Megavision 2014

Megavision 2014

MegaUpdates

Last updated 10/16/2003

We will be using this page to update you through out the year on new developments, new communities, new equipment, and new politics associated with the unbelievable growth of the digital communications world.

September, 2003, saw Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, say three-fourths of all independent ISPs have gone out of business in the past five years. Meanwhile, your Community Internet continues to grow and simply get better. Last week we completed a 50% increase in capacity to the UUNet network. UUNet is an MCI product and is a premiere Internet backbone. It and our ""Ride the Light"" premiere Qwest backbone circuits back up each other and thus provide the only such redundant service in the area. With the increase in UUNet capacity came a reconfiguration of the bandwidth on our other UUNet circuits. This reconfiguration will enable the subscribers of our E-DSL Basic Business, Bronze, Silver, and Gold packages to harness much of the unused potential of E-DSL and some may see actual up and download speeds exceeding 4 meg, all while riding a line as private as their phone line to our backbone router. Oh, did we mention, all this while never having a price increase since we started nearly 10 years ago and without any state or federal subsidies or mysterious ""surcharges"" on the bill? Your loyalty makes it possible for us to be ""Simply the Best"" and proves the power of ""Community"" pulling together.

We are pleased to be working with Boone Central Public School in Albion and Petersburg, St. Michael's Catholic School in Albion, and St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Petersburg as a part of the Enhanced Education Through Technology (ESEA Title II Part Grant). By providing complimentary internet access to locations at the Wolf Good Samaritan Home and the Boone County Senior Center, Megavision is helping to make the grant possible and is supporting the initiative to bring greater technology skills to the Albion/Petersburg region. For more information, contact Mr. Richard Stephens, Superintendent of Boone Central Schools.

A Powerful Cache Server was brought on line to serve Megavision customers in the 308 area code. Popular sites are stored on premises in Ogallala. When a user requests a site, the caching server checks to see if it has the latest version stored. If it does then it transmits the local copy to the user. This is substantially faster than transporting it back from the original source. All customers are benefited but E-DSL customers see terrific increases in speed on popular sites and downloads. The Ogallala system is identical to the Columbus system which has been in service longer.

June 2003 arrives and E-DSL is extended to Columbus East Industrial Area and surrounding area are able to receive E-DSL. The E-DSL product is an advanced DSL product that thrives in business and industrial applications. This service extension is made possible by our new east co-location facility.

May brings Wire Free Nebraska for rural areas. Last year Motorola unveiled its Canopy technology. Instead of operating on the crowded, old, insecure, and easily intercepted 2.4 GHz frequency, which was designed for short range cordless phones, office LANS, and countless household, medical, and experimental devices, it operated on a newly opened powerful 5 GHz frequency with a superior new security technology. Motorola's wire free data system was so good NASA used it to link search sites looking for space shuttle debris. Its superiority as a wire free platform for delivering broadband to rural areas earned our endorsement. Community Internet is please to team up with Mid-Nebraska Communications, a community mainstay in quality business communications, to offer this new broadband to our rural customers! If you are within range of the Mid Nebraska's tall Wire Free towers, you can enjoy the security and reliability of an always on ""Dedicated Canopy Link (DCL)"". Pricing and speeds are comparable to DSL.

The Albion and Newman Grove Public Libraries were brought on line with complementary service from Community Internet. The Complimentary service we provide to libraries in the communities we serve also enabled them to qualify for Gates Foundation grants of Computers and Internet Equipment. Loup Public Power district was instrumental in helping extend the free service.

Progress on DSL in smaller exchanges: Over a year ago we purchased equipment to offer Broadband to our communities. The best form of broadband around is E-DSL. For performance, reliability, and security there simply is no better product for ""last mile"" delivery of a broadband signal. When we deployed E-DSL in Ogallala we ran into a big roadblock that made it financially impossible to deploy in Communities of less than 1,000 population. The Equipment (about the size of a 2 drawer file cabinet) needs to be placed in or near the town's phone office. We learned that to do that in Qwest territory requires about $10,000 in entrance ""fees"", a nightmare of paperwork, and buying 100 units at a time even if we only needed a few units. The fees are the same for Denver or Howells. Now after much discussion with Qwest, we've come up with a way that a little known Qwest service can be paired with our E-DSL service to be able to offer the functional equivalent of our BRONZE E-DSL at a comparable price. This marriage of products is principally designed as a high grade commercial system for businesses that need a reliable, always on broadband signal and who can not risk material or proprietary information being broadcast over open airwaves and who can not afford the cost of traditional T-1 wired service. Qwest will require a one time $350 set up fee to set up its end. Under the right conditions the signal may be ""shared"" with neighbors or adjoining businesses splitting the cost. There are some caveats and restrictions. Interested parties should contact us for more details. Meanwhile we will continue to work for reduced entrance ""fees"" so we can offer the full range of E-DSL products in all our communities.

Additional Lines for Northern Platte County were brought on line on April 7, 2003, to assure no busy signals for users along Hiway 91. The lines were installed at 4285100. 428-xxxx users should dial the 4285100 number. 923-xxxx users who get a busy signal on the Humphrey system or 447-xxxx users who get a busy signal on the Albion system should also set their dial in number to 4285100.

A New Controlling Computer was brought on line on March 25, 2003. This next generation computer system will enable faster email, faster logons, and faster web pages. It is part of our continuing commitment to be simply the best!

Major upgrades at Ogallala Hub were brought on line in January. A new DNS server and a caching server were added. The caching server remains in testing mode in Ogallala as some issues remain unresolved with some web based email services. Once they are resolved the cache service will be extended to all area code 308. To take advantage of the new DNS users computers will need to be configured properly. If they have not already done so, dial-up and ISDN users to select one of the hyper-links listed below based on their correct area code. This will start a small download to make the DNS change. When prompted to ""Open or Run or Save"" select ""Open"" and the program will make the necessary changes. (If your only choice is to ""Save"", please save the file to the location of your choice on your hard drive. Close your browser and dial-up connection and then execute the file you downloaded.) This should take about one minute and you need to do this only once. You will need to disconnect, and reconnect for the changes to take effect.

