Direct Communications Contributes to Local Eagle Mountain Schools in 2012

Sharon Mardesich and Mike oConnor of Westlake High School with a check from Direct Communications

Sharon Mardesich and Mike oConnor of Westlake High School with a check from Direct Communications

This month, Direct Communications contributed to each of the local  Eagle Mountain Schools as part of our commitment to be involved in our local community.

Mrs Payne of Ranches Academy with a check from Direct Communications.

Mrs Payne of Ranches Academy with a check from Direct Communications.

Kip Wilson, General Manager explained why the company makes annual contributions to Eagle Mountain schools: “Direct Communications seeks to be a responsible corporate citizen.  We know that supporting educational institutions make good sense for both our businesses and our communities.  Educated people value the services we offer, and communities that value education are successful in attracting the opportunities that accompany economic development.  We view these type of donations as a win-win in our business and civic futures. Plus, we want to support causes that we know our customers really feel strongly about, and we know they care a lot about two vital things: Their Internet service working properly, and their children. We figure that if we keep donating  to the schools, that would keep us involved on both counts.”

Angie Hale of  Eagle Valley Elementary sent us a note saying: “Thank you again for your fabulous donation to our school! We also appreciated the photo opportunity with the giant check. It is currently on display in the entry to our school!” Angie composed  the following quote to submit to the Alpine District newsletter:

Ben Hayes from Directcom presents a check to Eagle Valley Elementary.

Vicki Smith, principal of Pony Express Elementary with Brigham Griffin of Direct Communications.

Vicki Smith, principal of Pony Express Elementary with Brigham Griffin of Direct Communications.

“Direct Communications, Eagle Mountain’s local internet service provider, made a generous donation to Eagle Valley Elementary in support of their Battle of the Books program. America’s Battle of the Books provides the opportunity for students in 3rd – 6th grades to read specific books and then compete as teams to demonstrate their knowledge and comprehension of the titles they have read. This program encourages students to read quality books and gives an opportunity for them to have fun while competing with peers. Direct Communications’ meaningful contribution will help provide Eagle Valley Elementary’s media center with much needed additional copies of the books, as well as awards and incentives. It will greatly help Eagle Valley Elementary to encourage an even greater love of literacy and learning among its students. Direct Communication’s generosity shows their dedication to the community and their willingness to help support local schools and programs.”

Ashlee Robbins, of Rockwell Charter High School, with a donation from Direct Communications.

Ashlee Robbins, Assistant Director at Rockwell Charter High School wrote:

“Thank you so much for coming out to our school today and for the generous donation.  The donation was used to support and fund the Rockwell basketball program. We have both a boys and girls team.”

Steve Stewart, Principal of Vista Heights Middle School stated: “Please accept our thanks for the generous donation of $1000 to Vista Heights Middle School. We are using these funds to enhance and support our Guided Studies program, which provides additional assistance to students who struggle  academically in school. This donation was timely and much appreciated.”

Steve Stewart-Principal of Vista Heights Middle School with Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications.

Steve Stewart-Principal of Vista Heights Middle School with Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications.

Diane Bradshaw, local office administrator and community relations representative for Direct Communications, has been involved with local education outreach for several years, serving on the Utah Scholars Initiative, and Prosperity 2020 Board.  She explained: “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is giving back to the community, especially our schools.  The future of Eagle Mountain rests in the hands of our children–Direct Communications helps in this endeavor by giving monetarily to our schools, helping our students succeed.  I enjoy hearing back from each school on how they are going to use the donation–some use the money on their libraries, while others use it for student council and sports programs.  I am proud to work for a company that values education and is interested in serving our youth.”

Mrs Mortensen of Hidden Hollow with Diane

Mrs Mortensen of Hidden Hollow with Diane

Suzie Scherer, Director of the Ranches Academy wrote to us: “Thank you so much for the generous donation. We are thrilled to receive the money again this year. The money will be used by our Student Council and our Randy Raffle. The Student Council will use the money to help pay for a service learning project. They will be traveling and serving at a shelter and also would like to go to a City Council meeting and meet with the Mayor. The Randy Raffle is our school wide positive behavior program and character education support.  Our raffle is a reward for students “caught” doing the right thing or demonstrating our character for the month.”

Direct Communications has a long history of partnering with local school districts, especially in remote areas. In many rural towns, Direct Communications was instrumental in bringing the first high-speed internet access to rural school districts.

Wendy hughes and Michelle Zwick- Mountain Trails Elementary

Wendy hughes and Michelle Zwick- Mountain Trails Elementary

Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director for Direct Communications, said: “Education and high-speed internet go hand-in-hand. So, as a broadband provider, supporting education is a good fit for us. Studies show a widening performance gap between students with broadband internet access at home, and those without. Students without internet are at a disadvantage, and at risk for falling behind the curve today. We want to bring high speed internet into more students homes and more speed to every school.”

Michelle Zwick of Mountain Trails Elementary said: “Thank you so much for coming to our school last week and presenting us with the “big” check for $500.  We have a Behavior Committee that meets and implements ways to increase good behavior at Mountain Trails Elementary.  We are going to use the donation money for training and also for student incentives to encourage and praise good behavior at school.  We started this program last year, and it was very successful.   We appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity.”

Michelle Zwick

Secretary

Mountain Trails Elementary

Fully Symmetrical Fiber Broadband Speeds are Here

Now make your fiber broadband fully symmetrical for only $10 more a month.

(This means your upload speed matches your download speed.)

Gamers: send bullets as fast as they are coming at you.

Creators: upload your videos and photos in seconds instead of hours.

Everyone: Back up your precious data and hard drives to the cloud.

Fiber, fiber, burning bright

In the forests of the night,  

What aspiring geek or guy   

Could utilize thy fearful symmetry?

