Introducing FamilyNet/RuralTV

Great Plains Communications introduces you to another exciting new addition to your cable lineup. FamilyNet/RuralTV boasts a lineup sure to entertain all viewing ages. With classics such as The Marty Stuart Show, Hee Haw, and Beverly Hillbillies, it is sure to keep you laughing. Alongside your favorite sitcoms, your new channel will keep you informed with programs such as Nature Adventures and the Rural Evening News. FamilyNet/RuralTV brings you a classic taste of the past, while keeping you informed on the present.

You can discover where FamilyNet/RuralTV is on your channel lineup by checking out our handy channel guides.  Let us know what you think about our newest channel in the comments section below.


It’s Time To Make Your Life Easier!

Have you taken advantage of our Auto-Pay/Paperless Billing contest? If not, what are you waiting for?!?

Great Plains Communications holds a monthly contest that rewards customers for signing up for Auto-Pay and Paperless Billing. To date, we have awarded over a dozen customers with $100 Visa Gift Card for each of the two billing services they have signed up for. That means you can win up to $200 in Visa Gift Cards when your name is chosen!

Auto-Pay makes your life easier. When you sign-up for Auto-Pay, you will not have to worry about paying your bill on time again. You never have to remember your bill or write a check. Who doesn’t want to make their life simpler?

Paperless Billing also helps streamline your billing statements. You won’t receive a paper bill in the mail anymore. Instead, you will use the more robust 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 have Auto-Pay).

If you have already signed up for these services, then you are already entered into our contest. Click here to sign-up today.

Stay tuned to our Facebook page each month to see our latest winner. Good luck!


What Can Your Internet Speed Do For You?

* A version of this article appeared in our online newsletter.  To receive more articles like this, sign-up here.

Do you know what you can do with your Internet speeds?  Our High-Speed Internet brings the entire world to your fingertips!  With faster than ever speeds in many areas, you just may be surprised by what you can do online. 

When you enjoy speeds up to 3 or 5 Mbps, you can easily stream YouTube videos and download large files. These speeds will support video streaming from sites such as Netflix and are ideal for those who like to enjoy the Internet on a single device. However, in order to make sure you have a smooth experience, you should not try to use multiple devices while streaming.

Now, those who choose speeds of up to 10 Mbps can use up to three devices at one time.  You will be able to stream video from sites such as Netflix while still accessing other content on the Internet. However, if you are trying to download while streaming, you will likely notice that your data will download slower.

Speeds above 10 Mbps can provide an even more intense online experience.  These speeds will allow you to connect multiple devices to the Internet at the same time without worrying about any lag for streaming video services. It’s a great option for homes that need to access the Internet on several devices at one time.  For example, college students living together who need to access video services at the same time or gamers who want to reduce lag will really enjoy faster-than-ever speeds!

It’s important to note that Internet speeds vary throughout the state.  If you would like to see what speeds are available in your area, please call 1-855-853-1483.  Our Customer Service Representatives can help guide you towards the best Internet option available to you.


What To Know Before You Think About Satellite TV

Most Cable consumers will inevitably contemplate switching to Satellite TV.  Sometimes, they’re drawn in by super-low promo offers or are tempted by channel options.  It is unfortunate, however, that many of these consumers will eventually end up with Satellite remorse due to several key problems with Satellite TV that just don’t exist with Cable Television.

One key issue is the means through which Satellite streams the TV signal into the home.  A Satellite signal must travel through miles of airspace before it reaches the home.  During this time in space, there is ample opportunity for the signal to be degraded.  Rain, snow, and even high temperatures can create a signal that is tiled or indecipherable.

Satellite does not provide the level of service that Cable provides.  Great Plains Communications Cable provides customers with technicians that live minutes from their homes while most Satellite customers in these areas live hours or days away from the nearest technician.  This means that when a problem  occurs with Satellite, there isn’t anyone to provide immediate assistance.   Therefore, it is not surprising that both of the major Satellite companies have horrible ratings with the Better Business Bureau.

Great Plains Communications Cable customers also enjoy Weather on Channel 2 on GPC-TV.  This is a hyper-local weather feature that isn’t accessible with any other TV option.  Weather on Channel 2 provides 24/7, live weather that will keep you aware of any weather issues coming your way.  Of course, GPC-TV also offers the best in local high school sports throughout the school year.

Satellite customers often become victim to the bait-and-switch pricing structures common in Satellite contracts.  Super-low promotional rates often expire within a few months, while the actual contract locks the customer in for up to 3 years!  Cable doesn’t demand that kind of commitment.  Instead, it relies on the quality of its product to keep customers around!