The 308 & 402 links below are for dial-up and ISDN PC users only!
Direct Connect, E-DSL Users with Routers, and MAC users should contact our office for assistance.


Area code 308 users click here!
For Harlan county 33.6 users the 308 link also changes the dial up number to the 56K system. 24 56K lines were just added in Alma and the Alma 33.6 system is being discontinued.

Area code 402 users click here!



*****E-DSL USERS UPDATE - PC USERS ONLY*****
Megavision E-DSL users in Columbus, Ogallala, and Alma with a single PC connected directly to the E-DSL modem
Click Here!

Technically speaking what is changing is that we have added a DNS server at 204.77.178.124 in Ogallala. Thus this IP address should be used as secondary DNS instead of the old secondary DNS at 208.136.132.1. Area code 308 users may want to make an additional tweak by setting the Ogallala 204.77.178.124 server as Primary DNS and the Columbus DNS 204.77.164.100 as Secondary DNS. The above links make the changes automatically for dialup PC and ISDN users as does the above link for EDSL customers not using a router (single machine EDSL). Direct Connect, ESDL users with routers, and MAC (Apple) users will need to make the changes manually (assistance from our office is available.)



24 Harlan County Lines were added in Alma in December.

Groundwork Was Installed in November to expand our E-DSL service to the Industrial Area east of Columbus. The EDSL product is proving to be a very superior product for business applications. Demand from the industrial community is making possible this expansion which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2003.

An Improved Caching server was brought on line in Columbus in October. The manufacturer of the previous software discontinued support for its product following the stock market downturn. The equipment will be tested and a similar model will be deployed before the end of the year in Ogallala to serve the area 308 hub.

A Big New Router was installed at the Columbus hub in September. This router is able to handle many more backbone and internal connections than the previous router and it is anticipated to fill our expansion needs well in the next two years.

President Bush Invites Our CEO!


Linda Aerni with President George W. Bush

Among the 240 American business leaders invited by the President and attending the ""Presidential Invitation Only"" economic council on August 6, 2002, in Waco, Texas is Community Internet's CEO, Linda Aerni. Whitehouse Economic Forum Portal Page .

We Welcome St. Edward On August 6, 2002 dial up service was added to St. Edward, Nebraska after a earlier provider to the community terminated its service.

EDSL comes to Ogallala After months of delay, costs, and nightmarish paperwork dealing with Qwest, the first installations EDSL in Ogallala are working great. There is a demonstration site at Kitterman's graphics at 401 N. Spruce! The Kitterman demo is the ""Basic Business"" package operating at a bidirectional 512K. See it there. EDSL is available to businesses in some configurations for as little as $30 per month. What about residential customers? Six months ago we broke new ground with a shared signal residential product that worked great and for less than $30 per month. While it was fairly inexpensive to install it required work to install and it was still $29.95 in the most economical configuration. $29.95 is almost twice the price of dial up and really quite expensive when compared to dialup. We are now in the process of testing on an advanced version which if it works according to theory will be able to deliver advanced EDSL for residential purposes for about the cost of dial up and with comparative ease of installation. The Best Just Keeps Getting Better and Less Expensive! (Not to brag but, in our 8 year history we have yet to have a price increase. Compare that to other telephone and cable services which go up like clockwork!)

Clarkson gets 56K On June 25, 2002, the 33.6 system in Clarkson was replaced with a 56K system. A shortage of equipment at Qwest delayed the installation of the 56K system in Clarkson for about 7 weeks.

Howells gets 56K On May 9, 2002, the 33.6 system in Howells was replaced with a 56K system. Howells subscribers voted 2 to 1 for a plan where in exchange for a small increase in the monthly fee the hours would double and the system would be upgraded from 33.6 to 56K. That plan restructuring was necessary because Qwest only sells 56K lines in blocks of 24 and Howells was too small to need all 24 lines. Clarkson also voted 2 to 1 for the change. Complications at Qwest are delaying the installation of the 56K system in Clarkson.

Leigh gets 56K We were pleased to lead the successful grass-roots movement in Leigh to merge the Leigh and Columbus calling areas. On May 1, 2002, the phone company flipped the switch that enabled Leigh to dial Columbus toll free. Leigh users can now access the Columbus 56k system at 5643509 or the 33.6 system at 5626782. The Leigh 33.6 system has been decommissioned.

Albion Upgrade - Petersburg Welcomed Community Internet completed a major upgrade to its Albion facilities in April. The capacity to the outside world was increased 6 fold and the incoming 56K dial-up capacity was doubled. Internet service through the Albion center is now extended to the Petersburg exchange.

Ogallala EDSL The first week in April, 2002, Community Internet installed EDSL equipment and facilities in Ogallala. Turn up of the system is being delayed by complications with Qwest. It seems Qwest rules and prices were written with big communities in mind and everyone is having a hard time applying those rules to small communities. Qwest has yet to learn that one size does not fit all.

Leigh Votes to join Columbus Exchange Leigh exchange phone user voted overwhelmingly to join the Columbus phone exchange. This move will enable the community to have 56K dial up and also toll free dialing into Columbus. The vote was a result of Community Internet's activism and Leigh's economic development efforts.

Leigh Vote Deadline The final vote of merging Leigh with Columbus is in progress with a February 15th deadline for receipt of ballots in Lincoln.

Clarkson & Howells In February additional lines were ordered for Howells and Clarkson following a sharp rise in usage in those communities following Santa bringing many people new computers. We did not receive much response to our suggestion that Howells and Clarkson petition to form one local exchange (like Leigh did with Columbus). That would have made it more feasible to offer 56K service in Clarkson and Howells.

Additional News Groups For those of you that use news groups, we have added on a trial basis a expanded news group service. The NNTP server at news.qwest.net is now available to megavision users on a trial basis. It hosts over 60% more news groups than at news.netimaging.net. Feedback from users that use news groups will determine whether we offer the expanded service on a more permanent basis.

