Need help? Crocker is here to help with phone, voice mail, outages or support with your new equipment.
Support Department: Phone: 855-415-7592
Billing Questions: Phone: 413-775-4170 Email: email@example.com
New/Change Service request: Phone: 413-654-1703 Email: ShutesburyProvisioning@corp.crocker.com
General Questions: Broadband Committee: Phone: 413-345-2855 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MOST COMMON SPEED QUESTION:
My internet is really slow! I thought I was supposed to get a gig of speed (1000Mbps). Why do I get less than that when I run speed tests on my device?
When it comes to internet speed it is really important to understand wireless vs. wired connections.
The equipment in the Shutesbury network is designed to communicate with the ONT (the fiber modem in your home) at about 1000 Mbps (1 Gig). This means 800-950Mbps of bandwidth will reach your home on the mainline wired network.
After this very fast bandwidth reaches your home, it gets distributed throughout your home by the wireless router. If you stand directly next to your router with your device and run a speed test using sites such as https://www.speedtest.net/ or https://www.fast.com you will likely see speeds above 500 Mbps.
When you move away from the router, the speed will reduce. The wireless signal (WiFi speed) is affected by many variables such as:
-the WiFi adapter on your device
-the processing speed of your device
-the distance and physical barriers (walls, floors, furniture, windows) between your device and the router.
-the conditions on the wider internet.
-which wireless band your device is using
-the browser you are using
If you get a slow speed test please don’t assume the overall service is slow! The appropriate bandwidth is likely reaching your home but then is slowed down by your-in home network and conditions.
Here is how to accurately measure the internet speed coming into your home.
1. Connect your laptop or computer directly to one of the 4 ports on the back of the Linksys router with an Ethernet cable. If your internet device does not have an Ethernet port, adapters can be purchased for many wireless-only devices.
Do not use a wireless device or connection to make this measurement. Remember, there are too many variables with wireless devices and test results will be inconsistent.
2. Download the stand-alone Ookla Speed Test application and put it on your device. https://www.speedtest.net/apps Do not use a browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Explorer, etc.) to run the Ookla test.
3. Launch the Ookla application. Set or change the Server listed in the Ookla application to SELCO in Shrewsbury, MA.
4. Click on GO and view the speed test results, which should consistently be in the 800-950mbps range for both upload and download.
5. You can also run this test by connecting your Ethernet cable directly to the ONT. Test results will be about the same for both the router and the ONT.
If you run this test and get less than 800mbps consistently, please call Crocker to report it and get assistance. One of the first things they will do is check your most recent max output on Optical Network Terminal (ONT). This is the little black box about the size of a deck of cards installed where the internet signal enters your home. The max output will indicate if there is a device in the home capable and obtaining the provided speeds and will confirm the promised speeds are entering the home.
What happens to the signal beyond the ONT through the router is “in-home” support for devices and there are limits to the support that Crocker can supply for individual devices. They will supply basic device troubleshooting and help you to check your router settings. If you need additional help with your individual home setup and personal devices beyond what Crocker support can offer, we highly recommend that you hire a home networking specialist to assist you.
Whether or not you perform the wired speed test above, here are steps you can take to improve the speeds on your wireless devices.
-Check your device’s capability and make sure the electronics and software you’re using are optimized for the higher speeds. Older devices may "top out" at a certain speed. Having very fast internet speeds doesn't mean old devices will perform faster if they are limited by their processors. Older Wifi adapters and ethernet ports often can't handle more than 100 Mbps.
-If you log in to a VPN (virtual private network) check if that's affecting your speeds by logging out of your VPN and testing speeds again. With so many people working from home, a VPN is often used to connect to workplace networks and can slow your connection since rarely do VPNs perform at gigabit speeds. (If you don't know what a VPN is then it is highly unlikely you are using one and can skip this step!)
-Check which wireless router band you're connected to. If you see more than one network (SSID) name appended with a "5" or "2.4", try connecting to the other one and test to see if that improves the speed. 5GHz provides faster data rates at a shorter distance. 2.4GHz offers coverage for farther distances, but may perform at slower speeds.
-Move your device closer to the router to see if the speeds increase and so are affected by the distance from the router. If distance is a factor you can:
a)Buy a WiFi range extender to boost the router's wireless signal to rooms where you have a slow connection such as third floors or rooms distant from the router. These devices are small and plug into anywhere there is an electrical outlet and cost between $20 - $60 for a basic model. At your local retailer or online ask for a "WiFi extender." We recommend a Linksys model since that's the type of router you have, but most models will work with any router.
b)Move your router to a more centralized location in your home so it gets closer to all your devices. Use a long ethernet (CAT6) cable to do this. Please don't move the ONT.
c)Hardwire with ethernet (CAT6) cable directly to the router. Each router comes with four ethernet ports to allow for direct connections to bypass using wireless altogether. Direct connections to your router will give you the fastest and most reliable speeds because it will not rely on the wireless signal.
If these steps are too confusing for you, ask a neighbor or friend/family member who is good with technology to help you! Crocker Communications can also assist with basic speed troubleshooting.
TIPS for Broadband During Power Outages
If you didn't buy a UPS during installation and now want one, look for "UPS" or "Uninterruptible Power Supply" for computers and networks. You will need a UPS unit to power BOTH the ONT and the Linksys router if you want your whole home network to continue working because the router is what distributes the signal throughout your home to all your devices.
So, when you buy a UPS consider how many devices you'll be planning to plug into it and how long you want the stored up power to last. Bigger can be better if you want continuous temporary power for your in-home network - especially if you plan on doing things like recharging your phone or other device as well! Unless you get a very robust UPS you likely won't be able to run the whole network in your home for more than a few hours.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SIGN UP AND INSTALLATION
I'm moving into a home in Shutesbury that already has service installed. How do I activate it?
Call Crocker and tell them you need an account set up for yourself at the address. Be sure to tell them the home already has service installed and you just need an account switch - not a brand new installation. There is a $49 activation fee for new services.
