This update was posted on 12/11/2018.

1) 2018 was much kinder to us in Lake Wales than 2017. Hurricane Irma is a distant memory. We did have our fair share of bad thunderstorms, and we have learned from recently returned Snowbirds that several home antennas were hit by lightning. So, if you are just now returning and you have verified that everything is plugged in properly, and your service still does not work, please call the office at (863) 455-4200 to confirm that your account is turned on, all past due payments have been made, and that a signal is being sent to your home. If your connection still does not work, we will need to schedule a service call to find and fix the problem. There will be a $35.00 service call fee plus any needed parts to make necessary repairs. If you have returned to a different address your antenna will almost certainly need to be reprogrammed to talk to a different Access Point than was used last year. We are continually upgrading the antennas on the towers and almost all of the old 130 meg radios are now 450 meg radios. While the new equipment will talk in compatibility mode to your old home equipment, you may want to ask is if you qualify for an upgrade to the new higher speed equipment. Generally, the upgrade can be done for $100 depending on how your old equipment was mounted.

2) When we started KCnetwork in 2010, we had one class of internet service. The "Home" class at $50.00/mo with a 40Gbyte/month CAP. Since then we have raised the CAP by 10Gbytes every year and two years ago changed the price of the basic "Home" service to $53.00/month. This last year we revised the pricing plan to add additional classes of service to accommodate users needing additional bandwidth as follows:
Account Class: Sub Class: Price per Month: 2019 Gbyte CAP $/Gbyte over CAP Contract Required:
Home $53.00 140 $1.00 Month-to-Month
Commercial 1 Small Business $150.00 630 $0.90 Month-to-Month
Commercial 2 Medium User $300.00 1890 $0.80 12 Month and 30 days notice
Commercial 3 Large User $450.00 2835 $0.70 24 month and 60 days notice
Commercial 4 Super User $600.00 3780 $0.65 36 month and 90 days notice
When we first considered offering service to users with larger than "Home User" requirements, we realized we had to make a major commitment to expanding our system. New Air Fiber feeds were installed to key locations this summer and recently we upgraded to 10 gigabit system routers. Next year our present 3 year fiber contract will expire and we plan to upgrade to two multigigabit diverse routed fiber feeds which will facilitate increasing our present 99.2% up time to a goal of 99.99%. The recently installed routers now do deep packet inspection (DPI) and have revealed that about 30 of the our "home" users are consuming much more than 140 Gbytes per month. An analysis of the traffic patterns for these users reveals that they have above 80% flows to Roku or other TV streaming devices for 12 or more hours per day. This seems to indicate that they are leaving one or more TV sets on, most if not all day. We want users to understand that this is a valuable resource and it can be either wasted or conserved. In our opinion 140Gbytes a month is enough, but we may raise the home CAP even higher to make normal TV viewing cost no more than the base rate. However, starting in early 2019, our website will allow you to log in and see what your usage has been for each of the last 3 months and Month-to-Date with a forecast of the total usage this month. Our purpose is to give you a tool to monitor your usage and to minimize waste. We want you to be able to turn as much of your internet usage into "need satisfaction" as possible.

The same set of website modifications will allow you to pay your bill online and will automatically suspend service when your old Paid Through date is reached.

3) Recently, it was called to our attention that AT&T has a new "Unlimited Usage" wireless rate. We got a copy of their contract and studied it, and we think you should study it also, so you can accurately compare other offerings with ours. What their contract appeared to say is that when you have used 15Gbytes per month your speed will drop to 127Kbits (about twice the old dial up speed). We calculated that if you use 127 kbit 24x7 for a month, you could use 41 Gbytes. So, add the 15 Gbyte at higher speed and you have a total of 56 Gbytes as an absolute maximum possible usage in a month ... Hardly what one would call "Unlimited Usage" and certainly not able to support much more than 15 Gbytes of video streaming. If you are interest in their service, please check the contract and let us know if we are wrong. We then examined the other wireless offerings and found that they all had similar terms, but maybe did not call it an "Unlimited Usage Plan".

4) Each of the last four years we have a time each fall when many users return to the Lake Wales area and they reconnect their equipment. We have noticed several common problems each year, and would like to discuss each to help ease the pain to both our customers and ourselves.

