Connecting Community Anchor Institutions: Why Local Matters

Connecting Community Anchor Institutions: Why Local Matters

At FPUAnet Communications, we’re proud to be known around FPUAnet Communications as the best internet provider for residents and businesses. But did you know that we also support a third group with our high-speed fiber internet network? Today, we’re taking a moment to celebrate local community anchor institutions.

Read on to learn more about this important group—and how, as a local company ourselves, FPUAnet Communications is committed to keeping them connected.

What Are Community Anchor Institutions?

Anchor institutions are mission-based, publicly-oriented organizations that provide services essential to our area’s economy, health, safety, culture, and general well-being.

Anchor institutions include hospitals and other medical facilities, emergency services like fire and police, universities and other institutions of higher education, and public services like libraries.

These institutions all play a critical role in our society, and they all depend on reliable access to the internet to function effectively in the 21st century economy.

Hospitals and Medical Clinics

Universally appreciated by everyone fortunate enough to have one close by, a hospital is an anchor institution that many of us depend on in the starkest moments of our lives. Whether they’re treating chronic illnesses or responding to life-threatening injuries, hospitals and other medical clinics provide critical services every day.

And in a true health emergency, every second counts. Rapid access to medical records, keen and swift analysis of radiological and similar medical imagery, and urgent consultations among experts—these are often matters of life and death. Thus, perhaps more than anywhere else, having internet as reliable and fast as fiber in our community hospitals and health clinics is most critical.

Beyond the immediate health needs of patients and the broader community, hospitals and medical clinics regularly communicate with both patients and other health professionals. Maintaining a solid internet connection to transmit medical files and even hold telehealth follow-up visits is crucial to the missions of hospitals and medical centers.

Fiber’s bandwidth capacity is substantially larger than other types of internet and can make indispensable communication and data transfers quick and seamless, helping health providers fulfill their calling—and keep our communities healthier and safer at the same time.

Fire, Police, and Other Emergency Services

Local first responders–the good people of our fire stations, paramedics, and police departments–are our community’s heroes, often putting their own lives at risk to help others. And they are regularly on call at every minute of every hour of the day.

Without the brave and resourceful men and women in fire, police and other emergency services, our community would be far less safe. Thus, it goes without saying that our first responders are anchor institutions in our area, and everyone is grateful for their service.

Reliable communications and connectivity is an absolute necessity for these essential services. Fiber internet keeps emergency service providers informed about hazards, real-time traffic information, hazardous weather and natural disasters, and other problems our community faces. And fiber keeps fire, police, and paramedics connected to everyone in our community–including to hospitals and emergency rooms–providing an instant connection when and where help is needed most.

Universities and Community Colleges

The quintessential anchor institution in the United States is the college or university. Centers of learning that attract talent and skills in many fields, a college’s mission—regardless of whether it’s a large university or a smaller, regionally-focused community college—is to educate young adults (and others) and provide them with skills and knowledge for success.

But colleges and universities do far more than just teach students. They also serve as learning, cultural, artistic, and athletic centers for our entire community, greatly enriching our lives with special events, art exhibits, dramatic performances, musical concerts, and sports.

And given the beehive of online activity generated at colleges—especially online research, lectures, conferences, emailing, video editing and production among many other examples—a steady and fast internet connection is a veritable requirement for 21st century higher education.

The broader community, which often has access to a university’s prominent speakers, exhibitions, and even certain library materials also benefits from fiber’s high speeds and greater bandwidth, multiplying the benefits to our region even more.

Libraries and Museums

Often overlooked, but nonetheless invaluable, public libraries and museums of all kinds provide educational, artistic, and cultural opportunities offered almost nowhere else. They bring together resourceful, knowledgeable experts and support staff that create experiences that both inform and inspire.

Groups as diverse as toddlers, school children, book clubs, tourists, and seniors are enriched by the facilities and programs libraries and museums provide. Without fiber internet, however, neither of these anchor institutions can fulfill their unique niche in our community, including facilitating beloved programs like story hour, reading clinics, film nights, visiting exhibitions, club meetings, and guest experts.

