Dealing with Challenges Related to COVID-19

Day to day life during this pandemic has slowly settled into what we hope is a temporary new normality. The way we interact with one another, shop, dine and conduct business has seemingly changed overnight. Like the vast majority of all of you reading this, a choice wasn’t given to any of us on how to proceed in this time of uncertainty. Life as we knew it changed, and there was nothing we could do about it – except adjust.

And adjust, we did! First and foremost, we want to extend our appreciation and gratitude for everyone in the medical profession that has boldly taken this pandemic head on. We also extend our thanks to everyone that the local and federal authorities considered to be essential. You were asked to show up for work, put yourselves at risk, in order to help provide essential items and services to our community. Again, thank you.

Being considered an essential business, we are getting to experience both sides of the new normality. We are extremely proud of our employees for coming to work with the goal of serving our community as best we can. With the world seemingly becoming a remote environment overnight, reliable Internet and phone service became even more important than ever. Our employees have answered the call every single day to provide said service to all our existing customers and those who would soon be calling us with a need. As a company, for over 35 years have preached about customer service and the desire to serve our local communities, and it has been an absolute honor to watch our employees put those words into action in the most trying times.

In order for our employees to continue to answer the call and support our customers, we had to make sure we put them in the safest position possible. Management kept a close watch on the ongoing changes and recommendations by the federal health officials and government agencies. With these changes, we had to ask our customers to adapt as well.

We wanted to make sure that not only were our employees protected, but our customers health was as well.  Gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies were made available to all employees. Our front lobby at our office was closed to the public and we increased cleaning procedures. Our field crew began installing service in ways to prevent close contact with customers and our consulting department began preforming the vast majority of their work by remote sessions with clients.

While none of these changes were perfect solutions to every hurdle that was brought on by COVID-19, they gave us the best opportunity to serve our customers. We take great honor in being able to help connect students with reliable Internet service so they can continue their studies from home. Same can be said for those who were in great need of a reliable Internet connection for telecommuting purposes. We take great pride in being the Internet Service Provider that you choose to stay connected with family and friends during a time when you are being asked to stay separated from. For those of you who had no choice but to stay home from work and ride this pandemic out at home, its our pleasure to provide you a service to binge watch your favorite shows or sharpen your skills on your favorite video games. No matter what your situation is, you’ll get our best because you’re all essential. We know fast, reliable Internet is essential for everyone.

As restrictions are slowly being lifted, our commitment of servicing our customers in the highest standards possible will continue as they have for the past 35+ years. COVID-19 has changed the way we live. It is quite possible these changes may, in some form or another, be here to stay, whether we like it or not. While there is still a lot of uncertainty in our lives at this time, one thing is certain – we are here to serve you through it all.


Fiber Deployment Update

A lot has happened since August, when we announced our plans to deploy Fiber Internet to the Porterville area and we wanted to give everyone an update! The first phase of this project resulted in nearly 3 miles worth of fiber laid underground that extended to the south west side of Porterville. The construction phase was completed on December 31st and soon after, we began the second phase of our build-out.

The fiber deployment to the southwest part of town allowed us to create 20 separate Service Zones that would soon be available to get Fiber Internet service. Each zone allows individual neighborhoods to sign up for service and once enough interest is generated by those that live in the area, we will be able to begin construction and begin serving them.  The second phase of our build-out expanded back towards the center of Porterville where we opened up five additional Service Zones.

If you are interested in getting Fiber Internet in your neighborhood, visit www.oacysfiber.com and fill out a survey. These surveys are how we decide which neighborhoods will get service first! The fastest way to get service in your neighborhood is to tell your neighbors and make sure they fill out a survey too! Be sure to sign up as a neighborhood champion, we have flyers, business cards and door hangers you can pass out to those who live near you. The best part about our champion service is that not only can you help get Fiber into your neighborhood sooner, but you’ll also get discounts on the installation!

Our second phase of construction is due to be completed around the end of March.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay in the loop on all the latest news and updates on the progress of this project. We will continue to announce new zones throughout Porterville where our Fiber Internet will be available next!

Company Highlights from 2018

As we move into 2019, we wanted to give our customers a look back at some of our biggest highlights of 2018. We hope you enjoy taking a behind the scenes look at our busy and productive year!  We are already looking forward at what we will have to highlight at the end of this new year.

Advanced Tower Climbing Safety & Rescue Certification

After completing an intense Tower Safety and Rescue class, we have multiple crews available for tower work that includes, but not limited to equipment installation, maintenance and emergency response.

