GVTC Blog

  • WiFi Optimization: Getting the Most from Your Home Wireless Network

    by Paula Novodvorschi | Oct 01, 2018

    Managing to get a wireless signal into every corner of your home can be challenging. This is especially true if you own a bigger home or your house has thick walls. Don't fret though; there are a few steps you can take to improve the coverage of your wireless network and improve performance as well. The beautiful part is that none of these will cost you anything other than a little bit of your time.

    Why Your Network is Slow

    Before we get into how to optimize your network, let's talk about why it might be running slow. Physical barriers can cause interference with the wireless signals in your home, and the distance between your router and your devices doesn't help either. Something as simple as putting your router on a shelf or mantle can improve the performance of your wireless network.

    Typically three things have a direct impact

    • Router placement on the speed of your wireless network:
    • Technology capabilities or limitations
    • Connected devices

    Router Placement

    WiFi Optimization Speaking of device placement, where you put your wireless router is perhaps the most important decision you'll make in relation to your wireless network. Some people prefer to put it in an upstairs office or hide it away in the attic or the basement. Putting the router in these types of places make it difficult for the network to reach your entire home. Instead, find a central location, preferably on the top (or highest) floor of your home, so that the network is evenly distributed.

    Of course, it's not always easy to find the ideal location for your router, especially since most jacks are drilled through into one of the corners of your home. Do what you can to get the router raised up off the floor so the signal can disseminate through your home. Keep in mind that closet doors, metal structures, and obstacles can all interfere with your wireless signal.

    Security Settings

    Many of today's WiFi routers come with a network name (SSID) and password (Encryption Key) already set up. It's important that you change these so no one else has access to your network. However, when you do so, remember that the network name is visible to others. You might want to consider giving your network a name that doesn't give away information about you or your family.

    When you set up your network password, remember that the more complex it is, the less likely someone will guess it. Ideally, your password will have a mixture of letters and numbers. If possible, throw in some upper and lowercase letters and punctuation marks as well. Definitely avoid passwords like"password" or "12345."

    WiFi Optimization Remember that you want something that's not too difficult to enter without a keyboard. Gaming consoles, smart devices, and smart televisions often don't have the luxury of using a keyboard to enter the password. Fortunately, you'll typically only need to enter it once, however, an overly complex password can make the process tedious.

    While you're updating the username and password for your network, ensure that the encryption is set to at least WPA2. This might sometimes show up as WPA2-PSK or WPA2 Personal. Most routers default to WPA2, however, it never hurts to check and be sure. Better safe than sorry.

    Keep Devices Updated

    The devices in your home run on operating systems that need to be updated regularly. Most devices, like your PC or smartphones, will automatically be sent updates, however it's possible that other devices on your network will not. If you do run into some trouble on your network, validate that your devices are running on the most up to date versions.

    Updating the firmware on all your connected devices helps to improve not only security but network performance as well. If you want your network to run at its full potential, it's important that you check for the latest updates on your devices.

    Don't Forget about Your Smart Home

    Wi-Fi Optimization Let's talk about your smart devices. Homes are becoming smarter and smart devices are becoming more popular. You might have a smart thermostat, smart assistant, and smart security system all set up in your home right now. It's easy to forget that these devices use your Wifi network too.

    While it's nice to have these devices and they often make our lives much easier, you need to remember they also use network bandwidth and can be vulnerable to hacking, just like any other device on your network. That's why it's important to change the usernames and passwords on all your smart home devices, use two-step authentication, and regularly install security and software updates when they become available.

    Connect with GVTC

    GVTC Logo Perhaps the first step you'll want to take towards improving your home wireless network performance is reaching out to your service provider. Connect with GVTC, so we can help you determine the right network speeds to fit your needs! Additionally, with GVTC Internet, you won't have to worry about shopping for a router or fumbling with those pesky router settings.

    GVTC Home WiFi offers a simple way to set up and optimize your home WiFi network. You'll receive great WiFi service along with a GVTC certified router. We offer remote assistance if you're having difficulty setting up devices on your network, and if you run into trouble, GVTC offers phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To get started, visit gvtc.com/shop today!

