If you have a gamer in your life, whether it’s your own kid or a family friend’s child, you likely know how much video gaming is integrated into their lives. But even beyond the meteoric success and outright appeal of video gaming to young people (and even many not-so-young people), gaming now provides tangible benefits to serious players: competitive esports and esports college scholarships.
Parents of college-bound gamers might want to pay attention below, as we discuss college level esports and the burgeoning ecosystem of esports scholarships. And don’t forget that the high-speed fiber internet delivered to smart TVs and gaming devices by Northern Lights Fiber may just give the budding esports scholar in your life the edge he or she needs to own the competition!
Varsity Esports Are Exploding Across Colleges and Universities
Following the 2010s and the exponential growth of video gaming and esports, it’s obvious now that collegiate esports are truly taking off as a legitimate competitive endeavor. This explosive growth is mostly due to advancing internet technology like Northern Lights Fiber’s fiber network and apps that make gaming more social and more competitive, as well as increased talent among players. Indeed today, there are approximately 500 American colleges and universities offering esports scholarships.
At the varsity and college level, schools typically create individual teams of players around particular games. This gives gamers the opportunity to advance and even excel at strategies and tactics suited to the complexities and skill needs of that title, enhancing the competitiveness of each game and of esports more generally.
Beyond enormously popular and well-known titles like Fortnite (played by untold millions of people around the world both casually and competitively), several other titles are most commonly played at varsity level esports in colleges and universities in North America. In particular, Call of Duty, League of Legends, Rocket League, Smash Bros, and Valorant are among the most frequently duked-out games in collegiate esports.
Other games are also increasingly popular, however. Overwatch is noted for its hero customization and intense fighting, requiring stout players and almost preternatural reaction skills to succeed. Additionally, Rainbow Six: Siege and its almost alchemical blend of gaming genres like strategy and tactical shooting has attracted legions of players to the game based around Tom Clancy’s novels. Both games are fielding more varsity teams and are increasingly seen at college level esports tournaments.
Collegiate Esports Give Rise to Generous Scholarship Opportunities
Already, an estimated $16 million in college scholarships exist just for esports players—not a small sum for a sport that barely existed only a decade ago. And as collegiate esports continue to rise, we can expect more schools to establish varsity programs, as well as expand their existing esports teams, too.
All this burgeoning esports growth at the college level means that more scholarships—and even larger dollar amounts—are likely to be dedicated to esports gamers. Hence, for the truly talented and committed gamer, esports should be taken seriously, and gamers should consider taking steps to making themselves more competitive for esports scholarship opportunities.
The Esports Gender Divide
Despite the stunning growth in collegiate varsity esports, we hasten to note an important issue inside the gaming and esports community—the gender divide. Though females make up almost 50% of all video gamers (49% to be precise, according to one 2023 analysis), statistics show that men receive 90% of esports scholarships.
With patently lopsided statistics like that, the divide has not gone unnoticed. Arguments abound for this staggering disparity, but at least one likely reason for the imbalance is that most of the games more typically played by female gamers are less likely to be the games that comprise competitive varsity esports in colleges.
With that in mind, however, savvy female gamers with a keen interest in esports games that are played at the varsity collegiate level may want to be particularly on the lookout for scholarship opportunities that have too frequently landed in the hands of their male counterparts. Their unique backgrounds and talents may help give young women an edge over their compatriots in the coming years—and also help broaden and improve the sport as well.
To stay on top of the ever-changing and always-exciting esports scene, follow Northern Lights Fiber’s social pages. We’re confident that our high-speed fiber internet can improve any gamer’s experience and perhaps even help prepare them for competitive esports and the worlds of opportunity they open!
In Grande Cache, the love for two sports runs deep: hockey and football. As Canadians passionately devoted to these games, we often find ourselves eagerly searching for the best platforms to stream NHL and CFL games. Fortunately, with a reliable high-speed internet provider like Northern Lights Fiber, you can experience seamless 4K viewing and stay connected to the action.
Canadian Hockey: Where to Stream
Ask any diehard fan and they will tell you: hockey is more than just a sport; it’s a way of life. If you’re looking to stream Canadian hockey games, you have several great options:
Sportsnet +: For professional hockey enthusiasts, NHL Live is the go-to platform. Subscribers gain access to all NHL games, including those featuring Canadian teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and the Vancouver Canucks. With a Sportsnet + subscription, you can stream NHL games aired on Sportsnet. Sportsnet is home to many NHL broadcasts, and this is an excellent choice for keeping up with NHL.