Ogallala/Qwest EDSL In January we continue to work through the paperwork with Qwest to do in our towns served by Qwest so that we can do there what we did in Alma and Columbus with EDSL. It is slow going. What is frustrating is that we have much of the equipment purchased and setting in storage.

Clarkson & Howells Upgrades In December 2001 systems in Clarkson and Howells were up graded to full T-1 outbound capacity (a 12 fold increase) in preparation for EDSL roll outs in the Megavision communities in Qwest territory in 2002!

33.6 CONNECTION SERVICE ADDED IN ALMA In order to accommodate users with 33.6 modems or poor phone connections, a special 33.6 modem bank was added in Alma. The bank should improve connection time and performance for users with those modems. It will also serve as an alternate Alma number in the even of heavy traffic or equipment problems with the 56K system. The access number is 9288940. To permanently set the dial in number to the 33.6 system Click on My Computer THEN ON dialup networking THEN ON the Megavision - Community Internet Icon with the right mouse button THEN ON Properties and insert 9288940 !

ALMA PILOT PROJECT PIONEERS AGAIN! The very unique non-profit Alma Internet project is a cooperative effort between Harlan County, the
City of Alma, the Nebraska Cooperative Government, the Hoesch Library, and Community Internet. The project has delivered Internet signal to Harlan County that is the envy of many communities in south central Nebraska. The project's success enabled a E-DSL system to be installed in November. The E-DSL signal will bring true, quality broadband to the Alma community and the rural area immediately around it. The project is the first of its kind in a small community in Nebraska where a CLEC (Community Internet) has installed DSL facilities outside of the Central Phone phone office. This technique enables substantial cost savings and may serve as a mechanism which can be duplicated in other rural communities.

HUMPHREY FIBER PROJECT IS SUCCESS Working in cooperation with
Loup Public Power District, fiber optic facilities were installed between Community Internet facilities at St. Francis School and the Humphrey Public Library. The Library project offers free Internet use over the fiber optic system to its patrons. Patrons can use one of several new Dell computers in the Library. Community Internet is supplying the Internet signal for the library project free of charge. The Library which is in the middle of main street is nicely located to be a hub for a business district network still in the future!

AUGUST 2001 IS ACTIVE The Leigh Petition to join the Columbus calling area moves into another stage as the Public Service Commission begins work on pricing prior to a vote. The initial projections indicate that Leigh users would pay an additional $2.50 to $3.00 per month and Columbus users a little less than a nickel. August also saw 2 major upgrades to our primary server and introduction of the Business Starter DSL plan. Work continues on laying the groundwork for the introduction of E-DSL to more of communities we serve. The technology is easy but often not so with the red tape. Also AOL announced another price increase. Community Internet has not had one since it started seven years ago ... one of the benefits of local ownership!

MORE POWER TO YOU! On July 13th we doubled the our back bone capacity to the Qwest Backbone and installed a major addition to the power of Megavision. This addition adds to the already unique power of the Megavision Network with its multiple redundant backbone connections through UUNet, Sprint, Cable & Wireless, and Qwest. The Megavision Network is Nebraskans continuing to invest in rural Nebraska and remain simply the best. Enjoy! .

LEIGH USERS PETITION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION In June, Leigh users with the help of Community Internet filed a petition with the Public Service Commission to have toll free access to Columbus. The Commission received the petition and ordered the Connecticut based Citizens Telephone Company which controls the Leigh exchange to file a cost and traffic plan by July 23rd as the next step in the process.

MAJOR BOONE & NORTHERN PLATTE COUNTY ENHANCEMENTS ARE COMPLETE! After months of waiting for the phone infrastructure to be upgraded in Lindsay, additional 56K lines and an additional dial-up facility were added in may for our Boone and Northern Platte County users. This upgrade adds a 56K dial-in center in Lindsay and aggressively deals with the busy signals that developed over the last several months due to rapid growth and a 56K line shortage. Currently we have 3 dial-in centers (Albion, Lindsay, and Humphrey) serving Northern Platte and Boone County. Humphrey and Creston users should use the Humphrey system at 923-0203 (33.6 modems) 923-0119 (56K), Albion the Albion system at 395-2928, and Lindsay & Newman Grove the Lindsay system at 428-5100. The new configuration also adds redundancy to the system in the event of line problems. In the event of a line outage, users can manually use alternate numbers to dial another system. The alternate number for Newman Grove users is 428-4008, for Lindsay users 923-0203, for Humphrey users 428-5100, for Albion users 447-6069, 447-2766, 447-6339. In order to assist us with proper load balancing, alternate numbers should be used only in the case of a system outage. They should not be use under normal conditions. In order for Albion, Newman Grove, Lindsay, or Humphrey users to properly configure your Windows machine please
Click here and follow the instructions to set up to use the new service. MAC users need to manually configure to the new numbers.

The service upgrade was accomplished with the cooperation of Lindsay Manufacturing Company and shows the telecommunications benefits that a community can achieve by working together under local control. The new system will also enable Community Internet and Lindsay Manufacturing Company to offer complimentary high speed access to Lindsay Holy Family School much as Community Internet now provides such complimentary access to Humphrey St. Francis.

OFFICIALS REVIEW E-DSL INSTALLATION

Officials, including Commissioner, Lowell Johnson from the Nebraska Public Service Commission, reviewed Community Internet's DSL installation in Columbus.  The installation of broadband DSL available to the general public by a local CLEC marks a first for rural Nebraska.

COMMUNITY INTERNET AGAIN LEADS THE WAY WITH E-DSL IN COLUMBUS At 3 P.M. Friday, March 16th, 2001, history was made in Columbus as voice was transmitted over a phone line that had been converted to a E-DSL & Voice Line. At 5 P.M. the Ethernet was turned up on the line. Extremely fast throughput was confirmed. Over a 100 megabyte file download was accomplished while a normal sounding voice conversation was taking place at the same time on the same line. The technology, which employs an advanced form of DSL known as E-DSL, is considered vastly superior to older forms of DSL. It represents a substantial investment by local people into our community and is being deployed by Community Internet after over a year of study to determine the very best form of broadband to endorse and bring to our subscribers. Once the Columbus deployment occurs, we will begin a deployment program to serve other Megavision communities.

