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MuG with McG: Save bandwidth with Google caching (guest blog)

I’m thrilled I was able to visit with so many of you at the NTCA RTIME Conference in San Diego last week. If you didn’t get a chance to talk with me or someone else from our team, please let me know. I’d love to chat about our latest efforts, your services with us, challenges you’re facing, or anything else that’s on your mind.

We have a special guest MuG today as NeoNova CTO Chris Beatson shares some important information that he learned at RTIME as part of NTCA’s Technical Committee.

Want to save bandwidth?

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For the last couple of years, I’ve been a member of the Technical Committee for the NTCA. Generally, we meet in person a couple of times a year and discuss technical topics that affect the NTCA member base and ensure the Rural markets have a voice as various legislation gets proposed. From time to time, we have representatives from different groups come and present information to the group. At RTIME earlier this month, Anita from Google stopped by and talked to us about the Google Global Cache program.

The program allows ISPs to apply for Google edge caches that reduce bandwidth to Google hosted content. According to Anita, most folks see anywhere from 50 – 90% savings in Google specific bandwidth to sites like YouTube, Google Photos, and other Google products.

There are two types of engagement depending on your volume of traffic. One is sponsored by Google, and the other is paid for by the ISP. Although not published, Anita indicated you need a 250Mb peak of Google traffic to make the program worthwhile.

If you have 2.5Gb of peak traffic, you most-likely qualify for the Google Sponsored (i.e. free to you) option. If not, you have a one-time cost of around $8K for the equipment. In either case, Google will provide you with a minimum of two edge-cache devices that they’ll manage and maintain on your network.

Google then routes your end-users to those devices rather than remote servers, and if two (or more) users request the same content, the cache will save you bandwidth. Unlike Netflix caches, there is no nightly refresh of content; the cache is built in real-time.

There’s an application process you need to go through if you’re interested in the program. You provide Google some information about your network, and then they determine if you have enough traffic to qualify. The link to the application, as well as more information about the program is in this document for NTCA members.

After hearing Anita’s responses to questions from the committee and chatting with a couple of members who’ve joined the program, I’d recommend you go through the process of applying. You really don’t have anything to lose. As always, we’re here to help and can assist with the application process if needed, and I’m happy to chat with anyone that might have questions! Just drop me a note at chris@neonova.net.

Thanks to Chris for putting this info together. Please let us know if you have any questions!

In other news, we’re in the process of gearing up for our IP Vision preconference workshop on April 10th. We hope you can join us! We’ll be sending additional details very soon, so stay tuned.

I hope to talk with you soon!

-McG

NeoNova on the road: Who’s ready for a Good Time at RTIME?

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NeoNova is on the road again this weekend …. heading to Southern California for the NTCA 2017 Rural Telecom Industry Meeting & Expo (RTIME) in San Diego. The team will be setting up shop with the fine folks at our parent company, NRTC, in Booth No. 301. Please stop by and say hello.

Between Feb. 5 and Feb. 8, the path to greater prosperity converges at RTIME 2017.

This year’s “focus on growth” will be prominent throughout the four-day gathering of rural telecom’s best and brightest. Discussion topics this year include small business and enterprise sales strategies, revenue replacement tools and ways to further monetize your broadband network, the current state of play in Congress, the FCC and the White House, cybersecurity best practices and how to protect your network, and much more.

We look forward to RTIME every year, and we are thrilled to be the Tech Help Desk Sponsor once again this year. Come visit us and we’ll happily lend our expertise to help with the NTCA Events App, connectivity, or other tech-related issues.

Stay connected with us on social media throughout the event @NeoNova_NNS and use #RTIME2017 to discuss the meeting and learn about all the latest RTIME happenings. And, don’t forget to download the NTCA Events App onto your smartphone or tablet, so you can be updated when new RTIME content becomes available.

In other NTCA event news, we also announced this week that NeoNova will help kick-off the 2017 IP Vision Conference & Expo in April with our inaugural Investigation Station Rotation.

This pre-conference workshop will be a highly-interactive, round-robin info-sharing session that utilizes small-group discussions as a way to challenge industry experts in hot areas including cybersecurity, managed Wi-Fi and broadband video. IP Vision is scheduled for April 10-12 in St. Louis, Mo. Investigation Station Rotation will be on April 10 from 9 a.m. to noon. In the interest of keeping the discussion groups small, we’ll be limiting attendance so be sure to reserve your spot when you sign up for IP Vision!

But, before we head to IP Vision this spring, we’re looking forward to seeing some old colleagues, meeting new ones, and enjoying some California sunshine as well as the Big Game on Sunday.

