Monthly Archives: February 2019

Snow, weather cause havoc

Across the entire United States, this winter has been one for the record books. With a polar vortex consuming parts of the country and flooding taking over the rest – nearly every U.S. state has been impacted by snow, sleet, ice and rain this season.

Even Southwestern states were not safe from the winter mess. California, Nevada, southern Utah, and Arizona all received snow.

But while schools and offices close, flights cancel, and states of emergency get declared, BendBroadband and TDS field service technicians (FSTs) keep working. Despite frigid temperatures and multiple feet of snow, our field service technicians are out providing our customers with quality service every day. Even when their own homes are impacted by severe weather, our FST’s prioritize their work for the customers.

On Feb. 12, a whopping 18 inches of snow was dumped on Olinda, California, a TDS service area located 150 miles north of Sacramento in northern California. The storm caused widespread outages throughout the area. Six Digital Serving Areas (DSAs) were without power and about 1,000 customers were impacted. The storm meant our field service technicians had difficulty accessing TDS sites to deploy and fuel generators. During the power outage from the storm, FSTs Tom Johnston and Scott Sandifer worked the entire weekend fueling generators.

“When they get a break they go home and start cleaning up the mess at their own home,” said the manager of Field Services. “The guys had trees down on structures at their home. It was a real mess.”

A similar story gets told from FSTs in Jenkins, Minnesota. The scene, a few miles north of Pequot Lakes, made it difficult to complete the task at hand.

“A few weeks ago, we experienced actual temperatures of -42 below and wind chills in excess of -60 below. This year, we have seen more snow in the month of February than any year on record,” a regional manager at TDS said. “Our FSTs continue to work outdoors all throughout the winter. We still have to access equipment, which translates to shoveling a path for enough space to work.”

One FST had to make his way through multiple feet of thick snow to access the right equipment. But even after the difficult task of making it to the equipment, the weather can still impact the work.

“Attaching, routing, and installing wire in sub-zero temps can be tricky,” a regional manager explained. “We have seen wire shatter in the cold as it comes out of the box as an example.”

While the work our FSTs have done is incredible, they don’t think much of it.

The regional manager summarized the attitude of the FSTs.

“Anyone from here would tell you it is just part of what we do. We dress for the conditions and get our work done.”

Several TDS communities have been impacted and continue to feel the effects of the weather with outages in Hurricane, Utah, Bend, Oregon, and more. Over the weekend, Sisters, Oregon. received 21 inches of snow. This week, the BendBroadband retail office in Bend was closed due to the weather. Across the country, in Maine, a communications tower was severely damaged by hurricane strength winds – showing that winter does not plan on stopping soon, but neither will our FSTs.

Thank you to all our FSTs coast to coast who continue to provide exceptional service to our customers in extreme conditions!

Spring sun outages may impact your TV

Twice a year, all television customers (not just BendBroadband TV customers) may experience some degree of television interference due to sun outages. This spring, the solar satellite interference is expected from about Feb. 25 until March 12. Sun outages happen due to solar interference. For a few weeks every spring and fall, the sun is… Continue Reading

Showtime on sale now for $10.99 a month

Add Showtime’s array of star-studded movies, sports, comedies, documentaries and original series to your BendBroadband lineup for just $10.99 a month. Order today by calling 1-541-668-6246. The sale price is good for a full year. At Showtime, you’ll find something for every mood. New titles added all the time including these amazing series: Escape at… Continue Reading

Are you getting enough sleep?

Are you getting enough sleep?

Some think sleep is a waste of time, including inventor Thomas Edison, whose light bulb has helped many of us burn the midnight oil. But in reality, sleep is incredibly important. We shouldn’t be giving sleep the short shrift, said Stephanie Jones, PhD., assistant director of the Wisconsin Institute for Sleep.  “There’s no way to… Continue Reading

2019 Oscar drama and picks

By Kris Schulz Controversies are part of the Oscars and this years is no exception. Typically, though, it’s the nominees or winners, or perhaps the host that generates the controversies. This year, it’s the Oscar show itself. When Kevin Hart dropped out at host and they couldn’t find a replacement, talk of the Oscars started… Continue Reading

Black History Month: Inventors in Tech Field

Black History Month: Inventors in Tech Field

Since 1976, Black History Month has been designated to remember the contributions of people of the African Diaspora. Today, we’ll take a look at the contributions of a few African American inventors that paved the way for Telecommunications and Broadband technology. Dr. Jackson was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D from MIT.… Continue Reading

Online gaming: A possible security risk

If you, or someone in your family, enjoy the super-popular online games be warned: there are real-life security risks at play in online gaming. Take Fornite — three recently discovered security bugs would have allowed hackers to access account and payment information, and also listen to chats. Even more scary? All it would have taken… Continue Reading

On demand movies will rock you this month!

On demand movies will rock you this month!

You’ve got Oscar-nominated movies right at your fingertips! This month on Movies On Demand catch two best picture (and Golden Globe winning) nominees. Plus, you can also see one of the best animated movies of the year, perfect for the whole family. But wait, there’s more! Another family hit, a unique comedy-horror, a spine-tingling documentary,… Continue Reading