a less formal but still highly valued form of education: lifelong learning. Lifelong learning provides opportunities for the curious to understand their world—and even the universe—well after college ends.

Several companies and major universities, such as Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses), edX, Harvard, and Yale have developed extensive online course offerings. You can find classes from prestigious professors spanning topics like ancient Greek history, Renaissance art, classical music, modern astronomy, and more.

And many courses are available free of charge! Through fiber’s near-lightspeed downloading, these courses can be streamed and enjoyed right from your home.

5. Virtual Reality Lets You Explore the World from Home

Fiber’s hefty bandwidth and vigorous download speeds also brings the wonder of Virtual Reality to your home—and with it, the travel experiences many have only dreamed about! Unlike traditional forms of entertainment, VR’s wonderous technology envelopes a user in multiple dimensions of visual and sound effects.

VR—through fiber internet—makes viewers literally feel like they’re wherever VR is showing them, whether it’s a tour of the Grand Canyon or an Amazon rainforest, an astronaut’s view from outer space, or a sonorous symphony hall.

Fiber’s speed and bandwidth combined with VR technology allows you to explore Paris’ Louvre Museum one day, and the Colosseum in Rome the next without ever leaving your living room!

6. Smart Homes Save Energy, Time, and Money

Fiber internet and its spectacular speeds and enormous bandwidth capacities make it possible to power a genuine smart home—a place brimming with tech and devices to cut energy usage and costs and make life better and more efficient.

From smart refrigerators that let you know when it’s time to get a new gallon of milk, to smart lighting that cuts off when you leave home, to smart speakers playing music (or soundscapes) throughout every room, smart home technology can turn your dwelling into the home of your dreams.

Remember that fiber can keep these devices and smart home features running smoothly, while still letting you stream TV and movies, upload videos, and enjoy everything else about your internet. Unlike other forms of internet, with fiber, you’re not forced to choose which online activity to sacrifice at any given time!

7. Smart Home Security Makes for Safer Homes and Neighborhoods

One smart home feature everyone should take advantage of is improved real-time safety and security delivered by smart lighting, smart cameras, smart doorbells, and related tech. Fiber-powered devices can monitor your home for security threats at all times, whether you’re tucked in your own bed upstairs or thousands of miles away on vacation.

Additionally, outdoor smart lighting and doorbell systems help make your neighborhood safer too, deterring “porch pirates” and other crime. Fiber has the power to keep these crucial smart home safety and security systems running strong while still allowing you to stay productive and engaged in other online activities simultaneously.

8. Video Calling Keeps You Connected Face-to-Face

Lastly, fiber’s impressive speeds and incredible bandwidth make video calling crystal clear and convenient. Grandparents can easily have face-to-face conversations with their grandchildren, and both sides of the call can see faces as well as hear voices.

Video calling is simply a much more intimate way to stay in touch than by phoning or emailing. Fiber enables this improved communication without the distortions and interruptions that plague other types of internet.

The eight examples above are just a small sample of the way fiber internet’s innovative technology enhances your life. From practical matters like health, work, and security, to broadening your worldview and sharing knowledge and world cultures, fiber can improve your well-being, inspire your mind, and uplift you.

To learn additional ways that FPUAnet Communications' fiber can make a real difference in your life, follow our social pages!

FPUAnet Communications Launches Fiber Internet in Lincoln Park

FPUAnet Fiber Internet Reaches 1,500 Parcels in Fort Pierce, and Growing

Fort Pierce, Florida – September 27, 2023 – FPUAnet Communications, a division of Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA), is pleased to announce that it has expanded its fiber internet service to over 1,500 parcels in Fort Pierce. This progress represents FPUA’s commitment to bringing affordable, high-speed internet options to Fort Pierce – freeing up customers to choose their internet provider based on what’s important to them.

Fiber-to-the-parcel internet is the fastest and most advanced, reliable internet technology available, and FPUAnet now reaches over 1,500 parcels, covering both residential and commercial customers, in Fort Pierce. “As a municipal service provider, we are owned by the customers we serve, and are fully committed to providing our customers with the best possible service,” said Jason Mittler, Manager of FPUAnet Communications. “We are proudly offering fiber internet at affordable prices and with no data caps or overage fees, so that everyone in Fort Pierce can enjoy the benefits of this amazing technology.”

Fiber offers a number of advantages over traditional copper-based internet, including:

  • Faster speeds: Fiber internet can deliver speeds of up to 1 Gbps, which is significantly faster than traditional copper-based internet.
  • More reliable service: Fiber internet is less susceptible to outages and slowdowns than traditional copper-based internet.
  • Lower latency: Fiber internet has lower latency, which means that there is less delay between sending and receiving data. This is important for activities such as online gaming and video streaming.

