EBB - PROGRAM (Emergency Broadband Benefit Program)
UNBLOCKER ISSUES WITH STREAMING SERVICES
An update regarding the following message some customers have received while attempting to stream: "You seem to be using an un-blocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these serviecs and try again."
Valley TeleCom has received confirmation from Netflix that they are aware of the issue, it is widespread, and they are currently working on a resolution. It looks as though changes from streaming service providers have been implemented in order to crack down on VPN users (Virtual Private Network). This includes Netflix and Amazon Prime, with some others having been affected as well. In the process of implementing these harsher protocols, they have inadvertently blocked some carrier translations, ours included. Rather than waiting on streaming services to provide a resolution for this issue our Networking team has implemented a possible workaround to get our subscribers back to using their streaming services without interuption.
Again, this is a POSSIBLE workaround as we have not been provided information regarding precisely which area of our network is being flagged on their end.
FCC 988 TEN-DIGIT DIALING
Ten-digit dialing will soon be required nationwide in response to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adoption of 988 as a new three-digit number to be used to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. Click Here to learn more.
COVID 19 PANDEMIC
Effective March 8, 2021
All of our offices are now open with the following restrictions:
If you are feeling ill, please do not enter until you are feeling better. Please use common sense when it comes to social distancing. We want to assure you that we're taking proper precautions when it comes to protecting our customers, our employees and our communities.
- Our lobbies are currently open but you can also find full staff available by phone, online chat, and email.
- All customers have access to account information, including the ability to make payments, through our online Smarthub portal, on our website at https://www.vtc.net/bill-pay. If you have not previously registered your account online, you can find instructions to do so here, or call our customer service team and we’ll help you get started.
- Payments can also be made over the phone at 1-888-255-5172 or dropped off in the drop box in front of any of our offices.
- To inquire about new service or make changes to your existing account, please call 1-800-421-5711, M-F, 8:00am -5:00pm.
- Online Chat
- Our technical support team is available 24/7 at 1-877-882-6386.
- Will continue to minimize direct customer contact by maintaining a six-foot separation (social distancing) when meeting with the public.
- We cannot send a technician to a location where anyone has a contagious illness. When you call in for a service issue, we will ask you if everyone at the location is healthy before we dispatch
- Appointments for new service or additions are scheduled days/weeks in advance. If you develop a contagious illness near the date of the appointment, we ask that you contact us to reschedule the appointment, so we are not exposing our technicians or contributing to the spread of the illness.
We are committed to keeping you up to date as developments arise. While we always regret missed opportunities to visit with you in person, your safety, along with our employees’ safety, is our utmost priority.
CALL COMPLETION ISSUES
Long Distance Call Completion Inquiries: For more information on long distnce call completions resolution click the following link to the FCC website
BACKUP POWER CUSTOMER NOTICE
Backup Power for Residential Voice Telephone Services during Power Outages: For many years, your home telephone would allow you to stay connected to emergency voice services during a power outage. However, if your residential voice telephone service is provided using fiber optics rather than the traditional copper-based line, the residential voice telephone service requires backup battery power to continue functioning during an outage. This helps to avoid a disruption of home voice service during an outage - and to maintain the ability to connect to 911 emergency services.
What Your Battery Can - and Can't - Do for You: The backup battery for telephone equipment provided by Valley TeleCom Group will be located near where the fiber enters your home and allows you to continue to use your home voice services during a power outage. Without a backup battery or alternate backup source such as a generator, customers with fiber based residential telephone service will not be able to make any calls, including emergency calls to 911 during an outage. The only way to maintain the ability to use your telephone is by using some form of backup power.
Our backup battery does not provide power to any services other than voice. Home security systems, medical monitoring devices and other equipment will not run on a residential voice telephone backup battery.
Options for Backup Battery Power:
Valley TeleCom Group backup batteries – For $1.95 per month, Valley TeleCom Group will provide and install, am 8-hour backup battery and provide free replacement when it becomes known that the battery needs to be replaced. If you have any questions, please call 800-400-1273, or go to your local Valley TeleCom office. For, $12.95 per month, you can opt to have a battery that will last up to 24 hours if you prefer to have the extended time coverage.
Third Party provided spare backup batteries – You may also be able to purchase battery backup through local retailers or on-line. The type of battery that you need is a Haze HZS12-8 – 12 Volts.
Expected Backup Power Duration: Backup batteries are expected to last at least 8 hours on standby power. The backup battery should give you at least 6 hours of talk time. If you feel that is not enough time, you may extend your standby power by purchasing from our company or a third-party additional spare 8-hour batteries
Instructions for Proper Care and Use of Your Battery: Please follow the more detailed instructions included with any extra battery for proper use, storage and care of your battery to ensure that it will function as needed during a power outage. If you do not store an extra battery correctly, it may shorten its useful life. Environmental factors such as temperature can shorten an extra battery's useful life. We recommend that any extra battery be stored above 41°F and below 104°F for optimum life. These batteries are usually not rechargeable except under controlled situations. They will not last forever and should be replaced every 3 years, or when your device starts to make a loud beeping sound and/or the indicator light for the battery shows that it is low or out of charge.Download Backup Power Customer Notice PDF