TSN Direct: TSN Direct offers access to games broadcast on The Sports Network (TSN), which includes a variety of Canadian hockey content. You can watch the thrilling matchups involving your favorite teams, such as the Calgary Flames and the Winnipeg Jets.
CBC Gem: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) provides a free streaming service called CBC Gem. While it doesn’t cover all games, you can watch selected NHL matchups, particularly during the playoffs.
CFL: Where to Stream
Canadian football, with the iconic Canadian Football League (CFL), also has a dedicated fan base. To catch CFL games online, consider these options:
CFL.ca: The official CFL website offers live streaming of games. You can watch CFL action with a subscription or enjoy free games if available.
TSN: TSN broadcasts a significant number of CFL games. You can access these through TSN Direct or the TSN app, ensuring you don’t miss the thrilling matches featuring the Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Elks, Toronto Argonauts, BC Lions, and other CFL teams.
DAZN (DA-ZONE), a global sports streaming service, has gained popularity in Canada. While it primarily focuses on international sports, it occasionally offers coverage of CFL games.
The Role of Northern Lights Fiber
When it comes to streaming your favorite Canadian sports, a reliable internet connection is essential. This is where Northern Lights Fiber comes into play. With its high-speed fiber internet service, Northern Lights Fiber ensures that you have the bandwidth needed for a seamless viewing experience.
Here’s why Northern Lights Fiber is the ideal choice for sports enthusiasts:
Blazing Fast Speeds: Fiber-optic internet provides unparalleled speeds, allowing you to stream games in high definition without buffering or lag, even during peak usage times.
Stability: Unlike traditional copper-based connections, fiber internet is less susceptible to disruptions from weather or interference, ensuring a stable and uninterrupted viewing experience.
Low Latency: Fiber internet’s low latency ensures real-time responsiveness, which is crucial when you’re watching live sports events and want to engage with fellow fans on social media or online forums.
Multiple Devices: With Northern Lights Fiber, you can connect multiple devices simultaneously without compromising on performance. This means you can stream games on your smart TV, laptop, tablet, or smartphone all at once.
To fully immerse yourself in the excitement of Canadian hockey and football, a strong, reliable internet connection is a must. Northern Lights Fiber ensures that you won’t miss a second of the action, making it the perfect complement to your sports streaming experience.
In Canada, our passion for hockey and football knows no bounds. Thanks to streaming services and reliable internet from Northern Lights Fiber, we can indulge in the thrill of the games from the comfort of our homes, cheering for our favorite teams as they chase glory on the ice and the gridiron.
Just about any of our customers who have already made the switch from older forms of internet (like cable) to fiber broadband will tell you that fiber’s advanced technology is vastly superior to anything else they’ve used.
From downloading files at near-lightspeed, to voluminous amounts of available bandwidth for handling multiple applications simultaneously, to more reliable material components that provide pristine streaming TV and movie experiences, fiber is simply heads-and-shoulders above cable, DSL, and satellite internet.
But those are just technical specs—and that doesn’t tell even half the story! Fiber internet, like the kind delivered by Northern Lights Fiber can genuinely enhance your quality of life in a myriad of ways, including the following eight use cases we’re proud to support.
1. Telehealth Expedites Critical Health Interventions
We begin with everyone’s top priority—keeping their family healthy. And the internet now plays a significant role in delivering healthcare to millions. Telehealth, which allows physicians and other medical professionals to provide initial consultations (and other healthcare) from a patient’s home, has expanded massively in recent years.
Telehealth helps doctors and patients assess when more urgent in-person care is needed (and when it’s not). Prescriptions can get filled faster with telehealth, and consultations over the internet can even assist in properly applying first aid to injuries.
Telehealth consultations can be performed quickly and reliably thanks to fiber’s bounty of bandwidth, which lets audio and video data transfer between doctor and patient seamlessly. Many doctors won’t make a diagnosis when a poor internet connection causes choppy video calls, but that’s not a problem when the patient has fiber!
2. Remote Work Improves Convenience and Productivity
While remote work isn’t for everyone, it can be life-changing for caregivers who need a little more flexibility. Plus, while avoiding the hassles of commutes and traffic delays, remote workers also save money on gasoline and reduce their carbon footprint.
While many workers and employers decide to go fully remote, even partial remote work flexibility can be a blessing. But it takes a particularly robust internet connection to facilitate remote work (especially video conferencing), which isn’t always supported by inferior connections like satellite.
