A Brand New Winner in Our Auto-Pay Contest

Congratulations to our newest winner, Denise Kalinski of McCook, NE. She won a $100 Visa Gift Card in our Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing Contest.  There have been more than a dozen winners since the contest started.

To sign-up for this contest, simply sign-up for Auto-Pay or Paperless Billing Services.  If you are already enrolled, then you are already entered to win!  If your name is picked, you receive $100 per service for up to $200 in Visa Gift Cards.

Auto-Pay allows you to set-up automatic billing for your Great Plains Communications’ account.  When you sign up for Auto-Pay, you will never 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 services.  You won’t receive a paper bill in the mail anymore.  Instead, you will use the much 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).

Take a minute to say congrats to our newest winner in the comments section below!



Hang Out With Us this August!

Chatty and the Great Plains Communications’ team will be hanging out around the state!  Chatty will be available to take pictures and hand out coloring books to the kids.  It’s going to be a fun time for all.  
Here is a list of our upcoming events.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014: Red Cloud Street Car Days Parade – Chatty will be here! 

Events and activities include: car show, burnout contest, golf, 5k run/walk, parade, face painting & sidewalk chalk art, ice cream social, art exhibits, free swimming, bingo, bowling, horseshoe contest, kid’s fishing contest, “Little Tuggers” tractor pull, fireman’s BBQ, beer garden & dance, laser tag, fly-in pancake breakfast, mud drags, Broken Horn Ranch Fun Day, food and craft vendors, and much, much more!

Thursday, August 7, 2014: Thayer County Fair Parade; Deshler – Chatty will be here! 

The County Fair includes a vintage Tractor Pull, Memorial race, band performances and more.  Chatty will make an appearance during the parade on the 7th.  The fair also features a full carnival with rides, games and food.  We can’t wait!

Thursday, August 7, 2014: Knox County Fair; Bloomfield; Sponsor of  the Bull-A-Rama @ 7 pm

The Knox County Bull-A-Rama is one of the largest rodeo events in the state and we have been proud a sponsor for many years.  Held during the Knox County Fair, this event brings together some of the best riders in the region.  If you want to see more, you can view last year’s event right here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014: Old Settlers Day Parade; Indianola – Chatty will be here! 

It is the 91st Old Settlers Day Parade!  It’s a family celebration including a parade, road race, paintball tournament, kiddie carnival, frog jumping contest and more. The perfect place to meet up with everyone’s favorite squirrel!

Friday, August 15, 2014: Sponsor of the Chase County Fair Concert Series and Saturday, August 16, 2014; Parade – Chatty will be here! 

Come and join us for two nights of fun at this amazing concert series! On Friday, we will be handing out free t-shirts to the first 300 people who attend.  On Saturday, Award Winner, Chris Young with special guest Courtney Cole will perform on Saturday.  Chris Young was declared the winner of the television program USA Networks Nashville Star. His album, The Man I Want to Be, included the singles “Voices”, “Gettin’ You Home” and “The Man I Want to Be”, which all went to number 1. Young’s next album, Neon, produced two more number ones in “Tomorrow” and “You”.

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on our Facebook page!


Discover FXX

As you probably know, we have added several new channels to our lineup.  One of the most exciting is FXX.  This network is part of the FOX collection of channels that includes FOX News, FOX Business, and FX.

FXX launched in September of last year and has been very popular ever since.  It has become the home of many popular FX original series including Wilfred and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.  It also features syndicated favorites including Spin City and Parks and Recreation, dozens of movies each month, and it’s one of the best new channels around. Great Plains Communications is proud to be bringing FXX right to you!

You can discover where FXX 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.



The Truth Behind Who Decides What Is On TV

One of the benefits of this blog is that it allows our team at Great Plains Communications to give our customers a sneak behind the curtain of their favorite services.  It’s a way for us to answer questions more fully and to reach out to all of our customers.

Recently, we’ve received many questions about programming decisions from various Cable networks.  Programming refers to the shows that air on a particular channel.  For example, The Bachelor, is part of ABC’s programming.  When a favorite new program gets canceled or a network changes its entire lineup, our customers often look to us to find out what happened.

The truth is, we don’t always know.  That’s because we don’t have any impact on what networks choose to put in their programming lineup. Each network chooses what to air based on a wide range of factors including how much a show costs to produce, how likely it is to be syndicated, its ratings and merchandising.  Some networks even share the same channel to reduce costs and maximize their profits.

If you would like to find out why your favorite show is gone or what a channel suddenly changes to a different network at night, we encourage you to contact the channel directly.  Like any other company, customer demand can have a big impact on what they do.  Just like we listen to our customers about what networks they would like us to carry, the networks do listen to what types of shows consumers want to watch.  In fact, you as a consumer have more influence on what networks air than any Cable company.

If you would like to find out more, there are websites dedicated to explaining programming decisions and ratings.  We hope this gave you a little more insight into the world of Cable and TV programming.  If you have any more questions, please let us know in the comments section below!


Check out the DIY Network!

Have you checked out DIY Network?  It’s from the makers of HGTV and Food Network,  and it’s the go-to destination for rip-up, knock-out home improvement television.

DIY Network’s programs and experts answer the most sought-after questions and offer creative projects for do-it-yourself enthusiasts. One of the fastest growing digital networks and currently in more than 56 million homes, DIY Network’s programming covers a broad range of categories, including home improvement and landscaping.

In addition to Cable offerings, the network also have a fantastic website that you can enjoy using your High-Speed Internet connection. There are additional videos and tons of fantastic project ideas.  Check it out right now at http://www.diynetwork.com/.