Fiber internet is also more scalable than traditional copper-based internet, which means that it can easily handle the increasing demands of internet usage, an important benefit while Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County are growing rapidly.

FPUAnet Communications offers fiber internet plans starting at $49 per month for residential customers and $99 per month for commercial customers. All fiber internet plans include speeds of at least 100 Mbps, with speeds up to 1 Gbps available. FPUAnet also offers enterprise services with speeds up to 10 Gbps.

Crowdfiber build-out may be available where neighborhoods are most interested in receiving fiber internet. Visit www.FPUAnet.com to input your home or business address. The website will indicate whether fiber is already available, or it will let FPUAnet associates know that you are interested in receiving fiber. Larger numbers of interest can help FPUAnet determine where to prioritize build-out, allowing us to best serve you.

“Fiber internet is essential for economic development and job creation,” said Mittler. “We are committed to working with the Fort Pierce community to build a brighter future for all.”

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About FPUAnet: FPUAnet, a division of Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA), is committed to providing cutting-edge telecommunication services to the residents and businesses of Fort Pierce, FL. With a focus on delivering reliable, high-speed internet connections, FPUAnet is dedicated to supporting the region's growth and technological advancement. Additional information is available at www.fpuanet.com.

About FPUA: Fort Pierce Utilities Authority is a municipal, not-for-profit utility provider. FPUA’s mission is to provide our customers with economical, reliable, and friendly service in a continuous effort to enhance the quality of life in our community. Fort Pierce is one of more than 2,000 communities in the United States served by a community-owned electric utility, and one of very few who also provide water, wastewater, natural gas, and Internet services. Public utility systems are owned by the people they serve. All benefits from our locally controlled utility remain right here in the community. Additional information is available at www.fpua.com.

Kid-Friendly Streaming Platforms

Kid-Friendly Streaming Platforms

With streaming devices seemingly everywhere, it’s easy for your children to turn on the smart TV or pick up a tablet or smartphone and start watching their favorite shows and movies. Indeed, there’s no shortage of streaming content they can enjoy, with studios pouring money into animated series, live-action adventure or “mystery” stories, or educational shows that are both informative and a lot of fun.

But it’s natural for parents to have concerns about their child’s online activity and device use, particularly those of younger kids. And though some parents may enjoy the freedom of apps and streaming platforms that are intuitively easy for just about any youngster to learn and explore, unfettered access to any online-accessible device is always a risk worth further consideration.

Fortunately, many of the apps that deliver quality children’s content also feature age-based content restrictions and other security settings that will give parents peace of mind. And several apps consist exclusively of children’s content, providing even greater comfort. As your family’s online safety is our top concern, your neighbors at FPUAnet Communications have cobbled up a list of some of our favorite kid-friendly streaming apps and platforms.

Our recommended streaming apps feature a robust selection of enriching children’s entertainment and educational content, which can be streamed in pristine, distortion-free quality on FPUAnet Communications’ advanced fiber network. And many also include settings and other protections parents will appreciate. Read on to explore our suggestions!

Four Streaming Platforms Made Specifically For Children and Families

PBS Kids
PBS has been a perennial favorite of parents—and their kids—for decades. With years of children’s content creation expertise under its belt, PBS stands tall on our list. PBS Kids is a streaming platform geared toward children.

It includes some of PBS’ most beloved characters like Arthur Read, the bespectacled aardvark, and namesake of Arthur, whose 25-season run makes it one of the most successful animated kid series in television history. And who can possibly forget Sesame Street’s Elmo, whose endearing kindness has tickled the heartstrings of viewers for decades!

The app is incredibly kid-friendly, from its touchscreen accessibility to its bright, attractive display. And because its content is geared exclusively to younger children, parents can feel confident that PBS Kids is a safe space for their kids to explore, learn, laugh, and be inspired.

Noggin
Next on our list of recommended streaming apps for children is Noggin, an app developed by a venerable name in kids’ entertainment—Nickelodeon. Leaning in big on learning, Noggin is a subscription-based app featuring ad-free content for younger kids, especially preschoolers. Many of Nick Jr.’s most adored series and characters are viewable on Noggin, including Peppa Pig, Blue’s Clues & You, and of course, Dora the Explorer!

We love how the educational content included with Noggin provides opportunities for learning as much as entertainment. And some of the content on Noggin is designed to get your kids off the couch and moving around—even outdoors as they discover more about their world!

HappyKids
With over 60,000 videos to stream, the HappyKids app is another child-friendly and parent-approving app. Exclusively focused on content for children, HappyKids features a diverse array of educational and entertainment series. It’s also free, another boon to parents!

Appropriate for children of just about all ages from toddlers to early teens, parents can also establish content restrictions through several tools. Parental settings include toggling the age range of viewable content and even blocking specific series entirely.

And to inspire extra confidence, HappyKids has been commended with several awards, including a 2022 National Parenting Product Award (NAPPA).

