Fiber Internet Providers: Light-Speed at Your Fingertips in Medina County

Fiber optics have revolutionized everything from medicine to Christmas tree lights, but their biggest transformation involves communications. 
 
Today, Medina County residents have a choice of internet access providers, from satellite services to cable companies to 5G mobile service to traditional and fiber optic internet service providers (ISPs). Of these, fiber internet providers have some clear advantages. Shelley Young, Medina Fiber’s customer service manager, puts it this way, “A fiber connection is 20 times faster than traditional internet service. 

With fiber, you get a dedicated line to your home, so you do not ‘share’ your data with other users. The experience you’re going to get with a fiber connection is far superior to some of the outdated copper line solutions or even wireless or satellite services.

Reliability is also better. That’s a point Medina Fiber customers have mentioned repeatedly when sharing their experience. Shelley explains why: “No electricity flows through fiber optic lines, so it’s not susceptible to electrical interference. It’s also not affected by harsh weather conditions the way traditional infrastructure is.” That means no more interrupted Zoom meetings and fewer rebooted modems to restore the signal when it gets stormy outside.   

Bridging the Digital Divide

Urban spaces have enjoyed having the option of multiple high-speed internet service providers for some time. For a largely rural area like Medina County, having access to fiber internet is a huge step forward for communities. A fiber connection can also increase your home value on average by 3-5%.  

Medina Fiber’s slogan sums it up as bridging the digital divide. “It means offering high-speed internet to areas that don’t currently have access to it,” Shelley says. “With COVID, we have seen an increasing need for high-speed internet, with people working from home, attending school at home, and even ‘visiting’ the doctor over the internet,” she explained. ”Fiber is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity for people, like their electric, water, or gas service.”  

But how is Medina Fiber different from other fiber internet companies? Medina Fiber provides symmetrical upload and download speeds directly into your home without sharing your signal with the entire neighborhood. Symmetrical upload and download speeds mean everything you receive or send travels at the same speed. Traditional services only provide asymmetrical bandwidth, which means you can download data much faster than you can upload it. But upload speed is equally as important as download speed, especially since it’s used for everything from streaming video calls and conferences to file or photo sharing on the cloud. Without symmetrical speeds, your internet experience will be unfavorable. 

The Local Difference

Unlike some of the corporate incumbent ISPs, Medina Fiber doesn’t put limits on people’s services and doesn’t try to lock customers into contracts. Its hometown approach is evident in the way it serves the community. “We know many of our customers by name,” Shelley says. “I’ve made many house calls to help them with items not even related to their internet service. We offer educational ‘streaming 101’ classes to the public to teach them the technology and how to stream their favorite TV channels through a streaming provider.”  

Medina Fiber promises no price increases until at least 2042, no data caps, and no ”bait and switch” pricing. A local community network, Medina Fiber has a small-town feel but a ‘big city’ connection. Find out if Medina Fiber is available on your street.

Four Red Flags to Look for When Shopping for Home Internet

Four Red Flags to Look for When Shopping for Home Internet

Home internet service is no longer just an afterthought. It’s just as essential as any other utility, like power or water service.

The internet provides endless sources of entertainment, news, productivity, and connection to friends and loved ones worldwide, so it just might be the most important feature of your home for some family members!

Many communities have multiple home internet service providers to choose from, and you may even receive regular ads in your mailbox or see them on billboards across town.

But with all the various companies and their marketing materials, technical jargon, and incessant statistics about internet speeds and prices, it can be confusing to know how to choose the best home internet service.

At Medina Fiber, we understand that choosing internet service can be frustrating. We try to provide straightforward, clear information so you can make the right choice for you and your family.

To assist you, we’ve put together a list of four “red flags” to look out for when shopping for home internet. By conducting some research and performing your due diligence, you should be able to find internet service that suits your family’s needs.