-With apologies to William Blake

As more and more customers work remotely from home, and even regular folks upload fearful amounts of data in the form of home movies, pictures and online back ups, the need for higher upload speeds has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. Customers have recently been asking for higher upload speeds, and we have heard you.

For example, Kyle Andelin commented on our facebook page: “100Mb download speeds are exciting, but what are the upload speeds going to be? I’m always jealous of family and friends from nearby cities who have 10 down/10 up, and we still seem to have such a limited upload speed.”

He later explained: “If you need a point as to why upload sleep is important, just think about all the online backup solutions out there. Between Mozy and other offerings, or Norton and its integrated solutions, it’s really not realistic to try to upload 25GB worth of files at 100KB/second. That’s the better part of a week to complete a backup.”

We are pleased to announce that our fiber to the home customers can now choose fully symmetrical broadband speeds!

Our network is state-of-the-art fiber optic cable.

Starting Jan 2015,  Eagle Mountain fiber customers can now Amp Up any broadband package to full symmetry for just $10 more per month. So, for example, if you are currently paying $59.95 for 30Mb down with 5Mb up, you can Amp Up to 30Mb down with 30Mb up for $10 more, so your new total would be $69.95 for 30/30 speeds. Customers who really want to create havoc online can now even choose any upload speed up to 100Mb upload, and download speeds up to 1GB.

In the past, upload speeds were limited by two major things: the engineering specs associated with ADSL, which didn’t allow much more than 1Mb upload, and NECA (national exchange carrier association) federal regulatory specs that put limits on our upload offerings. I recently asked a prominent local telecommunications engineer about this at lunch, who explained how this situation came to be. For some reason which we in marketing will never be able to understand, when the engineers who designed the electronics  that power the internet put together their specs for DSL routers and servers, they decided that people did not need as much upload as download speed. They presumed that the regular folks would always be pulling more data from big content providers than pushing it back to the cloud. That assumption went into all the manufacturing specs and for years most network electronics were built that way, until it became impossible to mass produce or order electronics that could handle symmetrical speeds. It was almost like a VHS versus BETA situation, where the inferior product ended up being the one that was mass produced and became the standard.

Upload is still more expensive than download, and probably always will be, but the good news is that fiber overcomes most of the upload technical limitations. The electronics that deliver ethernet over fiber have thankfully been designed to deliver fully symmetrical speeds to commercial customers, and residential customers are now the lucky beneficiaries of that forward thinking.

The second obstacle was the NECA tariffs, which dictated to federally-supported local exchange carriers (small telcos) like us, how much we had to charge for each megabit of speed, and how many megabits we were allowed to deliver for download and upload. We had been begging them for years to give us more options, so that we could be more competitive.

Thankfully, NECA has recently become a lot more forward-thinking, and given us more room to offer better upload speeds, which has opened up the path for new symmetrical speeds on fiber.

Unfortunately, the technical limitations on copper remain, largely due to the equipment design. VDSL gives us slightly better capabilities for customers still on copper, but sadly still not much more than 2Mb currently. There are a couple of options with copper—we could try do an entire network upgrade and replace all of the current VDSL equipment with some newer electronics that could possibly raise the upload speed. This would require hundred of thousands, even millions, of dollars. There are other creative engineering solutions like bonding several pairs of copper together, where available in a neighborhood, to deliver ethernet over copper, but that has a limited range anyway, and also requires new electronics on each end which would cost each customer several thousand dollars.

Ben Hayes, our commercial accounts manager, has been assigned to work individually with copper customers who are looking for higher upload speeds, and would work with the engineers to find these unique customized solutions. This would be a premium service though. 2Mb upload is still our regular limit for VDSL-  that is what we are comfortable advertising.

One other option copper customers will have is to use the new Wi-Fi network we are building out to blanket Eagle Mountain for upload purposes. All broadband customers will have free access  to this network for at least one device, with the option of adding as many devices as you like. Your upload speeds on this wireless network will only be limited by your device’s radio capabilities, and the available bandwidth on the tower, since it, like all wireless service, will be shared bandwidth. However, it will not be a secure network—it’s wireless, so if you are worried about uploading sensitive private data, this option may not appeal to you anyway.

The only real solution, and the current operating plan, is simply to replace all copper lines with fiber to the home, because we would rather put our investment into fiber construction than replacing our VDSL equipment. Only fiber will be able to get us all to fully symmetrical speeds over the long run, and by full symmetrical we mean speeds like 100 down and 100 up. We will convert the entire city to fiber as quickly as we can. Our crews are working around the clock to replace the copper with fiber optic cable to each home.

Amp Up your upload speed to full symmetry with your download speed

To make your speeds symmetrical today, call our office at 801 789 2800.

Direct Communications to Blanket Eagle Mountain with Wi-Fi Coverage

Wednesday, June 06, 2012, Eagle Mountain, Utah.

Direct Communications began rolling out Wi-Fi coverage at select sites in Eagle Mountain this month, in conjunction with Pony Express Days celebrations in the city. The company deployed three towers before Pony Express Days, so that residents could enjoy internet coverage at the Rodeo grounds, Amphitheater, and carnival at Nolan Park. This is part of a larger effort to eventually blanket the entire city with Wi-Fi coverage.

Directcom will deploy about 40 Wi-Fi access points at strategic sites in Eagle Mountain so that residents in Eagle Mountain will be able to connect to the internet no matter where they are.  These sites will be directly connected to our fiber optic network. Directcom will deploy about 20 sites in 2012, and the remaining 20 in 2013.

Eagle Mountain

The plan to cover the City with Wi-Fi first emerged at the urging of Eagle Mountain City officials, who felt this would put Eagle Mountain in a strong position for economic development.  Not only would Eagle Mountain have the premiere fiber-optic network in the state, but also the first city-wide Wi-Fi coverage in Utah.

