[9/30/2022] We are pleased to feature one of the newer members of the DayStarr team, Frank Samson. Frank is one of the valued members of our Aerial Crew and works a bit with our Underground Crew as well. When asked what his favorite part about working at DayStarr is, he stated “Everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission!”
When Frank isn’t busy helping us expand our Fiber network, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Kara, and daughter, Kinsley (both pictured). He also has two dogs, Callie and Bentley.
If you see him working with our crew don’t hesitate to say hi to Frank and welcome him to the DayStarr team!
[9/28/2022] Online learning is the “new normal” these days thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Parents are quickly learning that it’s difficult to keep their students engaged with virtual school lessons. (Fortnite on the sly, anyone? Snapchat under the kitchen table?)
Luckily, an array of inexpensive apps can manage those distracting sites, helping kids stay focused and get that schoolwork done.
Check out the best of the bunch:
With these helpful tools, combined with fast and reliable Internet from DayStarr, you’ll be able to keep your kids focused and learning while at home.
[9/28/2022] One thing the past year has taught us is that there are multiple ways to spend time virtually with friends and family with the help of technology and a reliable high-speed internet connection. For instance, you can even enjoy your favorite television shows or a watch a movie together by hosting your very own watch party.
What Is A Watch Party?
Before we get technical, you might be wondering, what exactly is a watch party? Simply put, a virtual watch party is an online platform that allows you and a group of others to view media together.
It’s streamlined, straightforward, and an easy way for you and your friends to remotely and simultaneously consume web content. Instead of loading the same web page, counting down from ten, and pressing the start button, you can just start a party, share a link, and watch together.
Watch Party Platforms
If you haven’t been using Zoom for the past year, what have you been doing? This free conferencing platform is the easiest choice for hosting watch parties.
Netflix has been everyone’s best friend since March of 2020, which means that most people already have an account. And that’s a good thing because they’ll need it to have a watch party. To use this feature, you’ll first have to download the Netflix Party extension.
Your kids will love a streaming party hosted by the House of Mouse!
Watch parties are just one more way for us to stay connected, and don’t forget, quality streaming works best with a fast and reliable Internet connection from DayStarr!
[9/28/2022] A newborn baby brings blessings and joy to parents. And when the child is brought home, the lives of the new mom and dad are changed forever. As parents, they have more on their minds and plates than ever before.
Thankfully, there are apps to help new parents deal with the challenges of caring for a newborn, and with fast, reliable Fiber Internet from DayStarr, help is just a click away on your phone, tablet, or computer!
From keeping tabs on baby’s sleep to ensuring proper nutrition and health, the apps below will help new parents get up to speed and feel more confident in the most important role of their lives.
Health and Medical App: WebMD Baby
Let’s face it: new parents are worrywarts. And given the tremendous responsibility in their hands, it’s completely natural!
It’s no surprise that many modern parents search the internet when something doesn’t seem right with their infant’s health. The internet is full of good and bad information, which can make it challenging to find reliable sources. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an app with trustworthy information for new parents?
WebMD Baby does just that. WebMD baby has lots of information specific to newborns and infants. Parents can access over 400 articles, dozens of videos, and more than hundreds of tips in numerous categories, from the basics of baby care to pediatric illnesses and health issues.
We’re impressed with the Baby Week-by-Week feature, which helps parents understand their newborn’s growth patterns and what to expect as the crucial first weeks and months go by.
Monitoring App: Baby Monitor 3G
New parents want to stay on top of their baby’s every breath, coo, and cry. But your newborn needs sleep (and so do you!), so you need to keep disturbances to an absolute minimum.
That’s where baby-monitoring technology comes in handy. Apps like Baby Monitor 3G can help you keep an eye on your baby, whether you are just across the hallway or miles away at the office.
Baby Monitor 3G connects your device over Wi-Fi or data to the monitoring camera you keep in your child’s room. The video feed is constant, and you can receive alerts and notifications whenever your baby utters a peep. It also lets you talk to your baby so they can hear your reassuring voice! Baby Monitor 3G connects to multiple phones and tablets so that both parents can check in and observe their little one at any time.