Red Flag #1: No Upload Speeds Listed

While internet service providers’ download speeds appear exceedingly fast in their internet ads, you’ll often see no information about their upload speeds.

Despite its importance to home internet service, many ISPs treat upload speed as an afterthought.

Good upload speeds are essential for transmitting data from your devices to other servers. This includes tasks like email, gaming, or online video conference calling.

Poor upload speeds are almost always to blame if you’ve ever been frustrated by frozen screens during online video conferences on Zoom or Skype.

And many ISPs (especially larger national companies) do not prioritize strong upload speeds and don’t advertise their slower upload speeds, either.

So when you’re conducting your research, be sure to check out the upload speeds as well as download speeds. And remember that fiber-based ISPs provide much faster upload speeds due to fiber’s higher bandwidth. 

Red Flag #2: Data Caps and Limits

No matter how much an ISP brags and boasts about its internet download speeds, check if its plans include a data cap.

A data cap is an overall limit on internet usage, set explicitly by your ISP.

Because some ISPs utilize older technology, which has less bandwidth to spread among their customers, data caps are set and enforced to ensure that no single customer gets too much data per month. 

This can lead to the dreaded slowdowns some customers experience toward the end of the month.

To avoid this problem, select an ISP that employs faster internet with higher bandwidth, like fiber. But whatever you do, check to see if the provider has data caps—and if they do, look for a different provider!

Red Flag #3: Bait-and-Switch Pricing

Another red flag to look out for is too-good-to-be-true pricing, which is merely an “introductory” price. But then, your bill is suddenly higher after the introductory rate expires.

Reputable internet service providers will stay relatively consistent with their prices and are upfront about their internet service costs and fees. Keeping pricing reliable and within customer expectations is almost as crucial as offering consistent, stable internet.

Red Flag #4: Long Waits to Speak with a Customer Service Agent

Perhaps the simplest and most important test a consumer can make when choosing an ISP is to pick up the phone and call a company’s customer service team.

Then, monitor how long it takes to get an actual human being on the phone. Unfortunately, many larger providers cannot handle the volume of customer calls or respond promptly.

Conversely, local fiber providers are small enough to have a well-trained and personal customer service staff to meet their customer’s needs. So pick up the phone and test it out for yourself!

These four “red flags” will help you avoid the pitfalls of home internet service.

So think about them while you’re doing your homework. And as always, you can easily reach Medina Fiber’s friendly and knowledgeable staff members who can answer any of your questions or concerns about home internet service. So feel free to reach out to them! And to learn more about Medina Fiber’s high-speed, reliable fiber internet, follow our social pages!

It’s Time to Take Esports Seriously

It’s Time to Take Esports Seriously

Esports are on the rise—and it’s no longer just the domain of digitally savvy teenagers or young professionals.

Esports—short for “electronic sports”—takes the hobby of online gaming against friends and transforms it into a competitive sport.

Esports even has spectators, complete with leagues, analysis, commentators, and organized fans!

The rise of esports is a made possible by faster and more reliable internet, like the internet available in your community through Medina Fiber and its cutting-edge fiber technology.

And through fiber internet, gamers can compete in esports games and tournaments, and spectators can enjoy cheering on their favorite esports gamers and teams with pristine streaming quality.

We’ll discuss the growth of esports worldwide and why it’s time to start taking esports seriously. And we highlight how esports is providing outstanding opportunities for economic growth and career development, too.

Global Viewership of Esports is On the Rise

Recent statistics show that, in America, there were about 81 million esports spectators in 2021 alone. That astounding statistic ranks esports viewership higher than Major League Baseball and NBA basketball viewers—both longtime, multi-billion-dollar enterprises.

But Americans aren’t the only people captivated by esports. Its popularity extends across the world, from Asia to Europe. And its viewership has been growing exponentially every year.

Recent market research indicates the audience for esports will expand to over 530 million people worldwide by the end of 2022.