This Wi-Fi coverage is not intended to be a replacement for current home fiber-optic service in Eagle Mountain. Directcom’s existing residential fiber optic service currently offers a direct link to each home with a dedicated fiber line allowing up to 50 Mbps to each home. Like all wireless coverage, this new Wi-Fi service will be shared by multiple users at each access point, and will only be offered as a value-added service for residents who already subscribe to home internet service.

Kip Wilson, General Manager for Direct Communications Cedar Valley, explains: “This wifi coverage will add a mobile element to our existing fiber optic service. We already had the fiber network in place—this just adds more convenience for our customers, in a slightly different format. We know that most of our customers are highly connected, and already use multiple internet-enabled devices like smartphones and tablets, and this service will replicate 4G-like coverage, so that our customers can rather use our Wi-Fi, and won’t have to worry about going over their cell data plan usage caps. In fact, we hope people will always choose to use our Wi-Fi coverage rather than the cell providers. Wherever you are in Eagle Mountain, whether you are sitting in church, or out running, or at the park with your kids, you will be able to enjoy a strong Wi-Fi connection.”

When pressed on whether people would actually use this mobile service, Wilson explained further: “Anyone who has been to Eagle Mountain can see that people here enjoy being outside. There is a constant stream of moms at the park, moms out with jogging strollers, large packs of tweens roaming the streets with smart phones; there are bikers, hikers and golfers. We want people using our broadband service even when they are outside of their homes. When you are running, you will now be able to stream your favorite music over Grooveshark or Spotify, and doing it all without ever leaving our network.”

City-wide Wi-Fi coverage has been deployed in other high-profile cities in the USA, starting with a municipally-funded effort in Philadelphia in 2004, and later in Mountain View, California, where a municipal wireless network was entirely funded by Google. Many of these have since failed or stalled as partnerships between private and public institutions fell apart, often due to troubles funding the build or maintenance of the system, because residents expected free service, but didn’t want to use public dollars to pay for the installation.

This build by Directcom will make Eagle Mountain first among cities in Utah to boast universal Wi-Fi coverage over the entire city. Why will Eagle Mountain’s city-wide Wi-Fi network succeed where others have failed?  Kip Wilson stated: “We are deploying this in part to help put Eagle Mountain on the map. This is exciting infrastructure for the City administrators to be able to talk about in terms of economic development. But, this will not be some low-grade, open network for everyone who hopes to be able to get free service to hop onto. We are investing a lot of capital and engineering money into this. It will be privately-owned, but built for the public good. Obviously we also want to strengthen our market position. You will have to be a Directcom customer to authenticate on the network. We will fund this privately. We will build and manage the network without relying on municipal funds or bonds.”

FAQ:

How many towers are currently operational?

Three, (Rodeo grounds, Amphitheater, and Nolan Park) with three more currently under construction.

What speed will each tower be connected at?
Each Wi-Fi tower will connect directly  to our fiber network via an Optical Network Terminal, and the Ethernet connectivity for those can be set anywhere from 10 Mbps to 1000Mbps. At this stage we are planning to provide most towers with about a 50 Mb capacity.

How much speed will each end user be able to get?
Theoretically, up to 50Mb, but that all depends on how many devices were connected to that wireless access point at any time, their own wireless device technology, and other factors. We will look to beat or replicate a 4G experience for each mobile device.

 

How much area do the towers currently cover?

Each tower will have a radius of about 800ft, depending on line of site.  However, with 40 towers planned to be operation by the end of next year, we intend to have ubiquitous coverage of both population centers (the Ranches and City Center) in Eagle Mountain.

 

What percentage of city already has fiber to the home now?

We have already upgraded 40% of the homes to fiber to the home, but we have a 6-year plan to upgrade the entire city to fiber to the home.

 

What is the schedule for Wi-Fi roll out?

20 towers this year, and 20 more next year, with 10 in operation by end of this summer.

Which towers will go live next?

We are targeting sports fields and outdoor activity hubs, so the ball parks and soccer fields will get next priority.

 

When did you start planning this?

The city of Eagle Mountain is a forward thinking municipal entity and as such it began a dialogue with Direct Communications in 2011 about deploying a wireless network.  The city views it as beneficial for economic development and Direct views it as a value added benefit for its landline broadband subscribers so they can avoid costly overages of the caps imposed by the many wireless/cell providers.  We made the decision in 2012 to start deployment of a wireless broadband service then.

 

Will you charge customers extra? What’s the pricing model going to be?

We will offer this as a value-added service, so will probably include mobile Wi-Fi service free with a subscription to our premium home broadband packages.

Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting for New Direct Communications Building in Eagle Mountain

 

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After months of hard work, Direct Communications was able to open the doors to their new building on Campus Drive in Eagle Mountain in February, 2011.  Our grand opening was held in June, along with the ribbon cutting of the Eagle Mountain City business incubator program.

In attendance were board members of the Lehi Chamber of Commerce, Eagle Mountain City Economic Development officials, the Mayor and the new business incubator tenants who will be starting up businesses as part of the partner program between the City and Directcom to encourage the growth of local businesses in Eagle Mountain

The building has 8 “pods”, or office spaces, approximately 2500 square feet each.  Direct Communications houses four of the pods, Beyond Limits Physical Therapy occupies one pod, and the Eagle Mountain City incubator program has the remaining three pods.  After working in two separate areas for several years, Direct Communications was excited to have all of their employees at the same location.

The private-public partnership between Direct Communications and Eagle Mountain City to create the incubator program is unlike any other project in the nation.  Mayor Heather Jackson called it “complete and utter innovation.  We have figured out our destiny, and we are opening our arms and inviting everyone here.”  The program allows participants to lease office space for three years, at no cost during the first year.  Business are given phone service and free internet services from Direct Communcations , along with a reception area, conference room, copy and fax equipment, av equipment, a break room, and janitorial services.  “We help startups with the hopes that they will move into our City,” said Ifo Pili, Eagle Mountain City Economic Development Director.