See you in SoCal!

 


 

MuG with McG: Join us for our IP Vision Precon, plus meet the CA Team!

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By JASON McGINNIS

The first month of 2017 is coming to a close, and we hope your new year is off to as good a start as ours. That’s because we’re busy planning our very first IP Vision Preconference Workshop, taking place Monday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in St Louis. If you’re attending IP Vision, we really hope you’ll be able to join us!

We know you probably spend a lot of time at conferences sitting and listening to other people talk about the things they think are important for you to hear. That’s why we’re planning something a little bit different, with a highly-interactive, round-robin style session where you’ll get to pick the brains of industry experts in Cybersecurity, Managed WiFi, and Broadband Video.

Our goal is to encourage everyone to get involved and have a chance to guide the discussion to the issues they’d like to cover; it should be unlike anything you’ve ever attended before! If you’re planning to attend IP Vision, we’d love to see you there. NTCA should be sending the registration form soon.

Ok, that’s only part of the news I’d like to share with you. The other big thing that we’re kicking off is what we like to call our “Team Spotlight Series”! Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing all of the NeoNova teams, so you can get to know the folks who are dedicated to helping you succeed.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce the first in the series, your NeoNova Customer Advocate (CA) team! If you weren’t aware, your Customer Advocate is your direct liaison to NeoNova. They are highly dedicated and work tirelessly to be our Affiliates’ representatives “on the ground” here, driving requests and issues through to resolution.

See below for a brief video highlighting the team members and their overall philosophy.

If you don’t know who your CA is, or if you just haven’t spoken to them in a bit, feel free to email custsvc@neonova.net and they’ll get in touch ASAP to chat about your needs and how we can help. As always, if you have anything you’d like to talk with me about, I’d be thrilled to speak with you. Just email me at jmcginnis@neonova.net and get in touch.

Thanks and hope to speak with you soon!

-McG


 

 

MuG with McG: Summit 2017 Save the Date & Christmas wishes

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By JASON McGINNIS

Merry Christmas from all of us here at NeoNova!

As you can see, I’ve already received some presents under my office tree, and they’re just what I always wanted.

If you’ve ever joined us for one of our annual Summits, you know they’re a great mix of actionable info, peer networking, and a whole lot of fun. We love seeing our Affiliates each year and sharing ideas to help us all succeed, but we realized it might be time to introduce some fresh new ideas and connections. So, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re partnering with our parent company NRTC and sister company Telispire to throw the end-all, be-all of summits! It’ll be three times the innovation and three times the fun.

We’re still working on a catchy name for this event, but we wanted to share the details as soon as possible:

What: Summit 2017 with NeoNova, NRTC and Telispire
Where: Jekyll Island, Ga.
When: Nov. 14-17, 2017

I know our last Summit in Jackson Hole was a bit on the cold side, and you might be eyeing that November date with a little shiver. No to worry … the average temperature the week we’re going is more than 70 degrees! By the way, if you’ve never been, Jekyll Island is absolutely beautiful. I put together a little collage below to share some of the sights. We’re pretty excited about this one.

Please mark your calendars, and I really hope you can join us. In the meantime, I’m happy to talk with you about any services we provide, brainstorm new product ideas or other ways we can help, or just about anything else. You can call my cell (919.800.7465) or email me at jmcginnis@neonova.net.

On behalf of our family here at NeoNova, I’d like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

– McG

PS: If you know me, you know I love jokes, so this Christmas I wanted to share the gift of laughter (or the gift of groaning, depending on your perspective). Enjoy!

Q: What kind of motorcycle does Santa ride?
A: Holly Davidson!

Q: What do you call a bankrupt Santa?
A: Saint Nickel-less!

Q: What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?
A: Tinselitis!

Ok, I better stop before the laughter hurts your sides too badly. Once again, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Gingerbread Artistry: A testament to working and playing hard

At NeoNova, we take pride on maintaining a casual, enjoyable and highly-productive working environment. Whether it’s getting a crazy haircut to raise money for a children’s hospital, constructing houses for a good cause, fixing computers for kids, or enjoying a home-cooked meal as a team, NeoNovians take pleasure in supporting our unique company culture.

In the spirit of the holidays, our team recently participated in a Gingerbread Building Competition (it’s becoming an annual tradition). As you can see, we had some pretty creative ideas. And, since we’re a 24x7x365 operation, teams were able to participate at any time of the day so no one was left out of the fun.

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Congrats to this year’s winner, the G+A group including NeoNova’s Finance, HR, and Administrative teams (with some creative inspiration from one of our NeoNova babies, on loan from the Marketing and CA teams). Their extremely detailed “summer fun” gingerbread creation definitely stood out in a very tough field!