And a glance at the viewerships of certain key esports competitions on Twitch, Discord, and similar apps shows events draw audiences larger than recent NBA basketball finals games!

Significant Business Investment in Esports

It’s not just gamers and spectators who notice esports’ potential. Businesses and financial investors are watching closely and putting substantial funding into esports platforms and infrastructure.

In early 2022, the owner of the Washington Wizards basketball and Washington Capitals hockey teams announced his company was investing millions of dollars in building a 14,000-square-foot esports live-event-and-entertainment center right located by Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, DC.

Such investments are increasing the profile and prestige of competitive esports and attracting more attention from the business community.

Careers Connected to Esports

As a highly technical field, esports requires many seasoned and talented professionals to create the industry’s magic.

Software engineers, graphic designers, IT specialists, electrical engineers, voice actors, composers, scriptwriters, and game designers are just a few of the well-paid careers essential to esports.

However, esports’ economic impact extends well beyond the design and execution of the games.

There is an entire market devoted to esports. Esports have dedicated websites and news reporters, which have multiplied recently. And as esports are popular worldwide, translators familiar with the nuances of esports jargon will be in demand. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities in advertising and merchandising.

Even local communities benefit economically from esports. Small businesses profit from the economic growth associated with esports spectators, who can enjoy local restaurants, food, and other venues, especially during tournaments.

High School Esports Teams

With the advent of esports, competitive high school sports have moved well beyond the most common team games like football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. And high school level esports teams, even high school leagues, are buzzing with action—and growing by the year.

The High School Esports League is America’s largest organization for high school esports and partners with more than 2,100 schools across the country to help facilitate competitive esports at the high school level.

Many other online platforms also host amateur high school tournaments and competitions, helping broaden the reach of esports and providing opportunities to foster new talent.

Additionally, high schools are developing and offering academic programs and curriculums related to esports. These educational modules cover essentials like computer science, programming, information systems technology, gaming history, and related subjects.

 College Esports and Scholarships

Of course, esports extend beyond the high school level, too, and college-level esports are thriving on campuses across America.

And just like the numerous Top Ten lists ubiquitous during the college search, there are even college rankings for esports competitors to consider and academic programs that develop and promote the esports industry.

There’s even a collegiate esports association, the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). Currently, 175 colleges and universities in America offer varsity esports programs recognized by NACE. In addition, scholarships are often offered for both varsity and junior varsity programs, which help further cultivate and nurture talent.

There is over $16 million in collegiate scholarship money available to esports gamers, with some scholarships worth thousands of dollars per student. That kind of financial support can make an enormous difference for many families and even decide whether a promising student can attend college.

Fiber Internet Fires-up Esports

Esports teams and players—whether pro, amateur, or student-athlete—all need reliable internet to compete and win. And fiber internet, such as the fiber provided by Medina Fiber, is faster than cable internet because it transmits internet through light.

Fiber internet can transmit data for gaming and other applications 20 or even 30 times faster than traditional copper-based cable internet.

As any esports competitor will tell you, those speeds and a reliable connection are essential to the esports community and industry—and to rack up wins that make national and global champions.

To learn more about how Medina Fiber’s advanced, high-speed fiber internet can power up your gaming experience and enhance esports, follow our social pages!

Resources for Navigating Tech Use with Your Kids

Resources for Navigating Tech Use with Your Kids

Parenting in the 2020s comes with complications that did not exist less than a two decades ago. And technology—especially smartphones and tablets—add to those complications.

From the distractions of texting and gaming to “addiction” to social media and the constant concern over inappropriate online content, today’s tech can be very problematic.

At Medina Fiber, we understand that technology can raise parents’ eyebrows and blood pressure. But it also makes life more efficient and easier. 

To address some of your concerns, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help parents navigate tech use to keep kids safe online and manage time on smart devices.

These resources provide valuable tips on using tech to monitor your kids’ devices and online use. It also includes advice for talking to your children—and fellow parents—about the risk of tech oversaturation.

