Congratulations, Carl Blank - You Make the Difference!

Carl Blank with Socket

Congratulations to Carl Blank, Socket’s You-Make-The-Difference Award Winner for September!

Carl had spent over 45 years in the telecom industry before deciding to finally retire. However, after an entire summer at home, Carl got a little stir-crazy – so when Socket reached out, Carl jumped at the chance to get back into things. He now supervises our Field Services team, manages our vehicle fleet, and generally provides an incredible amount of experience to share.

“Carl’s a great resource for installations, technical issues, and a whole host of other things,” said a coworker who nominated him. “We’re really lucky to have him here at Socket!”

One of Carl’s favorite things to do is buy vehicles with Socket's money. When he’s not doing that, he also likes discussing racing (Nascar included), visiting swap meets, and generally traveling. In fact, he’s been to every single state in the nation – Hawaii and Alaska included! His family includes his wife, Charlene, his two daughters, and a very large cat named Shannon.

“I came back to see if I could make a difference,” said Carl. “Sounds like you all think I do!”

Thanks, Carl!

Socket Sponsors the Countdown to Kickoff!

Socket was a proud sponsor of the 2016 Countdown to Kickoff fundraiser that took place on August 24. The fundraiser benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri. The evening was presented by Columbia Insurance Group and the University of Missouri Football Program and consisted of live and silent auctions, as well as remarks from Coach Barry Odom regarding the Tigers’ upcoming season.

As a sponsor for this year’s fundraiser, Socket was able to contribute to the proceeds raised for disadvantaged children in Mid-Missouri. Thanks to the silent and live auction as well as generous donations, a total of 110 children will be supported from an adult role model over the next year in the Big Brother Big Sister program.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri serves children of single parent families, children with an incarcerated parent, children of active and fallen military, children in longer term foster care, and those who are referred by school or other agency personnel. Over 500 children are served yearly in our community.

Socket is proud to contribute to enhancing the lives of our community’s youth. If you would like to learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri, visit to see how you can also make a difference!

Congratulations, Zaza Tugushi - You Make The Difference!

Congratulations to Zaza Tugushi, Service Delivery Manager, on winning the You-Make-The-Difference award for August!

Zaza joined the Socket team back in 2008, starting in customer service. From there, he moved to our business center as a service delivery coordinator, netting his first YMTD win back in October 2013. Today, he manages the entire service delivery team – and he’s still making the difference to his coworkers.

“Zaza more than exemplifies Socket’s core values and beliefs through his obvious dedication, professionalism, and clear-cut commitment to providing both the best possible service to Socket’s customers, and outstanding support of the staff he supervises,” said a coworker who nominated him. “It goes without saying that Zaza deserves this award.”

In his free time, Zaza enjoys working on various home improvement projects, as well as fixing cars and computers. However, he admits that most of his hobbies have been put on hold for the moment – he and his wife, Molly, stay busy taking care of their young son Lucca, as well as preparing for their second child, due this October!

“My favorite thing about working at Socket is definitely the people,” said Zaza. “Socketeers work together to make things happen for our customers. I like that even though we’ve become more structured and mature as we’ve grown, we’ve maintained the flexibility to go out of our way to help customers in need.”

Congratulations, Zaza!

Congratulations, Adam Buchmeier - You Make The Difference!

Adam Buchmeier, Field Services Technician with Socket

Congratulations to Adam Buchmeier, Field Services Technician, on being named Socket’s You-Make-The-Difference award winner for July!

Adam has a long history of working in telecom – in fact, he remembers working with Socket as a business customer back when we only offered dial-up! After hearing about Socket’s fiber expansion in Callaway County, Adam decided that Socket would be a good place to jump back into the industry, and he’s been with us ever since.

“Adam is awesome!” said a coworker who nominated him for the award. “He's always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it, coworker or customer.”

"He's a very respectful and knowledgeable man, and he trained me with confidence," said another.

When he’s not installing service for Socket’s new customers, Adam enjoys tinkering with lawnmowers, refurbishing old furniture, and spending time with his family, including his 13-year-old granddaughter. He also spoils his 16-year-old Labrador, Jude, the “smartest dog ever.”

“My favorite part of working at Socket is the customers, hands down,” said Adam. “I really enjoy going out there and making them happy.”

Congratulations, Adam!