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As you can see, we take our fun seriously here. You, our customers, are our reason for being. As an extension of that, helping you serve your customers becomes our mission. But we can’t do any of that without skilled, motivated and driven employees.

On behalf of the entire NeoNova family, Merry Christmas and best wishes to you and yours in 2017!


NeoNova on the road: SCTBA Fall Conference & Showcase

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NeoNova is heading to the Palmetto State this week for the 2016 SCTBA Fall Conference & Showcase in Columbia, S.C.

Dave Butler, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Chick Kennedy, Regional Sales Director, will be attending for NeoNova. Please take a moment to stop by and say hello at Booth No. 26 on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10.

The South Carolina Telecommunications and Broadband Association (SCTBA) will host this year’s event at the Doubletree by Hilton. The vendor showcase will open on Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

More than 100 owners, managers and personnel representing South Carolina’s telecommunication industry will be attending this year. We look forward to seeing you there!

Follow conversations on Twitter this week @NeoNova_NNS and @SCTBA_.

 


 

NeoNova on the road: 2016 MATSS

We have enjoyed this year’s Mid-America Telecom Showcase and Seminar (MATSS) at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Today (Wednesday, Oct. 19) is your last chance to visit with us at MATSS.

matssWe are in Booth No. 523, and it’s your opportunity to speak with NeoNova President Jason McGinnis, Dave Butler, our vice president of sales and marketing, and NeoNova Sales Director Chick Kennedy.

This annual event with the Oklahoma Telephone Association and State Independent Telephone Association (SITA) of Kansas continues to establish working relationships between rural telecommunications companies, regardless of size, by offering educational and networking opportunities through various meetings and sessions.

You can catch up on all of the conversations this week and follow along today’s final day on social media using #MATSS2016.

And, mark you calendars now for MATSS in 2017 (Oct. 16-18) and 2018 (Oct. 15-17).

 


 

NeoNova heads to Alaska to discuss profitable video strategies

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NeoNova is on the road (and in the air) again this week this time heading to Anchorage for the Alaska Telephone Association (ATA) 2016 Tech Showcase.

Curtis Strole (aka the Stroleman) our vice president of customer advocacy, Pat Doggett, regional sales director, and David Hughes, customer advocate, are all set for this annual event sponsored by ATA Associate Members.  Curtis is scheduled to speak Wednesday at 1 p.m. UTC on how to build profitable modern video offerings.

Earliest this year, NeoNova and NRTC introduced ViewLocal to deliver local channels using a managed broadband network, allowing customers to say “goodbye” to weak over-the-air signals and “hello” to high-quality viewing on multiple screens and devices. It is now available to affiliates wanting to give their customers live, local television channels via their broadband network. We also announced this summer a new referral program that allows affiliates to promote Sling TV, a live and on-demand OTT television service that allows subscribers to get some of the most popular national channels like ESPN, AMC and HGTV on TVs, tablets, phones and computers. By combining the Sling TV referral program with ViewLocal, regional telcos can provide a complete OTT solution with both national and local content.

How can you get started? Contact us. We are currently taking orders and would be happy to schedule a demo with you.

Curtis and the rest of the NeoNova team can give you even more details if you’re at ATA this week.

Throughout the two-day Exhibitor Showcase on Wednesday and Thursday, telecommunication vendors will be hosting 45-minute informational seminars on a variety of topics in the Kuskokwim West Room on the 2nd floor of the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa. These are free to all attendees. NeoNova will be in Booth No. 14.

There will also be several other organizations conducting certificate trainings during this event.

Founded in 1949, the ATA supports member companies as they provide advanced telecommunication services across some of the most remote, spectacular areas on earth. ATA’s Tech Showcase is a great forum to network with companies in Alaska’s telecom industry to continue providing opportunities for Alaskan carriers and suppliers to connect.

In addition to NeoNova, this year’s sponsors include Power & Tel; CommScope; Copper Valley Telecom; ADTRAN; KLJ; New Horizons Telecom, Inc.;  Calix; CHR Solutions, Inc.; GENBAND; KGP Logistics; Metaswitch Networks; REDCOM; Superior Essex; Taqua; ZyXEL Communications; Moss Adams; and S&S Solutions.

 


 

A MuG with McG: Worried about getting hacked?

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By JASON McGINNIS

There has been a ton of high-profile security breaches recently, such as Yahoo’s breach of 500 million accounts, so everyone seems to be talking about the threat of a hack.  If that subject makes your heart skip a beat, you might want to take another look at your security policies and tools. Fortunately, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month has arrived, and we’re working on some things that will help!