Do you have more questions about Cable?  Call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.


In Remembrance of Our Friend, Mark Stottler

Great Plains Communications is mourning the loss of a dear friend and employee. Mark Stottler, Manager of CATV/Broadband Engineering, passed away on Sunday, August 31, 2014.

For 33 years, Mark was a wonderful member of our team. He brought an energy to his work and was well-liked by all. He had a passion for the telecommunications industry and served as the President SCTE Cable Association for many years. Like many who are born and raised in the heartland, he loved the outdoors. He particularly enjoyed sports such as fishing, golfing, and hunting.

The family will have a visitation on Thursday September 4, 2014, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bloomfield, Nebraska, with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 5, 2014, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bloomfield, Nebraska.

Mark is survived by his children, Erin (Jeff) Eickhoff of Albion, Nebraska; Adam (Courtney) Stottler of Alma, Nebraska; three grandchildren, Evan and Reagan Eickhoff, and Jaxton Stottler; his mother, Marge Stottler of Bloomfield, Nebraska; brother: Kory (Lori) Stottler of Greenville, Alabama; as well as several aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

If you knew Mark, we encourage you to share your memories in our comments section or Facebook page.



Have You Seen MeTV?

Have you had the chance to check out MeTV, one of the newest channels on our updated Cable lineup?

MeTV brings its viewers the best in classic television & iconic programs that rank among the more revered shows of all time. MeTV is the only place to see award-winning shows such as M.A.S.H., The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Rockford Files, Ironside, and many more. They also show science-fiction favorites such as Star Trek, Lost in Space, and The Twilight Zone.  Fans of TVLand will really enjoy the wealth of programming provided by MeTV!

In addition to a vast amount of scheduled programming, MeTV also has hundreds of hours of On-Demand programming that you can stream right from its website using your High-Speed Internet.  Programs such as The Lucy Show, The Donna Reed Show, and The Saint are all available whenever you want to watch.  You can also stream a wide variety of movies from MeTV’s video vault.  Currently, the vault features a wide selection of Westerns for you to enjoy.
*In some markets Channel 10/11 network programming replaces MeTV in the evenings. This is a decision made solely on the the network and we have no part in this decision.


Get Ready for Big Red Action!

It is finally here! This Saturday marks the beginning of the Huskers Football Season and we are excited about all the possibilities this year holds.

From the match up against old rival Miami, to later an anticipated game against up-and-comer Fresno State, the Huskers have a very exciting non-conference schedule. There is also the rivalry with Northwestern to look forward to, with talk of a formal rivalry game resulting in a winner holding the official “NU” title for the entire year!

Reminding us why it’s good to be in the Big Ten, the first game isn’t on PPV, but the Big Ten Network (BTN), which is available to all of our Cable subscribers.  To find out what channel airs the BTN in your area, check out our channel guides. Accompanying the Husker game, BTN airs the best Big Ten coverage out there including additional games and exclusive programming.

Beyond this weekend, you can always find the most up-to-date listing of when and where Husker games will be aired, on our Big Ten page.  We are constantly updating air times and channels to make sure that you don’t miss a single moment of the Big Red action.

If you happen to be away from home during a Husker game, we can help there, too!  Our partner WatchTVEverywhere allows you to watch any BTN game through BTN2GO.  If you have already signed up for WatchTVEverywhere, then you are all set.  Otherwise, grab the name on your account and account number to sign up now.


Our Picks for the Best New Comedies of the Fall TV Season

Every year, the major television networks offer up a spate of new comedies varying wildly in quality.  Some end up being overwhelmingly filthy (and quickly canceled) and some are wonderfully quirky (yet still canceled) Our team picked their favorite options that we think are truly funny and here to stay for years to come!


Premiering on ABC on Tuesday, September 30 at 9/8 c

Based loosely off of My Fair Lady, this comedy features a self-obsessed social media queen who learns that being “friended” doesn’t actually mean that you have any friends.  She seeks out her own Mr HIggins to help her become a better person worthy of her large following.  The show’s interesting twist of examining how shallow many social media practices are, is a welcome perspective.

 A to Z

Premiering on NBC on Thursday, October 2 at 9:30/8:30 c

The trailer alone is one of the best romantic comedies of the year.  The show is a chronicle of Andres and Zelda’s kismet love from a chance meeting years ago to meeting their assumed happy ending.  After seeing each other from afar at a concert, the two meet again and sparks fly while working at an Internet dating company. Plus, the cast is full of veterans from shows such as 30 Rock and Drop Dead Diva.


