Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Author: GreatPlainsComm (page 1 of 70)

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes for the Whole Family

This Saturday, March 17, the color green will flourish throughout communities as people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Often thought as a drinking holiday accompanied by corned beef and cabbage, Great Plains Communications is here to share some of our favorite recipes that step outside those guidelines a bit. Provided by our cable channel, Food Network, we have found recipes that the whole family can enjoy this festive weekend.

Green Pancakes and Hash

This recipe is a fun and creative way to hide some vegetables in the pancakes for the kids. They will love the bright green color and not think twice about the healthy ingredient behind the magic.


Easy Irish Grilled Cheese

Another way to use that green to your advantage, as you could substitute spinach for some of the herbs in this beautiful grilled cheese. It will be delicious and deceivingly healthy.


Rachael’s 30 Minute Shepherd’s Pie

If you are looking for something other than corned beef and cabbage this holiday, this 30 Minute Shepherd’s Pie could be just the warm and comforting recipe you’re looking for. The ground beef and vegetables combined with the gravy pair great with the creamy mashed potatoes on top. Plus, if you are cooking for a crowd, this is an easy recipe to adjust to the size pan you need.

Introducing SmartHub!

We are excited to announce that our new account management system, SmartHub is now live!

This smart, fast and convenient system allows you to:

  • View and pay your bill
  • Receive notifications
  • Report service issues
  • Contact us about services or promotions

To access SmartHub, either log-on to or download the free app from the iOS or Android app store. This allows you to manage your account at home and on the go!

Below we have included the tutorials for how to install the app on both an Android and iOS phone. You can find our full listing of video tutorials here on our website. If you have any additional questions, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and one of our representatives would be happy to assist you.

SmartHub Tutorial – Android Install


SmartHub Tutorial – iOS Install

How to Watch March Madness

The madness is just around the corner, the NCAA® March Madness® that is. Who will you have going all the way? Selection Sunday is this weekend and the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee will officially announce which 68 teams qualify for the tournament. You can catch the March Madness Selection Show on TBS this Sunday at 5 PM CT.

When Does It Start and Where Can I Watch?
The first play-in games start Tuesday, March 13 and the first full day will be Thursday, March 15. The channels that will air the games are CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV. Cable subscribers can also go to the NCAA’s March Madness Live site or use the March Madness Live app to stream all the games for free. March Madness Live is available for iOS and Android devices, as well as Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, and Xbox One. However, if you are not a current cable subscriber, you will only have a three-hour preview.

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn about what services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Spring Cleaning Your Electronics 2018

It’s hard to believe with the amount of recent snowfall that spring is just around the corner. Soon we will be planting flowers rather than shoveling the driveway; but aside from beautiful flowers it is also a time for cleaning things out. Great Plains Communications wants to remind you that while you are clearing out your closets and cabinets, your electronics could probably use some cleaning as well.

Has your documents folder become the junk drawer of your computer? Or worse yet, is it your desktop that is cluttered with untouched files circa 2015? You don’t notice until your once fleeting load time has become more of a bathroom break between tasks. We have some specific steps and programs to consider when starting the process of spring cleaning your computer or tablet.


Erase Unwanted Files

Get rid of those research papers from college, articles you were meaning to read a year ago, and any pictures you could keep on a USB flash drive. By deleting files, you clear up storage space, making it easier and faster for your computer to find information.


Update Software

By not keeping your software up-to-date, you aren’t allowing it to be the best version of itself. Skipping multiple updates will cause your loading times to increase rapidly and also make you more vulnerable to malware. Make sure to keep not only your software updated, but also your virus protection. For computers with built-in virus protection, sit back and relax while your software update does all the work for you.


Defrag Hard Drive

Defragmentation is simply speeding up read times on the hard drive, by moving sequential data physically close together so that it doesn’t have to search the entire drive to find specific data. One way to do this is with Great Plains Communications’ Tech Home. With Tech Home, you are provided with world-class security for all devices, home and on the go, while also having access to 24/7 tech support. If you would like to find more information on the Tech Home services, go to or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

There are multiple ways to increase performance speeds on your computer, but take the time this season to find which ways work best for you.