Direct Communications is proud of the hard work and dedication they give to their customers.  As Diane Bradshaw, Administrator for Direct Communications said, “having a new, professional building gives us the opportunity to show the customer we are dedicated to Eagle Mountain and are invested in our community.  Customers love coming in to pay their bill and check out our new facility and our employees love coming to work everyday to our beautiful offices.  Direct Communications is here to stay!”

Directcom’s Brenda Caldwell named Utah Valley’s Raddest Receptionist

Utah Valley BusinessQ Magazine. Fall 2011 - pg 34 -http://www.utahvalleybusinessq.com/fall2011/34.html

Congratulations to Direct Communications Cedar Valley’s own Brenda Caldwell on being named Utah Valley’s Raddest Receptionist by Utah Valley BusinessQ Magazine.

Brenda has been with the company for 4 years, and probably has never had a bad day at the office in all that time–at least from a customer perspective. If you have had any dealings with Brenda as a customer of Direct Communications, you know she is a deserving recipient of this award.

Diane Bradshaw, office manager of Direct Communications in Eagle Mountain stated in the article:

“Brenda is always, always, always pleasant to each and every customer that calls or comes into our office. She has a smile in her voice when she answers the phone and treats each customer with respect and kindness, no matter what the situation.”

To view the article online, visit http://www.utahvalleybusinessq.com/fall2011/34.html

The following is an except from the article:

Q: How do you greet callers?

A: “Direct Communications, this is Brenda.”

Q: What qualities make a receptionist successful?

A: You need to be patient, kind, reliable, personable and able to multitask.

Q: What do you wish people knew about receptionists?

A: I wish they knew being a receptionist is one of the best jobs. Interacting with customers and other companies and coworkers is so much fun.

Q: What’s on your desk?

A: My phone, a tape dispenser, stapler, post-it notes and stacking trays with my paperwork in them.

Q: What does it mean to you to be “the face” of the company?

A: Being “the face” of the company means I have the most interaction with the customers. They see and talk to me more than anyone in the company, so it is very important to be professional but friendly.

Q: What music plays when you put someone on hold?

A: Soft music and ads about our company.

Q: What’s your strategy in dealing with upset callers?

A: Being a good listener, having empathy and not taking things personally.

Q: Most memorable client interaction?

A: A customer came in every month to pay her bill. We would talk, and she invited me to go to California with her and her family since I had never been.

Q: Funniest client interaction?

A: When I was working a part-time job at the local gas station as well as here at Direct Communications, one of our customers came in and asked me if I had a sister who worked at the gas station. I told her I worked at both places, and she asked if I was sure because I looked a lot younger than the girl who works at the gas station.

Q: Favorite fictional portrayal of a receptionist?

A: Ryan Reynolds as Sandra Bullock’s assistant in “The Proposal.”

http://www.utahvalleybusinessq.com

Utah Valley Magazine is a trademark of Bennett Communications, Inc. 

“Bennett Communications, the parent company of Utah Valley Magazine, is now in its 11th year of publishing. The company publishes four original titles and partners with local organizations on a variety of other projects.

In Utah, Bennett Communications publishes three original titles: Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley Business Quarterly, Utah Valley Bride and MainStreet Magazine. Utah Valley Magazine is published six times a year, UVBQ comes out quarterly and Utah Valley Bride is an annual publication that starts distribution in November” – http://utahvalleybusinessq.com/about/

What We Did This Weekend: 2011 Pony Express Days Report

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The 2011 edition of Pony Express Days is now over for our tireless employees involved in marketing, but the real work is just beginning for our techs, who have a whole lot of new installs to take care of in the next couple of weeks. After months of preparation, and a mailing blitz, our first night of involvement in the city’s annual festival started  Fri May 27 with the opening night of the PRCA Rodeo, where, as an official sponsor, we set up display booth with banners advertising our big announcement for this year, which was our new 50Mb speeds, and the free Wii for new subscribers. On Thursday afternoon we set up a table with brochures and flyers at the rodeo ground, strapped everything down with packaging tape, and hoped the wind would be kind to us this year.

Diane Bradshaw presents an Xbox 360 to Kloe Thompson, the lucky winner of the 2011 calf scramble.

On May 30 – Monday, was the Final Night of the PRCA Rodeo, and our big event, because we were the sponsor of the calf scramble. Diane Bradshaw, our office manager, gave free t-shirts to all the kids who participated, and a free Xbox to Kloe Thompson,  the lucky winner of the calf scramble.

On Tuesday, as part of our effort to keep in touch with our business customer’s needs, we hosted a 1-hour focus group to learn from them how we could improve our services and products for local businesses at our new office conference room. We gave local business owners $20 plus lunch to hear their opinions. We asked them questions like:

  • What can we do as the local broadband provider to make Eagle Mountain a more attractive destination for business development?
  • How much speed do you think you will need in the next couple of years?
  • Do you employ a dedicated I.T. person?

That evening at 6pm we held a similar focus group for current residential customers to try gauge how we were doing as a company, and were pleased to hear from them how far they thought we had progressed as a company over the past few years. We have been hosting these focus groups for several years, and each year the complaints have decreased, and this year our customers had nothing but compliments to share, even though we tried to stress that we really wanted them how we could improve. One important piece of feedback we did get was that even though we were being involved in the community, donating to schools and athletic teams, the general public was not getting this news, and they explained how they get information from the school newsletters, PTA groups, Crossroads Journal and so forth. Also, we learned that not a lot of them use our homepage after they had got the information they needed to make the switch to us, so we need to use that space purely for advertising for potential customers.