Fiber’s symmetrical downloads and uploads let workers send and receive large files and transmit data during long meetings and conferences, making a remote staff member genuinely feel part of the team!
3. Distance Education Allows Students to Gain Skills and Get Ahead
Access to higher education is more attainable than ever, thanks to the multitude of online distance learning opportunities available through colleges and universities around the country.
From undergraduate and graduate degrees to technical certifications, the internet puts education within reach for many who thought it was impossible or beyond their means, while helping them achieve the skills necessary to meet their career goals.
Fiber internet’s enormous bandwidth facilitates reliable distance learning and even genuine classroom experiences. It allows students and professors to share large files like presentations or lectures in real-time and enables video conferencing to foster learning and growth, including one-on-one student-faculty interactions—all without sweating frequent distortions or outages that frustrate students on older internet technologies.
4. Lifelong Learning Keeps the Mind Active and Engaged
Beyond bringing official degree and certificate programs to students, fiber internet also facilitates a less formal but still highly valued form of education: lifelong learning. Lifelong learning provides opportunities for the curious to understand their world—and even the universe—well after college ends.
Several companies and major universities, such as Wondrium (formerly The Great Courses), edX, Harvard, and Yale have developed extensive online course offerings. You can find classes from prestigious professors spanning topics like ancient Greek history, Renaissance art, classical music, modern astronomy, and more.
And many courses are available free of charge! Through fiber’s near-lightspeed downloading, these courses can be streamed and enjoyed right from your home.
5. Virtual Reality Lets You Explore the World from Home
Fiber’s hefty bandwidth and vigorous download speeds also brings the wonder of Virtual Reality to your home—and with it, the travel experiences many have only dreamed about! Unlike traditional forms of entertainment, VR’s wonderous technology envelopes a user in multiple dimensions of visual and sound effects.
VR—through fiber internet—makes viewers literally feel like they’re wherever VR is showing them, whether it’s a tour of the Grand Canyon or an Amazon rainforest, an astronaut’s view from outer space, or a sonorous symphony hall.
Fiber’s speed and bandwidth combined with VR technology allows you to explore Paris’ Louvre Museum one day, and the Colosseum in Rome the next without ever leaving your living room!
6. Smart Homes Save Energy, Time, and Money
Fiber internet and its spectacular speeds and enormous bandwidth capacities make it possible to power a genuine smart home—a place brimming with tech and devices to cut energy usage and costs and make life better and more efficient.
From smart refrigerators that let you know when it’s time to get a new gallon of milk, to smart lighting that cuts off when you leave home, to smart speakers playing music (or soundscapes) throughout every room, smart home technology can turn your dwelling into the home of your dreams.
Remember that fiber can keep these devices and smart home features running smoothly, while still letting you stream TV and movies, upload videos, and enjoy everything else about your internet. Unlike other forms of internet, with fiber, you’re not forced to choose which online activity to sacrifice at any given time!
7. Smart Home Security Makes for Safer Homes and Neighborhoods
One smart home feature everyone should take advantage of is improved real-time safety and security delivered by smart lighting, smart cameras, smart doorbells and related tech. Fiber-powered devices can monitor your home for security threats at all times, whether you’re tucked in your own bed upstairs or thousands of miles away on vacation.
Additionally, outdoor smart lighting and doorbell systems help make your neighborhood safer too, deterring “porch pirates” and other crime. Fiber has the power to keep these crucial smart home safety and security systems running strong while still allowing you to stay productive and engaged in other online activities simultaneously.
8. Video Calling Keeps You Connected Face-to-Face
Lastly, fiber’s impressive speeds and incredible bandwidth make video calling crystal clear and convenient. Grandparents can easily have face-to-face conversations with their grandchildren, and both sides of the call can see faces as well as hear voices.
Video calling is simply a much more intimate way to stay in touch than by phoning or emailing. And fiber enables this improved communication without the distortions and interruptions that plague other types of internet.
The eight examples above are just a small sample of the way fiber internet’s innovative technology enhances your life. From practical matters like health, work, and security, to broadening your worldview and sharing knowledge and world cultures, fiber can improve your well-being, inspire your mind, and uplift you.
To learn additional ways that Northern Lights Fiber’s service can make a real difference in your life, follow our social pages!
Small businesses and their leaders have way too much going on to spend time tracking down invoices or waiting for the bank to process payments. Fortunately, advanced internet-based payment systems have substantially cut down paperwork processing, as well as the time it takes to receive funds.
