Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Author: GreatPlainsComm (page 1 of 62)

Don’t Forget About Spring Cleaning Your Electronics!

It is officially spring, which doesn’t just mean cleaning the carpets and landscaping the yard. Great Plains Communications wants to remind you that 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. 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 “Live” tech support. If you would like to find more information on the Tech Home services, go to https://www.gpcom.com/residential/internet/techhome 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.

Call Before You Dig!

Yesterday was the first day of spring, which means outside projects will be starting. Before your shovel hits the dirt, Great Plains Communications would like to take a moment to remind our customers of the Digger’s Hotline and calling before you dig.

Keep in mind that the projects we are referring to are more than just planting some tomatoes or putting in some new flowers along the walkway. If you are planning to dig more than 6 inches into the ground, you should start off by calling 811. These projects could be the install of a new fence, putting in an underground pool or planting a new tree.

The Digger’s Hotline keeps track of the many electrical wires, Internet Cable, sewer lines and other wires that run underneath your city. Pipes and wires can run underneath streets, businesses, parks and your home without your knowledge. While we here at Great Plains Communications traditionally bury our Internet, Cable and Phone wires at least 6 ft. underground, some wires may be buried as shallow as 6 in.

In addition to the 811 phone number, the Digger’s Hotline also has a website you can visit, at http://www.ne1call.com/. There you can find information on digging projects, upcoming events, new laws and even registration for a Damage Prevention Class.

Remember that it is your duty to call before starting a project, and if you do damage to any pipes or wires, you may be liable. Protect yourself and your neighbors and call 811 first!

Who Was St. Patrick?

Tomorrow many will dress in green or risk being pinched as part of the St. Patrick’s Day tradition. But who was St. Patrick and what part of the colorful holiday started in the United States? Are you one to believe he drove snakes out of Ireland? Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channel The History Channel for some insight on the holiday and St. Patrick himself.

2017 March Madness®

Brackets are open! Who do you have going all the way in the NCAA® March Madness® tournament? March Madness® pools have been formed among businesses, friend groups and family homes as the nation finalizes their predictions before the games begin. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure you don’t miss a minute of the action, so we have listed the starting game lineup by date and time below, provided by the NCAA®.

 

Tuesday, March 14

5:40 PM CT               truTV                     New Orleans vs. Mt St Mary’s

 

8:10 PM                truTV                     Wake Forest vs. Kansas State

 

Wednesday, March 15

5:40 PM                truTV                     UC Davis vs. NC Central

 

8:10 PM                truTV                     USC vs. Providence

 

Thursday Afternoon, March 16

11:15 PM             CBS                        Princeton vs. Notre Dame

 

11:40 PM             truTV                     UNCW vs. Virginia

 

12:30 PM             TNT                        Winthrop vs. Butler

 

1:00 PM                TBS                         SD State vs. Gonzaga

 

1:45 PM                CBS                        Bucknell vs. West Virginia

 

2:10 PM                truTV                     East TN St vs. Florida

 

3:00 PM                TNT                        Middle TN vs. Minnesota

 

3:30 PM                TBS                         Vanderbilt vs. Northwestern

 

Thursday Evening, March 16

5:50 PM                TNT                        Xavier vs. Maryland

 

6:10 PM                CBS                        TBD vs. Villanova

 

6:20 PM                TBS                         VCU vs. Saint Mary’s

 

6:27 PM                truTV                     Vermont vs. Purdue

 

8:20 PM                TNT                        FGCU vs. Florida State

 

8:40 PM                CBS                        Virginia Tech vs. Wisconsin

 

8:50 PM                TBS                         North Dakota vs. Arizona

 

8:57 PM                truTV                     Nevada vs. Iowa State

 

Friday Afternoon, March 17

11:15 PM             CBS                        Oklahoma St vs. Michigan

 

11:40 PM             truTV                     NM State vs. Baylor

 

12:30 PM             TNT                        Seton Hall vs. Arkansas

 

1:00 PM                TBS                         Iona vs. Oregon

 

1:45 PM                CBS                        Jacksonville St vs. Louisville

 

2:10 PM                truTV                     TBD vs. SMU

 

3:00 PM                TNT                        TX Southern vs. North Carolina

 

3:30 PM                TBS                         Rhode Island vs. Creighton

 

Friday Evening, March 17

5:50 PM                TNT                        TBD vs. Kansas

 

6:10 PM                CBS                        Wichita State vs. Dayton

 

6:20 PM                TBS                         Troy vs. Duke

 

6:27 PM                truTV                     TBD vs. Cincinnati

 

8:20 PM                TNT                        Michigan State vs. Miami FL

 

8:40 PM                CBS                        Northern KY vs. Kentucky

 

8:50 PM                TBS                         Marquette vs. Southern Carolina

 

8:57 PM                truTV                     Kent State vs. UCLA

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and are interested in finding out what we offer in your area, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative would be happy to assist you. If you are currently a cable customer and don’t currently take advantage of our WatchTVEverywhere feature, click here and sign up today! You will need the name of the account holder and your account number. These items can be located on your bill.