Broadband in Urban Vs. Rural Areas

Technology is evolving quickly, but only 55 percent of people in rural areas have access to the speeds that, according to the FCC, currently qualify as broadband. In comparison, 94 percent of the urban population does. Why is there such a gap with technology's constant improvements? 
Broadband adoption can boost the economy in rural areas in ways such as increasing income, decreasing unemployment rates, and creating jobs. 
Though this is true, there are a few obstacles preventing rural areas from receiving broadband. It is more efficient for telecommunications companies to install new technology in areas with higher population density because of customers' shared fixed installation costs. In addition, the amount of manual labor that is required for the company becomes a barrier. 
Check out this article to learn more about the issues associated with access to rural broadband. 

Congratulations, Shay Wisham - You Make The Difference!

Shay Wisham with Socket

Congratulations to Shay Wisham, Socket’s You-Make-The-Difference award winner for June!

Shay has been with Socket for just a little over six months, but she’s already made a huge impression with her fellow Service Delivery Coordinators, as well as all those who depend on them to keep our projects moving and our new business customers happy.

“She’s been amazing to work with ever since I started,” said a coworker who nominated her. “She is on top of everything, even things that aren’t her responsibility. And she never shies away from helping new people, or veterans who need an extra hand.”

Shay is also able to bring an interesting perspective to her job. While her current role involves working with Socket’s business clients (often coordinating with their IT team), one of her past jobs was working for a business client of Socket’s – as part of their IT team.

In her free time, she enjoys relaxing, “which never happens.” With three boys, it’s no wonder. Her eldest is a football player at Central Methodist University, and Shay can count on one hand the number of games she’s missed over the last 14 years. Her weekends are spent with her wife trying new recipes, hitting the trails, spoiling their granddaughter, and volunteering at church, as well as helping her other two teenage boys with their projects and essays.

“My favorite part of working at Socket is the environment and people,” said Shay. “Starting a new job is scary - not so much because of the work, but because you want to be in a positive environment. When the workload does get hectic, my co-workers make it all worth doing.”

Congratulations, Shay!

Socket Sponsors the 2016 Fulton Street Fair!

Fulton celebrated their 13th Annual Street Fair, and Socket was a proud sponsor! We loved interacting with everyone, handing out balloons and passing out candy in the Grand Parade.

We were excited to talk with the Fulton residents about our expanding Fiber network and answer any questions they had concerning access to their area.

It was a perfect weekend for Fulton friends and families to get together and enjoy the music, food, and festivities! 

If you missed this year’s festival, get the next one on your calendar! Visit to learn more.

Study Reveals Fiber-based Broadband Increases Home Value

Fiber does more than simply provide faster internet speeds--and there's evidence. 
According to a study by the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council, fiber access at a multi-dwelling unit (MDU) provides an 8% increase in rental values. 
The study also estimates fiber access adds 11% to net income for property owners and operators per average apartment unit. 
Having a reliable broadband connection was rated the single most important amentity by survey respondents, as fiber access provides a quality living environment and increases satisfaction with the property overall. 
Read the article:  
Or find the full study here:

2016 Art in the Park Coloring Contest Winners

Columbia's Art in the Park festival was the first weekend in June at Stephens Lake Park, and Socket was happy to once again host the annual coloring contest! 
Kids designed their own stores for $50.00 gift cards to Tiger Bounce House and Lazer Lanes. There was a lot of imagination involved, based on this year's entries!
The pictures are now decorating our office walls, and our employees voted on their favorites:

                3-7 age group: Ally, age 7, “Rainbow Store”
                8-11 age group: Madison W., age 9, "Books of All Places"
Congratulations to the winners!

Speed Tests - How to Interpret Them

You may have heard about Netflix’s new speed test at – unlike other speed tests, it’s meant to specifically test your connection to Netflix’s servers.
This is good information to have if you’re trying to troubleshoot a poor Netflix connection. But if you’re trying to determine why your upload speeds are poor, or your VoiP calls are spotty, this test – and many others online – might not be of much help.
Some things to keep in mind if you’re using an online speed test:

  • Many tests, including Ookla’s, take an average of multiple results and display that as your speed. If you’re having dropped VoiP calls, your average speed isn’t nearly as important as how consistent that speed is.
  • If there’s a problem with your home WiFi network, your speed test could look poor when your internet connection is just fine. Make sure to test from a wired connection when possible.
  • Different speed tests use different algorithms for testing. It’s never a bad idea to try and test from a variety of sites.

Learn more here:


Who is Socket

Founded in 1994, Socket is a Missouri-based telephone and Internet service provider with the largest service area in the state.

Socket is a privately held company that provides families and businesses a choice for local and long-distance phone and Internet service. We combine the highest quality customer service with in-depth technical knowledge.

Our network serves more than 20,000 residents and businesses in more than 400 Missouri cities, and our customers enjoy simple billing and quick, friendly service.

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