Fun Videos, Valuable Websites, Yummy Recipes, Easy Crafts, and Handy Apps
Fun Videos, Valuable Websites, Yummy Recipes, Easy Crafts, and Handy Apps
Link to MVEC
  April 2021  
5 year banner
Broadband - The Next Greatest Thing
by CEO Jeremy Richert mvlink logo

When MVEC was formed in 1935, most rural Iowans were living in darkness and drudgery; carrying water and wood daily created a ceaseless cycle of labor. Electricity, "The Next Greatest Thing," began with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's creation of the Rural Electrification Administration in 1935. (Learn more history by reading this month’s cover story, The Next Greatest Thing.) testimonials

Fast forward to 2016 when MVEC's leaders used the same bold vision and determination to move forward with a fiber optic network that would not only transform the electric grid into a fully functioning smart grid but also be capable of providing gigabit internet service to our membership. When our rural members were forced to resort to expensive mobile hot spots or less than adequate hardwired services, our Board of Directors and management team knew it was time for us to once again step up and meet a need by creating a robust, future-proof internet service and The Next Greatest Thing.

This month we are celebrating five years since the decision was made to launch MVlink. We have 5,000 members signed up to take service, and the number grows daily. We are proud to offer an internet and telephone option using the industry's gold standard of a direct fiber connection.

In addition to our members enjoying exceptional broadband service, MVEC and its members also benefit through improved connectivity. The modern electric grid requires the ability to communicate in real-time between equipment on the electric distribution system and the Cooperative's office to troubleshoot equipment and monitor the performance of our 3,200 mile electric grid. This enhanced smart grid capability helps us to operate our system more efficiently on a day-to-day basis and gathers information that allows us to control equipment remotely and respond better to outages in order to shorten outage time. Our fiber optic backhaul is currently connected to 35 of our 37 substations and we expect the final two to be connected by June.
The past five years have flown by for your Cooperative employees. We have learned, and continue to learn, so much about the fiber internet world. While we know the fiber cable we have attached to our network is future ready, we continue working to ensure our networking equipment, the in-home/business equipment, and our backhaul providers can provide continuous delivery of unprecedented speeds to meet the expectations of you, our members.

The economic benefits of a broadband system also must be recognized. MVEC hired several fiber contractor firms who have provided as many as 75 individuals helping our team at any given point. These contractors are living and working in our service area, providing a boost to area hotels, rental properties, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores. We wish to thank NRTC, Smart Communication Systems and Corridor Network Construction for their continued design and construction efforts that have helped us build this network. When we initiated this project we were told aggressive industry standards suggested construction of 250 miles in a year. With these contractors, we far exceeded the standard each year, with our most productive year resulting in over 800 new miles added.

MVEC has also hired ten new employees to work specifically with MVlink and all or a portion of the workload for several other employees is now dedicated to MVlink service. MVlink's impact has, and will continue to boost our area's economy as more and more members recognize the many benefits of fiber internet and telephone services. We are proud to be able to offer our membership the highest internet speeds available on the market.

While we can't yet bring you all together to celebrate this milestone, we invite you to share a message about MVlink on our Facebook page, or send an email to, or even include a note with a future payment about how MVlink has helped you connect to the world. We look forward to documenting this historic venture. Thank you for trusting us to meet your needs today and for many years to come.
On April 22nd, The World Celebrates Earth Day

earth day Earth Day started as a U.S. observance in 1970 as a way to create awareness of ecological problems. In 2009, the United Nations gave their approval and support to this observance. Today, Earth Day is celebrated by billions of people in over 190 countries and its goal has expanded to include promoting efforts dedicated to the protection of the environment and our natural resources.

If you'd like to take part in Earth Day on April 22nd, here are some ideas:
  • Organize a group of volunteers to help clean up and restore a "green space."
  • Try to go the whole day without creating any garbage.
  • Recycle your electronic waste (old computers and other devices) in an appropriate facility.
For more information, visit
iowa one call
Cool Video 1 - Download Graphics to View  
Sweet Girl, Surprising Twist
This "cup of cheer" video is sure to bring a smile to your face. We won't say anything more so as not to spoil the fun.
Cool Video 2 - Download Graphics to View  
Annual Orange Tree Shake
Like a shimmying dancer, watch an orange tree shake its stuff in Valencia, Spain, thanks to a harvesting machine.
WiFi and Out Buildings

Why doesn't my WiFi work in some of my out buildings?

Many of our members want to enjoy wireless internet out in their barn or machine shed, or maybe they need internet service to connect cameras on a separate garage or building. This can be accomplished; however, it typically requires higher-end equipment along with equipment that is designed to be used in outdoor or harsh environments.

