CHAT

CTTC Spring Entertainment Update

It is almost Spring in Texas, and eventually, we will all be looking for wildflowers and taking pictures in the Bluebonnets, but just in case we get a few more rainy days that might keep you inside over the next few weeks, we have collected a few lists of top-streaming shows on a variety of streaming platforms.

 

What People are Watching on Netflix

According to Newsweek magazine, the top three most-streamed shows on Netflix in February were:

Firefly Lane

Apparently, a lot of people were looking for something light and fun after the challenges of 2020, and Firefly Lane took the top spot. The friendship-focused show spans a number of decades and is based on the book by Kristin Hannah.

Bridgerton

This British fictional period drama is the story of a young couple pretending to be in love to avoid being matched up with someone else, a brilliant plan, until they wind up making their lives even more complicated–including an old-fashioned duel!

Lupin

Lupin is a hit new show with roots in some old-school material. The story focuses on a thief trying to steal a necklace that belonged to Marie Antoinette. The idea came from a book he was read as a child, called “The Queen’s Necklace” which is a real story from 1906. 

 

 

What’s Trending on Disney+

According to businessinsider.com the top streaming shows for the week of February 18th on Disney+ have a science-fiction theme:

The Mandalorian

Season 2 of the Mandalorian has been a huge hit, with the return of a number of vintage Star Wars characters, and following the adventures across the galaxy of Din Djarin as he tries to get The Child safely to the Jedi and away from the embers of the fallen Empire. 

Wanda Vision

This is the first Marvel series made for television and it has scored big numbers. The series focuses on Wanda and Vision, who find themselves in a normal suburban neighborhood trying to fit in despite their superpowers, although everything is not as it seems and there is much more going on than meets the eye.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

When Disney purchased the rights to all of the Star Wars properties, they most likely had a plan that included extending the lives of cartoon series like The Clone Wars, and a new season has just recently launched exploring the storyline and events that lead up to “Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith.”

 

 

What Amazon Prime Members are Watching

Some people do not realize that free television programming is included with their Amazon Prime membership, and there are some great shows to check out including:

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

A 50’s housewife decides she wants to become a standup comic once her husband fails at doing so. Witty dialogue, amazing sets and costumes, and the absolute energy of Rachel Brosnahan pull you in to see what will happen next.

Sneaky Pete

What happens when you are a con man who escapes from prison that robs a gangster? In this case, Marius, takes the identity of his cellmate Pete and walks back into their lives without missing a beat. The sticky situations and quick cons are made for binging. 

The Boys

The Boys is an example of what happens if you give a teenager obsessed with comic books and violence the freedom to do anything they want with any character in the story–no rules. The Boys flips heroism on its head, making the superheroes bad guys with addiction problems, anger management issues, and too many other maladies to list. 

 

Other Suggestions to Wrap up Winter

There are many other streaming services out there, and so many great shows to choose from, so here are a few more suggestions, in case you might have already checked out some of the ideas above:

Netflix

  • How to Get Away With Murder
  • Outer Banks
  • The Crown
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Queen’s Gambit

Amazon Prime

  • The Man in the High Castle
  • Jack Ryan
  • The Expanse
  • Fleabag
  • Goliath

Disney+

  • Pixar Popcorn
  • The Simpsons
  • Schoolhouse Rock

 

Lightning Fast Internet Speed

CTTC is proud to provide lightning-fast internet connections so you can stream all of the content you want without buffering, skips, drops or any problems. Contact us today to upgrade your internet connection and start streaming some of these amazing shows!

 

What’s the Difference Between Fiber vs. DSL vs. WiFi?

At CTTC, We get asked all the time, what is the difference between the different types of internet connectivity available in our region, so we thought we would give a quick overview of all of the options out there, and more specifically the ones available to most of our communities.

 

The Internet Has Become a Critical Tool For the Success of Rural Texas Communities

Living in rural Texas presents many unique challenges that our friends in the big city rarely have to face. For many, one of those challenges is access to reliable, fast internet for your home and business. However, CTTC has laid the groundwork to help our Central Texas communities lead the way in fiber connectivity, building Smart Rural Communities, and providing fast, reliable internet connectivity with lightning-fast speeds. Over the past year, it has become more important than ever to be able to work from home, run online businesses, and have access to telemedicine, and CTTC has been here to ensure our rural Texas towns like Bend, Big Valley, Cherokee, Doole, Millersview, Eola, Evant, Goldthwaite, Locker, Lohn, Melvin, Mercury, Mullin, Priddy, Richland Springs, Rochelle, San Saba, Star, and Voca have the best connection possible.

