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May Office Closures

Posted on: May 11th, 2018 No Comments

Our Shelton office will be closed on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 so that customer service representatives may attend a training event.  However, customer service representatives will be available to assist customers from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in Union and over the phone on this day.

Our offices will be closed for the Memorial Day weekend.  On Saturday, May 26, 2018 our Shelton office will be closed and both offices will be closed on Monday, May 28, 2018.  If you need assistance please call support at 360.898.2481.

May Employee Spotlight

Posted on: May 1st, 2018 No Comments

Congratulations are in order for Dalton Hutson our May Employee of the Month.  Dalton is very helpful around HCC and he’s super subtle about it.  It’s like he’s not even really looking to be recognized but is just naturally helpful.  He always lends a hand cleaning up after our staff meetings which is greatly appreciated.  In the winter he always shows up early to de-ice the walkways before everyone else arrives.  He always says hello and is in a generally good mood all the time which is so refreshing!  He does excellent work on the construction crew doing a professional job every time.  Who’s got two thumbs and passed his CDL?  #ThisGuyDalton

Congratulations to Lorenzo Determan on two years at HCC in May.  Happy HCC-iversary!

Quest Coming to HCC

Posted on: April 10th, 2018 No Comments

Quest is coming to HCC cable TV and IPTV!

On Wednesday, April 4, Quest was added to the HCC IPTV lineup. On Wednesday, April 11, the network will be added to HCC Preferred Cable on channel 312.

According to the network owners, Tegna and Cooper Media, the content will include adventure and exploration programming.  The network will capture the wonder, imagination, and excitement of the natural and man-made world and feature shows about natural history, engineering and science, as well as military history and man’s greatest achievements.  It will be the only broadly-distributed factual-entertainment multicast network.  Quest will show how the world really works and will not only entertain but will inform and educate viewers as well.

April Employee Spotlight

Posted on: April 5th, 2018 No Comments

Brandon West is our April Employee of the Month!  Continue reading below to see why he’s being recognized by his peers.

Brandon is always helpful!  He’s very motivated and keeps himself busy.  He is the first one to jump in to take care of things, even outside the scope of his job.  He volunteered to be the go to person for issues at the Union gym.  He’s constantly handling minor maintenance issues and more.  Recently, he even came in over the weekend to help man handle the large mats (without being asked) for the cleaning person, which they greatly appreciated.  Did we mention he set the WA State Class 1 Raw Bench Press and Deadlift Record?  Go Team Brando!

Congratulations to Spencer Jones (17 yrs), Kyle Johnston (10 yrs), Brandon West (6 yrs), Gwil Wiley (5 yrs), Josh Heideman (2 yrs), and Mikey Thompson (1 yr)!  They are all celebrating work anniversaries in April.  Happy HCC-iversary!

Wifi Mo Betta

Posted on: March 27th, 2018 No Comments

If you utilize the wireless network service (Wifi) from Hood Canal Communications things are about to get better! HCC is moving forward with a beta test of their improved managed Wifi product.

The best part about having HCC provide your wireless network has always been that we take care of everything for you. If you have a problem getting a device connected to your network, HCC representatives can help you connect it. They can also remotely troubleshoot your network to better assist you.

Historically, the downside to having HCC provide your wireless network has been that you were forced to use a specific wireless network password. The password was complicated and consisted of multiple letters and numbers that were intermixed. Great for security but difficult for people to learn or remember. At the time of installation, HCC representatives would leave a card with the network name and password. However, the card was easy to misplace; and If you had to swap out your equipment then the password had to change again.

HCC is proud to announce that we now have the option for HCC wireless network users to set and modify a custom password- even doing so on the fly. There’s no longer a need to wait to contact HCC to change or view your password. Please note that on some devices the password may not be viewable until after they have been modified in HCC’s managed Wifi portal.