On Wednesday evening we held a focus group for residents who were not our customers to try find out why they would use a different ISP, and what we could do to be more attractive to them, and received a lot of good market information that we will be using to improve our products. An encouraging nugget from that session was that the participants said that even though they may not be using our service, everything they had heard from their neighbors about our company was positive, and they had heard we had great customer service, and that we always treated people well, even in billing disputes. We will continue to hold these focus groups, so if you want to participate next year, contact Ben Hayes at 801 789 2808.

Ben Hayes at our 2011 pony express days vendor booth

On Thursday afternoon we set up our vendor booth at park, and kept that open till 10pm each night till the end of the celebrations on Saturday night. Our promo this year was the free Wii for new subscribers, plus the 50Mb broadband speeds, so we tried to decorate the booth with advertisement that would leave nobody in doubt as to what we were offering. We had a new Wii hooked up to the TV that we were giving away as a prize, and had the Wii playing Netflix, so that people passing by could see the streaming broadband in action. The booth seemed not quite as busy as last year with new sign-ups, but I did notice that most people seemed to know exactly who we are now, if they were from Eagle Mountain—nobody was confusing us with DirecTV, and we didn’t get any customers stopping by to complain like they used to several years ago at the fair. So, our network improvements are definitely being effective

On Friday morning we sponsored a team at the Special Needs Charity Golf Tournament at The Ranches Golf Club, the proceeds of which went to the EM City Exceptional Kids Club (special needs activities program). Our company team managed a score of 4 under par, which was a way off the winning 13 under par, but any day that I get to play golf for work is a fantastic morning at the office for me. Our General Manager, Kip Wilson, is really a good golfer with real golf shoes and everything, and a 330-yard drive.

Hopefully they showed our pre-show ad at the Movie in the Park that Friday night at the Silverlake Amphitheater.

On Saturday morning we sponsored several of our employees and their spouses at the 5K and Kids’ Fun Run—you would have noticed them wearing our “faster steaming broadband” t-shirts.

Soon after the 5k was time for the main even we had all been planning for—the Grand Parade. Each year this event seems to get longer, and this year was no exception. We lined up in our spot, #76 this year, at 9am; the parade started at 10am, and we didn’t pull into the parking lot at the end of the parade until after 12pm. During the parade we gave out several hundred dollars worth of candy, plus over 200 frisbees, 300 t-shirts, and 100 bananas. The bananas came about kind of by sheer coincidence –last year Troy, our gorilla man, threw out some bananas his mom had given him into the crowd because he didn’t want to eat them, and people went crazy for those bananas from the monkey. We took note, and this year came prepared and had the ape throwing bananas from the roof of the truck on purpose, and they were probably the most popular item we gave away. Strange but true—marketing is truly a fun occupation. We try to ration the kids in the trucks to space out the Frisbees and t-shirts, and wish we had enough to give everybody on the sidelines something, but unfortunately just don’t have the budget to that that—hopefully you all came away with a good haul from all the local businesses that were represented at the parade.

The thing that most people will probably be talking about was the visit from Master Chief from Halo, who decided he wanted to walk along with our parade float because he was a Direct Communications customer himself. This was a perfect fit for our brand, because any self-respecting gamer would obviously want our fiber optic service with its low latency and ridiculously-fast upload and download speeds. So many kids wanted to come up and high-five Master Chief, that it really slowed down our vehicles’ progress, and we were soon far behind the rest of the parade—we couldn’t see the next float down the road. Anyway, he was fantastic, a real trooper, made a lot of little and not-so-little boy’s days, and hopefully enjoyed himself in Eagle Mountain that day. We really enjoyed having him join us. We need more passionate people like that in the world.

After the parade it was back to the booth, where we had a lot of people switching from wireless services to our fiber-optic broadband, and we listened to their stories of terrible service on wireless with great sympathy, and welcomed them to our better network with open arms, and sent them away happy with a free Wii for their troubles. This is a very satisfying moment for anybody in sales or marketing—when you see somebody making a positive change their lives, something that you know is going to make a real difference to their family and quality of life. We generally save them money, give them faster broadband, a more reliable service, and open up a whole new world of streaming video to them. All it takes is them discovering the truth about how internet service works, and giving them an incentive to make the switch, because it is hard work to switch service providers. Most people we talk to are willing to make the switch right there on the spot at the booth, which is a huge contrast to several years ago, when nobody really knew who we were.

Kip Wilson presents JASON & JENNIE OMER with their new TV during Pony Express Days 2011.

A little after 3pm on Saturday afternoon we held the drawing for our smart TV with VIZIO INTERNET APPS. This drawing was open to current customers in our Eagle Mountain Utah exchange area only. This TV with WiFi built in is the future of video. No wires, no bulky receivers, set-top boxes or media players–streaming access is built right into the TV, and you just hang it on any wall and start watching online video over your home internet network. Kip drew out the ticket, we checked our billing records to make sure the winner was a current customer in good standing, and called them up to pick up their prize at the booth. They showed up within a few minutes, we checked their ID, took a picture, and we posted the announcement of the winner of the TV to our Facebook page literally within a minute of the little ceremony. Congratulations again to JASON & JENNIE OMER, winners of our smart TV drawing for Pony Express Days 2011.

During the first two days of Pony Express Days we signed up over 50 new customers, talked to hundreds of people one-on-one, and hopefully were seen out there being involved in the community by just about everybody in Eagle Mountain, so overall I would consider this year’s event another success.

Thank you letter from Eagle Mountain City expressing appreciation for our sponsorship of Pony Express Days.

Direct Communications awarded 2010 Best Business of the Year

Direct Communications was awarded the 2010 Best Business of the Year by the Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce awarded top businesses in the community at the annual awards luncheon on January 11, 2011.

Best Business of the Year 2010 went to Direct Communications, a phone and internet provider in Eagle Mountain.  Diane Bradshaw, office manager for Direct Communications in Eagle Mountain, accepted the award for the company and shared some of the projects that the company has spearheaded in 2010 with local schools and organizations. Direct Communications has partnered with Eagle Mountain City, Lehi Area Chamber and the Eagle Mountain City Board for Economic Development to start a business incubator program that will launch in next few months.