 

The Four Main Types of Internet Connections

When it comes to choosing which type of internet delivery service is best for you, it is important to know the differences between your choices and what options are available. There are four primary types of internet connections: Fiber, Cable, DSL, and Wireless Internet. Each type of connection has different download and upload speeds, as well as different delivery methods. Here are the facts you need to know about each type of connection:

Fiber Internet Connection  (Available from CTTC)

Fiber internet is a broadband internet connection delivered through glass fibers that allow for data to be transferred at about 70% of the speed of light. Fiber connections are fast (up to 1 gig-1000 Mbps) and are resilient to external factors because the lines are dedicated only for internet connections. 

Cable Internet Connection

A cable internet connection uses underground coaxial cables that are shared lines that also transmit television signals. Cable connections can be as fast as fiber internet (up to 1 gig-1000 Mbps) in some cases, but connections are not very common in rural areas. Cable connections also experience lags during peak use times due to the shared nature of the connection.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Connection (Available from CTTC)

DSL is an affordable, fast option that transmits signals over copper phone lines. DSL is often the best option available to rural communities due to the lack of existing fiber or cable lines. Most communities have existing phone lines that can be shared to transfer data over the internet at speeds up to about 115 Mbps.

Wireless Internet

Wireless internet is becoming more common but has been less widespread up this point. This type of connection uses stationary fixed points to transmit the data signal from one location to another, it does not require a cable delivery system, so it is very flexible. WIreless connections transfer signals over the air instead of through a cable or fiber, so the connection is much slower, around 25 Mbps. These connections are also impacted by weather and sightlines, and if the signal becomes blocked by a tree or a building, the connection will deteriorate. 

What is Mbps Exactly?

One of the most important questions you need to ask when considering an internet provider is how fast does my internet need to be? The national average internet speed in the United States is 42.86 Mbps, but what is Mbps anyway? Broadband speeds are measured in “megabits per second,” shortened to Mbps. Bits are tiny units of data with a megabit representing a million of them. The higher the number of Mbps, the faster your internet connection. Any internet speed of less than 25 Mbps is considered a slow connection.

 

How Does WiFi Play A Role in Connecting Communities?

WiFi is often confused as being interchangeable with other internet connections. In actuality, WiFi is what transmits data inside of your home or business from your router to devices such as your smartphone, tablet, smart TV, laptop, and anything else that can pick up and utilize an existing internet signal. A WiFi signal is local, which means that it will generally only reach the areas within your home or office. It does not create internet access; it only allows you to have the signal carried to your device when there is internet service available. Wireless internet service is not WiFi, and WiFi is not internet service. The two go hand-in-hand, but they are not the same thing. WiFi does allow businesses to offer customers a connection while they are shopping or having a coffee. The quality of the WiFi connection will depend on the type of internet connection and router that it is connected to.

 

Why Fiber is the Future of Internet Connectivity 

In rural areas, many large cable companies do not want to make the investment in infrastructure for internet services for residents. This means that many rural communities are being left behind when it comes to technology and growing businesses beyond our local neighborhoods. However, CTTC has invested greatly in the future of our region, digging hundreds of miles of fiber lines to prepare for the future. 

Fiber is the most reliable, and fastest option available today. The further you move from the source of the connection, the fiber signal barely degrades. It has a higher resistance to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI), so you can rely on the fact that your signal won’t be interrupted by things that carry an electrical signal. Likewise, the speeds are not affected by environmental factors either. It can reach speeds from 50Mbps to 100Gbps, which are unmatched by other technologies.

Fiber is also far superior when it comes to security since the only way to disrupt a fiber optic internet connection is to cut a cable. This compromise can be identified quickly, fixed rapidly, and there is no way that anyone can tap or listen in on your transmissions. Optical fibers are easy to install and simple to upgrade so it is a great solution for a growing business, especially in a rural area. 

Finally, the cost of using fiber internet is lower than other methods. The initial cost may be higher than wireless or other wired methods, but the cables require less maintenance since they are resistant to corrosion, and, because of this, they are far more reliable.

 

Speed and Reliability for Your Business

If you are looking for high-quality internet that is fast and reliable, contact CTTC to discuss all of your options for internet services. We are happy to break down all of the differences between our services and help you decide which is right for you. When your business or home needs the best possible internet service, only CTTC has the internet options that will keep you reliably connected. Don’t let internet connection be a challenge for your family, CTTC is here to connect you to the rest of the world quickly and reliably. 