  • Best Connected Devices of 2018

    by Paula Novodvorschi | Sep 24, 2018

    Smart home assistants, voice-controlled lighting, and smart security systems are technologies that are still in their infancy, however, recently they have become more prevalent in our lives. Google, Amazon, and other players in the tech industry provided devices that filled a need, and it didn’t take long for these devices to become mainstream.

    In 2018, these smart home, Wi-Fi enabled devices are more encompassing and impressive than ever before. Using your smart device is more than just asking your Amazon Echo to play your favorite song. You can use them to control your lights, turn down the temperature in your home, and much more.
    Smart Homes

    These smart home devices offer a level of convenience we’ve never before experienced. You can order a pizza, turn on your smart camera, or activate your sprinkler system all with a simple voice command. It’s safe to say that smart home devices have gone from the realm of fun gadgets and have entered the world of useful tools.

    What is a Smart Home Device?

    But how, exactly, do we define what a smart home device is? Smart home devices are components that allow you to automate tasks in your home while connected to your Wi-Fi network. This can be done through voice commands or via a central hub. 

    We’ve already talked about some of these device capabilities. You can control your thermostat from work, set your alarm via voice, and watch your puppy tear up your favorite pair of shoes through a smart camera. Two of the more popular devices are Amazon’s Echo speakers and Google’s Home Assistant. We’ll talk more about them shortly.

    Smart Assistants

    Smart home assistants have evolved from smart speakers to digital helpers that we’ve come to rely upon. They reside in our homes and eagerly await our spoken commands for anything from playing “Jump in the Line” to telling us the current time and weather in Shanghai.

    The challenge with smart assistants is that there are two very distinct camps: Google Home and Amazon Alexa. These two don’t play very well together, so if you plan on using multiple smart devices in your home, you’ll want to ensure they are compatible.

    Smart Homes
    Google Home

    If you’re looking for a great home assistant that ties into multiple smart home devices, then look no further than the Google Home. This device has the advantage of using Google’s own search capabilities and blending it with a high-quality voice-controlled assistant. With your Google Home, you can manage and create reminders, get traffic and weather reports, and check your schedule all with the sound of your voice.

    Google Home brings support for multiple Google accounts and even has the ability to determine which account to reference based on the sound of your voice. It goes without saying that the Google Home has great features and capabilities, however in a few areas the device is still a little clunky.

    For instance, when performing the simple task of adding an event to your calendar, the process is needlessly frustrating. However, Google more than makes up for it with its Chromecast capabilities. The benefit here is that you can use voice commands to tell your Google Home to stream a show or movie to your television.

    Amazon Echo

    If you prefer Amazon’s products over what Google has to offer, then the Amazon Echo is right up your alley. With the Echo you’ll have access to all of Amazon’s great products and features, including Amazon Prime.

    Now in its second iteration, the Amazon Echo provides a much broader playing field when it comes to smart home device support than the Google Home. Additionally, the Amazon Echo supports dozens of music streaming services and offers many skills which include ordering a recipe, calling an Uber, or reading a recipe.

    In addition to the Amazon Echo, the company also offers many other smart speakers with Alexa. You can choose between the Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Echo Spot. All of these devices offer everything you get with the Amazon Echo along with a great smart home experience.

    Smart Thermostats

    Smart thermostats are great devices to own thanks to the impact they not only have on the comfort of your home, but on the size of your energy bill each month as well. Owning a Wi-Fi thermostat can help alleviate the costs you encounter when your HVAC system is on all day and all night.

    It does this by turning your heating and cooling systems off when you’re not at home and setting them to the temperature you prefer when you are. Having a smart thermostat goes beyond just having a climate-controlled schedule.

    It allows you to create complex schedules for each day of the week, gives you complete control over the temperature in your home, and provides remote access so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you forgot to set the thermostat when you left for vacation.

    Ecobee4

    Everyone looking for a smart thermostat knows about the Nest, and we’ll get to it, but let’s begin with another great smart home thermostat, the Ecobee4. The Ecobee4 takes things to another level by providing sensors you can place throughout your home.

    Most smart thermostats rely only on the sensor built-in to the device. Ecobee views this as a drawback since one sensor won’t tell you the true story of the climate for your entire home. Sensors in every room gives you the ability to be comfortable in any room, not just the ones closest to the thermostat.

    There’s no need to worry about smart assistant integration with the Ecobee4 Wi-Fi thermostat. It is compatible with both the Amazon Echo and Google Home, along with many other smart home devices and systems.