Tasks, To-Do’s, and Tracking App: Baby Tracker
Perhaps the greatest challenge for new parents (beyond coping with the near-constant worrying and sheer exhaustion, of course!) is staying on top of the multitude of tasks and chores to meet their baby’s basic needs. It can get overwhelming. Establishing sleep schedules, and prepping for bath time, just to name a few.
Baby Tracker is an all-in-one tracking app for keeping tabs on all the tasks new parents need to tackle each day of their baby’s first weeks and months. Feeding schedules, nap times, diaper changes, and more can all be logged and tracked to ensure nothing is missed. Baby Tracker also syncs between multiple devices so that both parents can stay abreast of her needs on their phones and tablets—and share in the responsibilities, too!
Sleeping App: Huckleberry
Sleep: your baby needs it.
And you need it.
While new parents may crave sleep more than almost anything, paying close attention to the amount of sleep a newborn gets is essential to their health and growth. And Huckleberry, an app beloved by parents and pediatricians alike, can help you monitor and manage your baby’s rest while helping establish appropriate sleeping patterns.
Designed by sleep experts, Huckleberry lets you chronicle your baby’s sleep needs and schedules as they grow up. Huckleberry helps you determine your newborn’s sleep requirements as they grow and then stick to a regular, steady timetable of naps. In addition, Huckleberry’s SweetSpot feature can “predict” when your baby will need its next lie-down, helping to take the guesswork out of setting and keeping sleep schedules.
We hope these recommended apps make your first weeks and months of raising your new bundle of joy just a bit easier.
[9/27/2022] America’s economy is more competitive and globally interconnected than ever. And advanced internet technology is a massive part of decades of worldwide economic growth. But some areas of the country do not have access to high-speed internet and all of its advantages, like large metropolitan areas.
Small towns and cities, especially rural areas, have been particularly underserved and sometimes even left behind in the new global economy. Thanks to fiber internet, however, that’s quickly changing.
At DayStarr, we are proud to deliver the fast and reliable internet service only fiber can provide. And we are even more proud of how our service is helping invest in our community.
Fiber is future-proof because it’s comprised of materials to keep up with technological advances and increasing bandwidth capacity and speeds; fiber is an investment that will yield dividends for our community for decades to come.
Below we discuss four fundamental ways that Fiber Internet invests in our community’s future—and the next generation.
Without high-speed internet, small-town America would be left behind. Small businesses and farms could not compete, and families were missing out on many essential benefits of faster, more reliable internet, like streaming entertainment or video calls with loved ones.
The expansion of fiber internet infrastructure is altering the landscape, putting small-town America on a level playing field with more densely-populated regions. Fiber internet also allows smaller communities to attract new businesses and investment, attractive well-educated and highly skilled younger people who previously departed for larger cities.
With fiber, you and your family are far less likely to choose between a great job opportunity hundreds or thousands of miles away and your hometown. Fiber internet technology doesn’t just help you stay connected to other people—it’s also helping you stay in your community and keep the ones you love closer.
Online and internet-based jobs are no longer “the careers of the future”—they are the jobs of the present.
Recent estimates indicate that between a quarter and a third of all workers now work at least a substantial amount of their regular hours remotely. DayStarr’s Fiber Internet is helping to fuel the remote working trend—and helping attract new workers right to our community.
Relocation—or “recruiting” remote workers away from major cities and to smaller and often more scenic, relaxed regions, is another significant trend in American life. And relocation, made possible by fiber internet, can be an engine to power sustainable economic growth to help our community thrive.
Today’s workforce depends on fast, reliable internet. So, fiber internet draws talent to our small communities to work their jobs from home or even the local coffee shop. Fiber internet helps keep our families together and attracts new families into our community, too! As a result, the local economy is boosted, from restaurants and shops to other small businesses and service providers.
Today’s schools go well beyond chalkboards and desks. Resource-rich curriculums bring a swath of learning materials from all over the world into the classroom via the internet.
Fiber’s reliable internet means teachers can easily access and share resources with their students, greatly enriching the learning environment and improving educational outcomes for our children. By bringing these critical educational materials and tools to our schools, fiber internet makes perhaps its most crucial—and longest lasting—investment in our community.
Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural-related businesses also benefit from access to fiber internet. From up-to-the-minute weather information to soil and moisture data and access to global markets, fiber helps small farms and rural communities thrive.
Fiber improves connections to governmental and regulatory agencies, speeding up permitting and sharing crucial information. Even handling claims and communicating with insurance companies is faster and easier with fiber internet.
Farmers and ranchers can also learn from the endless amounts of online knowledge, from more efficient growing and irrigation methods to veterinary first aid for livestock. Fiber also connects agri-businesses to cost-cutting tips and commodities analysts to learn about shifting market trends so our farmers don’t fall behind their global competitors.
The above are just four ways DayStarr and our Fiber network is investing in our community and the next generation. Whether helping to grow our economy, grow young minds, or grow agricultural products, our high-speed, reliable Fiber Internet will sustain them all.
[9/20/2022] As summer draws to a close and your young scholar prepares for another school year, it’s time to get them stocked up on necessary supplies. And as technology has improved just over the past year, it’s also time to consider new devices and tech to make this a productive and engaging school year.
With the high-speed Fiber Internet from DayStarr, your child can utilize this new tech at home, giving them an edge on learning and helping them explore their world.
Below we highlight some of the best devices your student can use and break them down by grade level. The grade level groupings compare the tech based on durability, versatility, educational needs, uses, power, speed, and other factors. Each grade level has unique technology needs, so the devices needed change as your child progresses.
The three types of devices highlighted below—tablets, e-readers, and laptops—could be used at any grade level depending on the maturity and responsibility of the child. And in many ways, kids can use each device in tandem.
For example, an e-reader, which we suggest at the middle school level, can be helpful for all grades and ages. And high school students could also benefit from a tablet, in addition to the laptops we recommend.
Read on to discover our best device recommendations for all grade levels!
Elementary School—Time for a Tablet
We recommend more durable devices to protect against drops, bumps, and even the occasional toss for an elementary school student!
We are also mindful of devices that are easier to hold and handle in their smaller hands.
Consider purchasing a solid, well-protected tablet like the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition to meet most elementary school children’s needs. This tablet, which comes with a built-in, rubberized protective case and an 8-inch display, is designed specifically for younger children.
Parents will also appreciate the monitoring and control features and Amazon’s two-year replacement policy. You may also consider the slightly larger Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, which features a 10-inch screen that some elementary school kids (and middle school students) can easily use.
Middle School—E-readers Stimulate a Lifelong Love of Reading
As reading requirements intensify in middle school, including longer novels and literature, parents should consider a dedicated e-reader for their children.
E-readers include features created specifically for reading books and other texts like articles without the distractions of multi-use tablets or smartphones.
Most e-readers feature pleasing background lighting, textured fonts, simple note-taking, and highlighting tools. And the middle school years may just be the best time to introduce an e-reader to your child.
The Kobo Clara HD e-reader is an excellent choice for middle schoolers (and high school students, too). The Kobo Clara HD is compact enough to hold with one hand and carry from home, on the bus, and from the classroom to the library.
It also features a 6-inch display screen with an impressive 300ppi (pixels per inch) and multiple lighting options to select throughout the day and night. In addition, the Kobo Clara HD enables students to open and view many different files and e-publications (far more than Amazon’s Kindle), and you can rent titles instead of purchasing them.
It also has outstanding battery life that can go weeks without recharge!
High School—Laptops for Multifunctionality and Power
When your student reaches high school, it may be time to bite the bullet and buy them a great laptop.
Tablets, such as the iPad or Amazon Fire, have improved in processing speed and various applications. But they are likely not robust or diverse enough for high school students.
We highly recommend Apple’s “entry-level” laptop, the MacBook Air M1.
Though it clocks in as Apple’s least expensive laptop, it’s also among Apple’s most innovative. For example, the Air M1 utilizes Apple’s new silicone chip technology specifically designed for use with macOS software.
And rather than using cooling fan technology (which weighs down laptops) to prevent overheating (and accompanying system slowdowns), the Air M1 has an aluminum heat spreader to disperse heat more efficiently. Its battery life, lasting upwards of 18 hours, is outstanding for a laptop, letting your high schooler get through the school day and beyond on a single charge.