Below we highlight six of the best online e-commerce and in-person payment options available for small businesses today. When connected to Northern Lights Fiber’s fiber network, your small business can use the technology it needs to grow and thrive—and you can get back to doing the actual work of your business instead of worrying about receiving payment for your efforts!
We start our list with Square, an overwhelmingly popular payment service that continues to attract new vendors and customers alike.
Square is an excellent fit for businesses that are mobile or whose clients often pay on-the-go rather than in a brick-and-mortar business establishment. At the same time, Square’s in-person point-of-sale options are still well-respected and its software and app are noted for their ease of use.
Stripe is a sophisticated online payment processing app with versatile features many savvy small business owners love. Highly customizable with numerous options to aid in bookkeeping, databasing, and generating revenue reports, Stripe excels well beyond basic payment processing.
Its software fully integrates payments and invoicing as well as other essential business needs, including tracking accounts receivable and processing refunds. Given these extra features, however, there is a steeper learning curve for Stripe than with other simpler payment processing options on our list.
Perhaps the most well-known payment service on our list, PayPal has been a part of e-commerce culture since 1998 and is particularly useful for vendors that prefer sending and receiving online invoices.
Its near-universal name recognition also means customers know and trust it. However, compared to other options on our list, PayPal is relatively sparse in terms of features and versatility, and does not offer businesses as much in the way of in-person transactions as other services.
Like PayPal, Shopify is another familiar name in online shopping. Shopify’s ecommerce ecosystem encompasses vendors both large and small, offering a significant advantage to many online retailers.
That advantage comes with a cost, however, as Shopify charges a monthly fee in addition to per transaction fees, which can be a drawback to many small businesses. Still, its seamless and simple interface and many features have drawn many happy small businesses to Shopify.
Next up is Clover, an exceptional in-person payment processing program with many online features as well. Industry experts are impressed by Clover’s vast library of fully-integrated third-party apps that do much more than just accept payments.
With Clover, small businesses can get accounting, tax, databasing, marketing, and other critical business features all in one place, making it a solid value. Clover’s pricing is notable for its flat rates, but be sure to check out the differences between plans, which can vary based on sales volume and other factors.
Our last recommended option is Lightspeed, one of the leading cloud-based in-person and retail-oriented point-of-sale payment services in the industry. Popular both for its simplicity and competitive pricing, it also offers a range of features from simple retail purchasing to online shopping and e-commerce.
For businesses with extensive inventory to track, Lightspeed’s acclaimed inventory management systems are a huge timesaver, even helping you reorder when stock gets low.
Fiber’s Speed and Power Lets You Process Payments and Run Your Business Simultaneously!
Now that you’ve checked out the above six payment options, small businesses should remember that to be truly productive and efficient, they also need the fastest, most reliable internet they can get. After all, the systems above, along with all their many benefits, are only as effective as the quality and speed of the internet that delivers them. And fiber internet is quite simply the best internet a small business can get today.
Contact Northern Lights Fiber today to get the speed you need to power your business. And for more helpful hints to keep your small business productive and efficient, follow our social pages!
At Northern Lights Fiber, we’re proud to be known around Grande Cache as the best internet provider for residents and businesses. But did you know that we also support a third group with our high-speed fiber internet network? Today, we’re taking a moment to celebrate local community anchor institutions.
Read on to learn more about this important group—and how, as a local company ourselves, Northern Lights Fiber is committed to keeping them connected.
What Are Community Anchor Institutions?
Anchor institutions are mission-based, publicly-oriented organizations that provide services essential to our area’s economy, health, safety, culture, and general well-being.
Anchor institutions include hospitals and other medical facilities, emergency services like fire and police, universities and other institutions of higher education, and public services like libraries.
These institutions all play a critical role in our society, and they all depend on reliable access to the internet to function effectively in the 21st century economy.
Hospitals and Medical Clinics
Universally appreciated by everyone fortunate enough to have one close by, a hospital is an anchor institution that many of us depend on in the starkest moments of our lives. Whether they’re treating chronic illnesses or responding to life-threatening injuries, hospitals and other medical clinics provide critical services every day.
And in a true health emergency, every second counts. Rapid access to medical records, keen and swift analysis of radiological and similar medical imagery, and urgent consultations among experts—these are often matters of life and death. Thus, perhaps more than anywhere else, having internet as reliable and fast as fiber in our community hospitals and health clinics is most critical.