Leonard May, President, Diane Bradshaw, office manager, and Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director with 2010 Business of Year Award.

Kip Wilson, general manager for Direct Communications, stated: “We appreciate the work of the Chamber, and really commend Diane for her efforts in the community. We will continue to do whatever we can do to encourage the growth of local business in and around Eagle Mountain because we want a strong local economy that creates more opportunities for all of us.”

Brigham Griffin, marketing director said: “I think it’s significant that a business from Eagle Mountain was recognized this year, and everybody in Eagle Mountain should feel proud about this award. What this means is that local business in Eagle Mountain has come of age, residents of Eagle Mountain are supporting local businesses, and we had a great year of growth in 2010 because our customers were turning to their local broadband provider for their needs. So, thank-you to all our customers in Eagle Mountain for your support, and we will strive to live up to this award.”

Diane Bradshaw, office manager for Direct Communications in Eagle Mountain, accepted the award for the company.

The Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce serves Lehi, Eagle Mountain, Saratoga Springs and the surrounding communities.

Read news coverage of the event:

http://m.heraldextra.com/mobile/business/article_3ac19d6d-d68f-5bc0-9c15-a1afcca43de4.html

http://www.lehiareachamber.org/articles.php?id=75

For more Information contact.

Eagle Mountain Economic Development Director Ifo Pili, Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications, Eagle Mountain Mayor Heather Jackson

Donna Milakovic

Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce

PO Box 154

Lehi UT 84043

801-836-0836

[email protected]

www.lehiareachamber.org

Ranches Academy Purchases New Playground Equipment with Donation from Direct Communications.

Eagle Mountain, Utah (December 03, 2010)

Direct Communications, Eagle Mountain’s local internet service provider, donated a generous amount to each of the local schools in Eagle Mountain this fall, to show their commitment to education in Eagle Mountain. The Ranches Acdemy, which is a free public charter school located in The Ranches community of Eagle Mountain, Utah, decided to use their donation to purchase new playground equipment for their students.

Thank-you notes from students at the Ranches Academy to Direct Communications

 Eagle Valley Elementary, Hidden Hollow Elementary, Pony Express Elementary, Ranches Academy, Vista Heights, Rockwell Charter High School and Westlake High School each received an undisclosed amount from Direct Communications during the month of September 2010.

Donation to Ranches academy in Ealge Mountain Donation to Ranches academy in Ealge Mountain

Kip Wilson, general manager for Direct Communications, said: “We are absolutely committed to improving life in Eagle Mountain and that means supporting the local institutions that are going to help develop the community. People care about education here, so donating to the schools will hopefully demonstrate our dedication to the top community priorities, including youth development and the success of Eagle Mountain.

A significant portion of the donation to the High School will be channeled to Westlake football. Jason Walker, Head Football Coach for Westlake High School stated: “This donation from Direct Communications is a huge help to our athletics program here at Westlake High School.  It will help to ensure that we have safe, quality equipment for our student-athletes, to help them practice and compete at the highest level possible.  We also use a portion of the donation to pay for after-school tutors to help our student-athletes succeed in the classroom, as well as on the field.  We could not provide such a positive experience for our student-athletes without the help of generous donors like Direct Communications.

Diane Bradshaw, Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain presents donation to Michael O'Connor, Athletic Director of Westlake High School. Diane Bradshaw, Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain presents donation to Michael O’Connor, Athletic Director of Westlake High School.

Further, as part of their donation, a portion of the funds will be set aside to help fund an Athletics Department Scholarship to help students who might not otherwise be able to attend college.  Direct Communications donation is the catalyst of what we hope to be a tremendous help to students now and in the future.”

Direct Communications has a long history of partnering with local school districts, especially in remote rural areas. In many rural towns in Idaho, Direct Communications was instrumental in bringing the first high-speed internet access to rural school districts. Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director for Direct Communications, explained: “Education and high-speed internet go hand-in-hand. So, as a broadband provider, supporting education is a good fit for us. Studies show that students without internet access at home are falling behind the curve today. Not only is the education market thirsty for better broadband access to improve educational opportunities for their students, but we also find that the more educated people are, the more likely they are to subscribe to our higher speed internet services. We want our schools to be strong, because that makes our communities strong and keeps our company healthy.”

Principal Keith Conley of Eagle Valley Elementary School said: “Thank you for this wonderful donation. This kind of support is so greatly appreciated. When businesses and good people donate to our school, we are able to do things for our students and staff that otherwise could not happen. We will use this donation to help fund our after-school programs. At Eagle Valley Elementary, we sponsor several after school programs to provide a wide array of activities. Among these programs, we offer Knowledge Bowl, Geography Bee, Japanese & Spanish Language Culture, Choir/Drama, Reading Remediation, Math Meet, Student Council and Family Night. Teachers advise these activities and parents volunteer as well. We provide very modest stipends and help to purchase items for the students.

This marvelous donation will go a long way in helping us to continue our tradition of providing meaningful and fun activities for our students and community. Our students, staff and community express gratitude to Direct Communications and Diane Bradshaw, for helping the Eagles at Eagle Valley Elementary School.”

Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications presents a donation to Eagle Valley Elementary in Eagle Mountain, Utah. Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications presents a donation to Eagle Valley Elementary in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

Diane Bradshaw, local Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain, is also involved in the Utah Scholars Program, and regularly gives presentations throughout the Alpine School District.  “As a parent I wanted to find a way to help support our local schools, as well as improve our business profile. People need to know that we are heavily invested in Eagle Mountain—we are invested in the children and invested in the community. One way we can give back meaningfully is to get involved in the schools.”