This also means you can ditch that super long and confusing password that HCC assigned you. You can now choose something that’s easier to remember. You’ll still want to follow some basic password guidelines (click here to see our previous article) to make sure that your network stays safe and secure. Just keep in mind that if you do end up changing the password, each device’s settings will have to updated too.

An additional functionality will now be at your fingertips- the ability to see all the devices connected to your local network and their IP addresses. Advanced users will now have the option to add port forwading on their own. Also, you will be able to see if undesired devices are connected to your network and stealing your bandwidth. Here’s where an on the fly password change comes in really handy. Change the network password and these devices will not be able to connect to your network.

To take advantage of this new option you’ll have to have an HCC billpay login and a compatible device (TR-069 compliant) installed at your location. Check out this tutorial to guide you through the process of setting up a billpay login and using the new managed wifi functionality. Compatible devices include some models of Arris cable modems and Actiontech routers (provided by HCC). Give our office a call, at 360.898.2481, during regular business hours if you have any questions or would like set up assistance.

¡Hola Univision Seattle!

Posted on: March 20th, 2018 No Comments

On Wednesday, March 21, Univision Seattle will be joining the HCC Preferred Cable Lineup on channel 310.

For all of your Western Washington news, weather, traffic, and more, en Español, turn to Univision Seattle. Don’t worry your favorite fútbol (including the Sounders) and Telenovelas can be found there too!

WhatsM1Pa55W0rd

Posted on: March 20th, 2018 No Comments

In the age of identity theft and data breaches its more important than ever to follow some guidelines for online passwords.  Do you still have your passwords written down on a sticky note near the computer or attached to the bottom of the keyboard?  Are you still using 123456789 as your password?  Do you use the same password on multiple websites?  Then here’s looking at you, kid.

It can be a daunting task to come up with a great password that meets all of the criteria for various sites.  That’s why, once you’ve come up with one, it’s so tempting to use the same password over and over again.  And really what difference does it make if you use the same password for your department store online shopping cart, email account, and utility bill pay service?

The danger could begin with a data breach at just one of the merchants or organizations that you interact with.  With your personal data in hand the hacker could potentially login to your email account, view your history, and attempt to access other more critical sites and even reset the passwords for them.

Below is a summary of some tips regarding passwords in an article from Brian Barrett, published on wired.com.

Be unique.  Using a unique password on each site you visit is critical.  As an example, when each site has a different password, if bigboxmerchant.com is hacked, there’s less of a chance of hackers using the stolen data to access your checking account at bestlocalcreditunion.com.

Lengthier not trickier.  When it comes to passwords the goal is to make it harder to crack but easier to remember.  A longer password could do just the trick.  According to one source a twelve plus character password may even be more beneficial than a shorter password that requires special characters and is case sensitive.

Special not together.  Place your special characters and capitals throughout your password.  Don’t just put the capital letter at the beginning and digits and symbols at the end.

Extra rare.  Common phrases or pop culture references may be easier to remember, but they are easier to crack.  So, try making your password something unique while at the same time avoiding the use of personally identifiable info like date of birth etc.

Do the two step.  Take advantage of the two-step verification offered by some merchants and organizations.  Generating calls, texts, or emails with single use verification codes creates one more barrier for would be hackers to have to overcome.

With all of these different passwords, it’s understandable if you’re still writing them down.  But storing them next to the computer is handy for you, and for potential thieves.  If you must write them down try storing them somewhere secure but not near the computer.  Another option is password manager.  There are various password manager products available on the market today- check out this article on pcmag.com.

March Employee Spotlight

Posted on: March 1st, 2018 No Comments

Robert Von Stein is our March Employee of the Month  His dedication, hard work, and positive attitude is much appreciated by his co-workers!   Continue reading below to find out why and see which three employees are celebrating HCC-iversaries in March.