And the community can often access many of these features—including e-books and other electronic materials—from home through remote and online access. Thus, fiber keeps each of us better connected to our area’s libraries, museums, and related curated institutions and their bevy of information and collections that set them apart.

Fiber Internet Keeps Our Anchor Institutions Well-Connected to Our Community—and to You

As much as our community depends on anchor institutions to improve our daily lives and make our region a better place to live, anchor institutions in turn rely on dependable and fast internet to get their jobs done. And they also look to the local team of experts and technicians that keep FPUAnet Communications’ fiber network running strong and efficiently—and with the local knowledge and care to respond fast and effectively to any technical issue that may arise.

Indeed, the team at FPUAnet Communications are more than just internet service professionals. We’re also your neighbors. Like you, we live and work in our community, which means we rely on and appreciate the work of our community’s anchor institutions.

As a local company ourselves, we’re highly committed to responding swiftly to emergencies like outages, which in turn lets the good people at our local anchor institutions do their jobs serving our community and keeping it healthy as well.

When you choose FPUAnet Communications for your residential or business internet, you support our business—enabling us to turn around and support our community. Thank you for shopping locally for your internet. We’re proud to keep FPUAnet Communications connected!

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

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!

The Summer Slowdown: Preparing Your Home Internet for Increased Demand

The Summer Slowdown: Preparing Your Home Internet for Increased Demand

The summer television viewing season isn’t what it used to be.

Once known for endless reruns and launches of shows that studios deemed less likely to be successful, the world of streaming entertainment and the production houses it created are churning out phenomenal content you’ve just got to see.

The trouble is that lots of other people want to watch it too! And quite often, they’re streaming at the same time as you. And with kids out of school for the summer and many people heading indoors to escape the heat, internet usage increases during the dog days of summer. Unfortunately, along with the increased demand, streaming picture quality and overall reliability often decline, frequently turning what should be a relaxing evening into a frustrating experience.

And with new premieres coming this summer, like HBO Max’s House of the Dragon (the prequel to Game of Thrones), you can be sure that your neighbors (and maybe you too!) will be streaming away the second these shows hit screens.

So what can you do to prepare for all of this increased demand? Or are you doomed to suffer repeated buffering, pixelation, and loading errors during the summer slowdown?

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to improve your internet connection and performance, even during the summer’s high demand. And your friends at FPUAnet Communications are standing by to help you learn more about high-speed fiber internet and suggest adjustments inside your home to improve your Wi-Fi’s range and overall streaming experience.

Below we suggest five tips to help you beat the summer slowdown so you and your family can enjoy a better streaming experience.

Tip #1: Upgrade to Fiber Internet

The single best thing you can do to improve your internet speed and connection is to upgrade to fiber internet. A technological wonder, fiber internet utilizes fiber-optic cables composed of ultra-thin, tiny strands of glass and other materials that transmit internet data near the speed of light.

As a result, fiber internet’s speeds exceed cable internet, which uses older technology and copper-based materials that cannot compete with fiber’s highest speeds.

Getting a dedicated fiber internet line through FPUAnet Communications directly to your home means you no longer have to share bandwidth with your neighbors.

Tip #2: Select the Bandwidth to Meet Your Family’s Needs

Once you’ve upgraded to fiber, talk to the customer support specialists at FPUAnet Communications about which level of broadband you need.

This will vary from household to household, and FPUAnet Communications’ experts can help you determine what will provide the proper amount of bandwidth. If you have multiple people in your home, be sure to choose a plan that offers enough bandwidth for the whole family to use it simultaneously. This tip will help keep the high-speed internet flowing into your home and devices and help keep the peace in your family!