We recently talked with a member using our ONT (Modem/Router) in their home and needing the ability to monitor livestock in the barn. MVlink was providing a strong enough signal to reach the barn but they also had to have a WiFi extender in the barn to be able to pick up the signal from the house and recreate the signal in the barn to allow several wireless cameras to be online and accessible. The extender was necessary because the barn had sheet metal on the outside and was blocking the home’s ONT signal from reaching all of the cameras. These home wireless extenders can work but they are not really designed to be used in the extreme hot and cold temperatures that most barns or outbuildings may have. They are meant more for temperature-controlled environments like a home or small business.

During our call with the member, we determined one camera was near a window in the barn and was still able to pick up the signal from the house, but two other cameras further inside the barn could not get a WiFi signal due to the metal siding on the outside of the barn. The owner did have an extender, but the extreme temps over time had caused it to fail. These scenarios are often best resolved by a professional who can assist with purchasing the proper equipment designed for the circumstance.

At some point, any device can fail, but it is less likely when the proper equipment is matched to the environment. In some situations, an external antenna for outside the home or barn, or both, might be necessary to get a stronger signal to each location; especially for farther distances. Remember, the signal will always travel further with fewer obstacles preventing it from getting there. It may also be helpful to understand the difference between directional antennas and omnidirectional antennas. A directional antenna can send a signal in the direction you want it to go; whereas an omnidirectional antenna will send the signal in a circular pattern, creating wasted signals sent in directions in which you don’t want or need WiFi.

All materials can have an impact on WiFi signals, however those that seem to cause the most problems are more dense materials like brick and concrete as well as reflective materials like metal or mirrors.

For the best connection and dependability, consider extending an Ethernet cable between buildings that are less than 300 feet apart. If that is not possible, then look for the right wireless equipment for your situation.

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tech link

4 Warning Signs Of Computer Viruses

Computer viruses can infect your computer in the blink of an eye, and many can do some serious damage to your system. So watch out for these warning signs:
  1. Strange and frequent pop-ups
    If you're getting bombarded by pop-up ads, this may be a sign your computer is infected by a virus. Also beware of unusual alerts and ads that advertise anti-virus products.

  2. Messages you didn't send
    If a friend says they received a fishy email, instant message, or social media message from you that you didn't send, you might have a computer virus.

  3. Lockdown warning
    This might be the scariest virus symptom you'll ever see: a pop-up message saying you're locked out of your computer. This is commonly called ransomware, since the scammer tells you to send money to unlock your system. Take your computer to a computer repair professional.

  4. Very slow startup
    If your computer takes forever to boot up — and you've done all the usual troubleshooting, including reducing the number of programs that launch at startup — this may be a symptom of an infection.
A Fun Place to Learn  
A Fun Place to Learn
This isn't your grandma's encyclopedia! Check out the fascinating videos, trending quizzes, and cool word games.
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Yay! Time to Play Ball!  
Yay! Time to Play Ball!
Major League Baseball returns on April 1st, so step up to the plate to see schedules, attendance guidelines, and more. Learn more...
Low-Cost Patio Upgrades  
Low-Cost Patio Upgrades
Home improvement pro Bob Vila offers tips for making an outdoor living space look like a million with just a few dollars. Learn more...
See The Details Download Graphics to View
Cooking Demo 1 - Download Graphics to View  
Grilled Cheese, 15 Ways
April is Grilled Cheese Month, and this video's mouthwatering recipes feature unique twists on the classic sandwich.
Cooking Demo 2 - Download Graphics to View  
Unforgettable Chopped Salad
Chop, chop! Start making this flavorful salad with romaine, cherry tomatoes, pecorino cheese, and balsamic glaze.
Here's the faster and better way to access LinkedIn and search for jobs, keep up with news from your network, and stay in touch.
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Folding paper is the ultimate Zen experience, as you'll discover with this unique and relaxing adventure to the origami world.
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This app will help you get home safely from outdoor adventures. It offers safety tracking and alerts, cell coverage, and navigation.
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Crafty Demo 1 - Download Graphics to View  
Button Up Your Craft Skills
It's super easy to take colorful spare buttons and turn them into earrings, bowls, bookmarks, and candle holders.
Crafty Demo 2 - Download Graphics to View  
Tree-mendous Twig Monogram
You'll love the rustic beauty of this wall décor, and Mother Nature supplies most of what you need in your backyard.
See The Details Download Graphics to View
Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative · 109 N Huber Street · Anamosa, IA 52205
Phone: 319-462-3542 · 800-927-6068

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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