D & P BLOG

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.

D&P Communications … from 1898 to today Category: Blog

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What’s the oldest company you did business with today?

Would you be surprised to learn that it might have been your internet service provider?

In 1898, the internet wasn’t even on the horizon. If you needed to send a message a long way, it would probably be relayed by a telegraph operator tapping in Morse code. The president of the United States was William McKinley. And Henry Ford was still 10 years away from inventing the Model T.

But that’s when the company you now know as D&P Communications was born.

D&P began as the Deerfield Farmers Telephone Company. The company was owned by its subscribers: Every household with a phone had one share of Deerfield Farmers Telephone Company stock.

When D&P’s president, Dave LaRocca, joined Deerfield Farmers Telephone Company in 1976, he was one of just five employees. The communications industry was much less advanced then than it is today. Ditches were dug by hand. Wire was hand-pulled. Manual posthole diggers were used for burying poles.

Dave can remember one winter when it got so cold — 22 degrees below zero — that, after a truck ran through a pole at Ida West and Petersburg Road, he had to light a fire to thaw the ground before he could dig a hole to set the new pole.

When Dave became the president of Deerfield Farmers Telephone Company in 1988, the company still just provided telephone service to Petersburg and Deerfield. The switching system took up two 20-foot by 10-foot rooms in each town. Today, all of the switching for our entire system can be done by a single switch that takes up a small amount of rack space at our Petersburg data center.

It was during the 1990s that the company started offering cable television and internet services. That’s also when the name changed to D&P Communications. And in 1995, we became the first company in the entire country to deliver voice services over cable wiring instead of copper.

During the 1990s and 2000s, D&P’s network and service areas continued to expand, ultimately taking over areas previously served by Charter Communications — thus bringing internet and phone service in those communities closer to home and boosting the Lenawee and Monroe County economies through local ownership.

In 2014, D&P merged with another company with a proud tradition of local ownership: TC3, which was founded in 1991.

TC3’s founder, Joe Mattausch, had been working as a computer technician for Typewriter Sales and Service when that company decided to get out of the computer business. He struck out on his own and founded the Computer Care Company, which changed its name to TC3Net in 1995. From its roots in selling and servicing computers, TC3Net branched out into providing internet service at a time when 14kbps dialup modems were top-of-the-line. D&P and TC3 served southeast Michigan communities side-by-side for a number of years before joining forces.

Today, D&P provides cable TV, high speed internet, wireless internet and home phone service to Adrian, Britton, Hudson, Tecumseh and many more communities, with new areas coming online all the time. We have five local offices in Adrian, Dundee, Petersburg, Blissfield and Tecumseh, which means when you call us, you can always get in touch with a real, local person.

Our philosophy has always been to think ahead, build things to last, and avoid taking shortcuts — everything you expect a business with deep roots in the community to do.

A lot has changed in the last 117 years. But one thing hasn’t: Our commitment to providing quality service and great value to people in our community.

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.

Why Lenawee County’s daily newspaper chose D&P Communications Category: Blog

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Why Lenawee County’s daily newspaper chose D&P Communications

As the publisher of Lenawee County’s only daily newspaper, Rob Young knows that his business needs to run 24/7 … and so do his phones and his internet connection. Whether it’s the high school football coach calling in a score at 10 p.m., the advertiser who urgently needs to contact their sales representative, or the newspaper across the state that needs to send a set of high-resolution files in for printing, The Daily Telegram can’t afford to be without reliable communication for so much as a minute.

So when Rob set out to replace the Telegram’s aging telephone system with one that could meet all the needs of a 21st-century company, he turned to D&P Communications.

“We had an old analog system that we’d been limping along with for years,” Rob explains. “But in this business, when people are trying to contact you, they want you now.”

That means employees need direct-dial lines at their desks. It means they need to be able to check their voicemails from wherever they are, whether it’s on a cell phone, a laptop computer or a tablet. It means they need to be able to set their desk lines to forward to a cell phone number.

The 50-line Digium Switchvox system that D&P installed for the Telegram can do all of that and more.

Our techs came in, sat down with Rob and his staff, and figured out exactly what the Telegram would need. Working together, we put together a plan that would meet both the Telegram’s needs and its budget — and that could be implemented without any extra hassles for Rob and his team.

“I’m not a tech guy,” Rob says. “What I want is for the system to be here, we flip the switch, and it works. And D&P was able to provide that.”

Besides the quality of the phone service, Rob says the redundancy and high capacity of D&P’s fiber optic network is reassuring. “It’s the lifeline of our connection to our customers — our subscribers, our advertisers, our commercial customers who are uploading files for us to print,” he says.

And because we’ve invested in extra capacity throughout our coverage areas, Rob knows he has room to grow in the future.

On top of all that, Rob says, he’s glad he was able to “shop local” and purchase a high-quality service from a locally owned company.

“Our relationship with D&P is a great example of two local companies partnering and finding solutions,” he says.

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