We have two final machines you should consider.
First, for high schools using Chromebook’s academic programs (like Google Classroom), the HP Chromebook x360 14c, with its 13.3-inch display and Intel Core i3 processor, is a first-rate choice that will suit most high schoolers. It’s also a 2-in-1 device, meaning your child can use it as a tablet.
For fans of Windows-based machines, the Gateway GWTN141 is an excellent budget choice that might even suit middle schoolers. It sells for $500 and is packed with features, an Intel Core i5 processor, and 10 hours of battery life.
All the devices above can help give your child a leg up on their education, no matter their grade level. Once these devices connect to DayStarr’s Fiber network, their learning opportunities will never end!
[9/13/2022] Home internet service is no longer just an afterthought. It’s just as essential as any other utility, like power or water service.
The internet provides endless sources of entertainment, news, productivity, and connection to friends and loved ones worldwide, so it just might be the most important feature of your home for some family members!
Many communities have multiple home internet service providers to choose from, and you may even receive regular ads in your mailbox or see them on billboards across town.
But with all the various companies and their marketing materials, technical jargon, and incessant statistics about internet speeds and prices, it can be confusing to know how to choose the best home internet service.
At DayStarr, we understand that choosing Internet service can be frustrating. We try to provide straightforward, clear information so you can make the right choice for you and your family.
To assist you, we’ve put together a list of four “red flags” to look out for when shopping for home internet. By conducting some research and performing your due diligence, you should be able to find Internet service that suits your family’s needs.
Red Flag #1: No Upload Speeds Listed
While internet service providers’ download speeds appear exceedingly fast in their internet ads, you’ll often see no information about their upload speeds.
Despite its importance to home internet service, many ISPs treat upload speed as an afterthought.
Good upload speeds are essential for transmitting data from your devices to other servers. This includes tasks like email, gaming, or online video conference calling.
Poor upload speeds are almost always to blame if you’ve ever been frustrated by frozen screens during online video conferences on Zoom or Skype.
And many ISPs (especially larger national companies) do not prioritize strong upload speeds and don’t advertise their slower upload speeds, either.
So when you’re conducting your research, be sure to check out the upload speeds as well as download speeds. And remember that fiber-based ISPs provide much faster upload speeds due to fiber’s higher bandwidth.
Red Flag #2: Data Caps and Limits
No matter how much an ISP brags and boasts about its internet download speeds, check if its plans include a data cap.
A data cap is an overall limit on internet usage, set explicitly by your ISP.
Because some ISPs utilize older technology, which has less bandwidth to spread among their customers, data caps are set and enforced to ensure that no single customer gets too much data per month.
This can lead to the dreaded slowdowns some customers experience toward the end of the month.
To avoid this problem, select an ISP that employs faster internet with higher bandwidth, like fiber. But whatever you do, check to see if the provider has data caps—and if they do, look for a different provider!
Red Flag #3: Bait-and-Switch Pricing
Another red flag to look out for is too-good-to-be-true pricing, which is merely an “introductory” price. But then, your bill is suddenly higher after the introductory rate expires.
Reputable internet service providers will stay relatively consistent with their prices and are upfront about their internet service costs and fees. Keeping pricing reliable and within customer expectations is almost as crucial as offering consistent, stable internet.
Red Flag #4: Long Waits to Speak with a Customer Service Agent
Perhaps the simplest and most important test a consumer can make when choosing an ISP is to pick up the phone and call a company’s customer service team.
Then, monitor how long it takes to get an actual human being on the phone. Unfortunately, many larger providers cannot handle the volume of customer calls or respond promptly.
Conversely, local fiber providers are small enough to have a well-trained and personal customer service staff to meet their customer’s needs. So pick up the phone and test it out for yourself!
These four “red flags” will help you avoid the pitfalls of home internet service.
So, think about them while you’re doing your homework. And as always, you can easily reach our friendly and knowledgeable team members who can answer any of your questions or concerns about home internet service. Feel free to reach out to them!
[9/6/2022] Esports are on the rise—and it’s no longer just the domain of digitally savvy teenagers or young professionals.
Esports—short for “electronic sports”—takes the hobby of online gaming against friends and transforms it into a competitive sport.