LEIGH USERS CONSIDERING PETITION February Leigh users began considering a petition to ask to be included in the Columbus calling area. The merger would cost Leigh residents only a few dollars a month and would enable them to have toll-free calling into Columbus and 56K internet service.

ADDITIONAL CAPACITY FOR HOWELLS & CLARKSON In January we doubled the outbound capacity in Howells and Clarkson as well as adding additional incoming lines.

E-DSL PROJECT In preparation for the roll out of DSL services in our communities (which will begin in Columbus in February) we installed a very large caching server which is constantly refreshed through an industrial quality Satellite downlink with near DS-3 capacity. This system, together with a fiber optic link to the E-DSL system, when fully operational, should be able to stream internet and video at 4-10 meg per second to EoDSL customers as well as increased performance to dial in customers. What is EoDSL? Ethernet over DSL.

ISDN COMES TO KIMBALL A reasonably priced, reliable, enhanced Internet connection using proven technology became available to Kimball users in October. The technology is called ISDN and ISDN enhanced ""advanced services"" connections to the Internet through Megavision are now available. The system was turned up on October 20th - ahead of schedule. Over the past several months Sprint and Community Internet have made investments in Kimball that made it happen. ISDN is a phone line that has 2 channels, each one is capable of a true 64K connection, noticeably faster than the connection speeds possible with a 56K modem. A channel can be used for voice or data! When both channels are used for Internet very fast downloads at 128K are possible. You can also talk on the phone and be on the Internet at the same time. You do not have to keep your regular phone line, but if you do not you will want to have a battery backup on your ISDN unit or cellular phone since an ISDN line requires electric power and will not work during a power outage. ISDN has the additional advantage of rapid connect. There is very little time between the time you dial in and when you are on-line. It is only a few seconds -- no more listening to modem tones. This connection speed makes it virtually always on, yet it conserves Internet port time keeping the cost low. It does require an ISDN modem. We have tested several types and some are much better than others. Contact Bill Loring for more info as to which modems we will be supporting. ISDN rates in Kimball are among the most reasonable in the country. In Columbus, for example, similar service from the local telephone carrier is approximately $100/month. As we understand it, Kimball residential = $38.75 per month (plus taxes less any amounts saved if you disconnect your regular line) to Sprint for 2 lines called a BRI line. For business lines add $35 per month to your present business phone bill and you can convert an old business line to a 2 channel ISDN line. There is a $200 Sprint set up fee but some or all of that can be waived with a contract. Contact Sprint for more details on Sprint pricing. There will be no additional charge for Megavision's single channel 64K Internet service. You can convert to the double channel, double fast access for an additional $15/month. Sprint will soon be making wiring changes in Kimball to compensate for some very bad copper wire in Kimball. The changes will improve voice service but for about 25% of Internet users will slow 56K regular modem connections. That is one reason for the bargain rates from Sprint on the superior ISDN service. It takes a couple weeks for Sprint to install an ISDN line so if you choose this advanced service connectivity, you need to order accordingly. Just
click here to read Bill Loring's report on his ISDN connection. You can order ISDN from Sprint by calling (877) 646-3282 and you can order the double fast Internet access from Megavision by contacting Bill Loring.

NEW WEB SERVER In September, 2000, we brought on line another very powerful web server to meet the needs of the hundreds of businesses who take advantage of our free webpage hosting and economical Domain Name Services. This new server coupled with our powerful full e-commerce server assure absolutely the best is available to our communities.

PROJECT DELIVERS 100meg/sec SPEEDS We completed a 100 Meg/sec fiber option installation to a major Nebraska business in August. This installation will enable that business to soon announce exciting new services. Nebraskans working with Nebraskans is what it is about!

POWER & REDUNDANCY ADDED TO Area Code 308 In August,2000, we centered a UUNet circuit in our Area Code 308 hub. This added to our already powerful service to Area Code 308.

MEGAMAIL INTRODUCED In July we introduced a very helpful new service at www.megavision.com/megamail This service enables users to check their email using someone else's computer without having to make any settings changes. It is also useful in clearing out an incoming e-mail message that your email program has a problem downloading. It is not a substitute for your standard email program but it is a very useful tool and convenience.

BUILDING A STATEWIDE NEBRASKA OWNED PHONE COMPANY We are pleased to announce that the Nebraska Public Service Commission has issued an order granting a statewide “Certificate of Convenience and Necessity” to Community Internet Systems, Inc. This amounts to a license to become a full service telecommunications company. It gives the entire Megavision family an opportunity to have a real hand in writing the history of rural Nebraska in the 21st century. The authority is for both local and long distance service and includes authority to resell service as well as lay out new infrastructure across Nebraska. Nebraska has granted certificates to several dozen companies but most all of them have been to out of state companies. The certificate opens the door to numerous complex issues and opportunities. To take full advantage of the opportunities will require a serious discussion with the entire Megavision family as to whether there is the Will in rural Nebraska to accord information & telecommunications related productivity the same status as productivity from making and growing things. The authorization makes possible the utilization of the core Internet structures developed over the last 5 years together with your enormous loyalty and develop it all into a vital telecommunications distribution system capable of delivering excellent telephone, cable, and Internet. It is an enormous community challenge for all of us. It means considering very significant investments - perhaps public stock offerings (so that the Megavision subscribers that consume the fruit have a chance to own the tree), creative alliances with public power companies and those incumbent carriers who have the vision to want to really develop rural Nebraska, solid investment grade engineering studies, intense political activity, and, most of all, a realization throughout the Megavision communities that a remaking of our economies is far more complex than forcing a DSL signal down an old piece of copper or dangling a wireless Internet walkie-talkie transmitter off of a windmill or grain elevator. For it to be serious, it needs to take on the priority and cooperation that we accord to new hospitals, highways, drainage projects, and industrial parks. We are thankful to the Public Service Commission for the opportunity to begin a serious effort in this regard. Over the next several weeks this homepage will become the forum for the exploration of tomorrow’s possibilities … Nebraskans working together that is what it is all about!


