Succeed at Your Resolution with Auto-Pay and Paperless Billing!

Each year millions of Americans set out to better themselves in the New Year. Resolutions range from dieting, keeping an open mind toward others and giving up one thing or the other. One goal that has kept its place at the top of the list for many years is being more financially responsible. Great Plains Communications has just the features to make sure you stick to your resolution and succeed.

As a Great Plains Communications’ customer, you have access to eBill, an online platform that allows you to see and pay your current bill, track your long distance minutes and view your payment history. Auto-Pay, which is set-up with eBill, will allow you to schedule an automatic monthly deduction for your Great Plains Communications’ services. This will provide less clutter from the mail and the elimination of any late fees.

The eBill system also makes Paperless Billing a great option! You can save the paper on one more bill, while maintaining access to your information whenever and wherever you are. So, don’t wait around for your bill to come in the mail, hoping you have budgeted correctly. Take advantage of Great Plains Communications’ eBill and all the helpful features that come with it.

To sign-up today, go to our website, www.gpcom.com/autopay/ or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483, and get started making your New Year’s resolution happen with ease.


Are You Making the Most Common Mistakes of Password Security?

We live in an increasingly hackable world, where you no longer need a piece of metal with unique notches and grooves to get into some of the most personal aspects of someone’s life. All you need is a password. Do you use the same password for everything? Is your password “123456” or “password”? These are common mistakes made by hundreds of thousands of people every day. Great Plains Communications wants to remind you that password protection is crucial to the safety of everything from your files and account information, to your Wi-Fi connection.

Here are a few common mistakes to keep in mind the next time you change your passwords (because you should be changing them, a lot).

  • Do not use the same password for everything. Just don’t.
  • Do not use your partner, child, or pet’s name, not even if there is a 0 at the end. The number isn’t hiding anything.
  • Do not use “123456”, “password” or “qwerty”. If you do, congratulations you have made the list of the most frequently used and easily hacked passwords.
  • Do not use your birthday. Facebook just notified me that it is today. Happy Birthday!

Just as you wouldn’t hand out the key to your home to just anyone, be wary when giving out any passwords or where you are writing them down. Where you store your password information is just as important as putting time into a secure choice. Ultimately, by changing your passwords often and keeping in mind the common mistakes above, you can increase the safety and security of your personal information and assets.

If you have questions about changing your Wi-Fi password or for more information, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.


How to use your Parental Controls

Cable television has grown immensely over the past decade, new shows constantly starting, channel numbers growing and more opportunities to experience it with the entire family. However, not all programming is meant to be seen by every member of the household.

That’s why Great Plains Communications provides parental controls with our cable services. This is an easy way to make sure that kids aren’t exposed to mature programming, or even the titles. When a program or channel is blocked, the user must enter a 4-digit pin to access the channel. That way, you can still enjoy all programming, but securely.

These controls are set up right through your DVR and are very easy to configure. Blocks can be set by channel, rating, or even specific show titles. The control is in your hands.

Here are the steps to setting up parental controls:

  • Press the Menu key on your remote
  • Select the Home Icon
  • Select Setup
  • Then select Locks Setup
    • Once you are in the Locks Setup screen, you will be asked to choose a 4-digit pin.
    • Once your pin has been selected, you will be given the following options:
      • TV Rating – Blocking by TV Rating. *Note that you must block every rating you wish to control. This means if you block an R rating, you will also need to block “adult” programming.
      • Movie Rating – This only affects movie channels such as STARZ, Cinemax, and HBO.
      • Channel Locks – This will allow you to block specific channels.
      • Master Lock – Allows you to remove locks, bypass a lock, or change your pin.
      • Adult Titles – This removes titles from adult video programs. The guide will only display the words “adult movie.”

Just a few steps ensures your family’s safe viewing habits. We do want to point out that your pin is exclusive to you and we do not keep a record of your entry. If you do forget your pin, we can reset your settings, but you would have to reprogram your preferences. We suggest keeping your number in a safe spot so that you don’t forget it.

If you have any additional questions about the parental controls, you can call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.


Find Out What Your Wi-Fi Can Get You in 2015!