Read below to learn more about resources to promote digital wellness in your family.

waituntil8th.org

waituntil8th.org is an outstanding resource to start learning more about how early exposure to smartphones and tablets can impact your child’s life.

It features helpful information about excessive tech use that is easy to share with fellow parents and others in your community.

waituntil8th.org encourages parents to delay purchasing their child’s first smartphone until they are at least 14 years old.

In addition, waituntil8th.org offers tools and support for parents trying to limit and monitor their kid’s tech use.

Two Books by Experts on Today’s Digital World

Social scientists and psychologists have been studying the effects of digital technology use on humans, especially younger people.

As new data becomes available, experts publish their findings and offer advice for navigating the digital world.

We recommend two books to parents wanting to help keep their kids safe and productive while on their devices, without completely disconnecting them from their tech either: Screenwise by Devorah Heitner, and The Tech Diet for Your Child & Teen: The 7-Step Plan to Unplug & Reclaim Your Kid’s Childhood (And Your Family’s Sanity) by Brad Marshall.

Each book recognizes our modern digital world’s virtues but also acknowledges the need to cultivate a healthy, sustainable relationship with technology through limited screen time and a proper balance of off-device activities.

They also suggest strategies parents can employ to improve online safety and—perhaps just as helpful—for talking with your kids about responsible and limited tech use.

Parental Controls and Monitoring Software and Apps

In addition to those resources, there are many excellent software programs and apps to help parents monitor and control their kids’ devices and online activity.

We recommend Bark and Norton Family. By monitoring or blocking social media content and websites, these programs’ parental controls can ensure that you’re in charge of your children’s devices and what they can access.

Bark is particularly ingenious because of its ability to perceive and identify problematic or even dangerous content in social media usage instead of just outright blocking it.

This way, Bark fosters more practical online use while simultaneously giving parents peace of mind.

Norton Family includes powerful web content filters that can help keep your kid out of online trouble before it strikes.

It also includes settings that enable real-time access to previously blocked apps or websites as needed. Norton Family also tracks how much time your children spend on their devices, so you can better limit their screen time.

The above resources are a great start for parents wishing to teach their kids healthy online and digital habits while limiting their screen time.

By learning and sharing these strategies and tips, you can be more confident that your children will be savvy, conscientious tech users without being overly dependent on those devices.

And for more advice about how to make the most of Medina Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet while keeping your family safe online, follow our social pages!

How Smart Tech Helps Seniors Live Safe, Independent Lives at Home

How Smart Tech Helps Seniors Live Safe, Independent Lives at Home

Every year, more American seniors—over 55 million of them, according to AARP—are living independently and “aging in place” in their homes. 

Our seniors can enjoy peace of mind for a safer, more secure home life. And given the rising costs of senior living facilities, many elderly adults are better off financially remaining in their homes.

But the elderly and their families are rightly concerned about the health and safety of remaining independent in their own homes, especially if they live alone. The concern of a medical emergency or fall is ever present.

Fortunately, technology has dramatically improved safety and security at home—the kind of safety and security to keep seniors living independently in their homes.

And with today’s technology, seniors and their families can rest assured that they can enjoy their golden years and independence for far longer.

At Medina Fiber, we do more than just provide the fast, dependable fiber internet you’ve come to count on for entertainment and productivity. We develop and maintain networks that keep your service as reliable as possible to facilitate life-saving technology in your home.

By utilizing today’s smart home technology and other safety and security features—enhanced by Medina Fiber’s fiber internet—seniors can confidently enjoy their retirement in their own homes.

Below, we highlight some of the technology available to seniors today to help them live at home more independently and safely than any previous generation before.

Personal Emergency Response System

Medina Fiber’s Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) forms the cornerstone for seniors to be independent and confident while living at home.