    Nest

    Of course, when it comes to smart thermostats, Nest is always a part of the conversation. This learning thermostat has a sleek and sophisticated design and has arguably the most comprehensive learning algorithm on the market today. The Nest Wi-Fi thermostat learns your behaviors and patterns and adjusts the temperature automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it.Smart Homes

    Not only does Nest adjust the temperature in your home without your involvement, but it also knows when you’re home and when you’re not. Using geofencing technology, the Nest Wi-Fi thermostat will bump the temperature in your home up a few degrees after you leave to save on energy bills. When it knows it’s time for you to head home, it begins to adjust the temperature so it’s just right when you walk in the door.

    From an integration perspective, the Nest thermostat works well with both the Google Home and Amazon Echo devices. Additionally, Nest has its own contained system, so if you want to purchase additional devices or gadgets for your smart home, they’ll integrate seamlessly with your Nest smart thermostat.

    Smart Lighting

    If you’re looking to get into the smart home area, one great place to start is with lighting. Smart home lighting doesn’t require much explanation, is easy to install, and before you realize it, you’ll have the ability to control the lighting with both your home and the sound of your voice.

    Smart home lighting is ideal because you have the ability to adjust the brightness, tone, and color of your lights whenever you want. There are several options when it comes to smart lighting, so be sure you identify an option that will work well with what you already have.

    Philips Hue

    There’s no question that the biggest name in smart lighting is the Philips Hue. These Wi-Fi bulbs are perhaps the best available and will provide your home with natural, peaceful tones. Additionally, setup and installation are a breeze and the smartphone application is easy to use.

    The drawback here is that you are unable to use the Hue bulbs without the hub. Unfortunately, that means to get started using this lighting system, you’re going to pay for more than just a Wi-Fi enabled light bulb. The cost is worth it though, since the Hue light bulbs give you the option to choose from 16 million colors and a variety of ambient settings

    Lastly, it’s easy to integrate your Philips Hue with both Amazon Echo and Google Home. Once you have everything place and set up, you’ll have the ability to control your lights with just the sound of your voice.

    LifX

    Where Philips focuses on providing the standard warm tones of a typical bulb, LifX goes the opposite direction and strives to provide vibrant and bright colors. So, if you need a feature light, a method to fill your entertainment area with a deep blue or warm red, LifX is the way to go.

    LifX offers interactive brightness settings that range from 1-100%, along with a fun color wheel that lets you customize the lighting in your home. The bulbs themselves are Wi-Fi enabled, so you can connect them right to your network and get started with ease.

    Just like with Philips Hue bulbs, the LifX Wi-Fi bulbs work well with both Google Home and Amazon Echo. So, if you sit down to watch a movie with your family and forget to dim the lights, just say the word and your smart assistant, along with LifX, will take care of it for you.

    Get Connected with GVTC

    Using smart home devices means you need a Wi-Fi connection fast enough to support multiple components. Whether you need a new connection or just need to upgrade your current one to expand your bandwidth, GVTC has what you need. Shop our multiple fiber-optic options and let us help connect you so you can connect your home.Total Connect

    In addition to more bandwidth, GVTC can also help you by providing connectivity and control of your smart home with our Total Connect app. With our app, you can control your thermostat, lights, security system, and more right from your phone. With the Total Connect smartphone app, you are in control of your smart home devices no matter where in the world you might be.

  • GVTC Wins SBJ’s 2018 “Best Places to Work Award” for a Fifth Year!

    by Paula Novodvorschi | Jul 25, 2018
    SABJ's Best Places To Work

    Thanks to the participation and honest feedback of GVTC employees, GVTC was selected to receive the San Antonio Business Journal’s 2018 Best Places to Work Award among large sized companies for its fifth year! Of the three hundred companies that were surveyed, seventy-five small, medium, large and extra-large companies were selected for the honor, and GVTC proudly earned fifth place among the large sized companies with 100-249 employees. This is not only a testament to the workplace environment GVTC seeks to cultivate, but it also demonstrates the comradery and hard work of each person that makes up GVTC. It is always important that you enjoy where you work, who you work with, and what you’re working for, and since GVTC’s inception, they have always strived to stay ahead of the curve and improve for their people. GVTC hopes to show their service areas who they are as a company, family, and extension of their community.