If the home you're moving into does NOT already have service (or you don't know) then let Crocker know this when you call so they can help you with the next steps of arranging for a brand new installation. For a brand new installation the fiber has to be brought from the curb to your home and interior home equipment (see below) needs to be installed.
Brand new installations must be paid for by the homeowner and can be quite expensive, averaging around $700. In an effort to make new installations affordable the town municipal network services will pay $300 to help offset the costs. In the case that a total installation cost is less than $500, the homeowner must pay the first $200 and the town will pay the rest. This policy ensures we retain consistency and fairness with all residents since everyone paid at least $200 during the initial installation period when the network was being built. Again, if you're looking for a new installation give Crocker a call! They can tell you if your home is already connected and just an activation fee is needed OR they will provide a quote for your brand new installation.
Do I have to cancel my Verizon/ATT or whatever carrier's phone service I had before that phone was transferred to the new service?
When your phone number gets ported over to Crocker's service, the cancellation of your service with the prior carrier (and DSL if you had it) should happen automatically. However, many people have reported they continue to receive bills from Verizon. We're recommending that everyone check to make sure they don't continue to be charged after the the switch happens. Give your carrier a call after your installation to check to make sure all services with them have been cancelled and if you pay bills electronically, double check to make sure they're not still withdrawing bill payments from your bank account over the next few months.
I am moving out of my home or apartment. What do I do with my equipment?
If you are moving out of your home please leave ALL of the equipment so the next resident who moves into your home can use it. All you need to do is cancel your account with Crocker for the day you're moving out and leave the equipment where it is.
The new resident will just need to call Crocker to set up their account for activation the day they move in. There is a $49 activation fee.
Note that if the account sits dormant for more than 90 days there is a $250 reactivation fee. If your home has been (or will be) on the market and empty for longer than 90 days please be sure to let the new owners/renters know about this additional charge so they are not surprised. You can also avoid the fee by paying a $50/mo account suspension fee while the home is empty.
I've read all these FAQs and still have a question. What do I do?
Crocker Communications (contact information above) is your best resources for any technical issues, questions about your equipment, service problems or billing issues. If you have a question, concern or complaint about the network or service you can contact the MLP board of directors. This is the group of elected town officials responsible for overseeing our municipally-owned broadband network. Email to email@example.com or leave a message in our mailbox: 413-345-2855 We're doing our best to respond to all questions within 3 business days.
What will actually get installed in/on my home?
Outside your home near to where your current utilities enter the home a small gray plastic clamshell box will be attached. This is called the NID (Network Interface Device) and it is where the fiber optic cable will enter your home. It is about the same size as the box on your home now for your phone service. One cable will run from the NID to the inside of your home (a hole may need to be drilled for this by the installer).
Inside the home, you will have an ONT (Optical Network Device) and a wireless router placed near each other. These will be optimally located in a central spot so the wireless signals can reach throughout your home. The ONT is about the size of a deck of cards and the router is about the size of a small cereal box. The router is the piece of electronics that will broadcast the broadband signal throughout your home so you can wirelessly connect all your devices (computers, laptops, iPads, phones, TVs, etc) to the internet.
If you've chosen the option, you'll also get at UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply). This is a heavy black box about the size and weight of two bricks put together.
Where will the router and ONT go inside my home?
The installers are trained to work with you to find the best placement for the inside the home electronics. Things like the size of your home, wall thickness, electrical outlet locations, and aesthetics for the location can be considered when you are working with your installer to decide where to locate the electronics.
If you have concerns about minimizing your family's exposure to wireless wavelengths you can work with your installer to locate the router in a room that is not typically occupied, like the basement or utility room or storage closet.
QUESTIONS ABOUT EQUIPMENT, SPEED, ROUTERS
What is the make and model of the equipment you'll provide?
You will get a Calix 803G Optical Network Terminal and a Linksys EA7300 AC1750 MU-MIMO Gigabit WiFi Router.
This is a good quality gigabit router which you will own. Click HERE for more information about your router.
Can I instead use my own router?
Yes, you can install your own router if you wish and decline the router offered on installation day. This will not reduce the installation cost.
How do I turn off the wireless network in my home?
By default your wireless network is on all the time. If you want to shut off your network you have three options:
1) Turn off the power switch on the router. When you want it activated again, it will take 2-5 minutes to re-establish connections with all internet devices once it is turned back on. Turning off the router will not interrupt your phone service. Please do not turn off the ONT.
2) Use the router’s Wireless Scheduler feature to turn your router on and off automatically during specific times during each day or week. The Wireless Scheduler is located in the WiFi Settings menu. See the router manual (or this Help Page ) for more information.
3) Hardwire all devices in your home so you’re not using the wireless signal at all for your home network. Do this by connecting all devices using Ethernet cables to the four ports available in the back of your router. If you have more than four devices, you can add more ports with adapters. Then, turn off the wireless signal in your router. 1) Open up a web browser on your device (computer, phone, tablet, etc)
2) Enter the address 192.168.1.1 in the address bar
3) Under Access Router enter the password admin and click Sign In
4) Click WiFi setup icon.
5) Move the two sliders beside the 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands to the OFF position.
6) Click the Apply button. Confirm your choice. Click OK and then the router will disable both WiFi band signals.
I have some rooms far away from the router and the signal isn't very good. What do I do?
You can buy a WiFi range extender to boost the router's wireless signal to rooms where you have a slow connection such as third floors and rooms distant from the router. These devices are small and plug into anywhere there is an electrical outlet and cost between $20 - $60 for a basic model. We recommend a Linksys model since that's the type of router you have, but most models will work with any router.
What's the difference between the 2.4 and 5 numbers in my network names?