Bradshaw can be found each quarter at Westlake High School, giving away prizes to recognize students for academic achievement.

It is hard to miss the signs of Direct Communications involvement around the sports fields at Westlake High School, especially the 40-foot banner facing the football field, touting the relationship between the Thunder and the local broadband company. For example, at the homecoming football game, Direct Communications will be giving away prizes to the crowd, including an Xbox. Walker said again: “Our sincerest thanks to Direct Communications for their generosity and investment in our students.  We appreciate their support and look forward to working with them in the future.”

For more information contact Direct Communications at 801 789 2800 or visit www.directcom.com/eaglemtn

Directcom donated to Rockwell Charter High Directcom donates to Rockwell Charter High in Eagle Mountain. Donation to Hidden Hollow Elementary

ESPN3.com Now Available to Direct Communications’ Broadband Customers in Eagle Mountain.

ESPN3.com. Your Favorite Sports. Live. Online.

 Direct Communications is pleased to announce that our customers in Eagle Mountain now have access to ESPN3.com.

ESPN3.com Means More College Basketball

Direct Communications is the only Internet Provider in Eagle Mountain that gives you access to this fantastic online sports network. Plus, if you are a Direct Communications Broadband customer, ESPN3.com is now available on Xbox LIVE!

ESPN3.com is a broadband network for live sports programming that harnesses the quality that ESPN has built through its TV networks. ESPN3.com delivers more than 3,500 live online events a year from your favorite sports through a rich, interactive, and easy-to-use experience. Features of the website include the ability to watch multiple games simultaneously, real-time stats and scoreboards, live chat for interacting with friends and other fans, and much more!

Direct Communications is the fastest, most reliable, high-speed internet connection in Eagle Mountain. Our fiber optic network allows you to enjoy speeds up to 20Mb, so you can watch streaming video the way it was meant to be viewed. No throttling and no monthly usage caps means you can enjoy unlimited, high-quality, online viewing.

To watch ESPN3 go to our homepage at http://www.directcom.com/eaglemtn/ and click on the ESPN3 logo.

New features and functionality updates at launch:

New Viewing Modes – Multiple options to watch live events, including picture-in-picture and split screens;

New Scoreboard Module – Up-to-the-minute scores from hundreds of sports leagues from around the world;

Stats – In-depth event stats that allow fans to track the event they’re watching;

Chat – Interact with other fans watching the game;

Enhanced Schedule – Users will be able to find a specific event via improved navigation;

Social Networking Tools –Update your Facebook and Twitter status.

A Key Plays feature where users will be able to jump to key scoring plays and pivotal moments at any time during the game.

Network Description:
Watch more than 3,500 live sports events a year including college basketball, college football, MLB, NBA, PGA and tennis championships

  • Customize your viewing experience with a selection of features
  • Select from a menu of live or recently completed games and events
  • Watch up to 4 LIVE games all at the same time with a variety of viewing modes
  • Ability to CHAT LIVE with your friend in the Chat room
  • Live scores and an analysis
  • With your High Speed Internet connection, log onto ESPN3.com away from home with Remote Access

ESPN3.com Programming:

• Tennis

                – Coverage of all 4 Grand Slam events (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open)

                – Over 1600 live hours of Grand Slam tennis including simultaneous streams of outer-court coverage

 Golf

                – The Masters: First and Second Round coverage in addition to the Par 3 Contest

                – US Open: First and Second Rounds in addition to specific Par 3 hole coverage

                – Open Championship: All 4 Rounds in addition to specific Par 3 hole coverage

 CWS

                – Up to 37 games of the NCAA Baseball Championship including all games from the College World Series in Omaha.

• MLB

                – 76 total games (Monday/Wednesday/Sunday) in addition to the Home Run Derby, All-Star Celebrity Softball game, MLB Futures All-Star game & World Series Championship Parade

• NBA Playoffs

                – Up to 27 NBA Playoff games including First Round & Conference Semifinal action as well as all games from the Conference Finals (each year rotates between Eastern & Western Conference Finals)

• Soccer

                – Over 650 soccer games per year

                – Coverage from major leagues/tournaments including the FIFA tournaments, US Soccer, Italian Serie A, Portuguese Liga, Italian Cup, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, Dutch League, German Cup, MLS and NCAA

• College Basketball

                – Over 1000 men’s and women’s basketball games per year including over 170 Championship Week games

                – Approx 10-15 exclusive games per year

                – Coverage of all major conferences

• College Football

                – Over 350 games per year including over 20 Bowl games

                – 40 exclusive games this season

                – Coverage from all BCS conferences

Please note:

Offer available to broadband customers in Direct Communications’ phone exchange in Eagle Mountain only. Broadband Installation is free with a 1-year commitment. Listed speeds are approximate and may vary depending on line conditions. You will be  authorized to  receive “up to” listed download and upload speeds. You must have fiber-to-the-home to receive 20Mb speeds. If you are on copper, 12Mb is the current top speed. Read the full DSL terms of use online at http://www.emcity.net

Direct Communications can take any action to protect our network, our rights and interests. We reserve the right to cancel or change service plan offerings at anytime without notification to subscribers. HD video quality where available from media content provider and dependent on line conditions and speed.

ESPN3.com interface may differ from image shown. All online media content sold separately. See http://espn.go.com/espn3/index# for for details about ESPN3.com service and Terms of Use. Broadband internet required. Directcom is not responsible for support or troubleshooting of ESPN3.com.  All warranties and technical support are through ESPN. May require extra hardware to install. You will need an Xbox LIVE Gold Subscription to access ESPN3 through Xbox live.

Direct Communications Supports Eagle Mountain’s FC Blaze

Direct Communications provided a donation this month to the FC Blaze, Eagle Mountain’s local competitive soccer team, as part of their commitment to giving back to the local community and supporting growth opportunities for youth in Eagle Mountain.

fc blaze logo

fc blaze

Branden Reall, President of FC Blaze, said:

“On behalf of the FC Blaze Competitive Soccer Club in Eagle Mountain I would like to thank Direct Communications for your very generous sponsorship. Your commitment to helping the FC Blaze in our community is sincerely appreciated.