Imagine lying in bed and the simple motion of reaching for your cell phone has become something more similar to reaching for a remote. Your Wi-Fi is now a connection from your bed to your coffee maker or the kitchen to your washing machine downstairs. Inventors are pushing onward with the “Internet of Things,” creating more and more devices with capabilities of connecting to your home Wi-Fi. Great Plains Communications wants to tell you about three of our favorite ‘Smart’ products that your Wi-Fi could bring you in 2015.


-          ‘Smart’ Coffee Maker

  • The Mr. Coffee smart coffee maker provides a 10-cup pot and the convenience of being controlled from the WeMo app. By using the mobile software on your phone or tablet, you can schedule brewing, turn it on and off or monitor the status of your current pot. This product can be found at stores such as Walmart, Target and Kohl’s. Everything tastes better with Wi-Fi.

-          ‘Smart’ Thermostat

  • Wi-Fi programmable thermostats have been around for a couple years now, but are really starting to pick up in popularity as people gain a better understanding of the product. The Honeywell products provide a way to stay connected and informed on your home at all times, no matter your location. Using their Honeywell Total Connect Comfort system, you will be able to change the thermostat settings and temperature, receive temperature and connection alerts as well as manage multiple thermostats from one account and one mobile device.

-          ‘Smart’ Washing Machine

  • If you hate the constant annoyance of having to check to see if the laundry is done, the Samsung 4.5 cu. Ft. Front-Load Washer is something you might want to take a look at. Not only does it have a sleek design and handy touch screen, it also comes with its very own mobile app that can be downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet. From there you can keep track of all your washer settings and receive notifications when the laundry is finished.

Convenience is a feature of all three of these products, along with the many other Wi-Fi accessing gadgets available. With more connections and devices comes the need for faster Internet speeds. You can find more information on Great Plains Communications’ Internet services on our website or by calling our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.


Check Out Our Grants and Scholarships!

May will be here before we know it, which means graduation for another eager group of high school seniors. Continuing their education will bring new experiences, exciting information and expenses. No matter if they go to a big University or a two year program at a Tech School, the price of college continues to rise. Great Plains Communications wants to help with the burden of those glaring numbers by offering some Grants and Scholarships. Our scholarship program has allowed students to attend schools across the state, majoring in agriculture, law, engineering and much more.

Don’t miss out on the chance to see yourself, your student or your school succeed. Find more information and a full listing of our Grants and Scholarships on our web page or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483. The deadlines are coming up quick, so be sure to get your application in.

If you have received a scholarship from Great Plains Communications and are currently in school, we would love to hear from you! If your school has received a grant, let us know how it made a difference in the comment section below.


Retransmission Consent Fees and What They Mean

Retransmission Consent Fees have become the bully at the front line affecting cable providers all around the country. Rural and urban alike, no company is exempt from the weight of this overwhelming expense. You may have noticed talk in the news and Online about the effects this weight is having on local companies such as Cox, Century Link, and American Broadband.

Great Plains Communications feels education is key in providing you with an explanation of what retransmission consent fees are and what they mean for the future of cable television.

For starters, the fees are defined as money that cable providers are required to pay local TV stations (affiliates) for the right to retransmit their signal to customers. These local affiliates are the channels that broadcast network programming from ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX over the public airwaves for free.

Recent years have shown a rapid increase in retransmission fees, due to local affiliates having lost ultimate control to buyouts by larger media conglomerates. These buyouts transfer the power to negotiate these fees out of the local level, which also eliminates existing partnership relationships between local TV stations and cable providers.

While the process is nothing new, the increases demanded by stations throughout the nation have climbed to new highs, reaching over 300% in some cases. If the broadcaster’s demands are not met, they can block their signal-taking local channels away from consumers’ channel lineups.

How can this happen? Because outdated laws need to be revised. Since 1992, the federal government has given television broadcasters the right to grant or deny cable operators the use of their signal, in addition to exclusivity in the market. As a result, broadcasters have unrestrained leverage in negotiations with cable operators over the price of retransmission. These negotiations are typically conducted every three years.

For more information on retransmission consent fees, and to find out what this means for our Great Plains Communications customers, visit www.gpconyourside.com.


Congratulations Dodi Jessen – Our New Auto-Pay Winner!

Great Plains Communications wants to congratulate Dodi Jessen of Neligh, NE on being our newest Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing winner! By taking advantage of our Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing, she has won $200 worth of Visa Gift Cards.