Tip #3: Consider Whole-Home Coverage

Now that you have a perfect fiber internet plan for your needs, you should consider whole-home Wi-Fi coverage. You can use Wi-Fi extenders and other technology to “extend” the Wi-Fi throughout your house—even in harder-to-reach rooms upstairs or even on your back porch.

With the right setup, you may even get a strong enough Wi-Fi signal in your backyard for outdoor movie nights! Of course, the experts at FPUAnet Communications can help you set up whole-home coverage, too, so be sure to reach out to our customer service specialists.

Tip #4: Optimize the Position of Your Wi-Fi Router

After you’ve set up your fiber internet service, bandwidth plan, and whole-home coverage, make the most of FPUAnet Communications’ high-speed fiber internet by optimizing the location of your Wi-Fi router in your home.

Remember that obstructions like too many walls and windows can interfere with and weaken the Wi-Fi signal and reduce streaming quality as it disperses through your home.

The simplest way to assess your Wi-Fi router’s placement is to run speed tests throughout your home (where your devices are most frequently used to stream). Speed tests let you experiment with your Wi-Fi router’s position—and making even minor adjustments, like elevating the router or separating it away from other electronic devices, can make a significant difference in streaming performance. And, of course, FPUAnet Communications’ friendly technicians are always around to help you, so feel free to contact us!

Tip #5: Utilize Parental Controls

Finally, don’t forget about parental controls! This is much more than limiting or even policing content your kids may use. Parental controls let you prevent your children from using online devices during certain times of day or night, which both reduces their screen time (something all parents aim to do) and increase the amount of bandwidth for you to enjoy!

Parental controls may be included in your service plan or as an add-on option for you as a managed Wi-Fi perk, so check out your package’s features or reach out to the customer service specialists at FPUAnet Communications to see what may be available.

By implementing these tips, you can significantly improve the picture quality and reliability of your streaming experience, even with the increased internet demand and higher usage of the summer. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a summer of streaming!
And for more helpful tips on improving your internet experience, follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages!

Your Guide to Smart Home Security

Your Guide to Smart Home Security

Your top priority is keeping your family and home protected and safe from harm. Thankfully, today’s technology can help.

Your neighbors at FPUAnet Communications understand your concerns and desire to keep your family safe. We are also a part of our community and are proud to help serve and keep people informed, connected, healthy and secure. That’s why we’ve put together this brief guide to smart home security that anyone connected to our high-speed fiber network can learn from and put to good use.

This concise overview highlights some of the most well-regarded smart home security measures and technology recommended by home safety experts.

Smart Doorbells

Smart doorbells help you see who is at your door before you answer. They also monitor any activity on your doorstep, front porch, driveway and even on the street in some cases. These devices can help prevent deliveries and packages from being stolen and deter suspicious activity at your home.

Smart Security Cameras

A smart security camera setup is a must for those looking for more robust security.

You can install a smart security camera system anywhere in or outside your home, from the driveway to the backyard. Many smart security cameras are designed with motion sensors, so any time a person—or even larger wildlife—is detected, you will know it.

You can also use smart security cameras with motion-sensing outdoor lighting, which will also help deter unwanted visitors. Best of all, smart security cameras connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and all your devices, keeping you notified of activity outside your home.

Smart Lighting and Glass-Break Detectors

Other state-of-the-art smart home tools can further improve safety and security. For example, glass-break detectors can alert you to intruders. Similarly, smart lights detect motion and can send notifications to your phone or tablet, alerting you to be on your guard.

When these devices connect to your home’s fiber network, your family can be notified of a break-in, even if you aren’t home.

Personal Medical Alert and Emergency Devices

Seniors and others with mobility limitations or chronic health problems need quick communication with first responders. 

When there’s an acute health emergency or other safety concern, personal medical alert and emergency devices can connect people to first responders at the touch of a button. During an emergency, there’s no need for seniors to locate and use a phone. Modern wearable tech makes it easier than ever to contact emergency services in seconds.