Let us know if you like the new DIY Network as much as we do in the comments section, below!


Three Reasons to Use a Home Wi-Fi Connection Instead of Mobile Broadband

Many cellular companies are now in the home Internet business, but are these services really as good as a fiber-based wireless network?  The short answer is: not really.  Here are three reasons why you should choose a wireless network powered by fiber-based network over Mobile Broadband.

First off, a few definitions.  A wireless (or Wi-Fi) network using a fiber or wire-based system is what our customers enjoy.  This type of Internet uses a wireless router in your own home to turn a wired system into a Wi-Fi network.  Mobile Broadband uses a cellular connection to provide an Internet connection.  These connections are inherently wireless and are not supported by a dedicated wired connection.

1. A Home-Based Connection is safer in severe weather: When severe weather strikes, many take to their Internet and Smartphones to find out if their friends and families are OK and to find out more information.  If there are too many calls and data requests being made over the entire mobile network, then Mobile Broadband may slow down significantly or stop working completely.  Since a wired connection isn’t carrying much voice traffic and has more bandwidth to access, this is a far smaller concern with a home Wi-Fi connection.

2. A Home-Based Connection is better supported: For Great Plains Communications’ customers, there is no comparison between the service provided by our technicians and Mobile Broadband companies.  Our technicians live in the communities they serve.  That means that they can react to service issues in hours instead of days or even weeks.  When using a national Mobile Broadband service, it is nearly impossible to be a priority.

3. A Home-Based Connection is better for the future: Scientifically, there is only so much data that can be transmitted over Mobile Broadband.  As demand continues to grow, the speed that you will be able to attain will shrink, not grow.  Wired Internet is only getting faster and speeds will continue to increase well into the future.  You can see the proof in our faster speeds across Nebraska.

There are many reasons to trust an Internet connection from Great Plains Communications over those offered by Mobile Broadband.  These are three that we feel truly affect our customers.  If you have more questions, visit http://gpcom.com/residential/internet for more information.


Throwback Thursdays with Great Plains Communications!

Robert and EC Hunt nearly 100 years ago!

We’re joining the Throwback Thursday movement (finally!) At least once a month, we’ll be sharing photos from our past 104 years serving you!  This week, we’re digging way back to our founders, the Hunts. Take a look and let us know what old schools pics you would love to see!

ECSr&Bob Hunt 1943

Robert and EC Hunt nearly 100 years ago!


We Have a New Auto-Pay Contest Winner!

We have a brand new Auto-Pay winner!  Congratulations to Jeanne Mohr of Chadron, NE for being our June winner.  She won a $100 Visa Gift Card as part of our monthly drawing.

Entering for your chance to win up to $200 in Visa Gift Cards is easy!  You just have to enroll in Auto-Pay and Paperless Billing from Great Plains Communications. If you are already signed up for either of these services, then you are already entered!  When you sign-up for one option, then you are eligible to win $100. When you sign-up for both, you can win $200 in Visa Gift Cards if you are selected.

There are many advantages to signing up for Auto-Pay and Paperless Billing.  Auto-Pay means that you will never have to worry about late fees or remembering to send a check.  Paperless Billing is another great step towards “going green.” Plus you can use eBill to manage your billing, payment history, and services.  You’ll have more control than ever over your billing options!

To sign-up for these services, click here .  Then stay tuned to our monthly drawings for your chance to win!


Grant Spotlight: Southwest Public School

It’s our final grant spotlight of 2014! We’re proud to feature Southwest Public School, which earned a $5,000 grant to help students learn valuable entrepreneurial skills.

The grant will help the school to purchase a PlasmaCAM cutting system.  The school will use the new equipment to convert its metal shop classes into a student-run business capable of creating professional quality metal products.  The new program will provide students the chance to learn management, accounting, manufacturing and distribution skills in a real-world setting.

Entrepreneurship is on the rise, particularly in rural America thanks to advances in Internet access and other technology.  This is the third student-run business that we have funded with our grant program.  Other student-run businesses that have received support from us include the Arnold School House Graphics Program.


Celebrate the 4th of July With Your Great Plains Communications’ Services!

We’re just days away from our nation’s birthday and we want to help you make the most of your Independence Day celebration.  Here are a few tips for using your Great Plains Communications services to have the best d-day bash for our great nation.

1. Soundtrack Your BBQ - Use your wireless Internet connection to play music outside during your backyard BBQ through online sites such as Spotify or Pandora.  These sites will both allow you to select patriotic music or a fun summer channel as a soundtrack for your day.

2. Watch a July 4th Marathon While Setting Up Your Fireworks - Holidays means TV marathons!  Don’t miss out on your favorite show while also enjoying your outdoor activities.  With Watch TV Everywhere, you can enjoy more than a dozen channels wherever you are.  That means, you can stream your favorite programs while also firing off bottle rockets and enjoying time with your friends and family.

3. Enjoy Fireworks in Your PJ’s - Enjoy some of America’s best fireworks displays from the comfort of your couch with your Great Plains Communications Cable.  We are pretty partial to the Boston Pops Fireworks display and Fireworks from the Capitol.  Both feature rousing music set perfectly to an outstanding display.

4. Share all of Your Best Moments -  Don’t forget, your cell phone data caps may get maxed out if you are sharing a lot of videos and photos.  Switch your data connection on your mobile devices to your Great Plains Communications wireless Internet instead to save yourself big money at the end of the month.

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