Beyond the immediate health needs of patients and the broader community, hospitals and medical clinics regularly communicate with both patients and other health professionals. Maintaining a solid internet connection to transmit medical files and even hold telehealth follow-up visits is crucial to the missions of hospitals and medical centers.
Fiber’s bandwidth capacity is substantially larger than other types of internet and can make indispensable communication and data transfers quick and seamless, helping health providers fulfill their calling—and keep our communities healthier and safer at the same time.
Fire, Police, and Other Emergency Services
Local first responders–the good people of our fire stations, paramedics, and police departments–are our community’s heroes, often putting their own lives at risk to help others. And they are regularly on call at every minute of every hour of the day.
Without the brave and resourceful men and women in fire, police and other emergency services, our community would be far less safe. Thus, it goes without saying that our first responders are anchor institutions in our area, and everyone is grateful for their service.
Reliable communications and connectivity is an absolute necessity for these essential services. Fiber internet keeps emergency service providers informed about hazards, real-time traffic information, hazardous weather and natural disasters, and other problems our community faces. And fiber keeps fire, police, and paramedics connected to everyone in our community–including to hospitals and emergency rooms–providing an instant connection when and where help is needed most.
Local Schools and Educational Facilities
The quintessential anchor institution in Canada is the educational facility or school. Centers of learning employ talented and skilled individuals in many fields who educate children and young adults and provide them with skills and knowledge for success.
But local schools and educational facilities do far more than just teach students. They also serve as learning, cultural, artistic, and athletic centers for our entire community, greatly enriching our lives with special events, art exhibits, dramatic performances, musical concerts, and sports.
And given the beehive of online activity generated at centers of learning, a steady and fast internet connection is a veritable requirement for 21st century education.
The broader community, which often has access to a school’s sporting events, fine arts exhibitions, and even certain library materials also benefits from fiber’s high speeds and greater bandwidth, multiplying the benefits to our region even more.
Libraries and Museums
Often overlooked, but nonetheless invaluable, public libraries and museums of all kinds provide educational, artistic, and cultural opportunities offered almost nowhere else. They bring together resourceful, knowledgeable experts and support staff that create experiences that both inform and inspire.
Groups as diverse as toddlers, school children, book clubs, tourists, and seniors are enriched by the facilities and programs libraries and museums provide. Without fiber internet, however, neither of these anchor institutions can fulfill their unique niche in our community, including facilitating beloved programs like story hour, reading clinics, film nights, visiting exhibitions, club meetings, and guest experts.
And the community can often access many of these features—including e-books and other electronic materials—from home through remote and online access. Thus, fiber keeps each of us better connected to our area’s libraries, museums, and related curated institutions and their bevy of information and collections that set them apart.
Fiber Internet Keeps Our Anchor Institutions Well-Connected to Our Community—and to You
As much as our community depends on anchor institutions to improve our daily lives and make our region a better place to live, anchor institutions in turn rely on dependable and fast internet to get their jobs done. And they also look to the local team of experts and technicians that keep Northern Lights Fiber’s fiber network running strong and efficiently—and with the local knowledge and care to respond fast and effectively to any technical issue that may arise.
Indeed, the team at Northern Lights Fiber are more than just internet service professionals. We’re also your neighbors. Like you, we live and work in our community, which means we rely on and appreciate the work of our community’s anchor institutions.
As a local company ourselves, we’re highly committed to responding swiftly to emergencies like outages, which in turn lets the good people at our local anchor institutions do their jobs serving our community and keeping it healthy as well.
When you choose Northern Lights Fiber for your residential or business internet, you support our business—enabling us to turn around and support our community. Thank you for shopping locally for your internet. We’re proud to keep Grande Cache connected!
So you’ve made the right choice, switched to Northern Lights Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet, and already experiencing faster downloads and improved reliability while you’re online.
You may be wondering about some of the best ways to enjoy your new fiber internet connection.
Well, there are several things you can do to make the most of Northern Lights Fiber’s fiber service and improve life in your home. Faster, more reliable internet opens doors to great entertainment, more efficiency, and even cost savings.
From getting rid of cable TV and enjoying streaming entertainment to living more efficiently through smart technology and staying better connected to loved ones, fiber internet provides a new world of convenience and amenities right in your home.
Below we discuss some ideas and suggestions to make your new fiber internet work for you!
Cancel Cable and Cut the Cord
Now that you’ve switched to fiber internet, you no longer need cable—or any additional devices, wiring, and clutter that takes up valuable space in your home. And you certainly don’t need its extra bills, either. So you can now cancel cable for good!