Don’t Forget About Network and Online Security

At FPUAnet Communications, we take the security and stability of our network very seriously. Our engineers and technicians constantly work to keep the network safe from attacks.  But there are also some steps you can take to protect your data and online privacy.

Keep your home network safe from hackers and phishing attacks by using strong anti-virus software and apps on all your devices, as well as password managers to safeguard your accounts.

And be sure to use a complex password that is difficult to guess—and not the same as all your other passwords! Ad blockers can also save both aggravation and the unseemly tendency of advertisers to track your online activity.

These are just some innovative devices and services available to put smart home technology to good use for home safety and security. But as always, practice common sense in and around your home and online.

Keep front and back doors locked (and car doors, too). And avoid clicking on suspicious emails or untrustworthy links, so you don’t become a victim of a security breach. A little caution, paired with modern technology, can keep your home, family, and community safe and secure.

Follow FPUAnet Communications’ social pages to learn more about how smart home technology can help make your home more efficient and safer.

That’s Not Normal: Five Signs You Need Better Internet

That’s Not Normal: Five Signs You Need Better Internet

Slow, interrupted, or choppy internet can be a frustrating experience. And if you and your family experience it when everyone is at home and streaming shows or movies, you know how it can ruin your evening.  Subpar internet can also make everyday communications with friends and co-workers difficult and negatively impact your productivity, as well.

Having fast, reliable, and consistent internet throughout your day (and night) throughout your home is essential—almost as necessary as all the other utilities. It can help keep the peace at home, too!

But you may have experienced enough consistent problems to wonder if something is “wrong” with your internet. While slowdowns and unstable signal are often due to your Wi-Fi hardware being older or not updated, your internet may be slow because your internet service is not as reliable and fast as current technology can provide.

The good news is that you can upgrade to fiber internet—the fastest, most reliable internet you can find! And FPUAnet Communications and its team of expert technicians can help get you on the road to high-speed fiber internet starting with one phone call.

Before we explain how fiber can turn around your frustrating internet experience, we discuss five warning signs that indicate it’s time for an upgrade. From “dead zones” in your house to not being able to stream on multiple devices simultaneously, we will help you troubleshoot so you can make the right adjustments and improvements.

1) Slow Speed Tests

The fastest way to determine if you’re not getting enough internet signal is to run a speed test.

Speed tests can be checked on a cell phone in any room in your house. Start your internet troubleshooting by running a speed test anywhere and anytime you experience choppy or slow internet. Take note of the times of the day these slowdowns most frequently occur. It’s a great first step to turning your internet around.

2) Needing to Regularly Restart Your Router

If you frequently restart your router, it could indicate your internet needs an upgrade. While it’s recommended to reboot your router every few months to improve connections, doing so routinely (weekly or more often) is likely a sign your internet service is just not fast enough, rather than the router not working properly.

3) “Dead Zones”—Or Not Getting Adequate Wi-Fi Signal in Particular Rooms

Many homes have the dreaded “dead zone,” where your internet only has a weak or lifeless signal, rendering it useless to stream music, TV, and movies or even check your email.

With today’s Wi-Fi technology (properly set up and situated), dead zones should be rare, if not extinct. So, if you find dead zones in particular areas of your home, it may be time to improve your internet service to get a stronger signal everywhere in the house.

4) Struggling to Stream on Multiple Devices Simultaneously

If your family is struggling to stream TV and movies simultaneously on different devices, your family is likely to…well…struggle.

We understand that keeping the peace at home is a top priority, and quality internet should be a non-contentious issue!  But difficulty streaming on multiple devices simultaneously is a sure sign of insufficient bandwidth which means you have outdated, poor internet service. So, if this issue keeps popping up, it’s time to consider an internet service upgrade!

5) Videos Buffering Too Long and Slow Streaming

Our final sign that you need an internet upgrade is probably the most obvious and exceedingly frustrating: your movies and TV buffering for way too long.

If you find this happening n, or if the picture quality is frequently pixelating, indicate your internet does not have sufficient speed or bandwidth to handle streaming.