  • GVTC Announces Its Newest Product Addition

    by Paula Novodvorschi | Jul 25, 2018

    TV Guide RemoteThe newest addition to GVTC’s product line is a robust upgrade to their TV guide that will enhance customers’ overall watching experience. This TV guide upgrade will include a more intuitive and all-in-one functional TV guide that is fully integrated with Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube apps, a binge-watching feature, and a newly designed layout. 0000124042-001-6 With this new upgrade comes a new VOD layout that is seamless and user-friendly. Say goodbye to the multiple remotes you own or having to switch between various inputs to access your favorite programs. Now, watching and streaming your favorite shows from any TV is that much easier thanks to GVTC’s continual enhancement and upgrades to their product line. Stay tuned!

  • GVTC Presents Operation: FINALLY HOME with $10,000 Grant

    by Paula Novodvorschi | Jul 25, 2018
    Operation: FINALLY HOME

    On June 12, GVTC had the honor of presenting Operation FINALLY HOME with a $10,000 grant to aide their efforts in creating homes for veterans with hardships.

    Founded in 2005, Operation FINALLY HOME is a nonprofit that has built, or is in the planning stage for, over two hundred fifty customer homes for veterans returning home or for widows of the fallen. They work with thirty-three communities nationwide to build homes and hope for America’s military heroes and their families, truly making a difference in the lives of those who’ve served.

    The grant is GVTC’s way to say thank you to the invaluable service and sacrifice each of them have made for their country. Ingrained with loyalty to and pride for their country, GVTC believes in the men and women that protect everyone’s way of life and continually look for ways to contribute and give back to organizations like Operation FINALLY HOME.

  • The 2018 Annual Meeting was One for the Books!

    by Paula Novodvorschi | Jul 25, 2018

    On Wednesday, June 27, GVTC hosted its 2018 Annual Meeting at the New Braunfels Civic Convention Center where they elected five members to the Board of Directors, presented four outstanding employees with President’s Awards, and returned $6 million in Capital Credits to members of the cooperative.

    On the ballot this year, five positions on the GVTC Board of Directors were open for election, and for the first time ever in GVTC history, votes were collected both through mail and online balloting. Overall, the change in voting resulted in five times more votes than last year and the five spots filled included: Robert (Bob) Baron for District I, Geri Browne, Mike Scott and Rhonda Zunker for District II, and Rita P. Wenthold for District III.
    2018 President's Award Winners

    Also recognized were the 2018 President’s Award recipients, Jasa Roa and the “Team of Technical Tenacity” made up of Alfred Perez, 0000100175-001-5 Eileen Lenz, and Sandra Ramirez, who were presented with crystal awards for demonstrating exemplary work and innovation at GVTC.

    With encouraging words from Chairman of the Board, Chuck Knibbe, and President and CEO, Ritchie T. Sorrells, the evening came to a close and members got a picture of the bright and prosperous future ahead for GVTC and its Fiercely Loyal Customers!

  • Two Local Students Receive $20,000 Scholarships

    by Paula Novodvorschi | May 24, 2018

    Two high school students are the recipients of $40,000 worth of scholarships from The GVTC Foundation. Cullen Eppright, from Gonzales High School, was awarded the Ritchie T. Sorrells Scholarship for Leaders, and Mason Fielder, from Boerne Champion High School, received the Ola Armstrong Scholarship for Volunteerism—both amounting to $20,000 each.

    Cullen and Mason stood out from a pool of 189 total applicants who were screened and reviewed by the New Braunfels Area Community Foundation (NBACF). A team of educators selected the final recipients, and both young men visited GVTC’s Smithson Valley Headquarters to receive their awards.2018 Scholarship Recipients with Family

    Cullen displayed his strong leadership skills through his roles as National High School Rodeo Association President, Lonestar District FFA President, and American Junior Rodeo Association member for years. He will be attending Texas A&M University to obtain his Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics. Ultimately, Cullen hopes to one day be the President and CEO of a major Rodeo Association.

    Mason demonstrated his exemplary volunteerism through his active involvement in the Boy Scouts of America, playing saxophone for his high school band, and being a Boerne Outdoor Academy Camp Counselor for many years. Mason will also be attending Texas A&M University in the hopes of receiving not only his Bachelor’s degree, but also a Masters and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering to one day help improve the quality and sustainability of his community and society.