And we’re not just talking about canceling cable internet service, but cable television service, too. Many streaming services are available for watching your favorite shows and movies online, even live news and sports. And with fiber’s quality and dependability, you can enjoy streaming them as you did with cable TV.
Sign up for Streaming Services
Since your internet connection through fiber-optic technology is faster, more consistent, and more reliable than ever, it’s time to take advantage of streaming services and outstanding entertainment available to you.
Hulu keeps you up-to-date on your favorite shows, both current and classic, while Disney+ streams old Disney films and new entertainment hits.
You’ll be hard-pressed to exhaust the number of movies and TV shows available to stream today.
You can select one of many live TV streaming apps available, too.
With a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV, FUBU, or Sling TV, you can watch live television programs, real-time breaking news and analysis, and live sports and games.
Stream Music Anywhere in Your Home
Streaming entertainment includes more than just movies, TV shows and live sports.
Today’s technology lets you fill your home with music through streaming music apps such as Spotify, Amazon Music, or Apple Music. These apps let you create playlists of all kinds. Mix your personal “greatest hits list” from a particular artist, or select a playlist from a specific music genre, whether yours is rock, classical music, country, or all of the above!
These apps can also introduce you to new artists and songs you may have never heard. They also create lists of music the app “thinks” you may enjoy based on your prior selections and preferences. And you can ask these apps to shuffle songs from your favorite bands to listen to while you multitask!
Use Smart Devices and Set up a Smart Home
You’ve made the smart choice to switch to fiber internet—so why not use more smart devices?
“Smart devices,” even inexpensive gadgets like Amazon’s Echo Dot with Alexa, can really make your home more pleasant than before. For example, when you pair your Echo Dot to your Spotify account, you can say, “Alexa, play songs from The Eagles.” Before you know it, you’ll be living it up at the Hotel California!
But don’t stop with these smart devices!
You can make your entire home a “smart home” and far more efficient. For example, smart thermometers can monitor air temperature and even humidity in different rooms in your house.
They can also adjust their temperature based on times of the day and other conditions, saving you around 30% off of your energy bills, according to the EPA!
Also, consider smart lighting devices, which do more than save you money—they can also make your home’s atmosphere more appealing.
Use Video Conferencing Apps to Talk to Friends and Family
Having a phone conversation can be rewarding, but it cannot beat the joy of seeing a loved one’s face and smile.
With faster internet through fiber technology, you can experience more than just a person’s voice through conversation. Using apps like Zoom or FaceTime can make you feel like you’re in the same room with your friends and family. You can stay in touch and remain better connected no matter how far apart you may be.
The above suggestions and recommendations are just some of the many ways fiber internet makes life more convenient and fun. So try them out and keep exploring!
And for more helpful tips about how Northern Lights Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet can make your home more livable, follow our social pages or visit our website HERE!
The summer television viewing season isn’t what it used to be.
Once known for endless reruns and launches of shows that studios deemed less likely to be successful, the world of streaming entertainment and the production houses it created are churning out phenomenal content you’ve just got to see. The trouble is, lots of other people want to watch it too! And quite often, they’re streaming at the same time as you. And with kids out of school for the summer and many people heading indoors to escape the heat, internet usage increases during the dog days of summer. Unfortunately, along with the increased demand, streaming picture quality and overall reliability often decline, frequently turning what should be a relaxing evening into a frustrating experience.
So what can you do to prepare for all of this increased demand? Or maybe you’re worried about the amount of time your kids are on the screen? Or are you doomed to suffer repeated buffering, pixelation, and loading errors during the summer slowdown?
Tip #1: Upgrade to Fiber Internet
The single best thing you can do to improve your internet speed and connection is to upgrade to fiber internet. A technological wonder, fiber internet utilizes fiber-optic cables composed of ultra-thin, tiny strands of glass and other materials that transmit internet data near the speed of light.
As a result, fiber internet’s speeds exceed cable internet, which uses older technology and copper-based materials that cannot compete with fiber’s highest speeds.
Getting a dedicated fiber internet line through Northern Lights Fiber directly to your home means you no longer have to share bandwidth with your neighbors.
Since many in your community are already customers of ours, you may need to move to Tip#2.
Tip #2: Select the Bandwidth to Meet Your Family’s Needs
Once you’ve upgraded to fiber, talk to customer service at Northern Lights about which level of broadband you need. This will vary from household to household, we can help you determine what will provide the proper amount of bandwidth. If you have multiple people in your home, work from home during the summer, or want to use technology to the max (i.e. security cameras), be sure to choose a plan that offers enough bandwidth for the whole family to use it simultaneously. This tip will help keep the high-speed internet flowing into your home and devices and help keep the peace in your family!
