Local Watering Hole Welcomes Convenience, Affordability
of United’s High-Speed Internet During Pool Tournament
The sound of clinking glassware harmonizes with overlapping laughter and conversation between neighbors and friends that courses throughout the restaurant.
Outside, the asphalt bakes in the hot, July summer sun. As patrons open the front door, a welcome blast of cold air blends with the aroma of giant hamburgers and Tex-Mex fare, creating a welcoming hometown atmosphere at the Horny Toad Bar & Grill in Cranfills Gap. The crowd builds both in number and good humor as the sun begins to set. Many anxiously wait for the billiards tournament to start.
The weekly event serves as a community social gathering and an appreciated entertainment venue. Added to the evening’s fare on this night was an opportunity for community members to learn more about United’s high-speed internet.
The small community has a population fewer than 400, and the evening’s internet event appears to draw a lion’s share of it. The place is jam-packed with members who are there for the tournament, a cold drink and for the appetizing entrees.
Once United brought the Horny Toad the community’s first fiber-optic internet activation, the setting provided a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how Wi-Fi at the restaurant can become a convenient value-added perk for patrons when they dine at the community hub. Now, customers can use the restaurant’s free Wi-Fi services to download or upload what they need for either work or personal use.
Before United brought its world-class internet service to Cranfills Gap, members didn’t have quality access to an internet provider, said Horny Toad owner, Owen Carlson.
“There are not a lot of options out here, and the one company we have had requires you to have a phone line,” Carlson said. “We had to get two internet services, one for the point-of-sale machines and another to provide free Wi-Fi for personal use for customers. The type of service we had been using was satellite internet, which didn’t offer a very good value because the service has been expensive and had slow speed.”
United’s internet marketing team was granted the opportunity to set up in the back corner of the Horny Toad that night to display free Wi-Fi log-in and streaming services, showcasing the many streaming possibilities that members can enjoy if they were to sign up to receive the cooperative’s new service.
The tournament starts about 7 p.m. later that night. Players brought out their own personal cue sticks, loading chalk on the cue tip to prepare for every hit. Meanwhile, members flooded the cooperative’s internet team with questions about how to sign up.
“It’s a great turn-out,” said Kanyon Payne, internet products and services specialist manager. “Being able to be part of an event where the entire town gets together is always special and fun. Also, when we do these events, answering questions is a great opportunity for us to educate members about their high-speed internet and how it can make their lives easier. Each time we host one of these, we constantly hear from members who have switched about how much better United’s internet is compared to what they had before. That’s a great, rewarding feeling—to know we’re improving people’s experiences that much in such a short time.”
Recently achieving more than 13,000 activations, United continues to provide service in the rural areas where for-profit would never enter.
As the first official United high-speed internet connection in Cranfills Gap, the restaurant owners say they have already seen the benefits of switching to the service with faster speeds and greater affordability compared to other providers.
According to restaurant employees, patrons have regularly attested they’ve noticed the difference in the free Wi-Fi a little less than a month after service activation at the entertainment venue.
“Knowing we are on a better service puts our mind at ease, and having great customer service through United makes it much easier to deal with,” said Jamie Edwards, the restaurant’s general manager. “Having the 24/7 tech support and a point of contact is what makes the service world-class.”
United continues to bring the world to members at the speed they need. Bridging the digital divide separating rural communities from quality high-speed internet services, United is continuing its aim to improve living standards in the communities it services, and the quality of life of its members. For questions regarding United’s high-speed internet service, visit www.ucs.net/internet or call any United office today.
Watch the Horny Toad Sign-up Event and Pool Tournament!
United recently held a sign up event in Cranfills Gap to celebrate internet service being finally available. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions to their local representatives and sign up for the fiber-optic internet. The folks of Cranfills Gap were jam-packed in the Horny Toad, riddled with anticipation to try out the service for themselves, and to watch some billiards over a few drinks with friends. United has been working diligently on the build out of it’s world-class network. And although we are not done yet, we hope to bring all our members the world, at the speed they need.