Read now on Union-Bulletin.com • June 25, 2017
Walla Walla, WA • November 4, 2016
One hundred is a significant number. A little child feels accomplished when she learns to count to one hundred on her own. More impressively, when a person reaches the age of one hundred we all see it as an important milestone. PocketiNet Communications, based in Walla Walla, Washington has reached a momentous event of their own. Recently, they connected their one hundredth customer to their new Gigabit Fiber-to-the-Home network known as Gigabit Country.
Who was the lucky number one hundred? Jim Wright, owner of Tesla Winery Tours in Walla Walla, WA. Jim waited patiently for nearly five months for Fiber to reach his home. That pales in comparison to the eighteen months he waited to take delivery of his beautiful Tesla Model X 90D.
Aaron Shiffler (l), PocketiNet’s Director of Fiberhood Sales presents
Jim Wright (r), owner of Tesla Winery Tours and PocketiNet’s 100th
Fiber-to-the-Home customer, with a new Amazon Echo Dot.
About five years ago, Jim, a Federal Marshal, began making solid plans to retire. Everything was in place except the location. Gig Harbor, WA was high on the list but Jim started seeing article after article in national publications about a great little town in eastern Washington named, Walla Walla. So, Jim and his wife visited to see if all the hype was true. It was. After several annual visits they retired and moved to Walla Walla hoping to add to the town’s friendliness.
As Jim was preparing to retire, he knew he wouldn’t want to sit around after retirement, so he developed a plan to launch Tesla Winery Tours. Even before moving to Walla Walla he ordered his Tesla and waited. It’s a decision he hasn’t regretted.
If you talk with Jim, it’s obvious he likes technology. That affinity for tech made both Tesla and PocketiNet logical products to meet his needs. After all, both Tesla and Gigabit Country Fiber are fast! Tesla vehicles come with software letting a driver choose their preferred performance output. Settings range from Standard to Ludicrous (that’s actually what Tesla calls it). PocketiNet’s Gigabit Country Fiber also comes with customer performance options. Internet packages range from 100Mbps up to the ludicrous 1Gbps. Not only is Gigabit Country fast, it’s incredibly reliable.
Jim enjoys meeting new people and loves talking about his Tesla. He is a believer. He’s a Tesla believer, a Walla Walla believer and a PocketiNet believer.
As their one hundredth Fiber customer, PocketiNet presented Jim with an Amazon Echo Dot. Because, in the end, a man who likes technology enough to wait a year and a half for a Tesla and another five months for the fastest Internet connection in town, should be able to voice command his car out of the garage. Want to see how Amazon Echo and Tesla integrate, when you have the best Internet available? Check out this video on YouTube.
PocketiNet Communications is a locally owned and operated broadband Internet and Home Automation and Security service provider. Founded in April of 2000, PocketiNet serves the Mid-Columbia Basin from Walla Walla to Yakima, WA, south to Umatilla, OR, and all points in between. In the competitive market of broadband Internet service providers, PocketiNet has positioned itself above the competition by actually delivering on its promises: speed, reliability, value, dedication and customer care.
Contact: Donny Veverka
PocketiNet Communications, Inc.
Phone 509-526-5796 ext. 129
Walla Walla, WA • October 17, 2016
Even though it seems like ancient digital history, about a year ago the “Be Like Bill” meme went viral. If you’re unfamiliar, the meme consisted of a black and white drawing of a stick figure sitting at a computer desk. The caption would extol readers of Bill’s virtues and then spur readers to action with a final phrase, “Be like Bill.” As with most viral meme’s it had fifteen minutes of fame and quietly disappeared. Today, I’d like to revitalize the meme but this time title it, “Be like Zach.”
Pictured below, you see Zach and Wrandoll. Zach lives in a relatively new neighborhood in College Place, WA. One day, not long ago, Zach heard via word of mouth about PocketiNet’s Gigabit Country Fiber-to-the-home initiative. Wanting to know more, he reached out to PocketiNet asking if there was anything he could do to promote Gigabit Country in his neighborhood? The answer from PocketiNet, “Of course!”
Pictured l to r: Zach Hafen and Wrandoll Brenes. Wrandoll is PocketiNet’s
OSP Director. They are seated in PocketiNet’s Gigabit Country Experience
Center located upstairs at the Walla Walla Regional Airport.
PocketiNet is currently deploying Gigabit Country Fiber in the Walla Walla Valley and the greater Tri-Cities area. PocketiNet has been providing commercial Fiber to these areas for over 10 years but residential Fiber has been too expensive to for most homes. All that changed about a year ago. With several large Internet Service Providers now deploying residential Fiber in urban areas across the nation PocketiNet, a local company, decided to start the process in Walla Walla. Todd Brandenberg, PocketiNet’s president and founder says, “PocketiNet is committed to south-eastern Washington. We want to be the ones to serve our neighbors instead of waiting for a corporate giant to eventually get here.” He continues, “We’re from this area, we love the quality of life people here enjoy, and we want to help make it better.” That commitment coupled with Fiber’s new affordability has fueled PocketiNet’s desire to provide state-of-the-art Fiber to local homes.
When Zach reached out to PocketiNet they invited him to their Gigabit Country Experience Center to meet with Wrandoll and several other staff members. The topic of conversation was how best to rally his neighborhood so it can be one of the next to get Fiber Internet. Zach left with brochures, door hangers, and various other promotional materials to share with his neighbors. Zach isn’t normally the type of guy who goes around knocking on doors to introduce himself. It was a bit out of his comfort zone. Once Zach began going door to door he said, “I was most comfortable hanging door hangers, but doing so sparked conversations with some of the homeowners in the neighborhood.”