Depending on how your router was set up, you may see two network names. The numbers in the name refer to the channel frequency (gigahertz (GHz)). The primary differences between the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless frequencies are range and bandwidth. 5GHz provides faster data rates at a shorter distance. 2.4GHz offers coverage for farther distances, but may perform at slower speeds. Generally it is better to connect to the 5GHz network because it is faster but if you're a long distance from your router or there are a lot of walls, floors or other interference between you and the router the 2.4GHz may be a better option. Some devices will automatically choose which of the frequencies to use. High-data tasks such as WiFi voice calling may require you to to use the 5GHz network while other devices such as older printers, only work on the 2.4GHz network. So, if one of your devices isn't working a great first troubleshooting step is to simply connect to the other network.
What if I have data jacks in addition to my phone jacks?
The standard installation for phone wiring only upgrade includes connecting phone jacks. Connected any existing data jack wiring to the router will be an additional installation charge or you can do this work yourself. Be sure to use Cat6 data cable.
How can I allow access to certain devices only during specific times in my household?
Your router comes with “parental controls” which allows you to restrict access to the internet during specific time periods. To set this up, open a web browser and enter 192.168.1.1 into the URL address bar. Password is “admin” for most routers. Enter the router interface and click Parental Controls.
First, change the router's password administrator password (see below) to something only the parents know.
Turn the Enable parental controls to ON. Select the device/s for which you want to restrict access. Choose Specific Times and click Edit. Select the blocks of time to restrict access, such as between 10PM and 7AM for school nights. See the router manual or this Help Page for more information if needed.
Hint: If you find yourself staying up too late using the internet you can also set these controls for your own computer or TV. It’s not just for parents!
I've taken all the steps above and my device still isn't getting 1000 Mbps, even when wired.
Older WiFi adapters/cards/devices on computers and older phones cannot achieve 1000 Mpbs.
The router provided during our installations is capable of the follow protocols:
802.11ac up to 1.3 Gbps or 1300 Mbps (5 GHz channel only; latest technology)
802.11n up to 300 Mbps (2.4 or 5 GHz; still used, very common)
802.11g up to 54 Mbps (2.4 GHz only, fairly old)
802.11b up to 11 Mbps (2.4 GHz only, very old)
When the router communicates with your device, it will drop down to the maximum speed supported by your device. So if you have a 802.11n WiFi adapter/card on your computer, you WILL NOT get speeds of 1000 Mbps, even under ideal conditions.
802.11n is still a very common standard, particularly for “low bandwidth” devices (Alexa, most web cams, home automation, etc) and its speed of 300 Mbps is still ridiculously fast -much faster than the vast majority of home hookups, including commercial fiber. So take pride in our 1000 Mbps upper limit, but don’t get worried about achieving it on all your devices. Speeds of 50-100 Mbps will be plenty of speed for most internet tasks. Higher speeds and capacity are ready and waiting for you five or ten years in the future when the technology advances and you upgrade your devices.
My printer or another device doesn't work with my new router. What should I do?
Older devices may have difficulty with the newer routers. The most reliable troubleshooting step is to connect the device directly to the router using an ethernet or USB cable since often it is the wireless signal that is the issue with older devices. You can sometimes fix the issue if you connect to the 2.4 Ghz (slower) bandwidth on your router instead of the faster 5 Ghz band. The 2.4 Ghz band will be plenty to send files to your printer. Not sure what these are? Check out the router manual or this Help Page for how to set up and connect to these two bands.
If you have lots of devices that are not working with the new router, you may want to consider replacing the router that was provided with your installation with one that you know is compatible with your older devices. Using an old router is not recommended as it will cause other bigger issues like overall network slowness.
How do I see which devices are connected to my home network?
1) Open up a web browser on your device (computer, phone, tablet, etc)
2) Enter the address 192.168.1.1 in the address bar
3) Under Access Router enter the password “admin” and click Sign In
4) Click Network Map in the left navigation menu
5) The screen will show all currently connected devices by name. Note there are two tabs at the top. One for My Network and one for Guest Network.
How do I change my router network password?
1) Open up a web browser on your device (computer, phone, tablet, etc)
2) Enter the address 192.168.1.1 in the address bar
3) Under Access Router enter the password admin and click Sign In
4) Click WiFi Settings in the left navigation menu
5) In the Wi-Fi password field, enter your preferred password. You can
also change the Wi-Fi network name if you choose.
6) Click Apply
7) Click Ok
How do I change my router ADMIN password?
These are instructions to change the access to the router itself. If instead you're looking to change the password you use when getting on to the internet, use the instructions above.
1) Open up a web browser on your device (computer, phone, tablet, etc)
2) Enter the address 192.168.1.1 in the address bar
3) Under Access Router enter the password admin and click Sign In
4) Click Connectivity in the left navigation menu
5) Under the Basic tab, click Edit next to Router Password
6) Type in the new password and Click Apply. Recommended not to use the Hint reminder if you're also setting up parental controls because the hint can make guessing the password easier for those you are trying to restrict access.
7) Click Ok and Apply.
I'm frustrated setting up my equipment in my home. Where can I get help?
It can sometimes take some effort to make all devices in your home work as they should after any technology upgrade such as a brand new computer, an operating system upgrade or in this case, a huge increase in internet speed and a brand new router.
Crocker technical support can help with some issues if you call them, but they will not be able to solve all issues with all devices. As you can imagine, there are thousands of electronic internet-based devices so there is a limit to how much support Crocker can offer. If you can't solve the issue after a call to Crocker, contact the manufacturer of the device since they will be able to offer specific help for their own devices.
Finally, local computer companies will make house calls (sorry, we're unable to make recommendations for companies on the town website due to ethics rules).
I think ShutesburyNET should do more to support resident's technology. Why don't you offer on-call technicians to come out and fix connection issues with my computer, printer, TV, cell phone and iPad?