Esports even has spectators, complete with leagues, analysis, commentators, and organized fans!
The rise of esports is a made possible by faster and more reliable internet, like the internet available in your community through us at DayStarr and our cutting-edge fiber technology.
And through Fiber Internet, gamers can compete in esports games and tournaments, and spectators can enjoy cheering on their favorite esports gamers and teams with pristine streaming quality.
We’ll discuss the growth of esports worldwide and why it’s time to start taking esports seriously. And we highlight how esports is providing outstanding opportunities for economic growth and career development, too.
Global Viewership of Esports is On the Rise
Recent statistics show that, in America, there were about 81 million esports spectators in 2021 alone. That astounding statistic ranks esports viewership higher than Major League Baseball and NBA basketball viewers—both longtime, multi-billion-dollar enterprises.
But Americans aren’t the only people captivated by esports. Its popularity extends across the world, from Asia to Europe. And its viewership has been growing exponentially every year.
Recent market research indicates the audience for esports will expand to over 530 million people worldwide by the end of 2022.
And a glance at the viewerships of certain key esports competitions on Twitch, Discord, and similar apps shows events draw audiences larger than recent NBA basketball finals games!
Significant Business Investment in Esports
It’s not just gamers and spectators who notice esports’ potential. Businesses and financial investors are watching closely and putting substantial funding into esports platforms and infrastructure.
In early 2022, the owner of the Washington Wizards basketball and Washington Capitals hockey teams announced his company was investing millions of dollars in building a 14,000-square-foot esports live-event-and-entertainment center right located by Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, DC.
Such investments are increasing the profile and prestige of competitive esports and attracting more attention from the business community.
Careers Connected to Esports
As a highly technical field, esports requires many seasoned and talented professionals to create the industry’s magic.
Software engineers, graphic designers, IT specialists, electrical engineers, voice actors, composers, scriptwriters, and game designers are just a few of the well-paid careers essential to esports.
However, esports’ economic impact extends well beyond the design and execution of the games.
There is an entire market devoted to esports. Esports have dedicated websites and news reporters, which have multiplied recently. And as esports are popular worldwide, translators familiar with the nuances of esports jargon will be in demand. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities in advertising and merchandising.
Even local communities benefit economically from esports. Small businesses profit from the economic growth associated with esports spectators, who can enjoy local restaurants, food, and other venues, especially during tournaments.
High School Esports Teams
With the advent of esports, competitive high school sports have moved well beyond the most common team games like football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. And high school level esports teams, even high school leagues, are buzzing with action—and growing by the year.
The High School Esports League is America’s largest organization for high school esports and partners with more than 2,100 schools across the country to help facilitate competitive esports at the high school level.
Many other online platforms also host amateur high school tournaments and competitions, helping broaden the reach of esports and providing opportunities to foster new talent.
Additionally, high schools are developing and offering academic programs and curriculums related to esports. These educational modules cover essentials like computer science, programming, information systems technology, gaming history, and related subjects.
College Esports and Scholarships
Of course, esports extend beyond the high school level, too, and college-level esports are thriving on campuses across America.
And just like the numerous Top Ten lists ubiquitous during the college search, there are even college rankings for esports competitors to consider and academic programs that develop and promote the esports industry.
There’s even a collegiate esports association, the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). Currently, 175 colleges and universities in America offer varsity esports programs recognized by NACE. In addition, scholarships are often offered for both varsity and junior varsity programs, which help further cultivate and nurture talent.
There is over $16 million in collegiate scholarship money available to esports gamers, with some scholarships worth thousands of dollars per student. That kind of financial support can make an enormous difference for many families and even decide whether a promising student can attend college.
Fiber Internet Fires-up Esports
Esports teams and players—whether pro, amateur, or student-athlete—all need reliable Internet to compete and win. Reliable Fiber Internet, such as the DayStarr Fiber, is faster than cable internet because it transmits internet through light.
Fiber internet can transmit data for gaming and other applications 20 or even 30 times faster than traditional copper-based cable internet.
As any esports competitor will tell you, those speeds and a reliable connection are essential to the esports community and industry—and to rack up wins that make national and global champions.