Minno
Another app that parents can feel comfortable letting their kids access and explore is Minno. An app specializing in faith-based, Christian content, its series are mostly geared toward younger kids, so parents need not fear inappropriate language or situations.

The app includes access to over 130 shows, including series developed by esteemed content creators at other major production studios like PBS Kids and Nickelodeon. Parents seeking more Bible-based content may find just what they’re looking for with Minno.

Kid-Friendly Features of the Major Streaming Platforms

Thus far, we’ve discussed streaming platforms designed specifically with children in mind. Indeed, all the content on the four apps highlighted above is exclusively for kids. But the major streaming platforms also have features that make them more accessible to youngsters, while also providing parents with a greater measure of control and oversight.

For example, Netflix lets you establish profiles just for kids, with built-in restrictions and limitations on content based on well-established rating guidelines.

Similarly, Max (formerly HBO Max) makes it easy for parents to limit content to specific age groups consisting of about four years each. In this way, Max’s parentally controlled content settings let the series and movies available on its app “age-up” with your children.

And no list of kid-friendly apps would be complete without Disney+, now celebrating 100 years of renowned family entertainment from family-oriented content powerhouse Disney. Disney+ also features children-specific profiles, which, once set, restrict the content available to them based on their age—and they can’t simply switch out to “the grown-up’s profile” either, thanks to Disney+’s clever safety features!

Our recommended kid-exclusive content apps are a terrific way to introduce your children safely to the world of streaming entertainment and learning. When coupled with parental and content settings on some of the major streaming platforms, parents can feel much more confident about their kids’ streaming activities, all while helping them build healthy screen time habits, too.

For more family-friendly content recommendations and additional information about our high-speed fiber internet, follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages!

Six Websites to Help You Find a Remote Job

Six Websites to Help You Find a Remote Job

More Americans are working remotely from home than ever before. From the convenience of the at-home office to the lack of a commute (and mind-numbing traffic), to the savings on gasoline, to the ability to more easily look after children (and pets), the benefits of remote work keep adding up!

Vastly improved and faster internet technology—especially fiber internet, like FPUAnet Communications’ advanced fiber network—have made working from home more reliable and efficient. Fiber’s high upload speeds and generous bandwidth make video conference calling far clearer than other forms of internet.

But many people may not know where to start looking for remote jobs they can perform from home with a fast, reliable internet connection.  And some may be asking where a would-be remote worker can even start to look for such jobs.

In this post, we walk you through several of our top recommended websites to help you find a remote job. Many of these sites also include tips on freshening up your resume, interviewing, and even making the most out of remote work. So follow along below as we list our favorite websites for finding remote work!

1. We Work Remotely

Billing itself as the “largest remote work community in the world,” We Work Remotely is a leading website for finding remote jobs. With 4.5 million monthly visits, it’s often the first stop many would-be remote workers take on their job hunt. We also like We Work Remotely for its solid job categorizations and many useful resources and tools.

2. Upwork

Focused on the “gig economy”—short-term work and freelancing jobs—Upwork can be a useful site for finding temporary work quickly without the larger hassles associated with interviewing. Keep in mind, though, that Upwork will take a percentage of any earnings from a gig contracted on its site.

3. Remote OK

One of the best-organized job boards on this list, Remote OK categorizes all manner of remote work jobs. From tech-savvy careers to writing gigs and just about everything in between, Remote OK’s numerous “tags” help you easily sort through the extensive and ever-increasing job postings in many different sectors.

4. Jobspresso

Another solid website for finding remote work opportunities is Jobspresso, particularly because its team researches job listings for legitimacy and accuracy. Jobspresso also lets you post your resume to the site, letting potential employers notice you, even as you can browse its many job listings.

5. Working Nomads

While somewhat more focused on a particular type of remote worker (digital nomads who travel around the world), Working Nomads is worth a look. Those with international experience or interests might find opportunities that don’t appear on similar remote job boards and newsletters with job postings, broadening out the search beyond our own borders.

6. FlexJobs

Our last recommended website, FlexJobs, is one of the biggest names in the jobs posting scene. But please keep in mind that, unlike the other five options recommended above, not every job listed on FlexJobs is remote! Additionally, Flexjobs is not free—it offers monthly and annual fees to use its resources. As you’d likely expect from a jobs website you need to pay to use, they include features that give would-be employees confidence, such as pre-screened listings, regular alerts for jobs that meet your criteria, and detailed search tools for finding the right fit for you.

The six sites above are outstanding places to start your search for the perfect remote work job—or even a remote career! You can also check out other more traditional job posting sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter. But be sure to checkmark any settings options for Remote Work as you conduct your search on those traditional sites.

Check out FPUAnet Communications’ social pages for more tips on remote work and how our high-speed fiber network can make you more productive from home!