Don’t Miss the Oscars this Sunday, March 4, 2018

This Sunday, March 4, 2018 marks the 90th anniversary of the Academy Awards. Starting at 7 PM CT airing on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel will return as the host for the second year in a row. The Shape of Water is the most nominated film this year, with 13 nominations. Other nominees include: Dunkirk for Best Picture, Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread for Actor in a Leading Role, Frances McDormand in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri for Actress in a Leading Role, and Mary J. Blige in Mudbound for Actress in a Supporting Role. You can find all the nominees on the Oscar website.

So, is it the Academy Awards or the Oscars? Well, it is both. The golden Oscar statuette has been significant since the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. According to the History Channel, the trophy is of “a knight holding a sword and standing on a film reel with five spokes, each representing one of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ five original branches: actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers.” It was originally known as the Academy Award of Merit and was later nicknamed Oscar in 1939. The History Channel states, “It’s uncertain exactly where the nickname came from, although credit often is given to Academy librarian Margaret Herrick, who upon first seeing the statuette reportedly claimed it looked like her uncle Oscar.”

You won’t want to miss the biggest night in film as it airs this weekend on ABC. If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to know what services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative would be happy to assist you.

Congratulations to Our Community Service Award Winner – Dave Aten

Each year, Great Plains Communications is honored to recognize a Community Service Award winner. This is a person that goes above and beyond as a volunteer in their community. As a company, we are proud to give back to the towns we serve, but even more so to our employees that give their time to better the communities around them. We open it up to all employees to nominate someone they feel deserves the recognition. This year, we would like to congratulate Dave Aten, the Facilities Maintenance Technician at the Blair, NE office!

Dave has served on the Blair Volunteer Fire Department for 22 years. He has held all fire ground leadership positions, including Captain, Assistant Chief, and Fire Chief. In 2017, Dave served as Assistant Chief where he was responsible for safe and effective fire ground operations and training for 46 firefighters. Dave also responded to 250 fire and EMS calls in Washington County, many of which he was the Officer in Charge. His service to the community typically exceeds 10 hours a week, resulting in more than 500 hours in 2017.

Please help us in congratulating and thanking Dave for his time and dedication!

2018 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony – When to Watch

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea is quickly coming to a close. The closing ceremony will take place this Sunday, February 25. Like the other events, including the opening ceremony on February 9, live airing times are affected by the extreme time difference of South Korea and the United States. We have included viewing options below to ensure you don’t miss a minute of the show, as it is anticipated to include beautifully elaborate choreographed routines and the exuberant beat of K-pop is sure to be featured.

Live Start Time: 5 a.m. CT

You can watch the live coverage of the closing ceremony on NBC, which will not have any anchor commentary. Another option is to livestream the coverage through or the NBC Sports app on one of your devices. With the livestream, you still must be a cable customer to access the content, and will need to provide authentication.

Prerecorded Air Time: 7 p.m. CT

NBC will air the closing ceremony Sunday night with Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir as the hosts for the United States.

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn more about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Sunspots this Spring

If you have ever watched a lightning storm, you know that it is both a beautiful and alarming experience. The power a thunderstorm emits in an abrupt flash stabbing through the air is definitely something to notice. Many people aren’t aware that the sun too can create a magnetic disturbance similar to lightning. When the energy from the sun expands, solar flares are created, better known as sunspots. For around two weeks each fall and spring season, you might notice some channels periodically showing a fuzzy signal, sparkles, or even a total loss. Typically lasting 5 to 15 minutes, the sunspot activity should not cause any worry as it will pass.

So, what exactly causes the disruption in your channels? As the satellites orbit, they eventually will align between the earth and sun. As a result of the mini-eclipse the satellite has formed, the sun’s rays overpower the transmission from the satellite. It is important to note that the effects brought on by sunspot activity is not a cable outage and there is really nothing Great Plains Communications or any other cable provider, is able to do. The sun outages are often country-wide, and the only thing we can all do is wait for it to pass. Luckily, after 5 to 15 minutes of disruption, your program should air as normal.

