- Moving? Get 1st Month Free at New Location
- New Areas Now Have High Speed Connectivity
- Broadband in Parts of Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach
- Get in The Fast Lane Today With Dialup Broadband!
- Carmel Number Going Away
- New Domain Names Available
- Finance Charge on Late Payments
- How The Latest FCC Ruling Affects Red Shift
- Upgrades to The Red Shift Network
- Guardian Back Online
1. Moving? Get 1st Month Free at New Location
Moving is a very time consuming and disruptive event in one’s life. We want to take some of the load off your shoulders during these frenetic times. When you move your business or residence we will give you the next month free of charge. You won’t have to worry about your Internet fees and access in the midst of everything else you will have to deal with. Just let us know ahead of time that you are moving and we will take care of everything for you. This offer applies to dialup and ADSL accounts only. The free month takes effect on the 1st of the month of the first month at your new location. You must keep the account with us for another 3 months minimum to qualify.
2. New Areas Now Have High Speed Connectivity
We have extended our broadband coverage to more locations. We now have new facilities available in the CreekBridge area of Salinas. We had been serving this area in the past with a longer range antenna but we found it didn’t reach everyone nor did it reach people well enough. Our new facility is right in the heart of CreekBridge and is visible to 95% of the residents there providing excellent speed and reliability.
We also have the following areas under construction that are due soon:
Oak Hills in Castroville. Currently we are working on the first base station there and expect to be completed with it no later than April 10th.
East side of Los Laureles Grade: We are currently working out the final deals of this installation. We have an installation site, but it’s a bit remote so it is taking some time to get our lines into that area. Our current projection is a completion date of May 1st. We had to push the date out a little bit to accommodate some of the challenges we’re overcoming getting this site completed.
Las Palmas I and the northern side of Portola Drive: We are putting an antenna near Highway 68 right in front of Las Palmas I. This antenna is expected to be visible to parts of the Portola Drive area as well. Projected completion date is April 11th.
Areas still in development or looking for a base station site:
South Salinas, Highway 101 area
Hollister un-served areas
San Juan Bautista
Morgan Hill (Hillside communities)
Gilroy (Hillside communities)
3. Broadband in Parts of Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach
There were some new areas of Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach that were very nearly opened up to DSL broadband this last month. However, at the end of February SBC seemingly pulled their plans to further develop those areas. There is no official word from SBC as to whether they will install these facilities in the near future or not. We have heard rumors off and on within the last few days that those areas really are still being worked on but these reports are completely unsubstantiated. If nothing happens soon we will investigate installing wireless in those areas instead.
4. Get in The Fast Lane Today With Dialup Broadband!
Finally, faster Internet access over dialup modem has arrived! A lot of research has been going on in the attempt to squeeze out more speed from the trusty ole dialup modem. The results of that research have finally come to market as “Dialup Broadband” and it is an exciting new service that more than doubles the speed of web content delivery over your dialup connection. There’s no additional software or equipment required. It’s fast, easy to use and available throughout most of Central and Northern California.
Dialup Broadband intelligently determines the fastest and most efficient way to deliver web content over your dialup connection without diminishing quality. By reshaping; reformatting, compressing and caching content, Dialup Broadband enables you to surf the web over twice as fast as normal. You will experience faster loading of most file types, including web pages and picture files on those web pages.
Dialup Broadband is a low cost alternative to DSL, cable and wireless services; which is easy to use and only $5 more per month than you currently pay for dialup access.
To signup for this new service, give us a voice call at one of our local numbers near you:
Santa Cruz 831-423-0198
5. Carmel Number Going Away
We are eliminating our ISDN and Dialup number in Carmel because it is has become completely redundant. We will be eliminating this number on March 28th. If you are a dialup caller dialing one of the Carmel numbers, please switch to 657-0138.
6. New Domain Names Available
We are offering even more vanity domain names for you to choose from. If you would like to have a more personalized E-mail address, give us a call at one of our numbers local to you (see above) or E-mail us at email@example.com. The list is too long to display here, but you may review your options at http://turbo.redshift.com/services/vanitydomains/. We are also open to suggestions on others you’d like to see made available (subject to availability of course).
7. Finance Charge on Late Payments
A 1.5% per month finance charge will appear on all billings over their due date of 30 days beginning this month.
8. How The Latest FCC Ruling Affects Red Shift
On February 20th, 2003 the FCC enacted new rules affecting the Internet. The main ruling that affects Internet Service Providers (ISPs) was “who has access to which lines in order to provide DSL services”. The FCC ruled that the large phone companies (SBC in our territory) do not have to resell certain types of lines used for DSL and other high capacity services. Therefore lines running on public lands are not publicly available – not really. Our taxes have subsidized, and will continue to subsidize the expensive undertaking of laying more fiber without the consumer benefit of choice or the other benefits of healthy competition.
That means more monopoly activity in areas of growth. New markets that are monopolized tend to lack innovation and the impetus to grow and expand into new areas. Those who control that which is monopolized concentrate mainly on maintaining that control, not expansion or innovation. And let’s not forget that they can set the price to whatever they feel like.
That doesn’t mean Red Shift will stop selling DSL, or even that SBC will stop leasing us lines because we are not considered a competitor to the phone company itself (just their ISP). SBC continues to resell existing fiber lines so it is not an issue at this point on lines already installed. The phone companies are also still required to resell copper lines, which is what most DSL in the past has been installed on. However, some lines that were supposed to be built this year have been halted, so there may be ramifications anyway for those who were waiting for DSL. What it really means is that raw DSL lines will be the sole domain of SBC in many parts of our territory and no other phone companies will be able to compete by providing DSL lines to ISPs like Red Shift. We will still get raw DSL lines from SBC – we just won’t see any other phone companies providing them.