JUNE 2000 - BIG 5th ANNIVERSARY!! June, 2000 marks the 5th Anniversary of the first Internet signal over the Megavision Network. Our pioneering signal was one of the very first Internet transmissions originating in rural Nebraska. June of 2000 marks the start of a serious dialog with members of the Megavision family. This June may be as historic as June of 1995. (1) Big server upgrade completed on June 10th and 11th. (2) Doubling of Kimball's 56K system completed on June 15th. (3) Major equipment and signal upgrade for Area Code 308 on the way. (4) The continuing growth of the www.huskeremall.com as one of the regions leading e-commerce portals. (5) The ""licensing"" of Community Internet as a Competing Local Exchange Carrier by the Nebraska Public Service Commission opening the doors for Megavision to deliver local as well as long distance service and permitting the installation of infrastructure to deliver high speed DSL and fiber optic Internet and packeted video service (new generation cable TV).

KIMBALL 56K CAPACITY DOUBLED On June 14, 2000, we doubled our 56K capacity in Kimball. Kimball users should now use 2352207. The old number 2352431 should only be used if your phone line or modem is unable to connect to the new equipment. Please let us know if you are unable to properly connect to 2352207. With Windows 95/98 you can change the number to 2352207 by clicking on ""My Computer"", then ""Dial Up Networking, then right mouse buttoning the Megavision/Community Internet Icon, then clicking Properties and making the change. Thank you, Kimball, for letting us grow with you!

BIG NEW SERVER BROUGHT ON LINE On June 10, 2000, a powerful new controlling server was brought on line. It has features that will insure we have plenty of capacity for growth and advance services over the next few years. The new server replaces old bertha which operated almost flawlessly for our first five years of operation. Old bertha is being redeployed as a specialty server to meet the needs of special functions required by our business and industrial users.

CITY OF COLUMBUS AND PLATTE COUNTY ONLINE WITH FIBER OPTICS. April and May, 2000, saw Community Internet bring complimentary multi-megabyte per second service to the City of Columbus and Platte County Offices. This service is delivered over a fiber optic link between the city offices, library, and courthouse.

CITY OF KIMBALL ONLINE WITH DSL In April, 2000, Community Internet began giving the City of Kimball complimentary multi-megabyte per second service over a DSL system.

MEGAVISION RIDES THE LIGHT - QWEST SERVICE TESTED AND RUNNING In the second half of February and the first half of March the Megavision Network brought on line a direct connection to Qwest in Denver. This added additional power to our UUNet, Sprint, and Cable&Wireless connections and brings another level of redundancy. The Megavison Network is one of the very few rural Internet systems with so many connections. We strive to have Megavision stay way out in front and simply provide excellent service.

BUSINESSES SEE THE VALUE OF FRAME RELAY The last quarter of 1999 and first months of 2000 saw many businesses realize that dial up technology would not adequately feed their LAN networks. Accounting firms, Trucking firms, Financial Institutions, and Manufacturing firms like Behlen, Camaco, Lindsay, all have come on board our innovative network.

OGALLALA CHAMBER LEADS THE WAY In January working with the Ogallala Chamber we installed a demo Frame Relay System at the Chamber Office in Ogallala. The system takes advantage of the big price break in frame relay service Jim Glenn worked out with US West for the Ogallala exchange.

MORE & MORE LINES In January and February dozens of additional lines were added in Albion, Columbus, Kimball, Leigh, Howells, and Clarkson as we went through a period of rapid expansion following Christmas computer purchases.

BERTHA'S SURGERY In January, our main computer nicknamed ""Bertha"" had her first malfunction in years when a hard drive started acting up. The drive was replaced in a procedure that lasted a couple hours. Our back up computer ""baby bertha"" kept most things running smoothly during most of the time Bertha was asleep. The down time gave us an opportunity to do several other system upgrades which required the system to be paused.

NORTHERN PLATTE COUNTY 56K UPGRADE US WEST repointed 923-0119 to the new 56K system 1/10/00 morning. Everything seems to be functioning fine. Some older modems or poor phone lines can have trouble connecting to the 56K system. For those in that situation, we are leaving some 33.6 modems in place. They can be accessed by changing the dial-in number to 923-0203.

UPGRADE UPON UPGRADE The end of 1999 saw larger 56K equipment installed in Kimball preparing for next years growth, an additional bank of 56K lines in Ogallala, several banks of 56K lines added in Columbus, more lines in Howells, Leigh, and Clarkson

ALBION 56K ON LINE In December, 1999, we initiated the new 56K service in Albion. Albion users with poor modems or phone lines and unable to connect to 56K should use the 33.6 number of 447-6069 or 447-2766.

BIG HARLAN COUNTY UPGRADE The Harlan County system is an experiment into publicly owned Internet Service. It is non-profit and being conducted by the Nebraska Cooperative Government, Harlan County, Community Internet Systems, Lotto Nebraska and the Hoesch Library. It has been tremendously successful. In October the new T-1 service with 56K dial in modems was brought on line. The new system is up and working really well. We worked with GTE and both 928-2034 and 928-1007 now ring the new system. If anyone is having difficulty connecting, or would like to confirm the dial-up settings are correct, please click the respective number you are connecting with.  This will download a small program (45k).  Save this program to your desktop and execute it when you are off-line. 
928-2034 users click here.                    928-1007 users click here. 
If you are using the old number and would like to change to the new number click the 928-1007 link.   Please note that these programs are for Alma dial-up users only.  We will maintain 2 lines on the old system for a couple weeks but time is running out on that system. We are interested in hearing what connection speeds you get on the new system. Please let us know at support@megavision.com

MORE AND MORE LINES ADDED Dozens of incoming phone lines were added to the system in August and September to accommodate the tremendous growth in the Megavision family. If you get busy signals, contact us so we can order lines.

