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2009 March President Letter

Where can you be inundated with great food, fine wine, and lots of friendly people? Newport’s Seafood & Wine festival, of course! PEAK was a sponsor for the 2009 festival and had several employees visit the coast for a fun-filled weekend. The reports I got back from this group were excellent, as they were genuinely impressed with the quality of the event. I commend the efforts of the Newport Chamber of Commerce and all the volunteers that made the 2009 Seafood & Wine festival happen. At PEAK we are certainly glad to sponsor local events like this and encourage all the surrounding communities to join in on the fun!

On that note about Newport, I am sorry to report that PEAK closed its Newport business office February 27th. Our decision was made because of the limited impact the office was having on the coast and with considerations towards long-term viability. However, I want to reassure you that this does not change how PEAK delivers quality, locally-driven Internet service and we look forward to staying involved in the coastal communities, as we have over the past decade.

This month PEAK will begin implementing new DSL modems from Clear Access. The Clear Access modems are built with newer technologies and provide a platform for many different services to be offered from within the device. What does this mean for you? To start, I’m pleased to mention that the modems allow advanced troubleshooting capabilities for the PEAK technical staff, thus minimizing any effects of DSL issues. In addition, the modems offer a suite of subscription services that PEAK can help manage
such as: parental controls, Internet time blocking, managed firewall, and even managed Wi-Fi capabilities. This means more quality services to make your Internet life easier! If you would like to upgrade to the new modem, we are offering current customers a few different opportunities to get the new hardware. You can check out the different opportunities on the PEAK website or go to:

Have you ever struggled making the right buying decision with technology items? Today your struggles are over. Now PEAK is helping you make the right purchase when buying your technology gadgets and gear. This month PEAK is debuting its own online store powered by Amazon.com. The web store is filled with individually selected items that our staff is familiar with and recommends. The store is available from the PEAK website or you can check it out at http://peakinternet.amazonwebstore.com.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission mandated that all electric cooperatives and other utilities comply with the newly created “Red Flags” rule, an important guard against identity theft. While PEAK is not a utility cooperative, we believe maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of your personal information is an extremely high priority. As such, we’re employing the best practices and training to ensure that our customers’ information is safeguarded.

Effective March 1, 2009, PEAK customers will be asked to set up a security password in order to obtain information on their account. Customers who decline will be asked to come in with photo I.D. each time information is requested. We hope you’ll understand the purpose is to safeguard personal information.

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone who took the Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey. Your feedback was valuable and we are already looking for ways to capitalize on your input. More to come on this, I promise!

That’s it for this month. Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Rick Petersen

2008 November President’s Letter

Fall has greeted us with a brisk and chilly hello over the past few weeks; I hope you are all staying warm. Are you a propane user? I always like to mention our Casco affiliate, CoEnergy, around this time of the year. CoEnergy provides superior propane services and excellent customer support. If you are considering a heat source switch or need a new propane supplier, give them a call. I’ve been a customer for over 5 years and I’ve been very impressed.

Mark the 11th of November on your calendar and set aside some time of the day to honor our country’s veterans. Veteran’s Day is a time to pay respects to those who served our country’s military forces. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who sacrificed for our continued freedom. Thank you.

In October I attended the Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference in Newport. This annual conference brings to light many of the current issues in Oregon telecommunications and serves as a good platform to bring many of the key players together in a discussion for the future. For PEAK this was a great opportunity to be involved in proposed policy changes that affect how telecom and broadband will be brought to your home in the future.

Vint Cerf is the person most often called “the father of the Internet.” He earned this nickname as one of the co-authors of TCP/IP-the protocol that allowed ARPA to connect various independent networks together to form one large network of networks-the Internet. Cerf currently works as the Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.

Vint Cerf

Here’s some food for thought from the conference: he average household Internet speeds are a blazing 63 Mbps, in South Korea above 49 Mbps, and even France tops the U.S. with an average speed of over 17 Mbps (Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, 2008.). Today the U.S. is ranked 15th in the world with an average speed of 4.9 Mbps download speed. I think we all can agree something needs to be done. The Internet was invented in the U.S. and now we have slipped to 15th in the world for access speeds. I feel positive about the movement started at the conference last month and I look forward to putting PEAK at the forefront for bandwidth access leadership for the future.

PEAK will be out in the community in November at the Software Association’s annual High Tech After Hours (November 13th) and at the Willamette Valley Ag Expo (November 18-20). I encourage you come out and participate in these local community events.

These are two events that we look forward to each year at PEAK due to our ability to contribute and connect with the groups involved with these organizations. PEAK has been a member of the Corvallis Software Association for many years and often a strong supporter of their events. At the Willamette Valley Ag Expo we switch gears a little bit and turn into a solutions provider for our local agriculture community; a group that we have noticed is drastically under served in the areas of high-speed Internet access. For the past few years we have made the expo a point of emphasis to educate rural communities about our broadband Internet services.

The next generation of the Internet is here and PEAK is ready to go! IPv6, or Internet Protocol version 6, is slowly emerging as the next addressing protocol for the web and we recently reserved our block of addresses to keep serving the needs of our customers into the future. IPv4, the predecessor of IPv6, has been the standard for Internet addressing since 1980, but it has been estimated that the will would run out of IPv4 address in (about 4 billion addresses) within the next 15 years. IPv6 offers approximately 3.4×1038 addresses. The transition to IPv6 will support the growing need for IP addresses. This means more web pages, more Internet-enabled devices, and who knows, maybe even the next generation of refrigerators.

As always, it is a pleasure to serve you!

New PEAK Internet Website and Webmail client in June

Also slated to debut this month is the new version of the PEAK Internet website, and webmail client.  We will be reviewing our release candidate this week in hopes of having our first phase of the PEAK website is a new graphical layer for our web=based email client.  Both of these updates will be made available as they are completed.

The first phase of the new PEAK website contains mostly graphical and navigation updates.  In the near future look for interactive elements to be added to the PEAK Internet web presence, such as a blog, and knowledge base tools.  The blog, called PEAK Chat, is a portion of the new site where I and other employees of PEAK Internet will be regularly updating customers with information within our domains. (Support, Engineering, Marketing).  The knowledge base will be primarily a support tool that offers a vast amount of self-help information for our customers to enrich their user experience.

As I have mentioned in the past, we make changes to our services and infrastructure on feedback from our customers.  Please take advantage of the many opportunities we offer to communicate with us as we evolve from where we are today to where we will be in the future.

Basic Website Setup and Design

The June episode of Tech Talk is a fantastic guide on how to participate on the Internet with your own website. Now is the time! Create your own family site, publish your own daily blog, or just create a site based on your hobby. Technologies like MySpace and Facebook make it easier than ever to create your own site, but what if you want to create a custom web presence? Join PEAK Internet Technical Support Agents Dan Mills and Kyle Hanley as they give Tech Talk host Jim Willhight a quick breakdown of all the tools involved with publishing a website.

Get your introduction to the world of the web! Dan and Kyle discuss four
of the most notable elements to putting together a website.

  • Domain Registration: What will your site be called? Find out more about the vendors to register site names worldwide.
  • Hosting: Which companies and plans work for my site? How to you balance cost versus value (PEAK is the best!)?
  • HTML versus Database-Driven: Which platform will you build your site on? How does it scale when you want to add new content?
  • Tools: What tools will you use to construct and manag your site?

It’s not as hard as you think, neither is it very easy, but if you tune into Tech Talk this month you’ll be one step closer to putting your own site on the Internet. Don’t miss out – tune in or download this month’s show to get the latest in technology explained to you. You can download this podcast directly by going to: http://www.peakinternet.com/techtalk