Roku® Education

Great Plains Communications is excited about our Back-to-School promotion, as we are giving away a FREE Roku® streaming device with each purchase or upgrade of our 15, 30, or 50 mbps Internet speeds. With this gift, we want to share some of the awesome features the Roku® streaming devices have to offer.

Your Roku® player is simply a small device that connects to your home wireless network (or wired Ethernet, depending on your setup preference). It allows you to stream music, movies, and shows from the Internet to your TV. It is free to set up your Roku® account, though they will ask for a credit card number to have on file for a convenient purchasing option when needed. Do you have a Netflix account? How about a Hulu account? Have you signed up for HBO GO? With a Roku® streaming device, you can have all your accounts loaded in through their separate channels, and aligned side-by-side for a seamless streaming experience. Or, you can browse the Channel Store and install another of your favorite programs.

A fun new feature that both the Roku® 3 and Streaming Stick® offer is the Hotel & Dorm Connect for travel and/or college students. Watch the video below for more information.

There are numerous possibilities and features to the Roku® devices, so watch for additional education here on our blog. For immediate information, check out https://support.roku.com/hc/en-us.

2016 Back-to-School Promotion

Early mornings and late night study groups, research papers and online tests; the kids are headed back to school. Supply lists have been provided; 24 #2 pencils, 3-5 spiral notebooks, ear buds, 1 USB flash drive. Computer class is no longer an elective, but a necessary skill each child is using at a young age. As some students bring tablets home for homework and are asked to keep files organized on a flash drive rather than in a binder, the bandwidth usage rises. Great Plains Communications wants to help make sure your family has the Internet speed needed to get through this school year.

Get on the fast track with high-speed during the Great Plains Communications Back-to-School promotion. If you sign up for either 15, 30, or 50 mbps Internet speeds, you will receive a FREE Roku® streaming device, FREE Installation, and a FREE month of Internet service!

If you currently have Internet service with Great Plains Communications, you can still take advantage of this amazing offer! Upgrade your Internet to 15, 30 or 50 mbps and receive a FREE Roku® streaming device as well as the first month’s upgrade cost FREE.

To find out more information on what these higher speeds can do for your family, as well as some FAQ’s about Roku®, go to our website at https://www.gpcom.com/roku or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 to sign up today!

2016 Knox County Bull-A-Rama

We are excited to once again be a sponsor for the Knox County Fair Bull-A-Rama! Starting tonight, August 11, 2016 at 7:00 PM, the excitement will be underway. As you head in to the arena, be sure to look for some of our employees as they hand out free Great Plains Communications 2016 Summer Tour shirts. The supply is limited, so grab them up while they last.

If you aren’t able to make it out for the Bull-A-Rama, be sure to catch one of the other attractions the Knox County Fair has to offer! The rides will be running August 11 – August 14. Chris Janson will be performing at the Grandstand at 8 PM tomorrow night with Resurrection a Tribute to Journey at the Grandstand Saturday evening. This weekend is sure to be filled with fun for the whole family, and Great Plains Communications is honored to be a part of it.

Business Appreciation – Hughes Brothers, Inc.

Great Plains Communications is proud to highlight another one of our business customers, Hughes Brother, Inc. in Seward, NE.

In 1893, John Morse Hughes was a skilled carpenter who came to Seward, Nebraska to work. He built a reputation for painstaking attention to detail and an unwavering adherence to standards. This commitment to quality was passed down to his sons: John, Burr, Ted and Ben. Following the death of John Morse Hughes in 1918, the brothers combined to form Hughes Brothers, Inc.

Electric Transmission and Distribution

In the ensuing decades, Hughes Brothers (HB) became a leader in the electric transmission and distribution industry. The company began by building wooden crossarms and then incorporated steel products into the mix such as the signature X-Brace for H-Frames to add stability and reliability to any structure. Later, HB expanded its product line with steel pole line hardware and customer manufactured steel fittings.

Throughout HB’s history, the heart of the company has always been the small community of Seward. Since 1921, HB has rebuilt Seward’s storm-worn neighborhoods, employed its citizens and invested in the organizations essential to keeping Seward strong. The community and the company forged a strong bond.