Each year the FC Blaze continues to grow. Through the program, we have seen more young players grow and we have enjoyed good success in the past year.  The goal of the FC Blaze is to continue to make a difference in the community and lives of its players. With the help of donations from supporters such as you we will continue to see improvements.  We will continue to update you as our season progresses.

Thanks again for your generous support.”

Kip Wilson, General Manager of Direct Communications has stated on several occasions that the company is absolutely committed to improving life in Eagle Mountain, and that means supporting the local institutions that are going to help develop the community.

The FC Blaze soccer club was established for the specific purpose of creating a local competitive soccer program whose goals are to instill good character, self esteem, good sportsmanship, and strong physical abilities.   Their intent is to complement the communities and surrounding schools by providing additional levels of competition. For more information on competition soccer, the club, and other information, please visit http://www.fcblaze.org/

FC Blaze from Eagle Mountain U12 Team

FC Blaze from Eagle Mountain U12 Competition Team

Direct Communications supports Eagle Mountain Schools

Direct Communications supports Eagle Mountain Schools   

Donation to Ranches academy in Ealge Mountain

Donation to Ranches academy in Ealge Mountain

Eagle Mountain, Utah (Thursday, September 23, 2010)

Direct Communications, Eagle Mountain’s local internet service provider, donated a generous amount to each of the local schools in Eagle Mountain this month, to show their commitment to education in Eagle Mountain.

Eagle Valley Elementary, Hidden Hollow Elementary, Pony Express Elementary, Ranches Academy, Vista Heights, Rockwell Charter High School and Westlake High School each received an undisclosed amount from Direct Communications during the month of September.

Kip Wilson, general manager for Direct Communications, said: “We are absolutely committed to improving life in Eagle Mountain and that means supporting the local institutions that are going to help develop the community. People care about education here, so donating to the schools will hopefully demonstrate our dedication to the top community priorities, including youth development and the success of Eagle Mountain.

A significant portion of the donation to the High School will be channeled to Westlake football. Jason Walker, Head Football Coach for Westlake High School stated: “This donation from Direct Communications is a huge help to our athletics program here at Westlake High School.  It will help to ensure that we have safe, quality equipment for our student-athletes, to help them practice and compete at the highest level possible.  We also use a portion of the donation to pay for after-school tutors to help our student-athletes succeed in the classroom, as well as on the field.  We could not provide such a positive experience for our student-athletes without the help of generous donors like Direct Communications.

Diane Bradshaw, Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain presents donation to Michael O'Connor, Athletic Director of Westlake High School.

Diane Bradshaw, Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain presents donation to Michael O’Connor, Athletic Director of Westlake High School.

Further, as part of their donation, a portion of the funds will be set aside to help fund an Athletics Department Scholarship to help students who might not otherwise be able to attend college.  Direct Communications donation is the catalyst of what we hope to be a tremendous help to students now and in the future.”

Direct Communications has a long history of partnering with local school districts, especially in remote rural areas. In many rural towns in Idaho, Direct Communications was instrumental in bringing the first high-speed internet access to rural school districts. Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director for Direct Communications, explained: “Education and high-speed internet go hand-in-hand. So, as a broadband provider, supporting education is a good fit for us. Studies show that students without internet access at home are falling behind the curve today. Not only is the education market thirsty for better broadband access to improve educational opportunities for their students, but we also find that the more educated people are, the more likely they are to subscribe to our higher speed internet services. We want our schools to be strong, because that makes our communities strong and keeps our company healthy.”

Principal Keith Conley of Eagle Valley Elementary School said: “Thank you for this wonderful donation. This kind of support is so greatly appreciated. When businesses and good people donate to our school, we are able to do things for our students and staff that otherwise could not happen. We will use this donation to help fund our after-school programs. At Eagle Valley Elementary, we sponsor several after school programs to provide a wide array of activities. Among these programs, we offer Knowledge Bowl, Geography Bee, Japanese & Spanish Language Culture, Choir/Drama, Reading Remediation, Math Meet, Student Council and Family Night. Teachers advise these activities and parents volunteer as well. We provide very modest stipends and help to purchase items for the students.

This marvelous donation will go a long way in helping us to continue our tradition of providing meaningful and fun activities for our students and community. Our students, staff and community express gratitude to Direct Communications and Diane Bradshaw, for helping the Eagles at Eagle Valley Elementary School.”

Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications presents a donation to Eagle Valley Elementary in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications presents a donation to Eagle Valley Elementary in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

Diane Bradshaw, local Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain, is also involved in the Utah Scholars Program, and regularly gives presentations throughout the Alpine School District.  “As a parent I wanted to find a way to help support our local schools, as well as improve our business profile. People need to know that we are heavily invested in Eagle Mountain—we are invested in the children and invested in the community. One way we can give back meaningfully is to get involved in the schools.”

Bradshaw can be found each quarter at Westlake High School, giving away prizes to recognize students for academic achievement.

It is hard to miss the signs of Direct Communications involvement around the sports fields at Westlake High School, especially the 40-foot banner facing the football field, touting the relationship between the Thunder and the local broadband company. For example, at the homecoming football game, Direct Communications will be giving away prizes to the crowd, including an Xbox. Walker said again: “Our sincerest thanks to Direct Communications for their generosity and investment in our students.  We appreciate their support and look forward to working with them in the future.”

For more information contact Direct Communications at 801 789 2800 or visit www.directcom.com/eaglemtn

Directcom donated to Rockwell Charter High

Directcom donates to Rockwell Charter High in Eagle Mountain. Donation to Hidden Hollow Elementary