For folks who aren’t sure they need Fiber, Zach reminds us that times are changing quickly and technology is advancing rapidly. He says, “We used to think phones were just for calling people!” Now we have smart phones which are basically mini-computers in our pockets.
Are Zach’s efforts paying off? You bet. His neighborhood is nearly 30% of the way to meeting the construction goal. Perhaps you’re reading this and thinking you’d love Fiber to your home but you’re not about to knock on your neighbors’ doors to extol them on the virtues of Fiber. You can still make a difference. Sign up at PocketiNet.CrowdFiber.com. As part of that process, you can anonymously send Gigabit Country postcards to your neighbors encouraging them to sign up as well. Lastly, if you’re interested, PocketiNet would be happy to put a Gigabit Country yard sign in your yard.
Zach worries he may be pushing Gigabit Country too much with his neighbors. They won’t think him pushy once they experience Fiber. After all, it increases home values by 3-5%, on average. It’s virtually future proof. As our homes, cars, and personal devices vie for bandwidth, Fiber consistently delivers. Imagine streaming 4K UHD movies to your TV with nearly zero waiting, zero pixilation, zero buffering, and it’s never impacted by the weather. PocketiNet’s Gigabit Country services offer up to 1000Mbps Internet speeds with managed Wi-Fi, digital home automation, security, home phone, video surveillance, video streaming systems, and DIRECTV for folks who want a traditional TV experience.
Want to try it out for yourself? Visit PocketiNet’s Gigabit Country Experience Center upstairs at the Walla Walla Regional Airport or in their Tri-Cities office at 6503 W. Okanogan Avenue, Suite G (after Nov 1st). Zach did. His response: “It was really neat to see it all working.”
When Zach was asked why he wanted Fiber to his home he said, “I want to be prepared for the future of the Internet.” I say to Zach, “Good for you Zach.” I say to you, “Be like Zach.”
PocketiNet Communications is a locally owned and operated broadband Internet and Home Security service provider. Founded in April of 2000, PocketiNet serves the Mid-Columbia Basin from Walla Walla to Yakima, WA, south to Umatilla, OR, and all points in between. In the competitive market of broadband Internet service providers, PocketiNet has positioned itself above the competition by actually delivering on its promises: speed, reliability, value, dedication and customer care.
Contact: Donny Veverka
PocketiNet Communications, Inc.
Phone 509-526-5796 ext. 129
Walla Walla, WA • April 13, 2016
Wrandoll Brenes Morua (Wrandoll Brenes) has joined PocketiNet Communications as Outside Plant Director. Founded in April of 2000, PocketiNet serves the Columbia Basin region in Washington State from Clarkston to Yakima and south to Umatilla, OR, and all points in between. Since 2011 Mr. Brenes, a local College Place, WA resident, has been commuting to and from Portland, OR, working as Civil Engineer and RDII Program Manager for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. Mr. Brenes has twice worked for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. His first tenure was from 1989 to 2004. During that time, he held several positions: Watersheds and Cornerstone Projects Section Manager, Capital Improvement Program Manager, as well as various other Engineering positions. The Brenes family moved to the Walla Walla Valley in 2004 when Mr. Brenes accepted an invitation to become the City Engineer for the City of Walla Walla, Public Works Department, a position he held until 2010. The Brenes family enjoys living in Walla Walla which meant Wrandoll had to commute. That weekly drive has come to an end as Wrandoll will be spearheading PocketiNet’s Fiber-to-the-Home initiative. He will be responsible for engineering the deployment of the state-of-the-art utility, coordinating with existing utility services, complying with city and county ordinances, implementing best management practices to address environmental concerns, and managing the resources required to deploy Fiber throughout the Walla Walla Valley and beyond.
PocketiNet Communications, Inc.
The United States government and Huawei have not seen eye-to-eye for many years, but at CES, a top Huawei executive said he believes the company’s prospects of forging a working relationship with the US could be in the works thanks to several factors. Back in 2012, a US government report specifically included Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE as security threats. The reports cited that equipment from either of these companies could be used as a backdoor for Chinese espionage. Huawei vehemently denied the accusations, but they have, for the most part, been locked out of contracts with US telecom operators.
The US allegations have not stopped other countries around the world from using Huawei for their infrastructure equipment needs. Major wireless companies in Europe, Latin America and even Canada are customers of Huawei equipment. Huawei and Ericsson remain the leading world suppliers of telecommunications networking gear despite the US government’s report. Huawei’s William Plummer, VP of the company’s external affairs for the US market says that changing views on network security and market consolidation are “eclipsing geographical, border-based solutions…[and] there’s [now] a much clearer understanding of how networks work.” Hacking by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, continued hacks by others and network security issues have taken the focus away from China and Huawei equipment suppliers and refocused it on how to make networks more secure from hackers – not the equipment that runs the network.
Plummer pointed out that recent sales of network infrastructures in Oregon and Washington state shows some progress in the US. This past fall, PocketiNet Communications chose Huawei for their Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) in Walla Walla in Washington State. In May, Eastern Oregon Telecom hooked up with Huawei to bring gigabit broadband to rural customers in Hermiston, Oregon. Plummer said, “We’re focused on those areas that are underserved or unconnected.” He also gives credit to the merger between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson and Cisco helping to create more opportunities for Huawei. The competition that is going on between the US carriers, especially Verizon and AT&T, are forcing them to look for more competitive pricing and the best products on the market and this could very well point them toward Huawei. The Huawei name also got a huge boost in 2015 when Google chose them to build the popular Nexus 6P smartphone – as consumers get more comfortable with the Huawei name, companies may also turn to them for more equipment needs.