It is the responsibility of ShutesburyNET to get an ultrafast reliable signal to your home. Through Crocker we offer complete support to the ONT where the signal enters your home and confirmation that your router is operational. Beyond that, all of the devices and electronics in your own home are your own responsibility to support. It would be great if we could offer free house calls plus robust remote technical support for all of the thousands of electronic devices that might be connected to ShutesburyNET, but this would make the monthly fee costs well over a hundred dollars for each subscriber. In order to keep the costs affordable, our policy is to make sure the signal reaches your home but it is up to you to manage the devices and electronics within your home. In general, we hare following industry best practices in this regard. If you need more help we recommend asking a tech savvy friend or family member for help or hiring a local computer company to come and help with your in-home setup.
How can I get rid of my old electronics I no longer need like computers, routers, TVs and satellite dishes?
The office store Staples in Hadley takes old routers/modems and other electronics for recycling or disposal for free. If you are DirectTV customer you can get a prepaid mailer box to return your DVR box to them. Ask for the mailer over the phone when you cancel the service.
Otherwise the only other option for recycling is the Leverett Transfer Station (LTS). To use the LTS, you must have a sticker which costs $20 and can be obtained at the Shutesbury Town Hall. Then you pay per item for electronics disposal between $5 for small items like laptops and printers, $10 for regular TVs and up to $20 for TV’s larger than 25”. Complete item lists and pricing is available HERE
For even more information and hours of operation, please visit the Leverett Transfer Station website.
Unfortunately, if Shutesbury collected and held on to everything for Bulky Waste Day next June, it would cost even more to dispose of it. Gold Circuit E-cycling charges more than the LTS. (Thanks to the Shutesbury Recycling Committee for this information)
QUESTIONS ABOUT PHONE SERVICE
Can you explain the phone options again?
Since we have limited cell phone coverage in Shutesbury, a Verizon home phone number is how most people get telephone service now. Getting broadband in your home will give you more options.
Option 1) Keep your Verizon landline phone. If you’re happy with your Verizon service and the rates you’re paying for phone service you’re welcome to keep your current service.
Option 2) Transfer your Verizon landline phone number to ShutesburyNET. This is just $14/mo if bundled with internet service and includes voice mail, call waiting, long-distance throughout the US and other standard phone features.The phone jacks throughout your home will not be functional unless you wire them into the ShutesburyNET service, but most people just plug a cordless phone base into the one phone jack that is provided with the equipment in order to have "landline" service throughout their home. ShutesburyNET phone service will not work in a power outage without a battery backup.
Option 3) Get rid of your landline all together and only use your cell phone/s. If your cell phone has a WiFi calling feature, you may choose to get rid of your landline home phone altogether because you can make calls over your new in-home network. Instead of relying on the cellular phone network, you will be making calls and sending texts over the internet. See more on this below in the question about WiFi Calling.
Option 4) (Recommended for advanced users only) Set up your own VOIP: VOIP stands for "voice over internet protocol." You can set up your broadband connection with a third-party service to make phone calls over your internet connection. Some of them will charge you a monthly fee and for some you can also transfer your phone number to their service. They are totally separate from both Crocker and ShutesburyNET. Examples of VOIP services are Skype, Vonage, Ooma. (We're not endorsing any of these, just giving them as examples) There is lots of information online about these services if you want to do further research.
Can I get multiple phone lines?
Yes! Each separate line will incur an additional phone service charge. There will be a way on the sign-up forms to indicate you want multiple phone lines. You may need to purchase an Analogue Telephone Adapter if you want multiple separate lines.Each additional voice/fax line is $19.95 per month. This is for completely separate phone lines that can make calls or receive faxes simultaneously. Alternately, you can have multiple phone numbers all ring on the same phone line (with a distinctive ring for each) for $8.95/mo for each additional phone number (on that same line). If this is confusing and you're not sure what to choose for your multiple lines, please discuss with Crocker when you receive your follow-up email after signing up.
Can I get rid of my landline phone and just use my cell phone now? Will my cell phone work inside my home?
Yes, if your cell phone has a WiFi calling feature, you may choose to get rid of your landline home phone altogether because you can make calls over your new in-home network. Instead of relying on the cellular phone network, you will be making calls and sending texts over the internet. Be aware that Emergency 911 service on cell phones is not as robust as that which ShutesburyNet or Verizon would provide over the wired (landline) network.
ShutesburyNET does not replace the service you have with your mobile carrier (like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon). You still need to keep your mobile carrier service so you can continue to make calls when you leave your home.
Can you explain the battery backup? What is it and why do I need it?
Unlike traditional copper analogue phone wires ShutesburyNET requires powered electronics to run. So in the case of a power outage you will not have a dial tone on your phones unless you have backup power going to your ONT (optical network terminal). This is the small black box about the size of a deck of cards that your router and phone (and/or your whole home phone wiring) will connect into. The optional battery backup will keep the ONT powered up for about 8 hours if you have no electricity in your home.
If you are not getting phone service through ShutesburyNET and are instead relying completely on your cell phone to make and receive calls you will have NO phone service in the case of a power outage. This is because your cell phone relies on the wireless signal distributed by the router - which won't have power going to it. If you want to continue making calls over your wireless network (and keep using the internet during a power outage) you will need to get a battery backup for your router as well as your ONT.
If you didn't buy a UPS during installation and now want one, look for "UPS" or "Uninterruptible Power Supply" for computers and networks. When you buy, consider how many devices you'll be planning to plug into it and how long you want the stored up power to last. Bigger can be better here if you want a temporary power for your in-home network - especially if you plan on doing things like recharging your phone or other device as well!
You do not need the battery backup if you have a whole-home generator that will power the outlets that run your ShutesburyNET equipment.
If phone service is critical for your household you may want to consider continuing using Verizon for phone service because analog phone service is possible during power outages.
I have the battery back up but I don't have phone or internet? What happened?
The batteries sold with your system are only designed to provide critical phone service temporarily in the case of a power outage. The optional battery backup ONLY keeps your ONT (the little black box about the size of a deck of cards) powered up. If you use cordless phones in your home, they won't work because they all need electricity to run. Just like in pre-broadband days if your power goes out, you'll need have an old-style analogue phone to have phone service in the case of a power outage. If you got whole-home wiring, analogue phones plugged into any jack into your home should continue to work. If you did not get whole-home wiring, plug your analogue phone directly into the the back of the ONT to continue to have phone service during an outage. Again, this only works if you have battery backup on your ONT.