4A) Customers often connect the wire coming from their antenna into a Router output socket instead of into the Router Input socket. We will not spend much time talking about all of the problems this causes, except to say that your equipment runs much slower than it should. There is one wire you need to check: Your outside antenna wire comes into your home and plugs into the POE socket of the antenna power supply. Then there is a short wire that plugs into the LAN socket on the same power supply and goes to the INPUT or WAN socket on the back of the router. This socket is usually off to the side, often yellow in color, and almost always is labeled "WAN" or "Internet Input". We will be glad to label all of your wires that are part of our antenna system so as to eliminate any confusion. Until this year the worst problem we have ever had was 4 Backwards Routers at the same time. This year we had 37 and spent almost two weeks finding and fixing these issues rather than installing new users as was planned.

4B) Customers often buy a router from Walmart or some other supplier. If they take this device home, it may get an IP address from our Clubhouse cellphone system and run at 1/4 speed. But it will not work properly and must be set up properly on the IP address that is assigned to you and the router channels set to a frequency that will not interfere with our tower feeds or other users. This is a very common and severe problem that has been consumed 80% of our time since mid November 2018.

4C) Customers often try to stream video from router devices that are on the old 2.4 ghz band or from dual band routers that are too far away. We cannot give a full discussion of the 2.4 Ghz band but at first glimpse, it seems to have 11 channels, but in fact it only has 3 channels 1, 6, and 11. Because of the 2.4 Ghz band limitations, we recommend that you spend the extra $15 to buy a "hard wired OR wireless" (dual band) version of any new streaming device or smart TV. People often feel that they don't want a bunch of wires and they want everything to run by radio. You never know where you will be living in a year or two or where the TV set will be located. It is almost always possible to wire from a router to a TV even if you have to go down through the floor and back up near the TV. The TV will work "better" hard wired EVERY TIME. If the TV is close enough to the router to run by radio, and it works OK, great, use radio. But keep your options open. Don't save $15 on a Roku Stick then turn around and have to buy a new $150 router to make it work. Radio only streaming devices are just waiting for a situation where not being able to be hard wired will prevent them from working properly.

4D) A more technical version of the above. Radio waves obey a law of physics called "inverse squares". Simply stated, using this law a computer 5 feet from a router gets a very good signal strength, but when you move to 10 feet it is only 1/4 as strong. and when you move to 15 feet it is 1/8 as strong. By the time you get to a bedroom and add the losses involved going through a wall or two, you often have a signal that is too weak to provide a good TV picture. This principle is why you can have a strong Wi-Fi signal in many homes all on the same channel. Because by the time it gets to the next house it is weak enough just to be a little background noise. We have followed the FCC guidelines since the beginning and they work very well even in challenging situations such as Saddlebag, Breezehill, or Nalcrest where the homes or apartments are very close. While the law of inverse squares says that the signal will fall off as the square of distance in a perfect vacuum, in real life with other losses added in, it is more like the cube of distance. The FCC recommendation that all inside the home routers be at the low frequency end of the band because these frequencies have the longest wavelength and therefore the longest range. Speaking of range, if you need more Wi-Fi coverage area, you really do NOT want to use a range extender. They double the interference and half the speed. Almost unlimited range and full speed are available from mesh point extenders and a compatible mesh router. If this is what you need. Ask us and we will point you to the proper equipment for your needs.

Using the above guidanc , channel 1 on the 2.4 ghz band is for home routers and channel 36 at the bottom of the 5.8 Ghz band is for the 2nd band home routers. AVOID Tri-band routers. This 3rd band is really the top half of the 5.8 Ghz band, the same set of frequencies that are set aside for tower-to-tower communications. When you go to the store and buy a new router it needs to be set on a proper frequency or you run the risk of being a strong interference signal to a nearby tower, thus blocking the signal that is feeding a neighbor or yourself. There is no downside to everyone following a best practice set of guidelines. Everyone wins.

5) The worldwide IPV4 internet addressing system is going away. Even though the exact date has not yet been announced, you want to be sure that, if you need to replace your router to get better streaming speeds, you also want to be sure the new router is IPV6 compatible, or you will need to replace it again.