Tip #3: Use the Northern WiFi App
Now that you have a perfect fiber internet plan for your needs, you should consider using our Northern WiFi App. This is the free App that many of you already have. In a few simple clicks, you can easily:
• Reset your password or SSID • Run bandwidth tests • Approve connected devices to use the internet • Create guest networks (so your in-laws don’t use all your internet)!
Tip #4: Sign Up for our ExperienceIQ and ProtectIQ add-ons
The ProtectIQ and ExperienceIQ functions are not only affordable, but it will give you peace of mind on how the internet is used in your home. We want to deliver the best and safest experience possible!
ProtectIQ is an anti-virus and anti-malware software that is embedded in the WiFi router. This means that every device connected to your network is protected, giving you peace of mind. With protect IQ, you’ll receive
• Malicious website protection, anti-virus and anti-ransomeware packet inspection, and intrusion detection • Monitoring that automatically blocks anything that looks suspicious coming into your home • A dashboard that demonstrates how this service is working in your home
Our ExperienceIQ add on allows you to manage screen time in your home, right down to the individual device. You can even filter out YouTube content, ensuring that individual family members watch age appropriate content Keep in mind that this is much more than limiting or even policing content your kids may use. Parental controls let you prevent your children from using online devices during certain times of day or night, which both reduce their screen time (something all parents aim to do) and increases the amount of bandwidth for you to enjoy!
Many of our Northern Lights Fiber customers have already signed up for ExperienceIQ. So if you want a tutorial on how to use it, please contact us!
By implementing these tips, you can significantly improve the picture quality and reliability of your streaming experience, even with the increased internet demand and higher usage of the summer. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a summer of streaming!
And for more helpful tips on improving your internet experience, Northern Lights Fiber’s social pages!
Over the past several years, the remote working and work-from-home movement has boomed. Even before the global COVID-19 pandemic forced millions to work out of their homes, more and more employees were making the switch from the commute-and-office lifestyle to the improved flexibility of remote work. It is estimated that 25% of all professional jobs could be remote by the end of 2022, with the numbers only building upward from there.
As the work-from-home trend gathers steam and more people enjoy the conveniences of remote working, innovative ways to increase productivity and improve staff connectivity and team-building are growing, too.
And with the reliable high-speed fiber internet delivered by Northern Lights Fiber and Canadian Fiber Optics, work-from-home employees can be confident that their internet will support their careers just as well as if they were in an office complex.
So how can you maximize your work-from-home efficiency? And what online tools and applications are available to improve your remote work experience?
Below we present several websites and applications that may help any remote work employee make the most of their at-home workspace and environment.
To help fill up the silence that can build up over the course of a work-from-home day, Brain.fm provides unique music and soundscapes to play in the background as you work away. But Brain.fm is more than just a streaming radio station or playlist. It utilizes neuroscience for its offerings to facilitate more concentration, focus, and even stimulation, so you can keep working productively while you’re on your own.
Evernote takes the seemingly mundane tasks of note-taking and scheduling to savvy new heights. Its innovative document search and organization features greatly improve efficiency and the quality of your drafting. More than just a productivity or project management app, Evernote is loaded with features that connect you to fellow app-users and facilitate and maintain teams to help keep everyone on task and on time!
With its sleek interface and powerful features, OmniFocus breaks new ground in task management and team organization software. We’re most impressed with OmniFocus’s cool to-do list, which helps keep you focused on your progress (and detects delays) for your most time-sensitive tasks at hand. OmniFocus also keeps you connected across all of your devices (both Windows and Apple products), as well as to your fellow team members from wherever they happen to be working.
We Work Remotely
There are numerous websites that help remote workers find jobs, and you can and should search through many of them for your next gig or career move. But we believe We Work Remotely (WWR) stands out for its enormous jobs posting board (around 25,000 all-remote job listings!) and its connections to some of the pioneers of the work-from-home movement. Job seekers can create a free account to access all of WWR’s listings, which are conveniently broken down into many categories of remote work—a feature that makes searching for new jobs much easier.
One thing we know for certain: the work-from-home trend is here to stay. So be sure to check out the above apps, programs, and websites to see how you can make your remote working experience even better.