Your router needs electricity to run and distribute the WiFi signal throughout your home. So, you'll need a second battery backup for your router to have internet keep working if you want internet service during a power outage. You can buy battery backups online or at electronics stores. Look for "uninterrupted power sources" or "UPS" for this.
My battery backup (UPS) is beeping. It's really annoying. What's wrong with it?
When your UPS battery backup beeps, it means it operating from batter (ie. your power is out). To stop the beeping, press and hold the Alarm Silence (mute) button for about a half second until you hear one beep then release. The light next to the Alarm Silence will flash, indicating it has been turned to silent mode for 24 hours. For extended power outages press and hold the Alarm Silence button for 15 seconds until you hear one beep. This will silence the alarm permanently. See the end of this page for the battery backup manual.
I have an alarm system in my house. Can I use ShutesburyNET with it?
Unfortunately telephone-based home security/alarm services generally do not work well over non-analogue digital telecommunications systems. These types of home security and alarm systems are not supported and many of these systems require you to rely on traditional phone service. Please check with your home security company and follow their recommendations for your specific system.
This only applies to traditional telephone-based security and alarm systems. There are lots of other home monitoring systems that are designed specifically to work over the internet.
How long will my phone be unavailable if I’m choosing to transfer my phone number?
Crocker will request that your phone vendor transfer your phone on the same day as your installation. Your phone will be without service for a few hours during the installation. The installer will test your phone and internet prior to leaving the premise.
What features come with phone service?
All the standard phone features you expect will be included with phone service such as voice mail, call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, free unlimited local and long distance within 48 states, Canada & Puerto Rico. Click here for a list of phone features.
What about international rates?
Phone service includes unlimited local and long distance within 48 states, Canada & Puerto Rico. Click here to get the top five commonly requested international rates. International rates change regularly so you can contact Crocker to get up-to-date rates or if you don't see your country listed.
I don't have a Verizon number to transfer to ShutesburyNET service. Can I get a new phone number?
Yes. If you do not have a landline phone currently and want one (or want another line) there is no additional set-up cost for this.
Can I keep my Verizon line and ALSO sign up for a phone number with ShutesburyNET?
Yes, you can keep paying for your Verizon service and also get a phone number with ShutesburyNET. However, only one phone line can be wired to your home service at one time. You'll need to decide if the phone jacks in your home will continue to be connected to Verizon - or to your new ShutesburyNET service. If you decide later (after installation has already happened) that you want your phone jacks connected to ShutesburyNET instead it will incur an additional charge because the installer has to visit your home a second time.
What is the difference between cellular calling and WiFi calling?
Normally, when you make calls from your mobile phone it uses the cellular network. This means that your cell phone call goes directly to a nearby cell phone tower. Calls, texts and data all get sent over the cell network when you use your cell phone.
We have a lack of cell towers in our area and thus the cell service is not very good in Shutesbury.
Many cell phones also have the capability to use internet wireless networks to make phone calls instead of the cellular network. This is called WiFi calling. You use your phone as you normally do, but instead of relying on the spotty cellular network to put your call through, you instead connect to the wireless network in your home. After you have ShutesburyNET internet service in your home, you’ll have a very fast and reliable connection. This means that WiFi calls you make will connect to the outside world using our fiber optic cable which is likely to be more reliable
than cellular networks. In theory this should work well because right inside your home you’ll have a robust, superfast network that your mobile phone can connect to.
HOWEVER…some older phones don’t support WiFi Calling.
AND…some carriers and plans also don’t support WiFi Calling. For example, you might have a Sprint plan that doesn’t allow you to use WiFi Calling. They force you to rely on their cellular networks even if there is a WiFi network nearby you could use instead.
Is WiFi calling the same as using Skype or other internet calling services?
No. When you do WiFi calling you use your cell phone as you normally do. The only difference is that instead of relying on the cellular network, you’re doing your calling over the internet network.
How do I know if my phone supports WiFi calling?
You can contact your mobile provider and ask. But it’s also a good idea actually check to make sure it works.
(If you have no idea what any of these steps mean, it might be useful to ask someone who is good with technology to help you)
1. Go to the Town Library or Town Hall or another location that has good WiFi Service
2. Put your phone into airplane mode in order to shut off its cellular connection
3. Turn ON the WiFi connection on your phone (found in the Settings on most phones) You may also need to go into the Settings to turn ON the WiFi calling feature on your phone.
4. Make a test phone call. (When you’re done be sure to turn off airplane mode so you can make and receive calls over the cellular network again.)
If the call fails and/or you get a warning that your phone or your account does not support WiFi calling or the account does not support WiFi calling, you may need to get a new phone or a new plan. Contact your mobile phone provider and explain that you want WiFi calling and they should be able to assist you.
Can I stop paying my cell phone bill if I’m using WiFi calling?
No. You still need to keep your cell service plan with Verizon/ATT/Sprint or whomever your carrier is because once you get outside the WiFi range in your home, you will need to revert back to making calls using the cellular network.
Do I need to get phone service through ShutesburyNET if I want to do all my calling using just my cell phone (WiFi calling)?
No. WiFi calling takes place over your internet connection so no additional phone service is needed. You can sign up for internet only. Be aware that 911 location identification services for cell phones are not as robust as phone service through ShutesburyNet.
I still don’t know if I need to keep my (Verizon or ShutesburyNET) landline or not?
The first thing you should do is test out your cell phone to see if your phone and your mobile carrier plan supports WiFi calling (See above). Then you will know if getting rid of your landline is even a possibility. If your phone or carrier doesn’t support WiFi calling and you still want it, talk to your mobile carrier about your options. You may have to get a new phone or phone plan that supports WiFi calling.