Today, HB has more than 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space, employs several hundred people and builds with steel, fiberglass and wood. It produces crossarms, dead end assemblers, braces, pole line hardware, equipment mounts, fasteners, fiberglass products, davit arms, structure reframing, lighting poles, sign posts and transmission design.

Moving Faster With Fiber

While the company’s work ethic and dedication to excellence remains the same as it was in the last century, HB has enthusiastically adopted new technologies as they became available. For example, when Great Plains Communications brought its fiber network to Seward in 2015, HB was more than happy to switch Internet providers.

IT Manager Lee Meysenburg explains, “There used to be no Internet competition in Seward, and with our previous provider, we were getting speeds of 50 Mbps. When Great Plains Communications came to town, we switched to their fiber Internet. Our speeds have quadrupled up to 200 Mbps download and upload. As great as these faster speeds are, however, the number one reason we switched to Great Plains Communications was cost. Great Plains Communications offered HB a better price for more speed. The decision was a no-brainer.”

Why does HB need this much speed? Meysenburg replies, “The main reason is that the files we send are growing in size. We have to be able to quickly send PDF files of our catalogs to customers as well as download large files, such as specification sheets or sample architectural drawings, sent to us by customers. Even more importantly, HB needs very fast and reliable Internet service for our backup. We transfer backup files nightly to an off-site location to protect our data.”

He adds, “So far, we’ve had no real issues with our Internet service. Great Plains Communications is good at letting us know in advance if there will be a brief outage due to system upgrades so we can plan accordingly.”

Customer Service is Key

In the future, HB plans to subscribe to phone services from Great Plains Communications. Meysenburg is impressed with the customer service. “Every time I’ve been in contact with customer service at Great Plains Communications, it’s been an absolutely wonderful experience. When I call, there is virtually no hold time. We appreciate getting local customer service instead of trying to communicate with someone from another state or country. The people at Great Plains Communications understand our company and this area of Nebraska,” he says.

As HB moves forward to meet the changing needs of customers, it will be with a new logo and new website. Meysenburg notes, “A few months ago, we had our sales rep meeting here in Seward. One goal of this event was to talk about new branding and a new website for the company. Based on these discussions and other research, HB has changed our logo to a more modern look and updated our website design. The HB website now allows our sales rep to get access to the inventory system via a password-protected sales rep portal. With this real-time access to data, they can instantly see if we have a product in stock while on the phone with a customer. We also added our product catalog to the website based on many requests for an online version to complement the printed one.”

Clearly, a spirit of innovation and attention to detail continues to guide HB. John Morse Hughes would be proud.

What Channels to Watch for the 2016 Rio Olympics

According to nbcolympics.com, we can expect 6,755 hours of unprecedented programming for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, meaning you will want to have your remote ready so you don’t miss any of your favorite sports. That 6,755 hours breaks down to roughly 356 hours of coverage a day for 16 days. Just think, if the entire programming ran on one channel, it would take 281 days to finish airing. Great Plains Communications has listed all the channels to watch and also an alternative viewing option.

Broadcast Networks:

NBC

Cable Channels:

Bravo

CNBC

Golf Channel

MSNBC

NBC Sports Network

NBC Universo

USA Network

Specialty channels (Basketball and Soccer)

Online:

WatchTVEverywhere

 

NBC will cover 260.5 hours of programming, beginning with Opening Ceremony on Friday night starting at 7 pm CT. Not only will there be competition aired on NBC, but also athlete features, spotlight segments on the host city and country and interviews with medal-winning athletes.

If you are a Great Plains Communications cable customer, don’t worry about missing the action when you’re not at home. With WatchTVEverywhere, you can stream the competition from multiple devices. Call our Customer Response Center today at 1-855-853-1483 with questions on how to sign up.

Don’t Miss the 2016 Custer County Bull Riding Classic!

Monday, August 1 marks the 18th annual Custer County Bull Riding Classic with all the anticipated excitement they’ve brought each year. Held at the Custer County Fairgrounds in Broken Bow, NE, Great Plains Communications is excited for the chance to once again be a part of such a great community event. We will be sponsoring the rodeo clown, Justin Rumford who brings fun for the whole family. Below we have listed the activities you can expect to see this year.