Premiering on FOX on Sunday, Oct 5th at 9:30/8:30 c

This show blends stand-up comedy and traditional sitcom in a way reminiscent of  Seinfeld.  In addition to Emmy Award winning comedian John Mulaney, the show boasts comedic powerhouses Martin Short and Elliot Gould.  The show should continue the trend of successful comedic offerings from FOX that includes The Mindy Project and Golden Globe winner Brooklyn Nine-Nine.


Top Five Dramas You’ll Love This Fall

This season’s abundance of premiering dramas will have you ready to ditch the summer heat and curl up on the couch to all this Fall has to offer. Every single major network is debuting a wealth of new programming for the Fall TV Season. Fortunately for you, our team has delved through hours of trailers and sneak peeks, to find out which shows are worth watching and which should get a pass. Here are our top five picks for new Fall dramas.


Premiering on FOX on Monday, September 22nd at 8/7 c

Arguably the best of the many superhero-based shows coming out this year, Gotham follows the early career of fabled James Gordon, who later becomes a key ally to Batman. It also takes a gritty look at the origins of popular criminals including The Penguin, Catwoman, and The Joker. The show is from the creator of CBS favorite The Mentalist and features Southland standout Ben McKenzie.

Honorable mention goes to other superhero shows which look interesting including Constantine and The Flash.


Premiering on ABC on Tuesday, September 23rd at 10/9 c

You may think that the world does not need another show about medical examiners looking for the truth, but this one is so original, that it will change your mind. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd of the Fantastic Four) isn’t just a medical examiner, he is an immortal with centuries of knowledge under his belt.  Joining him in his crusade is Law and Order alum Alana De La Garza (Connie). The mix of flashbacks, mythology, and old-fashioned crime solving creates a compelling and fresh alternative to the normal “Cop Show.”


Premiering on CBS on Wednesday, October 1st at 10/9 c

Fair warning, even watching the extended trailer may have you looking over your shoulder for the next week.  Another fresh take on the cop genre, this show centers on the Los Angeles Police Department’s Threat Assessment Unit who specialize in tracking stalkers. The cast includes Maggie Q (Nikita) and Dylan McDermott (Dark Blue), which guarantees plenty of high-powered action and solid acting.

State of Affairs

Premiering on NBC on Monday, November 17th at 10/9 c

Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy fame returns to TV in this political drama that also features Emmy winner Alfre Woodard. In addition to the main plot of protecting the country from threats on a daily basis, this show features a slick who-done-it subplot. Heigl’s character lost her fiance years ago and is searching out his killer, which unfolds into a conspiracy of its own.


Airing on STARZ on Saturdays at 8/7 c (also streaming on STARZ Play)

Based off the best selling novels by Diane Gabaldon, the show follows Claire Randall, a WWII nurse who suddenly finds herself sent back in time to 18th century Scotland. Stuck there, she must learn to survive in a world where women have almost no power. It’s a story of heroism, romance, and survival. The show airs its third episode this weekend, but you could use your High-Speed Internet to watch the first two episode from the STARZ website. If you don’t have STARZ, it’s easy to sign-up by calling our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.


Don’t Let Your Child Fall Behind! Get High-Speed Internet, Today!

As school gets back in session, it’s important to make sure that your student is completely prepared to ace this school year.  One of the most important ways to prepare your student is by making sure they have access to High-Speed Internet.

High-Speed Internet has become a major component of the learning process.  According to the Pew Research Center, nearly all research is now done online, which is not surprising given that most libraries and universities now provide access to scholarly work on the web. Sites such as Google Scholar make it easy to access thousands of academic sources with the power of Google’s sophisticated search function so students waste less time trying to find information and more time learning.

You might be surprised to find out just how many tutorials exist on YouTube that can help your student thrive. In fact, according to Ecudemic, more than 80 percent of students use social networks like YouTube to study.  Search Calculus, History, Biology, and even English and you will find a wealth of helpful videos.  These search results even provide breakdowns of most books that are popular among students!  Fortunately, our High-Speed Internet means you can seamlessly stream videos for every subject!

In addition to letting students access materials, High-Speed Internet can actually open up a whole new world for students during the school day.  In many of our towns, students now have the chance to take classes even if they aren’t offered at their school.  Thanks to tele-distance learning, students can participate in classes across the state using video conferencing equipment.  Teachers can also take advantage of virtual tours of major sites around the world such as museums and historical landmarks.  None of this is possible without stable, fast Internet speeds.  We are proud to say that we have helped many schools develop the necessary technology to bring new offerings to rural education.

If you want to find out even more, we recently covered some of the best apps and websites available to help your student get to the head of the class.  Check them out here.

To find out about speeds in your area, contact our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

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