D & P BLOG

Custom Packages For Your Business Category: Blog

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Every business is different. That’s why, in addition to the business services you can see on our website, D&P Communications offers customized voice and data packages so we can meet your needs as efficiently as possible.

Let’s say you run a small store with just a few employees. You may not need any more than a data connection for your credit card machine and a few phone lines. We’d probably set you up with a static IP address for your credit card reader, a 10 Mbps data connection, and whatever level of phone service makes the most sense for your call volume.

Or maybe your situation is more complicated. You could be running a multisite car dealership with software that needs to be shared between all of your locations and employees, but closed off from the general public. And of course you’d need a way to reliably connect all of your offices to each other. Our experts will come in, meet with you to assess your needs — how many phone lines you need, what speed you need for your interoffice connections versus what speed you need to the outside Internet, and many more factors — and develop the best package for you.

How many different departments does your phone system need to serve? Do you want a round-robin system where calls switch over to a new number if the main line isn’t answered, or do you want all of your extensions to ring at once? Do you want direct lines for each of your workstations or not? These are just some of the questions we’ll help you figure out when customizing your phone package.

We’re also working behind the scenes, optimizing our technology to make sure we can provide the service you need as cost-effectively as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about having D&P Communications customize a communications package for you, please call our Business Services Group at 888-536-2933 and we’ll set you up with a quote! 

Building for the future Category: Blog

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If there’s one thing about technology that never changes, it’s that change is constant. Information that once filled enough hard drives to take up an entire room can now fit on a card the size of a fingernail. The average personal computer ten years ago was probably less powerful than the phone in your pocket right now.

That’s just as true in the world of communications. And because we know how important reliable Internet, Phone, and Cable access is to your work and your life, D & P Communications is committed to not just being on top of the game — but two steps ahead of it as well.

You’ve probably seen D & P trucks around town, installing and repairing fiber and cable lines to serve our customers. But what you may not know is that we’re working just as hard to keep the backbone that serves those connections as robust as possible — making it strong enough to serve not just today’s needs, but tomorrow’s.

Here’s just one example. D & P has for many years maintained fiber rings connecting our central offices and service areas, providing redundancy and quality assurance. But in 2015, we decided  to take the next step in “future-proofing” the backbone of the D & P network. Although the high-capacity rings we maintain now provide multiple 10-Gigabit paths and plenty of capacity for our customers’ current needs, D & P has invested in a technology called Dense Division Wavelength Division Multiplexing. To make a long story short, the technology allows us to get more capacity out of every single fiber we have in the network, sending multiple signals and streams down pathways that could previously only carry one. Instead of a handful of 10-Gigabit paths being possible, we’re now able to support hundreds of 10-Gigabit paths as we move forward.

This not only allows D & P to provide more and more capacity to customers, but it also helps us provide higher and higher quality of service. How? With the increased ability to create segregated networks, our IT team can carve out dedicated paths for various types of services, making it easier to monitor, identify and resolve problems.   The details would take far too much space to go into here. But the important part is this: Our upgraded capacity is enough to serve our communities not just now, but for many years into the future.

That’s one of the things I’m most proud of about the work we do here. As your hometown service provider, we’re not just here to make a quick buck. And we don’t take shortcuts. We’ve made deep investments in serving our community so that we can continue to serve you — our friends and neighbors — for a long, long time.

Realities of the Cable Industry Category: Blog

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Behind the scenes of the Cable TV industry

Have you ever wondered what goes into determining how much you pay for Cable TV? This week, we’re going to go behind the scenes and give you a look at the economics of the Cable industry.

Because of the amount of technology and infrastructure involved, the Cable industry is an expensive one to be in. As a result, in order to keep prices as low as possible for our customers while keeping our quality of service high, we have to constantly negotiate with content providers for the best possible deal.

When it comes to local channels, we negotiate rates on our own with station owners in markets like Detroit and Toledo. On a national level, D&P Communications is part of the National Cable Television Cooperative, a network of over 850 independent Cable providers across the United States. Being part of NCTC helps us level the playing field between ourselves, a small local company, and huge multinational firms like Viacom or Disney.  This helps us get the best possible rates for the Cable channels we offer, which in turn helps us keep prices reasonable for our customers.

Sometimes these negotiations are simple. Other times they’re not. One ongoing example you may have already heard of involves AMC Networks, which owns not just the AMC channel itself, but also IFC, SundanceTV and WeTV, in addition to providing access to BBC America.

AMC Networks recently told us they wanted a 10-year agreement that would include a massive hike in the price of their channels. Negotiators with NCTC are working on our behalf to reach a deal that will allow us, along with 850-plus other independent Cable providers, to continue offering AMC channels without a price increase that would be unreasonable to ask our customers to pay. A January 1 blackout date was averted when AMC agreed to continue talks with NCTC past the midnight deadline, and the negotiations are still ongoing.

We know that the networks need to make money, and we understand that some cost increases may be reasonable. But our first priority has to be looking out for our customers. By negotiating with content providers and banding together with other independent Cable providers, we are able to keep prices low for you while providing the best service we possibly can.

Stopping problems before they start Category: Blog

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Remember the Maytag Repairman? Maytag washers were built so well, the story went, that the Maytag Repairman was the loneliest man in town.

D & P Communications maintains a highly skilled technical support team to troubleshoot any problems you may have. But ultimately, our desire is that you should never have to call them at all.

That means we work hard to stop problems before they even start. How do we do that? Here’s a look at some of the ways.

We check our network constantly. Many of our customers receive Internet, Phone, and Cable services through hybrid fiber-coaxial cable facilities, or HFC. To guard against any issues developing in this system, we have a team of technicians focused on traveling throughout our coverage area, testing the equipment that keeps these connections running and performing preventative maintenance. They’re out in our communities 12 months of the year, from the hottest day of summer to the coldest day of winter, making sure our HFC systems are in top working order.

We bury all our cables. Some service providers strand their cables on telephone poles, but D & P’s fiber optic network is 100 percent underground. If you’ve ever had your power knocked out by an ice storm or a downed tree limb, you know why this is so important. Buried cables are just plain more reliable. They also cost more to install, but we’re in this for the long haul, and we feel the investment is worth it.

We’ve built our network to be redundant. Even with buried cables, things can happen. If a system isn’t designed well, all it takes is one contractor accidentally hitting a cable with a backhoe to cut you off from the world. But we’ve built D & P’s fiber optic network with plenty of redundancies, so that if anything does happen, the data can be rerouted so fast that you won’t even know there was an interruption.

We catch problems early. Our network is built with monitoring systems and alarms designed to catch faults instantly. If something goes wrong, our alarm system sends a notification straight to our field techs’ smartphones so that we can fix the problem quickly.

All our offices have backups … and more backups. Nobody wants to lose their Internet service because there was a power outage somewhere across town. Each of our data hubs is equipped with battery backups and generators to make sure that even if the office is affected by a power outage, we can continue providing service to you.

Those are just a few of the ways we’re working to make D & P’s Internet, Phone, and Cable services the most reliable in the area. Reacting to problems isn’t enough. We know that the best way to serve you is to stop them from happening in the first place.

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