Intensive Fiber Training

We knew Fiber construction was going to be a major emphasis on our year. With that being said, we knew we needed to make sure our crews that were going to be helping get our customers connected to the Fiber network were going to need extensive training. We met with several of our distributors and manufactures and held many hands-on training sessions, learning the ins and outs of the material and products we would be using. Rather than relying on outside contractors, we wanted to make sure we kept all our work inhouse so we could continue to provide the best possible service and customer support possible.

Initial Deployment of New Wireless Equipment

With the addition of new tower sites, researching and deploying new equipment and technology has allowed us to bring higher speeds, more bandwidth and increased reliability to our customers. The deployment of this equipment is continuing daily and we are excited for what we have planned for the near future.

Increased Capacity to Tower Sites

Major upgrades took place at several tower sites in the past year that have increased the capacity to main tower locations. These upgrades have helped keep pace with the bandwidth increases and growing customer count. Coupled with new tower locations, equipment and now increased capacity at our tower locations, plans are already taking place to deliver higher speeds and more bandwidth to our customers.

IT Crew Visits Austin, TX

DattoCon, a Manager Service Provider Conference, was an opportunity for OACYS technicians to learn from and network with other MSP’s and vendors regarding Managed IT. It provided our technicians with training on how to best utilize the tools they are currently using as well as educate them on up and coming technology that improvement management of customers’ networks.

Management Team Attends Wisapalooza

Our management team attended the annual Wispalooza conference in Las Vegas, that is hosted by WISPA (Wireless Service Providers Association). Service providers and manufactures that support fixed wireless broadband including equipment suppliers, support services, and other components needed to run a successful business come together to discuss the latest technology and updates in the industry. We always want to make sure we are providing the best possible service to our customers by staying up to date with the latest technology and regulations within our industry.

Summit Estates II Goes Live

At the end of 2017, we found a new subdivision being built on the southwest side of town. We decided it would be a perfect opportunity to build out our “fiberhood”. As utility trenches were opened up, we ran conduit along the streets, and micro-conduit directly to every lot in the neighborhood. As the houses were being finished, new residents had access to Porterville’s first FTTH (Fiber to The Home) Internet connection. Our goal of making Summit Estates II as the first of many Fiberhoods in Porterville was accomplished.

New Tower Built in Exeter

Keeping with the “construction” theme for the year, we completed a new and improved tower in Exeter on Rocky Hill. This new tower location increases the quality of service in the area, gives us more capacity and stability to our service area in Exeter and the surrounding areas.  It also allowed us to increase our capacity to surrounding microsites, which in return, improved the capacity and stability to our customers that weren’t directly connecting to our tower site on Rocky Hill.

Fiber Ring Construction in Porterville Begins

In June, ground broke for the first major leg of our Fiber infrastructure around Porterville. Nearly 3 miles of underground fiber would be run from our office on Porter out through the southwest part of Porterville. This is the first step to building a full Fiber network around Porterville, which will allow us to deploy speeds of 1000Mbps or higher to neighborhoods throughout the city. We aim to do further similar projects in the near future in order to provide service into new areas.

Fiber Internet Announced to Public

On August 1st, our plans to deliver Fiber Internet in Porterville was formally announced to the public. We had been putting the plans in motion well in advanced and the excitement and anticipation of revealing our plans to the public was hard to contain. As soon as we broke the news, we could see that the public was just as excited us, to have a local company investing in the community to bring the best Internet connection available to the area. This is the dawn of a new era for new possibilities that Fiber Internet means to our local community and our excitement and dedication to be able to bring this type of service to Porterville is sky high! In 2019, we are looking forward to continuing the expansion of our Fiber Internet deployment, alongside the other services we are offering throughout our local communities.

Fiber Internet is Coming to Porterville!

We are excited to announce that we are bringing Fiber Internet, with speeds up to 1 Gigabit, to Porterville. We’ll give you a second to let that sink in…

We have been working relentlessly in preparation to serve neighborhoods in Porterville with Gigabit Fiber.  We have a subdivision already served with Fiber Internet, and others in the pipeline.  We are giving Porterville the option to get the only fiber to the home (FTTH) Internet connections that will deliver consistent and reliable speeds up to 1 Gigabit (1000Mbps).

Cable and DSL providers have been able to advertise high connection speeds, but with peak time slowdowns and outages the consistency just isn’t there.  Unlike services provided via copper lines from cable and phone companies, fiber is the best medium for delivering the highest capacity connections, at 1 Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and higher, for decades to come.  Cable and DSL companies can’t make that claim.  Installing Fiber Internet to your neighborhood will future proof your Internet connection.