    Cullen and Mason were honored during a reception attended by their parents, school counselors, NBACF members, the GVTC executive team and The GVTC Foundation board of directors.

    Since 2011, The GVTC Foundation has awarded $203,000 in scholarships to local high school students and more than $2.6 million in contributions throughout GVTC’s service area since it started in 2006. The overall mission of GVTC and The GVTC Foundation is to enhance the lives in the communities they serve, and it would not be possible without the passion and commitment of everyone involved.
  • Annual Meeting Approaching June 27

    by Paula Novodvorschi | May 24, 2018

    Online VotingActive members are invited to attend GVTC’s 2018 Annual Meeting at the New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. This year, there are three spots open for election: one in District I, three in District II, and one in District III. Doors will be opening at 5:30 pm and the official meeting will commence at 7:30 pm. Unlike previous years, this will be the first time votes will be collected and tallied prior to the Annual Meeting, though winners will still be announced at the event. Online and mail-in voting will be open for active members starting June 4 and ends on June 26. Each person will receive personalized instructions through mailed letters and e-mails containing clear instructions on how to complete your vote!

    As always, Capital Credit checks will be distributed only to active members who are registered and in attendance at the 2018 Annual Meeting. To receive a capital check at the meeting, bring your Annual Meeting Notice and proper identification. Members will not be allowed to pick up checks for other members, however, and Capital Credit amounts for active members not in attendance will be applied to the members’ accounts on the next billing cycle after the Annual Meeting.

    For more information, visit gvtc.com/vote.

  • GVTC Takes Third in Netflix's National ISP Index

    by Paula Novodvorschi | May 24, 2018

    A huge achievement accomplished just this past April was GVTC’s inclusion in the Top 5 of the Netflix ISP Speed Index. Ranked third nationally, the Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of primetime Netflix performance of Internet Speed Providers (ISP) around the globe exclusively. GVTC placed higher than the largest national competitors and continues to be recognized as one of the very best at delivering a top-notch Netflix experience.

    NetflixSeveral other publications, such as Broadband Communities Magazine, have recognized GVTC’s desire to effect change and be a leader in transforming the customer experience through a combination of first-class advance communications products and superior customer service. #0000111551-001-6 It is difficult to surpass the achievement of 10 consecutive years of being designated as a Top 100 Broadband Provider in America. GVTC’s first-class advanced communications services, specifically SpeedSync® and continuous improvement and deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home technology, remain key differentiators. Important to note, GVTC is also still the only telephone cooperative to make this prestigious list.

    First-class advanced communications products, superior customer service, and a customer-centric philosophy are the essential components to being victorious in GVTC’s quest to elevate the customer experience. To see how we compare to other ISPs in the world, visit https://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/country/us/?small=True for more information!

  • GVTC Announces Groundbreaking Program

    by Paula Novodvorschi | May 24, 2018

    In an effort to further thank fiercely loyal members for “choosing local,” the GVTC Board of Directors has authorized the implementation of the GVTC Member Dividend Program. Thanks to this new program, active GVTC members who are eligible will receive a monthly dividend on qualifying services that will be applied to their monthly bills.  

    Member Dividend ProgramStarting June 1, GVTC will be trimming active member payments by 20% every month* on qualifying services simply for being a loyal member of GVTC, once membership is verified. This percentage, based on purchases of qualifying services, means the more members spend on GVTC products, the larger their monthly dividend.

    Unique to Texas telecom cooperatives, this program sets the bar for superior customer appreciation and member loyalty. Members will continue to receive their annual capital credit distribution as they always have. However, to qualify for the Member Dividend Program, active members are required to verify membership information by logging into their account at gvtc.com or by calling 800.367.4882 and speaking to a Customer Care Representative. #0000069677-001-5

    For more information about this new GVTC Member Dividend Program, please visit gvtc.com/MemberDividend.

    *GVTC Member Dividends are payable at the discretion of the Board of Directors (“Board”) of Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (“GVTC”), consistent with GVTC’s Board policies.  Member Dividends are distributed on the GVTC bill to current active members with a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) on their GVTC account, subject to certain restrictions.  Member Dividends are not payable as cash, transferable or assignable.  Member Dividends are subject to federal income tax, and GVTC will issue an IRS Form 1099-DIV to the member annually.  Other restrictions may apply.  The Member Dividend program may be modified or eliminated at any time by the Board.  See www.gvtc.com/MemberDividend for more information.