Upgrading to Fiber Internet Can Make All the Difference

Any of these issues could indicate a problem with your internet service. Unfortunately, many customers experience more than one—or even all—of these problems and others we don’t list here.

This is where fiber internet technology, such as the service provided by FPUAnet Communications, comes in.

Fiber internet technology transfers its data (i.e., emails, music, movies, TV, voice and video calls, photos, files, etc.) through light, sometimes reaching around 70% of light speed! Traditional copper-based coaxial cable just cannot compete with fiber’s speed capabilities.

But it’s not just speed that makes the difference. Fiber also carries higher bandwidth capacities than cable or satellite internet. Taken together—increased speed and higher bandwidth—and fiber internet is the clear winner. With fiber internet from FPUAnet Communications, you can get your family on the path to high-speed, high-picture-quality, and reliable internet throughout your home.

So, if you’re experiencing any of the frustrating warning signs outlined above, reach out to FPUAnet Communications and its friendly and resourceful representatives. They’re happy to help you determine if upgrading to fiber is the right move for you, and to help you select a package of services that will greatly enhance your internet connection!

Where to Place Your Router for the Best WiFi Experience

Where to Place Your Router for the Best WiFi Experience

When it comes to the dependability and speed of the internet service in your home, a lot depends on your WiFi router―specifically its location in the house. 

At FPUAnet, we’ve already got you covered with the area’s fastest and most reliable internet service. Now here are a few tips on getting the most from that service throughout your home. 

Make Sure You Have Enough Coverage: If your home is less than 1,500 square feet, one router should provide enough coverage for your whole house. However, if your house is larger, you may want to look into creating a mesh network. A mesh network is a series of access points that communicate with each other to blanket your home with the WiFi signal. They optimize the speed of your connection and reduce “dead zones.”

Consider Where You Spend the Most Time Connected: If you have key locations in your home where you spend the majority of your time online, such as a home office or family room, take that into consideration when placing your router. 

Look for a High and Uncrowded Space: Placing your router on a high shelf will help distribute the signal more widely and evenly through the house. It’s also best to avoid placing the router behind any large objects or closed up in a cabinet. 

Give the Signal a Clear Path: While the WiFi signal can do a pretty good job getting through the walls and ceilings in your house, the one thing that can stop it cold is metal, including shelving, metal desks, and large appliances. 

Why You Should Ditch DSL and Cable for Fiber

Not all internet options are created equal. All it takes is one missed virtual meeting or one lagging video game to realize that your current internet speeds may not be sufficient. If you aren’t happy with your current speeds, you may want to look into other options. But which service is best for you? Let’s explore the speed, reliability, and bandwidth of the three major service delivery options—landline telephone line (DSL), cable TV line (cable), and fiber-optic line (fiber)—to understand why fiber is the clear choice for today’s citizens of the internet.

Internet Speed

Fiber-optic broadband, which uses glass, offers faster internet speeds over greater distances than its copper-based competitors such as DSL and cable. “Fiber to the Home” (FTTH) internet service providers (ISP) boast gigabit-level speeds up into the 100–1,000 Mbps range—several times faster than the maximum offered by its counterparts. Comparatively, DSL speeds max out at about 45 Mbps, while cable hits top speed at 300 Mbps. While that may sound like more than you’ll ever need, the capacity and speed of cable and DSL fluctuate during times of demand, which can leave you lagging when you have a pressing deadline or virtual meeting to attend.

Internet Reliability

Simply put, if reliability is important to you, choose fiber. DSL and cable experience significant slowdowns during peak hours and during extreme weather conditions such as drastic temperature changes and flooding. Fiber alone withstands all of these conditions, including the heave usage of peak hours. Keep in mind that unplanned downtime adds a serious cost to both your productivity and bottom line.