So, how do you get Fiber Internet? First, visit www.oacysfiber.com. Plug in your address and take the survey which shows us you are interested in getting the best Internet in Porterville. Talk to your family, friends and neighbors and let them know the more interest that is shown in your area, the sooner we begin building out our Fiber network. Fiber is a long-term investment and the buildout doesn’t happen overnight, which is why we are encouraging those who are interested in getting service to work with us in helping spread the word. We will build to the areas with the most interest first, ensuring the investment can be supported. We intend to provide Fiber and Gigabit speeds to 100% of Porterville, but where it is available first will be determined by you.

If you think getting the fastest, most reliable Internet connection in town – backed by the best local customer service around – is exciting enough, don’t miss out on our Champion program to get even more benefits! Champions are individuals that will work closely with our sales department to help spread the word inside their neighborhood.  Champions will receive door hangers and info cards to pass out, and can also be a point of contact for their neighborhood to help gather enough interest in the area to ensure they are at the top of the list for our build out plans.

We are excited to begin this process with the community. We know what great benefits FTTH will bring to both residential and business customers and we will continue to post updates as progress is made and new service zones are being added along the way. If you have any questions about FTTH, what Gigabit speeds can do for you, or our Champion campaign, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We look forward to answering any questions you may have as we work together to build Porterville into a Gigabit Fiber community.

Be sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay in the loop on all the latest news and updates on the progress of this project. We will continue to announce new zones throughout Porterville where our Fiber Internet will be available next!

Employee Spotlight Series – Meet Ryan & Joslyn!

Name: Ryan & Joslyn W.

Position: Owners / CEO & CFO

In 1997, Ryan joined the OACYS Team as a high school senior. While away at university, Ryan remained active remotely in a variety of programming and network management projects. After graduating, he returned to the office and assumed full management of the substantial OACYS network. Ryan eventually became the COO of OACYS and was heavily involved in business decisions, planning and expanding the wireless footprint in our local communities. In 2016, Ryan, along with his wife Joslyn purchased OACYS from the founding owners. For several years, prior to purchasing the company, Ryan was acting as the visionary and integrator of the company, overseeing all business operations. The transition to become owner and CEO of OACYS was about as seamless as possible as he had been well groomed for the transition.

Joslyn has worked for OACYS for almost 2 years.  She started in 2016 as bookkeeper and CFO when Joslyn and Ryan purchased the company from the Olsons.  With experience in both banking and retail bookkeeping she was quick to assume the large new responsibility of financial management for OACYS.  Joslyn handles vendor payments, payroll, employee benefits, ensuring everyone we owe gets paid in a timely manner.  She also fields many account questions from our customer service reps and customers directly at times, while over-seeing expenses.  We look forward too many more years with Joslyn keeping the finances in check.

The pulse of the company and employees is brimming with excitement. Ryan and Josyln are excellent leaders, evident in the way all the employees rally together to put in 100% on a daily basis to ensure business continues to trend upward to exciting levels.  Major projects that will benefit the community are currently in the works and all of the OACYS team is excited to see where Ryan and Joslyn are leading them into ever changing world of technology.

Running a business consumes a lot of time and energy, however Ryan and Josyln make sure that they maintain a good work-life balance. They have 3 daughters and are very active and involved in their activities and church. They love to unwind hanging out together as a family at home, enjoying their favorite movies and shows, or enjoying spending time outside and swimming. They do sneak away from the office and home on occasion, as they enjoy family trips to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. When the opportunity presents itself, they enjoy long road trips to visit family in Kansas, Tennessee and Louisiana.

Employee Spotlight Series – Meet Michael!

Name: Michael L.

Position: Field Service Technican 

Michael was hired last month and was brought on to be part of our Wireless Field Service team. With a history of working as part of a customer service team and field work as a technician, we felt like Michael would be a great fit on our team.  As a member of our Field Service department, he will be tasked with installing wireless Internet service, troubleshooting connections and upgrading customers equipment to the newest models. He has been eager to learn from the rest of our team members and continues to jump in without hesitation to continue learning the ropes. A friendly and polite attitude like Michaels is always a welcomed addition to our team. We strive to make sure our customers are taken care of and we feel that Michaels attitude will fit in well with that mentality. We look forward to seeing him continue to learn and grow within the company and see what the future holds for him here.

Outside of work, Michael’s main focus is on the well being of his family.  He enjoys exploring with his wife and son, making sure to stop along the way to try fancy and interesting food.  While at home, Michael takes his interest in food, into the kitchen where he really enjoys cooking.  Spending time watching his favorite TV shows and movies or playing basketball with his friends is another way he likes to unwind and enjoy his time out of the office.