If you become certain that WiFi calling works with your cell phone and you want it to be your primary and only phone, there is no reason to keep your landline phone number or sign up for the phone service with ShutesburyNET. You can cancel your Verizon home phone number and accompanying service and ONLY pay for internet service via ShutesburyNET.
Disclaimer: Even if you test your cell phone in advance and are sure that it supports WiFi calling, you still might not be satisfied with the call quality that WiFi calling provides in your home. The placement of and distance from the router, the wall thickness, the size of your home, the quality of your phone will all affect the performance of your mobile phone.. WiFi calling may not work well in your home for a variety of reasons. If you change your mind and decide you want a new landline phone number in the future, it can be added to your Crocker account for an additional $14.95 a month. (You’d only pay for additional home wiring to connect all your phone jacks if you want that optional upgrade – see other questions on this page for more information on this)
Do I have to cancel my phone and/or DSL service?
Crocker will automatically cancel Verizon’s land-line phone service on installation day. However, we do recommend that you keep an eye for further bills in the event that Verizon forgets to stop billing you!
If you also have DSL service, you will need to call Verizon to cancel it yourself. We recommend that you either cancel after you have service installed OR give your provider a few buffer days in the event that you need to postpone your ShutesburyNET installation for any reason.
How does 911 calling work if I’m using ShutesburyNET?
If you have a phone number through ShutesburyNET and are paying for phone service, E911 works just like a regular landline. Dispatchers will automatically know the physical address you are making the 911 call from.
However, if you’re using your cell phone and making the call utilizing your WiFi network, the 911 call goes to your cell phone carrier. E911 dispatchers may or may not be able to automatically figure out the location you’re calling from which depends on your phone settings and how your cell phone carrier handles such calls. Most phones have an “emergency address” you can program in that gets sent to dispatchers if you were to make a 911 call, and so it is a good idea to keep this address up to date on your device. Contact your cell phone carrier directly if you want to know more specifics on how your cell phone carrier handles emergency calls.
For more information, please see this discussion and pay particular attention to the concerns regarding E911 service.
How do I set up my new Voice Mail from Crocker?
See this flyer for more information.
How do I get rid of spam and robocalls?
Crocker Communications is committed to using the latest technology to prevent spam calls. This includes the latest authentication technology that has been mandated by the FCC to try and verify that the call coming in is from a legitimate source (see https://www.fcc.gov/call-authentication) . Unfortunately no system is 100% reliable since spam callers are always thinking of new ways to get around technology and regulatory rules and the big carriers are very slow to adopt the latest technology to prevent spam calling. If a specific number continues to bother you, you can call Crocker Support and get that number blocked.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SERVICE AND BILLING
How do I pay my monthly bill?
You can link your bill to your bank account or credit card and have your monthly charges deducted automatically. Or, you can opt to receive a paper bill and mail in a check.
What if I don’t pay my bill?
Our vendor will follow up with additional emails and phone calls reminding you to pay your bill. You will be charged late fees for missed bills. Services may be suspended for invoices over 30 days past due and will be terminated after 90 days. Terminated accounts are subject to a reactivation fee of $250. If you have phone service you’ll still have a dial tone and be able to call 911 and the billing department for up to 120 days.
What if I live in a duplex or my neighbor lives really close to me? Can I share my signal with my neighbor and we split the bill?
No. It’s important that every premise sign up and pay for its own service. Sharing service with another household is a violation of our policy and is essentially “stealing” from all residents in Shutesbury because you’re making other people pay for your share of the service. If we discover that you’re sharing service with another household we reserve the right to shut off your service.
What if I only live in Shutesbury part-time and want to shut off my service while I’m away?
You can shut off your service at any time but when you re-activate it after more than 90 days, you will incur a $250 reactivation fee. We must charge this amount because even if you’re not using the service, we still have to maintain the network connection to your home in your absence.
If you cancel your phone service, your phone number will be released and you may not be able to get it back. We have no control over released phone numbers.
NEW: If you wish to suspend service while you are away, you can contact customer service support and ask for suspended service. This costs $50/mo for internet only or $58.95/mo to keep your phone number. We added this suspended service to give seasonal people and landlords another option to avoid the reactivation fee.
How do I turn off service?
Contact our customer service support line to terminate your service.
How do I transfer service to someone else? For example, one tenant leaves and another one moves in or I sell my home and someone else takes ownership?
There is a $49.95 charge for a new activation which is billed to the new customer. As long as there is a less than 90 day gap between transfer of services, the $250 reactivation fee for part-time service (see above) can be avoided.
QUESTIONS ABOUT TELEVISION AND STREAMING
How do I use the internet to get TV?
Come learn more about how to optimize your new internet connection for Television Programming, local channels and other streaming entertainment. November 16th, 10AM, Elementary School. Sign up HERE. Can't make it? We'll collate the information from both sessions and post. Here is the summary from October's session plus a matrix of TV options.
What about TV? Will I be able to get television service through the high-speed internet that is coming to Shutesbury?
In short, yes. You will have various options.
History - traditional options: The delivery of TV service is changing rapidly nationally - and more and more television is moving to the internet. In the early days, all TV came through the airwaves, at no charge. Then cable companies (Charter, Comcast, Time Warner, et al.) came along and distributed TV at a fee (and with a municipal monopoly) on cabling that they owned and maintained. To compete with that, and for those of us without cable, TV was then offered from (expensive) satellite delivery, through companies like DirecTV and Dish. Satellite options charge for the delivery of content and for the content itself, at high prices.
Now - Over the Top: As a result of the wide availability of broadband internet, media companies are now choosing the internet as their preferred delivery vehicle for the future. DirecTV has just announced DirecTV Now, offering equivalent packages as from their satellites, but coming into your home via your internet connection. Packages start at $35/month. Similarly, Dish Network has offered SlingTV, with basic packages of $20-40/month. Hulu and others are reportedly prepping similar packages for public release. These "over the top" (means television that is delivered over the internet) bundles look almost identical to cable packages. The word "almost" is used here because the bundlers have to negotiate with the content creators (ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO, ESPN, et al.). The gaps in packages are due to early phase snags in negotiating the licensing of the content - most expect that this will be cleared up in the next year or so as more and more consumers prefer the lower costs and convenience of internet delivery.