Internet Usage

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your internet usage. The reality of technology advancements is that most of us are now high-capacity users. How many desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, and gaming systems are competing for bandwidth in your home? Do you stream Netflix or Hulu or videos on YouTube? Do you play video games or games on your phone? Do you have a security system or a video doorbell monitor that requires internet connection to function? What about a home assistant device? Even smart appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators usually need an internet connection. As we get more connected, a lightning-fast internet connection becomes increasingly important.

Ready to make the switch to fiber? Contact FPUAnet Communications today!

Why Upload Speed Matters

The future of the internet is sharing―from capturing Instagram-worthy meals to enjoying video chats with friends―and FPUAnet’s unmatched upload speeds make that future a reality. 

Here are a just few ways FPUAnet’s fast, reliable upload speeds make your life easier:

Video chat and live sharing

Skype, FaceTime, and other video messaging services all require robust upstream connections to ensure clear audiovisual quality and to prevent freezing and blackouts. Sharing big news on Facebook or Instagram Live also works better with greater upload speed.

Working or going to school from home

You need a robust upstream connection to interact with colleagues during video conferences, collaborate on team projects, and share important files. Online studies also can tax your upstream connection, especially if you join a virtual classroom or share large portfolios. 

Keeping family, friends, and followers in the loop

Upload new videos to YouTube or share photographs with Flickr faster with a better upstream connection. 

Faster data backups and online file synching 

If you back up your data with a service like Backblaze or Carbonite, you need upload speed that meets basic requirements to ensure your data is protected quickly and without glitches. File and photo synching services like Dropbox, Google Photos, and Microsoft OneDrive all require a minimum of 5 Mbps upload speed to operate properly, and the more upload capacity available, the faster these services can sync and share files.

Online gaming, remote security and much more…

From online gaming to connected security systems that send real-time images through an internet connection, a fast upload connection is key to ensuring all your interactive online activities function well.

Understanding Speed Test Results

Testing the speed of your internet connection is easy, but it’s also easy to misunderstand the results. Your devices — TVs, routers, smartphones, laptops, desktops, etc. — have different capabilities, and you can get different results on each one, even while using the same internet connection. 

This is particularly noticeable to users taking advantage of higher speed packages offered by FPUAnet.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating your speed test results:

HARD-WIRED VS. WIRELESS 

That old-school cord-and-plug is simply more reliable than WiFi (wireless) connectivity. Even those super-fast 1 Gbps connections, now widely available across the country, won’t test out at higher than 500 to 700 Mbps when tested over WiFi. For the most accurate speed test result you must test with a hard-wired device. 

Why? Because there are nearly endless variables that can negatively affect a WiFi signal, everything from nearby construction or the wireless printer in the home office to a baby monitor or microwave in use in the home. 

Keep in mind that one limitation with a hard-wired connection is testing with a device that has a 100 Mbps NIC (Network Interface Card). This can cause you to consistently receive speed test results at 90-98 Mbps. FPUAnet recommends testing on a device that has a 1 Gbps NIC. 

POSSIBLE PROBLEMS AFFECTING SPEED AND SPEED TESTS 

Slow internet speeds are sometimes caused by malware such as adware and viruses. There are several free and inexpensive programs and apps to deal with that, and they’re important to use for many reasons. 

This also sounds obvious, but it’s very easy to overlook any ongoing downloads or programs like video chat that may be turned on while you’re conducting a speed test on your device. Close these applications, reboot your device, and test again. 

Even the browser you use — Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft’s new Edge, etc. — can affect your test speed. Try different browsers to see if that’s the case on your system. 

If you have a WiFi extender, make sure you turn it off before you run a speed test. Otherwise, your computer may test the wrong connection. 

This brings us to a final point about equipment. Technology advances constantly, and many older routers and computers simply cannot take full advantage of the blazing speed and bandwidth of today’s fiber broadband connectivity. 

When you’re ready to upgrade your technology, make sure your new equipment has the network cards and internal processing power that can leverage the speed of market-leading fiber broadband like that from FPUAnet.