  • Acing the Golf Tournament

    by Paula Novodvorschi | May 24, 2018

    GVTC CEO with GVTC Foundation Vice PresidentSince its inception in 2006, The GVTC Foundation has managed to raise and release over $2.6 million in donations with a mission to profoundly enhance the quality of life in the communities it serves, through charitable contributions and volunteer service. On May 1, two hundred-eight golfers and thirty-six sponsors came together at the TPC San Antonio Golf Course for this worthy cause.

    This year, we are proud to announce that we raised $200,400, topping last year’s Golf Tournament that brought in $195,000 for The GVTC Foundation!

    The GVTC Charitable Golf Classic is the primary fundraiser for The GVTC Foundation, which contributes thousands of dollars annually to local nonprofits that support health & human services, youth programs, volunteer emergency services, education, culture and select public charities.

    For information on how you, too, can get involved or donate, please visit https://gvtc.com/gvtc-foundation. There is always room to grow, and your contributions make all the difference in our mission to improve our communities.

  • Apply now for $40,000 in scholarships from The GVTC Foundation

    by Tulsi Mason | Mar 01, 2018

    Young woman in graduation gown and cap holding a certificateApplications are now being accepted for The GVTC Foundation’s 2018 Ritchie T. Sorrells Scholarship for Leaders and the Ola Armstrong Scholarship. Each scholarship is worth $20,000 and available to qualified high school seniors residing in GVTC’s service area. The GVTC Foundation is once again partnering with the New Braunfels Area Community Foundation, who will accept applications, screen and select the recipients. The winners will be recognized through a check presentation ceremony at GVTC headquarters. To learn more about requirements for the Sorrells and Armstrong Scholarships, and to apply online, please visit NBACF.org. Application deadline is Wednesday March 7, 2017 at midnight. Questions or comments may be directed to Betty Taylor, NBACF Scholarship Coordinator, at betty@nbacf.org, or (830) 606-9597.

  • The GVTC Foundation Had A Record Year in 2017!

    by Tulsi Mason | Mar 01, 2018

    GVTC Foundation LogoThe GVTC Foundation had a banner year in its efforts to raise funds to support its mission: To profoundly enhance the quality of life in the communities we serve, through charitable contributions and volunteer service in support of our program goals. There were three significant initiatives that contributed the most to The Foundation’s funding – employee pledge, annual golf tournament and Round Up campaign.

    The annual employee pledge drive resulted in the highest number of employees participating ever, with 92% of all employees donating to The GVTC Foundation. The GVTC Board of Directors fully participates at 100% as they have for many years. The pledge drive generated a total of $111,896.86. GVTC will match this amount at 150% for a total of $279,742.15. This is almost 4% more in pledge dollars than the previous year.

    The GVTC Annual Charitable Golf Classic is the only fundraiser that benefits The GVTC Foundation. For the past 13 years, this annual golf tournament has provided over $1,000,000 in donations to the Foundation. In 2017, the Foundation netted $195,473.90, the most ever for the tournament. This was a 31% increase over the 2016 tournament proceeds. It was held at the beautiful JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, where it will be held in 2018.

    A new initiative, Round Up for Change®, was announced at the GVTC Annual Meeting in June of 2017. This initiative that allows GVTC customers to Round Up on their bill to the next dollar, generated $5,012.89 for the Foundation. GVTC matched these customer donations at 100% for a total of $10,025.78 to the Foundation. Almost 6% of GVTC’s customers opted to Round Up on their bill in this short period of time. This initiative will continue in perpetuity, giving all GVTC customers the opportunity to partner with The GVTC Foundation to better our community.

    Individuals and businesses have also made generous donations to the Foundation during the year. Anyone may donate to the Foundation and customer donations up to $5,000 will be matched at 100%. 