A little background here to help everyone understand how this all works: SBC, the phone company, has DSL switches, so do other companies such as Covad, New Edge Networks and a few other survivors. These guys are the “line providers” selling raw lines conditioned to handle DSL. They sell these lines to ISPs such as Red Shift, AOL, Earthlink, etc. We take those lines and provide Internet access over them and bundle them as DSL Internet service to our clients. ISPs are the “Internet Providers” and we need the raw lines to put the Internet on. Even those who buy DSL from SBC directly are still going through an ISP which buys its raw DSL lines from SBC.
So why is this important to you? The prices we charge for DSL service are largely dependant on the costs we pay for those raw DSL lines. We’re better able to negotiate lower prices if there is competition in providing these lines. The result of good negotiation on our part in getting these DSL lines inexpensively results in good prices to you. If there’s no competition for those lines, then we have less leverage to negotiate low prices. The remaining provider can set the price to whatever they like without fear of losing business to another line provider.
On a slightly different, but relevant note, DSL is not the only broadband solution. Red Shift has always been “medium agnostic”. That means we’re an Internet Provider, not a phone company or a cable company and we will get Internet access to you any way we can. We don’t have a transport of choice that we try to lock people into. We hook you up to the Internet and it’s really pretty irrelevant to us how the access is provided, whether it be via copper, fiber, cable, microwave signals, pigeons – whatever. Therefore if there is demand in an area, and the easiest or most prevalent solution has gone away or isn’t in the works, that won’t stop us from working on providing broadband service in that area using another medium. Since we do have more than one way of providing broadband, we’ll simply create the access with what is available and feasible.
9. Upgrades to The Red Shift Network
This year we have begun massive upgrades to our network to better handle bandwidth requirements and provide even greater reliability. One of the major changes we’re making is moving to a gigabit network in our network center. We’re also installing more high speed routers to help with data routing and to protect everyone better against unwanted access from hackers and Internet attacks. The benefits to our clients are many, not the least of which is lack of bottlenecks getting to various services on our network and future scalability.
We are installing more firewalls and spam filtering devices to keep your connections clean and free of unwanted traffic. A recent report stated that by the end of this year, as much as 50% of all E-mail traffic will be spam. This is a huge drain on ISP and client resources. We’ve been working on various solutions for years and many of the best have been enacted now. We will continue to explore, develop and deploy new solutions in the future.
Popup ads have begun to get pretty darn annoying too. We’re researching ways to get rid of those for you as well. In the meantime there are programs for sale (some are free even) that will work with your browser to eliminate popup ads. Just one of the many available can be found at the following web address:
Our proxy/filtering server “Guardian”, when used by you also blocks popup ads.
Another problem is hackers continuously trying to break into broadband connections – that’s you if you have wireless, T1, DSL or even ISDN. Since most “true” broadband connections are “always on”, they are subject to the same issues that ISP networks face – hackers trying to find ways into them. You can install your own firewall for protection, and you should; software firewalls are cheap and effective (some as low as $29.95). It is to each of our client’s benefit that we stop as much of that bad traffic at our routers as possible and we are blocking a lot of it already. We’re researching ways to block even more in order to keep our clients as safe as possible.
10. Guardian Back Online
Definition – Caching Proxy Server: A server that caches (holds) data gathered from the web and makes it available much more quickly than if you had to go to the site and get it. These servers speed up Internet connections dramatically. They also make your web browsing anonymous.
Our adult content filtering service and caching proxy is back online and improved. Those customers who wish to take advantage of this filtering and caching service may once again do so. There were some issues with the first version of Guardian wherein it blocked zipped files. This has been resolved.
If privacy is of any concern to you (and it should be if you are on the Internet), then you should consider using Guardian to mask your IP address (your IP address is a unique identifier given to you by Red Shift). Guardian is more than just a filter, it is a proxy/caching server as well that will speed up your connection and make your browsing anonymous. This is important if you are using a dialup connection, and it is extremely useful if you are connected via DSL, wireless or cable modem.
Websites commonly store your IP address in their log files. Typically log files are deleted after a brief time as they tend to get very large, but not always. Some sites use log file data, often with the intent to send you unsolicited E-mail (SPAM). Still others may directly store your IP addresses in various reports and databases that are used for purposes you may not be aware of nor would approve of if you knew.
If someone has your IP address they can find your machine(s) and attack you in various ways. If you don’t have a good firewall, your system could be damaged or data could be stolen.
If that weren’t enough to digest, consider this: Those of us with children are often appalled at what can too easily be stumbled upon while surfing the web. You even have to be careful about accidentally mistyping an address as you may get a sobering surprise and your children may see things that are inappropriate for them. Anyone wishing to stop adult content from disturbing their Internet experience will be interested in using Guardian.
Guardian will filter out adult content for you. It is free of charge to anyone subscribed to Red Shift. You can use it to filter web content for your children, yourself or for anyone. To use it, simply tell your browser to filter your web addresses through our server address “guardian.redshift.com”. Guardian is highly effective but not perfect, we cannot guarantee it will catch absolutely everything but it will block the vast majority of unwanted adult content for you.
To use it you must tell your web browser to “Use a proxy server for this connection”. Put in the address “guardian.redshift.com” then 8080 for the port.
You must also click on the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” box. Put in the address “guardian.redshift.com” then 8080 for the port.
NOTE: If you find that guardian is erroneously blocking a site you would like to connect to, you can set your browser to bypass guardian for that specific site.
If you need more help installing this service, E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via phone. Our contact information is on the web at www.redshift.com.