For example, CBS offers streaming service, but NBC and ABC have not yet launched theirs. DirecTV Now and SlingTV have some missing channels in their streaming packages, due to the negotiation of content licensing (see this article for who had what as of Dec 2016). We anticipate that by the time Shutesbury's high speed internet is operational, most of this will be settled, and you will have a wide range of options for TV - "over the top."
Note that there are some shows currently that ONLY available over the top, such as Netflix series. You currently can’t watch Netflix shows through cable or satellite packages.
So how does it work? If you’re getting your television signal via the internet, you will still watch TV directly on your TV. It doesn’t mean you have to watch TV on your computer! Most TVs now come "smart" - ready for internet-delivered content. In addition, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, and others are small, inexpensive devices that connect older TVs to the internet (DirecTV Now can use most of these, and will currently give you a free Apple TV or Amazon Fire Stick if you commit to 3 months of service!). These devices act just like your cable box where you can use a TV guide listing of channels. It also comes with remote control, recording, etc.
Additionally, the internet allows the possibility of unbundling - a la carte options where you can just choose the specific channels you want. Cable and satellite bundles often include a relative few interesting channels and hundreds of paid advertising channels (Home Shopping Network, QVC, Jewelry Television, etc). Individual content providers now offer "over the top" subscription packages, so that you can pick and choose what you get. For example, "CBS All Access" offers all CBS content (including their NFL games) for $5.99/month with commercials or $9.99/month – all commercial free(!). ESPN and MLB networks also offer content so you can get national sports. You can stream shows live while they are broadcast nationally or at a later time at your convenience. Watching shows later, even just a bit later, allows you to stream the show without commercials.
With a la carte or bundled packages, you can also typically access shows from your smart phone, tablet, or computer when you are away from home with a high speed broadband internet connection. While at home, it also means that just about any device can become a television. And finally, the "over the top" solutions typically do not require annual contracts like cable and satellite. As options change, you can change your packages to best suit your needs.
If you want to start thinking about this now, search on-line for streaming service options (DirecTV Now, Hulu, and many other options - currently expanding by the month!).
But I thought that regular TV packages were going to be available? Yes. WiredWest was planning on delivering traditional television packages initially in 2015. However, because of the state policy changes mentioned above this became impossible, since each town is required to own its own infrastructure. Towns on their own cannot afford the equipment and licensing fees required to deliver TV the traditional way. However, as mentioned above, the landscape of television delivery is changing very fast due to the evolution of technology. There may be other ways we can deliver more traditional television by banding together with other towns. Our primary directive is to deliver internet to all residents, and if it is possible we’ll do our best to add that to the list of services. In the meantime, with internet access you’ll always be able to get TV shows by downloading them (see above).
QUESTIONS ABOUT OTHER TOPICS
Can I get a static IP address?
Yes, this is $5.00/per month additional charge. (If you have no idea what this is, you don't need one!)
Can I get a Crocker email address?
Yes, you can get an email address with Crocker for no charge. Your Crocker.com email will be free as long as Shutesbury continues to use Crocker as their ISP. If a new ISP is chosen in the future you can keep your Crocker.com email but it will incur a $48/year charge to continue using it. Your welcome letter from Crocker after you sign up will have information about how to set up email addresses with Crocker if you wish. Alternately, you can use gmail. yahoo, hotmail or any number of free email services.
I already have my own router. Can I use it instead of the one you're providing?
Yes, you can use your own router if you choose but the technical support options may be limited if you're using a special router.
I don't want a wireless system in my home. Can I hardwire the equipment instead?
The ONT (optical Network Terminal) (modem) will be hardwired to the fiber optic cable coming into your home and to the router. The router is the piece of electronics that will transmit a wireless signal. You can choose to turn this off and instead put in a completely hardwired system if you wish following installation.
I've been hearing a lot about "5G" in the news. Is our network a 5G system?
5G stands for fifth-generation cellular wireless and has nothing to do with ShutesburyNET. 5G is the technology that cell phone carriers like Verizon, Sprint and AT&T are putting into their cell towers to distribute a more powerful signal through the airwaves to allow people get faster data on their mobile phones.
ShutesburyNET is a fully fiber-optic network. This means that all of the data is delivered over fiber-optic cables from our central hub to everyone’s home. No wireless signals are used and there are no antennas anywhere in town distributing wirelessly.
Note that the router in your home that works on a 5GHz is also NOT 5G. The “5GHz” means five gigahertz and refers to the short-range signal frequency band distributed by your in-home router. This WiFi technology has been around since 1999 but became popular about a decade ago for most in-home routers. It is now used throughout the world in homes, businesses, schools, and airports to allow people to wirelessly connect their devices to nearby internet. It’s unfortunate that the name 5G and 5GHz are so similar because they are two totally different things but it’s easy to get them confused.
If you feel uncomfortable with having any wireless signals in your home whatsoever, you can hardwire your home and plug in all your devices instead of using a wireless router to distribute the signal throughout your home. With ShutesburyNET you can choose what (and what does not) go in your home.
How am I protected when I'm using our network?
Our network has industry standard protection and advanced security protocols at the Internet Service Provider level to help protect all customers and our entire network. Your individual router comes with IPv4/IPv6 SPI firewall protection and is already on by default. The settings have already been optimized for most home networks. In addition installers are setting up SSID names and customized passwords for customers on installation day, but you can change these yourself at any time. Check out the Manuals section at the bottom of this page for the router’s manual to learn more or this Help Page .
Your router includes the ability to do automatic updates to keep current with the latest performance and security updates. It is up to you if you want to turn this feature ON or OFF. This feature is off by default unless you used the router setup process, in which case it will be on by default. To check, access your router and under Connectivity on the menu look for Router Firmware Update.