    The funds raised by The GVTC Foundation supports year-long initiatives that give back to communities it serves. This includes the Thanksgiving Give Back Project that provided Thanksgiving meals to 215 families plus many other projects during the year such as sizable donations to all area food pantries and support dollars for all area Volunteer Fire Departments. The Foundation also awards two $20,000 scholarships to deserving youths graduating from high school. The Ritchie T. Sorrells Scholarship for Leaders is awarded to a high school student who has shown superior leadership skills during their high school career and the Ola Armstrong Scholarship is awarded to a student who has demonstrated their passion for service to their community. #0000158587-001-5

    The success of The Foundation’s fundraisers is due in large part to the participation of GVTC employees, their families and friends. They donate not only their dollars and but also volunteer service hours toward the different community service programs. This winning combination, which has been proven over previous years, will continue to guarantee that 2018 will be another fruitful year for The GVTC Foundation.

  • GVTC Enters the Top 10 for Neflix Performance!

    by Tulsi Mason | Mar 01, 2018

    NetflixIn an ongoing effort to deliver a market leading internet experience, GVTC broke new ground last month in a certain high visibility performance index. The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime-time Netflix performance on ISPs (Internet Service Providers) around the globe. In last month’s index GVTC stormed into the top 10 in a dominating fashion. 

    If you look at the Netflix ISP Speed Index, you’ll notice all the largest ISPs in the country are listed, and as you can see, GVTC is out in front of several huge names. GVTC is beating both Spectrum and AT&T in delivering a top-notch Netflix experience and is the #1 provider that delivers internet on more than one technology!

    The Netflix ISP Speed Index is just another way that GVTC is stepping up to the challenge of being a leader in the ISP business not only locally, but nationally, and creating innovative ways to deliver more value while we focus on Creating Fiercely Loyal Customers!

    You can read more about the Netflix ISP Index here.

  • GVTC Charitable Golf Classic is Around the Corner

    by Tulsi Mason | Mar 01, 2018

    GVTC Golf Tournament LogoGVTC is inviting local golfers and businesses to have fun while helping support our community. The 14th annual GVTC Charitable Golf Classic takes place at the beautiful JW Marriot San Antonio Hill Country Resort, on Tuesday, May 1. The Golf Classic raises money for The GVTC Foundation, which uses the tournament proceeds to support nonprofits across GVTC’s 2,000 square mile area. Our Foundation is managed and operated by employee volunteers. Ninety-six cents of every dollar are allocated to donations or placed in a scholarship endowment. Team sponsors receive lunch and dinner, on-course refreshments, a goody bag and a chance at some very nice door prizes. #0000010093-001-5 Trophies will also be awarded to the top teams, long drive and putting contest winners. Special thanks to Calix, Premier Sponsor of the Golf Classic, for the second year in a row. A variety of non-golf sponsorships are available as well. Sign up today at GVTCFoundation.com

  • Delivering on Our Promise of Creating Fiercely Loyal Customers

    by David Click | Nov 29, 2017
    ritchie-sorrells

    It’s that time of year again when we look back at the resolutions we set at the beginning of the year and decide whether we succeeded in fulfilling them or not. I’m proud to say that, GVTC not only continued to be your 21st century communications provider, but we're also staying true to our promise of Creating Fiercely Loyal Customers.

     We developed more value-rich products to meet our customers’ needs. Approximately 75 percent of rooftops in our expansive 2,000 square mile service area is connected to our fiber-optic network. And, we continue to explore new opportunities to bring our fiber network to existing and new customers. We offer SpeedSync®, with equal download and upload broadband speeds, the only broadband product of its kind in the Hill Country, generating significant sales. Our partnership with Honeywell enhances our GVTC connectHome® product, which offers security and smart home management products on par with any residential security offering in the nation.

    Through our newly implemented Workforce Management System, we’re using technology to schedule and complete all new sales and upgrade installations within three working days. A reorganized customer care call center eliminates 600 call transfers per month. Improved customer communication includes implementing more automated reminders through emails, phone calls and text messaging for installation, service appointments and payments. We launched a new online request for assistance feature on our website, leveraging technology to provide quick and efficient processing of support issues and sales inquiries. We continue to futureproof homes and businesses with our state-of-the-art fiber network and our leading-edge products and services.

    With ongoing focus on Creating Fiercely Loyal Customers, we will benefit from advocacy to support doing business with GVTC. Starting in the first part of next year, we encourage customers to provide feedback, while promoting our brand and our products. We continue to thrive because of our customers and we remain faithful to our promise of keeping them at the center of all that we do.