To be entered in the contest, simply sign up for Great Plains Communications’ Auto-Pay or Paperless Billing Services. If you are already taking advantage of these opportunities, then you are already entered to win! A new winner is selected each month to receive $100 per service, for a potential reward of up to $200 in Visa Gift Cards.

  • Auto-Pay

Take the stress out of bill paying by signing up for Auto-Pay. Your payment will automatically be made from your account, saving you checks and eliminating late fees. You can also have your bill automatically charged to your credit card.

  • Paperless Billing

Paperless Billing eliminates the hassle of waiting around for your bill to come. You won’t receive a paper bill in the mail, but will get set-up in our convenient and user-friendly eBill system. This system allows you to track your long distance minutes, see your billing history, and pay your bill online if you don’t use our Auto-Pay service.

Take a minute if you aren’t already signed up, and fill out the form on our website or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483. Again, we want to congratulate Dodi Jessen, our new Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing winner, and we hope to see your name next month!


Still time for What’s on Your Wish List!

With ribbon strewn throughout the living room and colorful wrapping paper stuffed in each trash can, you watch as your family enjoys their gifts. A new gadget has been added to the family plan and a handful of movies have found places on the shelves. But what about your wish list? Great Plains Communications wants to remind you that it isn’t too late to take advantage of our holiday promotion.

With our “What’s on Your WISH LIST?” promotion, you have the chance to choose which deal best suits you and your family. When you sign-up for any new service, you will automatically receive FREE Installation and the choice of one of our great additional promotions. If you take advantage of our cable services, you could receive ½ price HD-DVR for three months. Or if you want to sweeten up your Internet Service, you could choose to receive a FREE Wireless Router Rental for three months. The best part is, if you choose to sign-up for two new services, you could receive FREE Installation and both additional promotions.

The promotion ends January 5, 2015, so don’t let this great deal pass you by!  You deserve to check off some great deals this season. Call 855-853-1483 or visit www.gpcwishlist.com to sign-up today!


How you can Track Santa this Christmas Eve

We live in a technology driven world, trying to grasp onto culture and tradition in hope of passing it down to the next generation. The holidays are a time when we are surrounded by traditions and a large piece of that lives in the charming belief of Santa Claus. While cell phones, tablets and video games may litter their wish lists, children still look to the jolly ol’ man, with the white fluffy beard, in the same red suit driven by the same nine reindeer to deliver their presents Christmas Eve night.

Great Plains Communications wants to provide you a way to combine our tech-savvy world with the enchantment of Santa Claus. Our three favorite virtual Santa websites this year are:

With Portable North Pole, you can make a FREE basic package video personalized to your child. You first upload a picture of them, from either Facebook or your computer. Then you fill out some information, including the child’s name (with pronunciation), gender and birthday. From there you answer more detailed questions to make the video as believable as possible. The end product is delightfully personal to the child and a perfect way to top off their excitement for the season.

The Official NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Santa Tracker is the original Santa tracking program, dating back almost 60 years. It offers games, videos and information, combined with colorful and friendly graphics. As Christmas Eve approaches, new games are unlocked and the countdown ticks by. 

Google has stepped up to the challenge, rivaling NORAD in the Santa Tracking business. It offers a more universal experience, from a language translator offering multiple ways of saying our favorite holiday slogans, to a customizable Santa phone call.

The big day is approaching fast, and no matter if you choose NORAD, Google or some other Santa tracking website, Great Plains Communications hopes you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!


The Traditions of Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas has become an iconic poem shared by many during the holiday season. It embodies the excitement and joy the season naturally emits and creates a picture of the traditional Christmas with the creative vision of a child.

Since the poem’s 1823 publishing, you could say some of the Christmas traditions have evolved a bit. Stockings might still be hung, but on a banister or the edge of each bed. One present opened on Christmas Eve, building the excitement for the morning to come. The night spent bundled in blankets in the back seat of the family car as you travel the distance, but no worry because Santa Claus knows to find children at Grandma’s house. Christmas traditions are as unique as the family that created them.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

One big factor of a family Christmas tradition is often the food. Does your family sit down around a roasted ham, or carving of the roast beef? Great Plains Communications and Food Network have provided three videos of some delicious main courses that could possibly find their way into your family tradition this year. Enjoy, and share in the comments below what yummy treats your family cherishes each Christmas.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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