For over 25 years Robert has been a dedicated employee of HCC, and he’s still going strong!  Over the MLK Day long weekend our area was hit by a storm that knocked out power and cable in several areas.  Robert literally worked all weekend long on storm damage.  For two days he worked by himself, morning until night, performing repairs.  He had a great attitude about it the entire time.  When a manager asked him about it his response was “It’s alright.  I like to stay busy”.  Best response ever!

In March, several employees are celebrating work anniversaries- Dalton Hutson (1 year), Mikey Marshall (3 years), and Kacee Snyder (1 year).  Happy HCC-iversary!

Did Cable TV Eat My Lunch?

Posted on: February 26th, 2018 No Comments

You’ve definitely noticed that the price of cable TV goes up significantly each year!  And you may have wondered why.  You might have asked yourself why a small cable provider like HCC would keep raising prices at rates so much higher than inflation and with so many options in the market place.  From millennials to baby boomers more consumers are cutting the cord or at least looking for ways to save money.  So, is HCC out of touch and wanting to lose cable subscribers?

The short answer is no!  On the contrary, HCC continuously looks for ways to provide our customers with the quality services they want at an affordable price.  The problem with cable TV pricing comes down to content.  Unfortunately, cable Networks and local broadcasters (content providers) have taken the tact of demanding massive rate increases, coupled with carriage requirements, for their content with each contract negotiation.  These increases continue to pile up even with the assistance from expert negotiators, like those at the cable operator owned co-op that HCC belongs to.

At the same time that they are demanding higher rates from independent cable operators, many of those same networks and broadcasters are part of a media conglomerate (Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T etc).  So, while they are getting hit with increases from some content providers they are demanding their own increases from others.  So big money is demanding even more from other big money- a vicious cycle.  And the loser is the consumer and small cable operators.

Not all of the contracts expire in the same year.  But enough do, to necessitate a rate increase every year.  At the end of 2017 all of our local broadcaster (think Seattle stations) contracts had to be renewed.  The negotiations were brutal with prices more than doubling in some cases.  Just a few years ago these local channels were provided to cable companies at no charge- now they alone make up 24% of the programming costs.  Even if though these stations would be free to pick up with an antenna- HCC has to pay to provide them over our cable system.

Another trend is for content providers and media conglomerates to offer direct to consumer streaming platforms.  While this solution has many benefits the monthly price of these services quickly adds up to get all the programming you receive with traditional cable TV.  And streaming isn’t insulated from content rate increases.  As cable TV subscriptions decrease the content providers will continue to raise rates for streaming services in order to replace the lost revenue.

What does this mean all for our cable TV customers?  Unfortunately, a rate increase will happen at the beginning of April 2018.  The final details are still being calculated and negotiated.  But rest assured that HCC doesn’t take rate increases lightly.  Our company is comprised of locals- your friends and neighbors.  It is our policy to only raise cable rates enough to cover the increased costs of programming.

We invite customers to explore HCC IPTV as an affordable streaming option to cable TV.  It includes 23 local Seattle stations along with 50 music channels for under $25 per month.  If you have questions don’t hesitate to give us a call at 360.898.2481 or email us at info@hcc.net.

Spring Sun Outages

Posted on: February 26th, 2018 No Comments

What are sun outages and how do they affect HCC cable customers? In both the spring and fall, the sun passes behind certain communications satellites once per day.  During this time, the energy from the sun will overpower the signal from the satellite, causing loss of signal, tiling and no reception at all on several channels. This can last 2 to 3 weeks and causes channels to go black for a brief period of time.  Initially, outages will be gradual and slight, and can last 15-20 minutes at peak times.  On your television you may see the error messages, “one moment please, this channel will be available shortly,” error code SOAOO, or “no signal” during the time of an outage. Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do to prevent sun outages from occurring.  All cable and satellite companies are affected by this semi-annual occurrence.  We apologize for this programming interruption.

Watch the brief video below, from another cable operator, that explains sun outages simply.

Copyright: abidal / 123RF Stock Photo

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