If the problem has not subsided after 20 minutes, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 so that one of our technicians can look into the issue. For more information on sunspots and the current level of solar activity, visit NASA’s website at

2018 Valentine’s Day Recipes

Are you looking to skip the expensive restaurant bill and long wait times this Valentine’s Day? If so, Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite love inspired recipes from our cable channel Food Network. No matter if you are looking for something to spice up the night for you and your babe or if it’s a single-ladies-only event, these recipes are sure to please the

Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Mozzarella Hearts

Get the night started off with these sizzling hot Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Mozzarella Hearts. Everything you crave in a mozzarella stick but with a kick from the spicy cheese-flavored snack we all know and love, these are sure to get your taste buds warmed up for the rest of the meal.

Ina’s Engagement Roast Chicken

The infamous Engagement Roast Chicken has been rumored to make knees drop, including this most recent Royal engagement as Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle while the couple were at home roasting a chicken. Ina Garten tweeted, “Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan! I always knew roast chicken had magic powers!! I’m so happy for both of you!”

Giada Lobster Linguine

Add some decadence with this Lobster Linguine. Lobster is a rather expensive ingredient, so stretch a dollar by adding it to pasta rather than giving each person their own tail or claw.

Love Letter Valentine’s Day Cookies

Looking to get a little creative this Valentine’s Day? Skip chocolates and make these adorable and customizable cookies. This would also be a super fun activity for a Galentine’s Day party.

TV Viewing Guide to the 2018 Winter Olympics

As just a few events have started, and everyone begins to enjoy the action of the XXII Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, you might be wondering where you can catch all the events. Great Plains Communications has the guide for you on where and when to watch so you don’t miss a thing.

First off, the channels that will be airing the Olympic events are NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA, and new to Great Plains Communications channel line-up, the Olympic Channel. However, it is only NBC who will be broadcasting the opening ceremony tomorrow, February 9. The live coverage of the ceremony begins at 5 a.m. CT and then will air (taped) again at 7 p.m. CT on NBC.

What many might not know is that the only way to watch the Winter Olympics in the U.S. is through NBC. And this year NBC is changing things up a bit, and live streaming almost every event, broadcasting around 1,800 hours of live coverage. Due to the time difference between South Korea and the U.S., there will be a lot of events airing throughout the night.

Which Channel is Showing Which Olympic Sport?

  • NBC has 176 hours of coverage: Opening Ceremony (Feb. 9), Medal Ceremonies, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Short Track, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding, Luge, Alpine Skiing, Speed Skating, Biathlon, Cross-Country, Nordic Combined, Skeleton, Bobsled, and Figure Skating Gala, Closing Ceremony (Feb. 25)
  • NBC Sports Network has 369 hours of coverage: Curling (Mixed Doubles, Men, Women), Alpine Skiing, Luge, Cross-Country Skiing, Short Track, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding, Speed Skating, Biathlon, Figure Skating: Olympic Ice, Hockey (Men, Women), Nordic Combined, Skeleton, Bobsled, and Figure Skating Gala
  • USA Network has 40.5 hours of hockey: Hockey (Men, Women)
  • CNBC has 46 hours of curling: Curling (Mixed Doubles, Women)
  • The Olympics Channel has 24/7 News Coverage: Victory Ceremonials, Olympic Channel News, and Winter Olympic Daily News

For the full details, go to NBC’s TV Schedule.

If you are looking for ways to stream, NBC Sports app is available on Android phones/tablets, iPhone/iPads, Roku devices, Fire TV devices, as well as Apple TVs. If you are a Great Plains Communications cable customer, you will be able to find our name from the list of service providers to watch the streams from or the NBC Sports app. If you do not currently have cable, will allow you 30 minutes in the first session of streaming and 5 extra minutes per day after. If you would like to sign up for cable with Great Plains Communications, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative will be happy to assist you.

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