Employee Spotlight Series – Meet Mark!

Name: Mark J.

Position: Sales & Marketing Manager

Mark started with OACYS in 2002 as a field wireless tech, installing fixed wireless Internet back when that was a very new technology.  He learned quickly and was dependable and had a good attitude.  As the company grew positions opened for Customer Relations Manager and later Office Manager, and he was quick to take on the challenge as each position was offered to him.  He does a great job of overseeing our customer service staff to ensure any customer concerns are followed through to completion.  Mark provides training to new hires, and also produces the sales materials we use for our Internet, Voice and IT services.  Mark has a quick wit and calm demeanor that is appreciated by fellow employees as well as OACYS customers.  He is a great asset to the OACYS management team, and we look forward to another 16 years with Mark as a part of our team.

As the office’s self-proclaimed coffee addict, Mark spends the majority of his free time traveling and looking for new places to explore. He enjoys spending time hiking and camping with his son, friends and family. While traveling and hiking, you’ll find a camera in his hand as he really enjoys photography. During the spring time and summer, you’ll also find Mark out on the softball fields playing slow pitch in the men’s and co-ed leagues.

Employee Spotlight Series – Meet Jose!

Name: Jose B.

Position: Field Service Technician

Jose joined our Field Crew team at the beginning of 2017 and quickly showed us why he was going to be a great addition. From the start, his strong work ethic and reliability were easy to recognize. He quickly picked up on the skills needed to get customers installed with our wireless Internet service.  Jose has steadily progressed in troubleshooting Internet connection issues, configuring home networks and conducting site surveys. His easy going and polite personality has always been appreciated with our customers, as they can tell he cares that their needs and interests are being taken care of. Jose continues to show growth in the field on a daily basis and is ready for more responsibilities.  He’s been a great addition to not only our Field Service team, but to the company as a whole. We are excited for what the future holds for Jose here at OACYS.

Outside of work, Jose spends much of his time with his wife and 3 young children. Originally from Argentina, Jose grew up playing and watching soccer and baseball. He played both sports in high school at Monache and still follows the Argentinian sports team and the NY Yankees. His biggest passion however is music. He grew up around a family full of musicians and has enjoyed playing the drums and guitar since his childhood.

Employee Spotlight Series – Meet Crystian!

Name: Crystian C.

Position: Field Operations Manager

Crystian has been with OACYS since 2007.  He started as a wireless field technician installing client radios on a daily basis.  As the company grew, Crystian advanced quickly as he worked on tower projects and in short order took on the responsibility of Tower Operations Manager to oversee the large network of radios used to serve wireless Internet across the valley.  He is also the OACYS Field Ops Manager, supervising our install crews as well as tower crews.  Chris is a very sharp technician, and in addition to all of the above responsibilities he is a Senior Network Engineer that sets up and works with all of our core routers and switches.  When there is a problem that can’t be resolved by the rest of the team, Chris dives in and quickly gets to the bottom of the issue to get it resolved.  Chris is a great asset to our company in many different ways, and we look forward to at least another 11 years with him in our management team.

Outside of work, Crystian’s hobbies and interests usually include his wife, son and extended family. He likes having his family over to enjoy game nights, playing soccer and volleyball together and of course BBQ. While he’s busy mixing new spices together for a new rub, he’s cheering on the SF Giants. When time permits, Crystian and his family enjoying heading out of town to San Francisco to catch a game in person and enjoy walking around the city.

Employee Spotlight Series – Meet Ava!

Name: Ava M.

Position: Customer Accounting Specialist

In February of 2017, Ava joined our team as a customer service representative. Ava came with little experience in the technology world but it wasn’t long before she was answering phones and helping customers with whatever need they had whether it be taking payments or troubleshooting an Internet issue. Ava has proved to be a great asset to the company, she is always up to the challenge of learning new things and helping out wherever she is needed. She is great at multitasking. Aside from her duties in customer service, she also works in the accounting department and has taken on many tasks such as processing paperwork that comes in from service calls to new installs. She also helps out with invoicing, processing payments and keeping account information up to date. We are glad to have Ava as part of our team and look forward to seeing her advance in the years to come.

As a mother of two young children, it is no surprise that life outside of the office revolves around her family.  She loves spending time with her son and daughter, watching them get bigger by the day. Between chasing them around and busy days at the office, Ava enjoys being able to catch up on her favorite shows or enjoy some quiet time reading. Between a good show or a good book, a little quiet time to herself allows her to relax and unwind.