Y2K ALERT - MICROSOFT RECOMMENDS UPGRADE IE4.0 Without Service Packs Is Not Y2K Compliant In analyzing our Web traffic, we found that many resellers are still running Internet Explorer 4.0 without service packs installed. Please note: This product is NOT Year 2000 compliant. Microsoft strongly recommends that you upgrade to IE 4.02 or IE 5.0, both of which are Y2K compliant. To upgrade
click here!

WE BRING ISDN INTERNET TO COLUMBUS! At 5:30 on July 7,1999, the communications investments of Community Internet and GTE came together to bring Columbus its first ISDN Internet Service. ISDN is a faster and more reliable way to dial into the Internet. It is 100% digital, no waiting for dial tone, ringing, and modem negotiation. It fills the space between 33.6K & 56K ordinary modems intended for home use dial up and the professional grade, always on, dedicate line ""frame relay"" connectivity designed for offices where more than one computer is needed online all the time. ISDN is ideal for the avid home user seeking faster and better connections and the small business needing to have a fast reliable connection for the computer it has on the Internet. We thank GTE for helping us make available this new level of service. 4 years ago this month we were the first to bring Internet to Columbus and this new service is a great way for us to celebrate. We thank all our loyal users for enabling us to again make communications history for rural Nebraskans.

BIG NEW PHONE TAX IN JULY The Nebraska Public Service Commission announced a big new phone tax of right at 7% to take effect in July, 1999. The Legislature has authorized the PSC to assess phone companies but the Commission took things one step further and ordered the phone companies to pass the assessments on to the consumer. There is real question whether there is authority for the tax. Groups are researching law suits to stop the tax. It amounts to tens of millions of dollars per year. The established phone companies are the only ones that currently can get the money from the tax. It was presented as a salvation for low cost communications in rural Nebraska, but it could be the exact opposite.

EMAIL VIRUS ALERT!!
There is a bad email virus on the loose. If someone sends you an email with an attachment called ""zipped_files.exe."" do not click on it or open it. Delete it immediately! For more information Click Here

KIMBALL USERS - 56K ARRIVES! 56K arrived in Kimball at 3:20 P.M. on May 12th. Kimball users having a 56K modem should make sure it is v.90 or upgraded to v.90 from the older 56Flex or x2 versions. Most all the older 56K modems were designed to be upgraded to the improved v.90 technology over the Internet by following the instructions on the manufacturer's web site. Users with 56K modems should change their dial in number to 2352207. Some will note that it takes slightly longer to connect at 56K than 33.6. This is because the modems go through extensive testing of the phone lines to squeeze the top performance out of them. Please let us know what speeds you receive by contacting us at info@megavision.com

MAJOR ALBION UPGRADE COMPLETED! The Albion substation is up and running. This marks a major upgrade that should benefit all users in Boone and Northern Platte County. Albion and Newman Grove users should change their dial-in number to 3952928. Thanks for your patience while all the upgrading took place.

CHAPPELL NOW RUNNING NICELY! On March 31st after months of unexplained problems with the Chappell phone line which caused terrible system performance in Chappell, the problem stopped within about an hour of word getting out that there was a heavy duty investigation in progress. Since then the system has worked properly, with the investigation on-going.

MORE & MORE LINES - LEIGH, CLARKSON, HOWELLS, ALMA, COLUMBUS, & KIMBALL In March and April many new lines have been added to accommodate the terrific growth in the Megavision family.

OGALLALA USERS -OPTIMIZE YOUR SYSTEM Ogallala users can optimize their configurations. 56K users should receive maximum performance by dialing the 56K system at 284-0887 and by making sure that their modems has the latest v.90 software. This software is usually available free on the modem manufacturer's webpage. 33.6 users should set their dial in to 284-8934. By doing so 33.6 users should get quicker sign- ons because their 33.6 modem will not have to go through some of the steps required in the 56K modem sign on process. While 33.6 works on the 56K system and 56K works on the 33.6 system, top performance can be gotten by following these simple procedures.

CHAPPELL MYSTERY UNDER CLOSE OBSERVATION! Ever since we started service in Chappell the main line to the Chappell Internet would short out and then restore itself before the phone companies could get a trace on it. Both US West and Sprint spent considerable effort trying to locate the problem. The line was examined and re-examined, connections were tightened and re-tightened, equipment was changed out and re-changed out. Tests were done by the phone companies to confirm the problem was a line problem and not a problem with our the Internet equipment. Our equipment was fine. Still the problem persisted. When the line dropped out, users would lose their connections or couldn't log on. There were reports of busy signals when in fact there were available lines. There was a great deal of frustration on the part of our users, the phone companies, and the staff here at Megavision. On two occasions it was reported to us that there was evidence of what appeared to be intentional tampering with the wiring on the outside of the building where our equipment is located. One time a wire was cut. A theory began to emerge that the problem was due to a who and not a what. US West brought in very sophisticated line surveillance equipment and put it in position and then on March 31, we posted the theory on our web page and within an hour without the phone companies doing anything the problem went away. With the exception of momentary pauses on April 5th which coincided with the work on the phone companies' probe, the line has been perfect since March 31st. During the April 5th work several connectors were again retightened and a device was put on the line to make it seem like a longer distance between our equipment and the phone office on the idea that maybe the short distance was causing too strong a signal and somehow over loading the line. The bottom line is that the problem has gone away and the line remains under intense observation.

MORE LINES FINALLY FOR BOONE & NORTHERN PLATTE COUNTY! On April 2, US West finally filled our 90 day old order for more lines. US West ran out of wires and needed to trench a bunch in.

