D & P BLOG

Declutter Your Computer for Faster Web Surfing Category: Blog

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Has this ever happened to you? You have a fast Internet connection, your router is set up properly, and everything seems like it should be in order … but whenever you try to load a webpage, your computer seems to drag.

Slow browsing isn’t always caused by your Internet connection. Any number of things about your computer itself can contribute to it. If your computer is really lagging, you may want to hire an expert to clean it up, but here are five easy things you can check yourself.

Do you have too many tabs open? All modern browsers let you keep multiple windows open at a time, and multiple tabs inside every window. It can be a very handy way to work on several things at once without losing your place. But every tab you open requires memory, and if you have dozens of tabs open that you’re not using, it can slow your browser to a crawl. Keep an eye on how many browser tabs you have open, and close the ones you don’t need anymore.

Does your browser have too many extra toolbars and plugins? The top of your browser window should look pretty simple: the basic buttons (back, forward, reload, home, and maybe a few others) plus a spot to enter Web addresses and maybe a search box. But if you have a host of extra toolbars at the top of the window, you may be running some unwanted programs that can both slow down your browser and potentially invade your privacy. Free software downloads are a frequent culprit: often offering free downloads is a backdoor way for somebody to install add-ons to your browser. They may do something relatively innocuous, like sending you advertisements, or they can be more malicious. You may be able to disable unneeded toolbars yourself (look for “Settings” or “Preferences” in your browser menus), or you may want to have an expert do it for you.

Do you have too many applications open? Multitasking can be a great thing, but if you’re running a Web browser and a video player and iTunes and Microsoft Office, it may be too much for your computer to handle. Try closing applications you aren’t using and stick to just the ones you need to have open right now.

Do you have lots of unneeded system files? Here’s one simple way to free up disk space on a Windows computer. From your desktop, double-click on “My Computer.” Then right-click on your hard drive, which is usually just called “C:”. In the menu that opens, click on “Preferences.” You should see a pie chart that shows how much space you’re using and how much is available, with a “Disk Cleanup” button next to it. Windows will automatically search for and delete unneeded items, such as temporary files created by the system or copies of Web pages that your browser may store offline for faster loading. (Caution: Unless you really know what you’re doing, don’t delete any system files manually — it’s too easy to accidentally delete something your computer needs to function.)

Are your own files disorganized? Even something like having too many files on your desktop or in your Downloads folder can negatively affect your performance. If your desktop is full of icons, try organizing them into folders, and if your Downloads folder has hundreds or even thousands of items in it, go through the folder to figure out what you still need and delete everything else.

An Update on the AMC Network Negotiation Category: Blog

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Last month, we told you about our ongoing negotiations with AMC Networks, the company that operates AMC in addition to several other channels like IFC, SundanceTV, WeTV and BBC America. You may remember that we, along with many other independent Cable providers across the country, thought we might have to drop the AMC networks and insert replacement channels if an acceptable agreement couldn’t be reached.

That change would have affected 93% of D&P Communications’ customers, so we’re glad to report that after a lot of negotiation, AMC Networks will remain part of our Cable lineup.

D&P is part of the National Cable Television Cooperative, a network of 850-plus independent providers across the United States. Working through the NCTC is what helps us level the playing field when we’re negotiating with much larger companies — and that’s a critical part of helping us keep prices reasonable for you.

The final deal still represents an increase in what D&P will pay for those channels — we estimate that our payments to AMC will go up by about 29% this year — but it’s enough of an improvement over AMC’s original proposal that we felt we could agree to it without causing an undue burden on our customers.

The D&P team is constantly negotiating with content providers to make sure our customers get the best possible deal. This is just one example. As your locally owned Cable provider, it’s our job to look out for our you. After all, you’re not just our customers — you’re our friends and neighbors too.

Behind the Scenes of our Residential Help Desk Category: Blog

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One of the advantages of getting your phone, cable or Internet service from a local company is when you need to call tech support, you’re talking to someone who actually lives in your area and knows the neighborhoods they service. But who are the people on the other end of the line? To give you a peek behind the scenes of D & P Communications’ residential help desk, we asked one of our technicians, Ben Joanisse, to tell us about his job and what a typical day on the help desk entails.

To start with, our residential help desk operators are distributed in our 5 office locations — Petersburg, Adrian, Blissfield, Dundee and Tecumseh — and they work in shifts to allow them to cover a large number of hours. Ben works at our Blissfield office, and a typical day for him involves “a little bit of everything.”

D & P provides a complete range of telecommunications services, so help desk technicians need to be well-versed in telephone and cable TV systems in addition to a wide variety of ways to access the Internet, including fiber, DSL and fixed wireless, which may be used by customers in more remote areas.

But the help desk doesn’t just deal with our own services. For example, Ben recently spent a few days dealing with some problems customers were experiencing when they tried to make international calls. The problem didn’t have anything to do with our local service, but it took our help desk’s expertise to figure out where along the entire network the problem was cropping up, and to reach out to the right people to fix it.

Our help desk technicians also help customers troubleshoot their own equipment. If you’ve purchased a new wireless router and need help configuring it, or even if you just accidentally switched the input on your TV, Ben or one of his colleagues can walk you through it.

Working on a help desk takes a particular set of skills. There’s the technical ability, of course: Ben, for instance, earned his associate’s degree in networking. But beyond that, help desk technicians need to be both patient and very good at description, whether it’s talking a customer through how to fix a problem with their equipment or knowing how to ask the right questions to pinpoint the exact issue.

And for the technicians who work the help desk, every call brings something different.

“I learn something new every day,” Ben says.

To speak to a help desk technician, please call 888-221-2277, email servicedesk@d-pcomm.com, or visit www.d-pcommunications.com and click on the “How Can We Help?” box in the lower right corner of your screen to chat with a help desk technician live.

Meet D & P’s Business Solutions Group Category: Blog

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In business, we all know that time is money. And chances are, the last thing you want to do is waste time dealing with your phone line or your Internet service when you could be helping a customer, making a sale, or doing any of the things that are the reason you got into your business in the first place.

At D & P Communications, our goal is to make setting up and maintaining your phone and Internet service as quick and easy as possible. That’s why we recently brought all the experts involved in serving our business clients under one roof, establishing our new Business Solutions Group.

Combining sales, service and technical support into a single unit, our Business Solutions Group gives you a one-stop destination for everything related to your phone or Internet service with D & P. Are you thinking about switching to D&P and need to know what your options are? The Business Solutions Group is there to answer your questions. Do you need another line installed, a new office connected to your network, or a tech support question answered? You’ll call the same team, so the people you’re talking to will already be familiar with your business and its setup.

Of course, our Business Solutions Group will still have access to D & P’s entire pool of experts, but the important thing is that you’ll never need to worry about who to call.

We want you to think of D & P Communications not as a vendor, but as a partner in your business. We will work to understand your needs, whether your business is large or small, and help you reach your goals. Our Business Solutions Group allows us to provide the level of personalized attention that your business needs and deserves.

To learn more about how D & P can help your business, please give us a call at 888-536-2933. We want to hear from you!

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