When in grad school, I met the owner of a network security company. He shared with me his passion for protecting small, rural banks across the US from the threat of cyber attacks. Shortly after graduation, I had the opportunity to join his team. Quickly I began to understand the significance of the threats, as well as how unprepared many of our clients were. They were great at serving the banking needs of their customers, but network security and risk management weren’t their strengths. I committed myself then to champion improved security for small rural businesses.

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That’s why I am so passionate about security, and why I’m eager to make a special pre-announcement. As many of you know, NeoNova has offered a security solution for years, but we wanted to make something more comprehensive to help you even better protect your data and customers. So, at the end of this month, we’ll be incorporating our NovaSecure product into a new, more robust Cybersecurity Bundle offering!

Nathan Herrmann is leading the charge on this new offering along with Jay Pitzer, our Director of Product Development. Nathan will be sending more details (along with some excellent security tips and info) throughout this month. I don’t want to steal his thunder, but I would like to share the main topics he’ll be discussing.

  • Security policies and why they’re important
  • Staff training to instill good security practices
  • Website and network vulnerabilities management
  • Password security

All of this will lead up to a spooky Halloween webinar on Oct 31 (at 3PM Eastern) where Jay, Nathan and myself will introduce the complete offering and talk about how it can help you protect your critical data and customer information from hackers. If we get enough interest, we may even turn on the cameras so you can see my costume. Register here!

We hope you’ll be able to join us on October 31st. As always, I’d be thrilled to talk with you about this offering or anything else you’d like to discuss.

Talk to you soon,

-McG

PS: I’ll be heading to the TELSE Annual Convention on Oct 10-12 in Point Clear, AL, to lead a Cybersecurity 101 session. If you’ll be in town, let me know and we can share ideas over a MuG!

 


 

A MuG with McG: It all started with a bulletin board

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By JASON McGINNIS

Happy Monday!

I want to raise my MuG to Ray Carey who provided exceptional vision and execution as NeoNova’s leader these past 6 years, and I wish him the absolute best in his new endeavor. With his departure, I am retiring the “Janitor” title, as it was uniquely Ray’s, and taking on a new title myself as President of NeoNova.

While I plan to continue the same level of customer focus and success, I have a my own style and approach. So in the spirit of the Janitor’s Corner, I will still keep you up-to-date on NeoNova news and industry information using a theme closer to my heart: A MuG with McG.

My passion for coffee began in the early 90’s when I purchased a small coffee shop after seeing an ad on my university’s bulletin board. As I discovered later, what I really bought was a bunch of debt and the right to take over the lease. But that said, I think I actually learned more practical lessons from running that coffee shop than I did in all my business classes combined. My first foray into business taught me lessons in competing, advertising, selecting high quality products, building smart business relationships, hiring good employees, dealing with local government, investing wisely, and so much more. Most importantly, it taught me what commitment to customer service really means.

While I no longer have the coffee shop, my passion for both customer service and a good cup of coffee remain. Since my entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to customers started with coffee, it seems natural to invite you to have a MuG with me!

For any of you who haven’t met me, I often go by “McG” to avoid confusion since we have so many Jasons in the office. I’ve been at NeoNova since 2008 and was the COO before becoming President. I have a lovely wife and daughter, and I’m a perennial contender in our office ice-cream making competitions. (Have you ever had chili flavored ice cream?) I love dad jokes and I play a mean dulcimer (click below to watch a video of me in action). Oh, and I definitely appreciate a good cup of fresh coffee!

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On a serious note, I want to lay out my vision for NeoNova so you know where we’re heading. I’d like to reaffirm that our mission is not changing: we will continue to be driven to help you thrive by providing exceptional products and services powered by the absolute best people and technology available.

On the day-to-day business side, most of the team already reported up to me in my role as COO so it’s pretty much going to be business as usual. Of course for NeoNova, “business as usual” means driving ahead with new ideas to help you grow your business, improve efficiency, and increase stickiness with your customers!

That said, I am excited to give you a heads up about a couple of our upcoming initiatives. We have been working hard to launch an enhanced Security offering which will be ready during National Cybersecurity Month in October. We will be providing weekly security tips followed by a webinar to review best practices to protect your company and customer data. We are also getting ready for a major update on our ViewLocal managed broadband video platform, so stay tuned for that!

I truly hope you have enjoyed your first MuG with McG. I would love to hear from you about your business, our upcoming initiatives, or anything else you’d like to chat about.  I’ll also be at NTCA Fall Conference in Indianapolis next week. If you’ll be there, let me know and we can sit down for a MuG or two!

– McG