 

 

The Christmas Countdown Has Begun

We are only a few days away from Christmas, and of course, we have last-minute shopping on our minds. At CTTC, we work with well over a dozen hill country communities and most of the people in our communities depend on small local businesses to provide what is needed for their families, especially when it is a last-minute need. So we wanted to highlight a couple of our favorite small businesses offering great last-minute gift ideas.

 

The Importance of Shopping Local

According to Sustainable Connections, 58% of every $100 spent at a locally owned business recirculates and remains in the local economy. Whereas only 14% of funds spent with national retailers make their way back to the local economy. This is a really important statistic for small towns because even the slightest shift away from local businesses can have a major impact on city economics. Not to mention that when it comes to service, you cannot beat being able to walk in and get expert advice first hand from someone who has been hired to get to know their products and build relationships within the community. Small businesses donate 250% more per employee to local charitable causes than large, national competitors. So now that you know why to shop local, here are a couple of our last-minute picks:

 

Photo: pecans.com

Pecans.com

Pecans.com is located in Goldthwaite, Texas and provides gourmet pecans, pies, honey butter, preservatives, and lots of great gift baskets. Pecans.com does a great deal of business online, thanks to having lightning-fast internet from CTTC, but also has a retail storefront, as well as some products being available at Schwartz Food Store and McMahan Pharmacy in Goldthwaite.

Pecans.com is a CCOF, USDA and Kosher certified organic pecan shelling facility and is one of the few organic pecan shelling facilities in Texas.

Although the Pecans.com namesake itself was unrealized until the 1990s, the history of the company dates back to around 1971. It all began when owner DeWayne McCasland and his father, Homer McCasland, decided to purchase a ranch in Mills County to raise cattle.

“We were cowboys who raised chickens, turkeys, goats, sheep and cattle,” DeWayne recalls.  “We didn’t know anything about growing pecans. We bought this place, and it had lots of trees on it. It looked pretty and we thought we’d take care of it.” The next year they gathered the nuts and realized they were more profitable to sell than cattle.

Here are a few pecan-themed gift suggestions from pecans.com:

So check out the pecans.com website, they ship all over the USA, for last-minute ideas, or if you are in Goldthwaite, visit their retail store for pecans, gift baskets, and much more.

 

Photo: Fiesta Winery

FIESTA VINEYARD AND WINERY

Over the last decade, there has been a boom in the Texas wine industry. While California is still the king of wine consumption in the United States, Texas is now 4th in overall wine consumption. With Texans consuming over 60,000 gallons of wine in 2018 according to statista.com, it is no wonder wineries and vineyards are popping up all over the hill country.

One of our favorites is Fiesta Vineyard and Winery in Bend, Texas. Fiesta Winery has multiple locations, but Bend is the heart of the Fiesta Winery brand; it is the homestead of the Baxter Ranch (which has been in the family for six generations). It is located near the Colorado Bend River and is where all of their great-tasting, award-winning wines are bottled.

The Fiesta Estate Vineyard was planted in 2010, with grapes that were selected for the Texas climate and soils. Over time, the vineyard has produced a wide variety of wines and countless award-winners. Visit any of the locations for a guided wine tasting or attend one of the many events; you quickly will become a Fiesta fan! Fiesta also has a quarterly Wine Club (a great gift idea) with three different tiers that suit all levels of wine drinkers.

Here are a few fun recommendations by Fiesta for the holiday season:

  • Sweet Dreams (Seasonal – This sweet red wine is silky and smooth with a full finish. Full of the aroma of sweet, ripe raspberry.)
  • Christmas Cheer (This rich red wine offers delightful notes of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.)
  • Heart of Texas Red (Full-bodied blend of Tannat and Primitivo gives this wine an Old World feel with luxurious tannins and soft black raspberry.)

For last-minute gifts, you can shop their online store, or visit any of their locations in Bend, Fredericksburg, or Marble Falls.

Fiber Internet Makes Small Business More Powerful

Pecans.com and Fiesta Vineyard and Winery depend on their CTTC fiber internet connection to reliably support their online businesses. Whether it is the shipping of shelled pecans all over the USA, or online events and wine club sales, our CTTC small business customers have an advantage thanks to our reliable fiber internet connection that is over twice as fast as the competition. It makes online selling easy and helps small businesses compete in the global marketplace and our small businesses help put our small Texas towns on the map!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from CTTC!

At CTTC, we are proud to serve local businesses in our community and we hope that you will give them your support for holiday gift-giving. Merry Christmas from all of us at CTTC and have a Happy New Year!