Last updated 10/16/2003
The 308 & 402 links below are for dial-up and ISDN PC users only!
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
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
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.
Direct Connect, E-DSL Users with Routers, and MAC
users should contact our office for assistance.
Area code 308 users click
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
*****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
Technically speaking what is changing is
that we have added a DNS server at 126.96.36.199 in Ogallala. Thus this IP address
should be used as secondary DNS instead of the old secondary DNS at 188.8.131.52.
Area code 308 users may want to make an additional tweak by setting the Ogallala
184.108.40.206 server as Primary DNS and the Columbus DNS 220.127.116.11 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
and follow the instructions
to set up to use the new service. MAC users need to manually configure to the new
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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
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
for NPPD to have a seat at the Providers Table. Mayben's remarks were echoed by
those of the
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.""
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 email@example.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!"