I (or my pet or family member) broke a piece of the internet equipment. What do I do?
Contact Crocker and describe the issue and their agents can help you with the next steps.
How much electricity gets used by the broadband equipment in my home?
The ONT draws about 10 watts of power (12.2 volts at .8 amps) and the Linksys router draws slightly more depending on wireless activity. So to run both units you will need to provide about 20-25 watts per hour from an uninterruptible power source(UPS). And so you would think a 300 watt UPS might provide you with 12 hours of backup, but in reality the backup power provided by your UPS is likely to be much less. UPS performance declines with age, and some are not very efficient. But generally speaking, the bigger the UPS is in both cost and capacity, the longer it will last during a power outage.
I already have DSL at my home. Why do I need this? The internet itself is constantly evolving. Websites are adding features, videos and other content which require a fast connection to run. Remember the days of dial-up and how there were some websites that either took forever to load or wouldn't load at all? That will become the plight of regular DSL as web content evolves and becomes more sophisticated. The DSL speeds we have in Shutesbury now (1-3 Mbps) likely will have trouble handling the internet that's coming in the next few years. Even now, many Shutesbury residents cannot load data-heavy websites or stream video content through their current DSL service at certain times during the day when system usage is high. Read more about the phasing out of DSL here.
If you are pleased with the service and price that DSL offers you now through Verizon you are welcome to continue to use it as long as it is offered.
How will this project affect our property taxes?
The current plan is to use subscriber monthly fees to fund the repayment of the construction debt so the broadband project will NOT raise our property taxes. A portion of the $75 monthly fee paid by each subscribed household will go towards debt repayment. However, if fewer homes than expected take service, and we can’t cover the full amount then the remainder of the tax burden will need to be picked up by town funds.
I don't use computers or the internet. Why should I care about broadband? Even if you don't use the internet yourself there's a compelling reason to support the plan because it will affect the future value of your home. Many of our residents have already encountered difficulty selling or renting their homes because fewer and fewer people are willing to move to an area that lacks adequate internet service. When it's time to sell your home you'll possibly receive up to20% less if high-speed internet isn’t available. (Source: The Guardian [New York] 1 Mar. 2014: "Fast broadband now considered vital by increasing numbers of homebuyers." Online. Estimate confirmed by professional local realtors at Jones Realty, Amherst, Massachusetts.) Read an article in the Greenfield Recorder here about how the lack of internet is affecting our area.
Will Anybody Be Left Out? No. You can choose whether or not to sign up for service, but if you live in Shutesbury, the network will be available to you as a subscriber.
Can I keep my existing Verizon phone / DSL service? Yes. You are under no obligation to use any service provided by the town. However, Verizon has stated publicly that they plan to phase out DSL service for existing customers.
What Parts Of This Cost Money? Building the network involves paying for many different aspects of a town-wide infrastructure project. It is similar to bringing electricity to every home. Costs include:
- A network design - i.e. where the fiber will run and what splitters or other equipment is needed. The design is also a prerequisite for making detailed cost estimates.
- A project manager or project management company to coordinate and schedule the work, ensure contractors are paid, ensure work is completed on-time and correctly, and be responsible for the details of the project
- Police details during construction
- Pole application fees to Verizon and National Grid/Western Mass Electric. The application fees are required when the town plans to sue the existing poles owned by the utility companies to support our fiber network
- “Make ready” work done by Verizon and National Grid/Western Mass Electric. This involves moving their existing equipment where necessary and preparing their poles for the addition of our fiber optic cables.
- The fiber itself and other hardware and technology components to build a fiber infrastructure.
- Labor and electronics to actually install the fiber on poles and connect it to our homes.
Who Will Own The Resulting Infrastructure/Network? Our town will own, manage and maintain the resulting network.
What About Municipal Wireless? The Shutesbury Broadband Committee does not endorse any wireless solution because wireless internet depends on line of sight, is affected by weather, and is far slower than fiber-optic networking. It has the same problems as cellular telephone reception.
Please read this article for an explanation of why wireless networking is not a realistic solution to bring broadband to all of Shutesbury. Want more? Download the Wireless Primer for Western Massachusetts Towns.
What's so great about high-speed fiber compared to other internet services? The term for internet speed is "Mbps" which means "megabits per second." In Shutesbury the highest speeds available now are 1-3 Mbps. Our townwide fiber optic network will deliver speeds of 25 Mbps to 1 Gb, and more. These high speeds mean you can work, surf the internet or stream movies and your kids can do research for a school project all at the same time - with no reduction in speed regardless of the time of day. Unlimited data means you won't be charged extra no matter how much you use the internet. Whether you're working from home on a snow day or enjoying a movie with your family, a fiber network will deliver the speeds you need.
What happened to WiredWest?
WiredWest is a cooperative of towns in Western Massachusetts that are working together to bring broadband to their member towns. Shutesbury joined WiredWest at its inception and an active member for over a decade. When it came time to choose our operator, Crocker Communications won the bid as our network operator and provider so we are no longer working with WiredWest. Our involvement with WiredWest was instrumental in getting our project off the ground and their advocacy at the state level to get broadband to towns throughout rural Massachusetts contributed greatly to our success.
How do I get my $49 deposit back?
If you gave a $49 deposit to WiredWest you can get this refunded to you. Because the money has been held in escrow , you have to make the request individually in writing to get your deposit back. For legal reasons it can't be done as a group request or sent to you automatically. If you want to support the advocacy work that WiredWest continues to do for broadband throughout the state you can request that your deposit be donated into their general funds instead of being refunded to you.
If you don't request the refund or donate your deposit in writing, the funds will be returned to the State's general funds in April of 2022.
For more information about how to request a refund or contribute your deposit please see http://wiredwest.net/campaign/refunds/
Battery Backup Unit (UPS) Cybershield Manual