  • Over $7,000 in cash and prizes awarded
  • Trick ropers
  • Intense bull riding with Beau Schueth (American Champion), Zac Call (Free Style Champ), and Rowdy Moon (Bullfighter of the year)
  • An exciting Short Round of the top 10 finalists
  • Justin Rumford as the rodeo clown
  • Hadley Barrett as the announcer

So, if you are looking for a way to get the family out of the house Monday night and are in the area, come down to the Custer County Fairgrounds at 7:30 P.M. and watch all the Custer County Bull Riding Classic has to offer.

Win Money by Signing Up for Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing!

Great Plains Communications would like to congratulate Carole Sutton of Chester, NE on being our latest Auto-Pay winner! By taking advantage of our Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing, she has won a $100 Visa Gift card.

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 Carole Sutton, our new Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing winner, and we hope to see your name next month!

Stop and See Us at the Red Willow County Fair!

The Red Willow County Fair in McCook, NE has officially started. Running July 20-24, you can expect jam packed days of excitement, from the Heartland Pulling Tractor Pull tonight at 5:00 p.m., the Aaron Lewis concert tomorrow night presented by Community Hospital, and the Crowning of the Queens Saturday night starting at 7:45 p.m. As you enjoy all the fun the fair has to offer, don’t forget to stop by Great Plains Communications’ booth to find out about our upcoming Back to School promotion that includes a free Roku streaming device for new and current customers who sign up for high-speed Internet service!

This school year Great Plains Communications’ Back to School offer will have you studying with ease provided by some of our fastest speeds, and the following additional perks when you sign up for a 2 year contract:

  • FREE Roku 3 if you sign up or upgrade to either 30 or 50 meg Internet
  • FREE Roku stick if you sign up or upgrade to 15 meg Internet
  • FREE installation to new customers

Starting August 15 – October 15, this deal is one you won’t want to miss. Stop by our booth at the Red Willow County Fair for more information on the Back to School promotion or to find out what speeds are available in your town, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Is a Landline Telephone on your Summer Storm Safety Checklist?

The summer seems to just be heating up, and with that heat comes the risk of tornadoes here in the Midwest. Do you have a plan for when bad weather hits? Flashlight, check. Bottled water, check. Emergency blanket, check. Landline telephone, maybe not? You may be wondering why you would need a landline, when all the members of your family have cell phones. Cell phones are great on the go and bring some of the best technology right to your fingertips. But with cell phones come batteries that need power to recharge. So if the power goes out, those cell phones might not work through the storm. Below Great Plains Communications has listed just a few advantages to having a landline telephone.

  • Security in an emergency, with consistent reliable 911 connection
  • No need for batteries or charging when using a corded phone
  • Elimination of potentially faulty connection and dropped calls
  • Top-quality sound and clarity

Be careful of cordless phones, as they can lose power in a storm as well. Our recommendation would be to keep your family safe this season with a corded phone plugged into a wall-mounted phone jack. That way, you can be sure to have a clear and reliable connection no matter what the crazy Midwest weather throws our way.

For more information on how you can get a landline telephone through Great Plains Communications, visit our website or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and one of our representative would be happy to assist you.

Meet a Tech – Mike Howard

Meet Mike Howard, Lead Internet Technician for Great Plains Communications located in Blair, NE.

Q: How long have you been with Great Plains Communications?

A:  I have been with Great Plains Communications for 3 years in the Internet Customer Service Department and was recently promoted to Lead Internet Tech.

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at Great Plains Communications?

A: I always feel I am learning something new each day.

 

Q:  What is one thing you have learned from working in customer support?

A:  I have learned that you have to have a lot of patience. Every customer is different and you have to put yourself in their shoes and see the issue from their side.

 

Q:  Outside of work, do you have any hobbies?

A:  I like to go fishing or boating in my free time. Usually I go down to my parents’ condo at the Lake of the Ozarks with my family and friends a few times a year. I also enjoy going to music events in Omaha or Lincoln and spending time at the race track. I will also be attending the Ice Cream Cruise car show and 1/8 mile race this August, which I attend annually.