Three Things You May Not Know About Daylight Saving Time

This Sunday, March 12, 2017 we will “spring forward” in recognition of daylight saving time. As there has been talk and even a bill proposed to end the recognition of daylight saving time in Nebraska, Great Plains Communications wanted to share a few facts about why we adjust our clocks twice a year.

  1. “Daylight Saving Time” vs. “Daylight Savings Time”

You will often see people refer to it as “daylight savings time”, when in fact that is incorrect. Since the word “saving” is acting as an adjective rather than a verb, it should be written in singular form to be grammatically correct.

  1. The United States was not the first country to recognize daylight saving time

Germany was the first country to enact daylight saving time on April 30, 1916 in steps to conserve electricity during World War I. Shortly after, the United Kingdom did the same, introducing “summer time.” The United States didn’t adopt daylight saving until 1918.

  1. Not everybody in the United States changes their clocks

Both Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Some Amish communities also choose to remain on standard time year-round.

2017 Spring Premieres

Winter may be ending, but good television is always in season. There are some intense premieres starting this week, from Designated Survivor coming back after a very dramatic winter finale to the hit series, Underground returning for a second season. You might also recognize some familiar faces in new series premiering, such as John Lithgow in the NBC series, Trial & Error, and Rosario Dawson in the Marvel series, Iron Fist on Netflix. You can find the trailers and premiere times below.

Designated Survivor – Wednesday, March 8 at 9:00 p.m. on ABC

 

Underground – Wednesday, March 8 at 9:00 p.m. on WGN

 

Trial & Error – Tuesday, March 14 at 9:00 p.m. on NBC

 

Iron Fist – Friday, March 17 on Netflix

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to find out more about what we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative will be happy to assist you.

Congratulations to our Q4 Customer Survey Winners!

Say congratulations to our quarterly survey winners, Dean and Carol Seamann of Spalding, NE, Alice Gibson of Arnold, NE, and Connie Comes of Rushville, NE!

Dean and Carol Seamann of Spalding, NE receives their $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

Dean and Carol Seamann of Spalding, NE receive their $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

The survey provides feedback on how customers feel about and benefit from Great Plains Communications products and services. This information is helpful to track how technology is advancing the communities we serve and provides information to help make changes and improvements that can strengthen our business as a whole as well as enhance our customers’ experience.

Alice Gibson of Arnold, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

Alice Gibson of Arnold, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

We are always eager to get better insights from our customers and we know having as many responses as possible helps with this goal. We also understand that our survey takes time, so we created a coinciding drawing to thank you for participating. As you can see in the pictures, our winners, Dean & Carol, Alice, and Connie received $100 gift cards.

Connie Comes of Rushville, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

Connie Comes of Rushville, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

We always want to hear unbiased feedback, so it doesn’t matter how someone rates us, it just matters that they complete the survey. Every customer will be reached within a calendar year, so be on the lookout for your chance to win a great prize!

Mardi Gras History and Recipes

It’s Mardi Gras, a holiday full of colors, music and celebration. But do you know how the well-known Carnival started or why it is also referred to as Fat Tuesday? Below we have shared a video from our cable channel, History Channel to shed some light on the rowdy holiday.

If you are looking to celebrate Mardi Gras with your family, consider meeting at the dinner table with these recipes from our cable channel, Food Network.

 

Slow-Cooker Smoke Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo

 

Muffuletta Sandwich

 

Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful Mardi Gras!

What are Sunspots?

As you watch a thunderstorm, it’s hard to miss the immense power from a strike of lightening. Most people aren’t aware that the Sun also has the ability to create a magnetic disturbance similar to lightening. When energy from the Sun expands, solar flares are created, better known as sunspots. These disturbances have the potential to affect TV services twice a year during February/March and September/October. You might notice some channels periodically showing a fuzzy signal, sparkles, or even a total loss of the channel. 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 sun spot 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, 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 and they will be sure to have our technicians look into the issue. For more information on sun spots and the current level of solar activity, visit NASA’s website at http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml.

Staying Secure with Tech Home

Living in a world of technology has made it easy for us to stay connected. We have friends, businesses and online information all at our fingertips. Our lives have become a constant stream of emails and news feeds connected between multiple devices. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure you understand just where those connections are going and make sure they are all protected with our Tech Home service.

The program provides world-class security for all your devices, home and on the go, with web security and antivirus systems. Gone away is the worry of lost files when your device crashes or gets damaged. With Tech Home you will be able to sync and back up all your files, photos, contacts and additional important information. No matter where you are, or which Wi-Fi you connect to, Tech Home will have you covered with a cloud-based protection keeping your personal information secure and convenient.

With round-the-clock technicians, you will always be provided with help to setup, test, fix and enjoy your network. Up to four computers, laptops, phones or tablets are covered through Tech Home, with the low price of just $2.99 for an additional mobile device and $4.99 for an additional laptop.

With Tech Home, you’ll have the support you are looking for and the protection you need. For more information on the new product, call 1-855-853-1483 or visit our website at https://www.gpcom.com/residential/internet/techhome.

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