GROWING PAINS! The big increase in bandwidth that we acquired when we added the UU Net connection was supposed to give increased speeds, but for two or three weeks we experienced unpredictable periods of network sluggishness from time to time during periods of heavy use. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason for the sluggishness. The liens were nowhere near capacity. With help from both of our backbone carriers and a lot of bug hunting, the bugs causing the sluggishness were found and eliminated and excellent network performance resumed. There is one step left in optimizing the use of the 2 networks which should fine tune top performance. That step will be taken in the next 60 days after some programming and router upgrades are added to Cable & Wireless (formerly MCI Internet) connection in Omaha.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ASKED FOR HELP We asked the Public Service Commission for assistance in getting US West to add additional line capacity for Boone and Northern Platte County. Additional capacity has been on order since early January. US West said it was out of wire. It promised that additional wire would be laid by March 8th. March 8th came and went. The frustration level is high.

24 MORE LINES!! 24 additional lines were brought on line in Columbus on March 15. Thanks to Scott and Chuck of the local GTE office for helping us cut through the red tape that waylaid the order. An additional line is set to be brought on line in Howells on March 19th or 20th.

MORE LINES!! Another Harlan County line was installed on Thursday 2/25 and the modem will be connected on Friday. A Leigh line should be up by the weekend. US West is set to install an additional Clarkson line on Monday and Bill Loring has ordered 2 more Kimball lines for installation next week. GTE confirms that 24 additional Columbus lines will be installed by March 8. More lines should be in for Boone & Northern Platte County as soon as US West gets the bigger cable in the week following March 8th.

ALBION USERS - ANOTHER LINE! We have added another alternative number for the rapidly growing number of users in the Albion (395 prefix) area. If you get a busy signal on 4476069 or 4472766 feel free to use 4476339. Newman Grove users should dial the 4284005 number.

OGALLALA USERS: 56K IS UP!! On Tuesday 2/2/99 the 56K equipment was installed. Users who have a 56K v.90 modem should change their dial in number to 2840887 as soon as possible. This will free up lines on the 33.6 system which has been suffering from busy signals while we awaited the installation of the 56K system. Users who have the older 56 Flex or 56x2 modems should also use the new number but they will not see speeds greater than 33.6 until they go to their modem manufacturer's web page and follow the instructions for converting their modems to the new v.90 type. To do that users of US Robotics/3Comm 56x2 modems can
Click Here! Users of other brands should find the necessary information on the webpage for their brand. Users who do not have 56K modems should continue to use the 2848934 number. We are most interested in hearing reports of how fast the new system is for 56K users as the only thing unknown is the quality of phone lines from your computer. Users will notice that it takes 15 - 30 seconds longer to connect over 56K. That is because it takes the modems longer to test the quality of the line and squeeze out the highest performance possible. The installation of the 56K system also marks the discontinuation of the special modem for poor phone liens. The 56K system should be able to handle the function that was provided by that special modem. Users with problem lines should try both the 2848934 number and the 2840887 number to see which one works better for them.

UU NET CONNECTION ON LINE!! On February 2, 1999, we brought up a powerful new
UU Net Connection. This will double the width of your road to the Internet and give redundant network service to you. When you select a site to go to, our equipment will see which lanes are fastest and put you on them. This new feature will set the Megavision Network apart and ahead of most, if not all, of the Internet World in Rural Nebraska. The tuning of the system to get the highest performance and load balancing from the system will take place throughout the month of February. Thanks for the loyalty that makes first class service possible.

Ogallala 56K On The Way - Marty Mueller has done such a great job promoting our service in Ogallala that the terrific growth just before Christmas created a busy signal problem around 8-9 in the evening. Normally when we have indications of a busy signal problem we add lines right away. We haven't done that in Ogallala in the last couple weeks because we were reviewing the possibility of introducing 56K service to Ogallala. 56K service requires buying a block of at least 24 expensive 56K lines at a time and making an substantial equipment investment. We decided Ogallala, as one of Nebraska's rising stars, is a great community to invest in. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that, as soon as the phone company can get the lines in, Ogallala will have 56K dial in service in addition to the 33.6 service already in use. In the meantime we appreciate your patience with the busy signals that are cropping up in the evening hours. The 56K system will eliminate the busy signal problem by having the 56K lines handle any overflow from the existing 33.6 system. You will need a 56K modem running v.90 to take full advantage of the enhanced speeds. With any luck the system should be on line in a couple weeks. Thank you for the great loyalty to your Community Internet's Megavision for Nebraska. That loyalty of rural Nebraskans working together makes this kind of community investment possible.

More Lines were installed in Columbus, Genoa, Boone and Northern Platte County in the first week of January to accommodate the explosive growth that happened before Christmas. Thank you for the loyalty that makes this all possible.

On Christmas Eve (12/24/98) Santa brought Megavision users a powerful Christmas gift. We placed an order for a powerful second circuit to the Internet. This new circuit should be installed in January and will give you two independent roads to the Net. When you go to a site our equipment will determine which road will be the fastest to your site and put you on it. This is a first for rural Nebraska. It will add the power of
UU Net (an MCI WorldCom Company) to your PC and the Megavision Network.

Ogallala Users: US WEST completed the addition of the additional lines last week (12/20). The line with the special modem for those of you with very poor phone lines has been moved from 284-8969 to 284-0922.

Our Powerful New Full Commerce Server comes on line in November and enables us to assist rural Nebraska business in selling its products worldwide over the Internet using secure credit card transactions!!!
Click Here to see how it is done.

Welcome Chappell, Nebraska, the County Seat of Deuel County, to the Megavision family. On November 14th, Community Internet turned on the local dial-up lights in Chappell and also set up free public access in the Chappell Public Library. Our thanks to Lyle and Susan Schoen, the Buckley Trust, Mayor Elect Butch Owen, Larry Hubbard and Essent Services, Inc. for their efforts in making it possible. Megavision continues to grow and over the next month we will have more exciting announcements as we strive to build the very best Independent Internet System in Nebraska. Thank you for your wonderful loyalty which makes it all possible.

Ogallala Users: US WEST completed the addition of the additional lines on Friday (10/16). The line with the special modem for those of you with very poor phone lines has been moved from 284-2854 to 284-8969.

A 20% line increase in Columbus was completed on 10/6 to assure busy signal free service well into the winter. Our thanks to the terrific support which make such large increases in capacity necessary.