    Philanthropy has always been essential to GVTC’s success. Over the past decade, The GVTC Foundation has donated more than $2.65 million to help nonprofits serve the underprivileged in our communities. It also provides two $20,000 scholarships to deserving youth residing in our service area.

    No doubt during the holiday season many of you will be using multiple broadband devices in the home to communicate with family and friends to wish them well. Our advanced technology helps us stay connected, where others are not as fortunate. So, let’s say a prayer of thanksgiving for all our blessings and offer a prayer of hope for others. In the spirit of the season, I’d like to wish you and your families a warm and peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. And, most of all, I want to thank you for being Fiercely Loyal Customers.

    Ritchie Sorrells
    CEO, GVTC

  • GVTC Foundation Receives Donation from USTelecom to Honor Board Chair Robert Hunt

    by David Click | Nov 29, 2017
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    USTelecom honored outgoing Board Chair Robert Hunt, GVTC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Business Operations, with a $2500 donation to The GVTC Foundation. This honor was given to Mr. Hunt for his commitment and leadership of USTelecom and for promoting broadband investment, deployment and business growth.

    The GVTC Foundation contributes thousands of dollars annually to the Texas Hill Country and Gonzales area nonprofits that support health and human services, youth programs, volunteer emergency services, education, culture and select public charities. GVTC employees also volunteer for numerous service projects to help local charities.

    “Robert is a visionary industry executive, and we are grateful for his wise counsel while at the helm of our Board of Directors,” said USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter. “We were honored to make a contribution to the GVTC Foundation in Robert’s name – it is a fitting and meaningful way to recognize his deep roots in the Texas Hill Country and GVTC’s commitment to the communities they serve.“

  • Operation Blessing International Selected as National Public Charity Donation Winner

    by David Click | Nov 29, 2017
    Article_2

    Every year, the GVTC Foundation selects a winner for its National Public Charity Donation initiative. This year, the GVTC employees voted and Operation Blessing International (OBI) was declared the winner.

    Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation (OBI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, humanitarian organization headquartered in the United States. One of the largest charities in America, Operation Blessing provides strategic relief in 39 countries around the world on an ongoing basis. Through core programs of disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, vulnerable children and orphan care, clean water and community development, OBI is dedicated to demonstrating God's love by alleviating human need and suffering in the United States and around the world.

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  • GVTC Unveils New and Improved Online Request for Assistance Features

    by David Click | Nov 29, 2017
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    GVTC has just unveiled a new and improved online request for assistance feature on its website. Previously, requests for assistance were handled using a more general approach, with a single form for any type of issue. With the new online request for assistance features, users are able to find the specific area that relates to their concern and fill out a form that addresses their specific need.

    Prospects can receive more information on GVTC products and services they are interested in without having to log into the system. Or if they are having issues with logging in, they can click on the link for that specific issue and request assistance. For existing customers, there are even more options from which to select. Requests can be submitted during or after regular business hours. They can review their existing services and inquire about bundles that could give them better value, request assistance for service issues, ask about a billing statements or inquire about capital credits.

    By making it easier and simpler to request assistance, GVTC continues to deliver on its promise of providing superior customer service. This is just another example of how GVTC is creating Fiercely Loyal Customers.

  • San Antonio Express-News and San Antonio Business Journal Select GVTC for Workplace Awards

    by David Click | Nov 29, 2017
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    GVTC was the recipient of the 2017 Top Places to Work award from the San Antonio Express News and the 2017 Best Places to Work award from the San Antonio Business Journal. These awards recognize GVTC’s culture of empowering and supporting employees and the communities they live in.

    The San Antonio Express-News and Workplace Dynamics conduct a search for the top workplaces in the San Antonio area each year. Qualifying companies receive this honor based solely on the opinions of its employees.

    The San Antonio Business Journal conducts an employee survey, in conjunction with Quantum Workplace, to determine the San Antonio based Top 50 Best Places to Work companies. The winners were selected based on employee measurement of 37 attributes known to drive employee engagement.

    “Our employees are a vital component of our company’s continued success,” said Ritchie Sorrells, CEO of GVTC. “We value their contributions and ensure that they have the necessary resources and environment they need to not only succeed, but exceed in achieving their workplace goals. Even as we continue to grow, our culture remains intact and these awards affirm our promise to support our employees as best as we can.”