And for additional tips on being more productive while working remotely, follow Canadian Fiber Optics and Northern Lights Fiber on our social pages!
Your neighbors at Northern Lights Fiber understand that rural communities are a quintessential part of the Canadian experience. And millions of Canadians know that the friendly people and charms of country life make rural areas ideal places to raise a family. Indeed, over the last few years, hundreds of thousands of people have relocated from large cities to the cleaner air and amiable country lifestyle rural Canada offers.
But compared to urban and suburban portions of the country, rural Canada still lags well behind in one fundamental area—consistent access to high-speed broadband fiber internet service. And this lagging access can affect job growth, economic development, workforce retention, and even education and community health.
The Value of Fiber Broadband—and Rural Canada’s Need to Catch-up
Rural broadband internet is critical to bridging that opportunity gap and improving country living. Whole communities can be revitalized and invigorated with fiber internet technology, improving communications and connectivity to the global economy. Schools of all grade levels through technical colleges and trade schools, can provide more programs, services, and training through broadband, reaching more people and promoting rural development.
Indeed, broadband high-speed internet is as essential a community service in the twenty-first century as electricity, telephone or even water and other utilities! And Northern Lights Fiber is proud to be a part of revitalizing our community and rural Canada by providing, fast, reliable fiber broadband internet to its people and businesses.
Below are just some of the ways fiber broadband serves rural Canada and helps make it an even better place to live.
Faster and More Reliable Internet Means Greater Economic Growth and More Jobs
Increased access to high-speed internet, such as the fiber internet provided by Northern Lights Fiber, is linked to boosting local job opportunities and economic growth. Through reliable broadband, local businesses like farms and artisans can reach customers well beyond their communities—even around the world.
And high-speed internet lets these rural businesses more readily access goods and services that their competitors in larger metropolitan areas can already easily access. So, bridging the broadband divide also helps grow and diversify the supply chain and squelch the overall economic gap between urban and rural areas, too.
Additionally, rural broadband helps keep younger talent in their communities, rather than seeing them move away to larger cities. Because so many of today’s careers require access to reliable internet in order to conduct business, companies can—and do—hire talented people around the country and let them work where they already live, including remotely from home—as long as there is a reliable, fast internet connection. In this way, rural high-speed internet helps keep communities together and whole.
High-Speed Internet Helps Deliver Health Care to Rural Communities
As the COVID-19 global pandemic demonstrated, timely access to quality health care and medical interventions can make all the difference in saving lives and mitigating long-term health problems. But while cities and suburbs had greater access to health care facilities—including online medical care—rural communities do not have anywhere near the same level of access to such vital services.
Bridging the broadband divide helps eliminate that fundamental disparity, and brings life-saving and life-changing health care to patients, as well. Telehealth providers, which grew exponentially during the pandemic, depend on reliable, high-speed internet to appropriately interview and assess patients and their immediate needs. And patient portals and electronic media files and records, which are often large files containing extensive medical imagery, require broadband to quickly transmit their essential information to physicians and patients alike.
Thus, rural fiber broadband helps level the playing field for all health care consumers, regardless of where they live. And it helps keep rural and Tribal families healthy and provides peace of mind that their medical needs can be better met and served.
Relocation, Relocation, Relocation: Broadband Helps Turn Around Rural Communities
The flight of younger people from rural Canada is not a new story. It’s been happening for over a century, as bright and industrious students and workers seek to build their careers “where the jobs are”—i.e., in cities and metropolitan areas.
Rural broadband is helping reverse that trend, however, through a more recent economic and social phenomenon: relocation.
Relocation is centered on the idea that in today’s innovative economy, just about anyone can live and work from just about anywhere—anywhere there is reliable high-speed internet, that is. So, for the millions of Canadians yearning for the virtues of rural country living and its high quality of life, communities with rural broadband offer options for relocation to a town or village from which to work, raise their families, and live their lives.
And relocation, through broadband internet service and other economic enticements, helps recruit talented younger people and reinvigorate communities that have been slowly dwindling away decade after decade. In essence, relocation is the reverse of the trend of moving away from rural areas—with broadband, people are now choosing to relocate and settle in rural Canada!
At Northern Lights Fiber, we believe that rural Alberta and other provinces are a truly special place to live and work. And we are honored that our cutting-edge fiber broadband technology is expanding our community’s horizons and helping its people and small businesses realize their dreams and thrive in the decades to come.
To learn more about how Northern Lights FIber’s high-speed fiber internet enriches your community and helps make you more productive, follow our social pages!