We welcome Leigh, Nebraska, and the Colfax County Courthouse to the Megavision family. Leigh represents the determined effort of a small community of 400 to access the information age and investments by Community Internet and GTE in return. Colfax County Government is on line with a dedicated connection and high speed internal Ethernet service at a rate about 1/3 of that quoted by alternative sources.

Ogallala & Northern Platte/Boone Counties:20% more incoming lines were activated for you on 9/23. The special equipment for those Ogallala users with very poor phone lines was moved from 2842759 to 2842854. Thanks to Marty Mueller for another job well done in Ogallala enabling the additional capacity. We continue to prove that Megavision will do what it takes to give you busy-signal-free, truly limitless access.

Community Internet Systems is celebrating three years of pioneering quality Internet service to rural Nebraska. Community Internet is one of a precious few statewide Internet companies that is not owned or controlled by a phone company. Our commitment is to bring the Internet experience to rural communities. A harsh reality exists in many smaller communities because they simply do not have the population base to support a quality Internet Infrastructure. Yet, together we have successfully brought Internet to the many smaller communities along Hiway 91 from Albion to Howells and using creative alliances we pioneered service to the people of Harlan County. Our program has enabled us to give free access to libraries and schools and low cost service to local governments. All this while maintaining rock bottom prices and top of the line equipment and lines. BUT we would have nothing to celebrate without you and especially those of you in our anchor communities (200 or more subscribers) of Columbus, Ogallala, and Kimball. On behalf of the many smaller communities who without the terrific loyalty of Columbus, Ogallala, and Kimball could not support the cost of Internet, we want to thank you in a special way by increasing the base number of hours for the Columbus, Ogallala, or Kimball exchanges from 40 to 60 per month. Congratulations and on behalf of all of us -- Thank You Again!

GET A MONTH OF INTERNET FREE: It is easy to get your regular monthly fee for Internet waived. If someone you refer to Megavision writes down on their sign up sheet that you referred them, you will get the next month's regular monthly fee waived.

A very powerful new state commission called the NITC held a historic meeting in Lincoln on August 27th at NTV's headquarters. About 50 people attended. The decisions that that the NITC makes will likely have lasting impact on all of Nebraska. One phone and cable company after another painted a rosy picture of the future of telecommunications. However. the phone company comments were almost all peppered with admissions that, of course, rural areas will lag. Norfolk City Administrator, Michael Nolan, stepped forward and challenged the assumptions of much of the earlier testimony. In a passionate address, he advocated an approach to telecommunications where rural Nebraska would not be at the mercy of the phone companies. NPPD's CEO, William Mayben, delivered what could be
historic comments calling for NPPD to have a seat at the Providers Table. Mayben's remarks were echoed by those of the Nebraska Municipal Power Pool which indicated that its people were unwilling to wait for the phone and cable companies and were preparing to do what it takes to bring the fiber optic benefits of the communications age to rural areas. Because of the importance of this Commission we will attempt to track what is happening and keep you posted. We have also asked for the text of the comments of the other presenters so we can post them. Rural Nebraska needs to know what is going on and speak out. Among the topics are new taxes and big subsidies to phone companies. The question has been asked, ""If you are going to pay for it, shouldn't you own it?""

This is an unsolicited response to the foregoing from a Megavision Subscriber. A few thousand more and it would make a difference:
""If it is possible, can you help me understand this. If the NITC is a New State Commission, wouldn't the average person be able to have an impact on this also? I truly believe that it is time our government begin to focus on other areas of Nebraska other than Omaha and Lincoln. If there is anything I can do please let me know. I do not know how much time I can devote right now, with twins, a 3yr old and a 10 yr old, and I work part time to keep my sanity. (I'm sure you can relate). However if everyone allowed obstacles in their way, no one would get anywhere, right. Please let me know.""
Comments Anyone?

Columbus Users - On August 1 we reprogrammed our 56K equipment in Columbus to also use the new V.90 technology that will enable 56x2 users to get 56K service. To use 56K v.90, x2 users will need to do the v.90 upgrade on their equipment by following the instructions on their manufacturer's web page. For US Robotics/3Comm
Click Here! If you have a newer x2 modem it may already have the .v90 upgrade installed. The 56K service is available at 5643509. Due to limitations in the phone system seldom have users reported much more than 44K using 56k Flex. We will be interested to see if v.90 users get any more than 44K out of the phone system.

After the first 3 weeks of v.90 it appears that it is able to get an extra 4-5K out of the phone system with many people reporting 48-49k connections. 56k Flex users may want to consider upgrading to v.90. Most modem manufacturers have the instructions on their home page. you may also want to
Click Here! to see if your 56k Flex manufacturer is on this convenient list.

Columbus Users - The passage of the rather unimaginative Columbus Cable contract has raised discussion whether a new information company should be formed to string real fiber to every door in order to open the door to state of the art access to multiple cable, telephone, and digital communication providers. Several models are being looked at. Such a venture would require a very rough estimate of $5,000,000 and may involve stringing fiber between Columbus and Norfolk or a political move to gain access to the NPPD fiber running between the 2 cities. Users interested in the prospect should email support@megavision.com

Business Site Upgrades in Progress - - We are in the process of configuring the system to do full scale commerce on line (including credit card processing) as part of our service to the People of Nebraska in March, we made substantial upgrades to our business home page capacity. We hope to have much of the process completed by the end of March and full transactional capacity enabled in the near future.

We welcome the community of Howells to the Megavision family. With the assistance of community leaders and coordination from
Cornhusker Public Power District, we were able to extend service to the communities of Clarkson and Howells since the first of the year and at a little before noon on March 7th, the Internet lights went on in Howells. Welcome aboard!

America On-Line just announced a big price hike to nearly $22 per month. AOL operates in the bigger, profitable communities and, even then, AOL had to raise prices. At Community Internet we intend to hold the line and not follow AOL's lead. It remains our goal to serve rural Nebraska with high quality service at the lowest possible long term prices with no hidden gimmicks or come-ons (and with a minimum of busy signals)!

Megavision ...boldly into the future!"


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