Its cutting-edge technology means that help during an emergency—from a medical scare to a fall—is always at hand, even when a phone is out of reach, and a family member is not there to assist quickly.

Smart Home Technology

Today’s smart home technology makes basic, daily tasks easier and safer for seniors. For example, by utilizing smart light bulbs, seniors can turn the lights on or off by using their voice, reducing the need for awkward positioning and bending, which can sometimes lead to falls or other injuries.

Smart light bulb voice activation also means there’s no need to search for light switches in the dark, making nighttime walks to the bathroom or kitchen far safer.

Many smart light bulbs are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and other Smart Home devices, which connect to Medina Fiber’s reliable fiber internet.

So, your loved one can easily integrate smart light bulbs into their smart home through easy-to-use voice-controlled devices.

 Smart Security

Smart home technology can also help seniors be more secure in their homes.

And recent innovations go well beyond traditional security systems like burglar alarms or surveillance cameras. Smart home security technology can integrate across the home’s fiber internet, providing protection almost anywhere in the house.

Exterior smart cameras allow a loved one to know if an unknown person approaches a senior’s property.

And indoor smart cameras can let family members check in if they cannot get in touch with their elderly parent.

Other smart home advances like glass break detectors can alert a loved one to intruders and help deter property crime.

These state-of-the-art technologies can help seniors feel safer and more secure in their homes.

Your neighbors at Medina Fiber are honored to be a part of helping our seniors live more fulfilling and self-assured lives at home. And because Medina Fiber’s fiber internet is so reliable, you’ll be confident that your smart home and its safety and convenience features will always be there for you.

To learn more about how technology can make living easier and safer for you and your loved ones, follow Medina Fiber’s social pages.

Enjoy Fiber Optics and High-Speed Internet in Medina County

Enjoy Fiber Optics and High-Speed Internet in Medina County

A fast, highly-quality internet connection at homes and businesses can improve the lives of everyone in Medina County, and a reliable fiber optic internet connection from Medina Fiber is the best option available today. 

 But, what is fiber optics internet, and why is it so great? This innovative technology has replaced traditional phone and cable lines to bring in ultra-fast gigabit internet to homes and businesses all over our area. It sends data via laser light and special glass-spun cables that will not suffer from electrical interference.   

If you are accustomed to unreliable service during severe weather and peak hour slow-downs, fiber optics internet will alleviate those issues. Fiber internet doesn’t share its bandwidth with other houses on your street like phone and cable lines do.   

All of us rely on the internet to work, learn, socialize and stream from home.  Take a look at some of the many ways that fiber optic internet service from Media Fiber is making a difference in our communities.

Home Entertainment 

  • Ultra-fast gaming experiences 
  • Perfect, reliable streaming for TV and movies 

Smart Home Devices

  • IoT (Internet of things) 
  • Home security systems 
  • HVAC and other home appliances  

Education

  • Online learning from home 
  • Other childhood and adult educational purposes

Remote and Hybrid Working

  • Quick access to cloud-based business platforms 
  • Ultra-reliable video conference connections 

Healthcare

  • Hi-speed, reliable access to telehealth networks 
  • Online access to primary care physicians and other clinicians 

Government

  • Ultra-fast, highly-reliable intra-agency and inter-agency connections 

Public Safety

  • Ultra-fast connections among local, state and federal officials and departments.

Business

If your internet service is slow, your productivity, sales and customer service can suffer. With lightning-fast fiber optic internet service from Medina Fiber, you’ll have the dedicated bandwidth you need to run all of your cloud-based applications without losing the stream. Here are a few key takeaways for businesses: 

  • Reliably send and receive email 
  • Reliable access to cloud computing  
  • Dependable connections for video conferencing 

When it comes to fiber optics internet service, Medina Fiber has the fastest and most reliable connections in the county. Give us a call at (330) 366-2008 or email us at info@medinafiber.net to sign up today. Let’s get you the high-speed service you deserve!