Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Author: GreatPlainsComm (page 1 of 65)

FREE HBO Preview Weekend Starting Tomorrow!

Are you ready for the FREE HBO Package Preview Weekend? This Friday, July 21 through Monday, July 24, 2017 Great Plains Communications will be providing access to chart topping entertainment, such as the second episode of the new Game of Thrones Season 7 and Deadpool.

While the content on the channels are fan favorite shows/movies, we understand that some things may not be suitable for younger members of the household. That’s why Great Plains Communications provides parental controls. This is an easy way to make sure kids aren’t exposed to mature programming, or even the titles. When a program or channel is blocked, the user must enter a 4-digit pin to access the channel. That way, you can still enjoy all programming, but securely.

 

These controls are set up right through your remote and are very easy to configure. Blocks can be set by channel, rating, or even specific show titles. The control is in your hands.

Here are the steps to setting up parental controls:

  • Press the Menu key on your remote
  • Select the Home Icon
  • Select Setup
  • Then select Locks Setup
    • Once you are in the Locks Setup screen, you will be asked to choose a 4-digit pin.
    • Once your pin has been selected, you will be given the following options:
      • TV Rating – Blocking by TV Rating. *Note that you must block every rating you wish to control. This means if you block an R rating, you will also need to block “adult” programming.
      • Movie Rating – This only affects movie channels such as STARZ, Cinemax, and HBO.
      • Channel Locks – This will allow you to block specific channels.
      • Master Lock – Allows you to remove locks, bypass a lock, or change your pin.
      • Adult Titles – This removes titles from adult video programs. The guide will only display the words “adult movie.”

 

Just a few steps ensures your family’s safe viewing habits. We do want to point out that your pin is exclusive to you and we do not keep a record of your entry. If you do forget your pin, we can reset your settings, but you would have to reprogram your preferences. We suggest keeping your number in a safe spot so that you don’t forget it.

If you have any additional questions about the parental controls, you can call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Don’t Get Caught in a Scam this Summer

While you may be ready to get away and relax this summer, credit card thieves are still working diligently to create convincing scams. Great Plains Communications wants to be sure that you enjoy your vacation to the fullest, without having to worry about scammers.

Pop-Ups

As you search through a multitude of websites, mapping out the best vacation for your family, beware of pop-ups. Some may look like they are from a recognizable source, with statements such as “Update Flash Player” or “Your AppleCare® needs updating” and “Call the number below.” DO NOT call a phone number on any pop-up. Be wary of any tech support unexpectedly contacting you, as many scammers will try to offer a “free security scan” – attempting to gain access to your computer by convincing you it is infected. If you are worried about the software on your computer, contact the company directly by opening a new window and going to their technical support. This way you will truly know you are speaking to someone from the company.

Email Scams

You have booked the hotels, picked your excursions, and now you wait for the confirmation emails. Your inbox feels overloaded with the price quotes that didn’t make the trip and hotels without a pool. This is the time to be extra careful when clicking through emails. We have included five steps to avoid taking the bait of a phishing scam, below.

Game of Thrones Watch Party Recipes

This Sunday marks the premiere of Season 7 of the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones. With much anticipation from many of our employees, Great Plains Communications has found some inspired recipes from our cable channel, Food Network to help you celebrate this weekend.

“A leg of lamb would be nice…Perhaps a dish of peas and onions, some fresh baked bread with butter, and a flagon of mulled wine to wash it down. Or beer, if that’s easier. I try not to be overly particular.” – Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones.

 

Appetizer: Roasted Grapes with Ginger and Moscato

What better to accent your cheese board, than the sweet and earthy notes of these herb kissed roasted grapes. Find the recipe here.

 

Entrée: Braised Lamb Shank

Don’t stress if you can’t find a lamb shank at your local grocery store, pork shoulder or chuck roast would break down just as well in this beautiful braise. You will still get the hearty taste of the meat which would pair very well with accompanied potatoes to make a meal fit for cold nights at Castle Black.

 

Side Dish: Buttered Peas and Pearl Onions

Just as Tyrion Lannister said, a dish of peas and onions would go quite well with a hearty meat entrée. Find the recipe here.

 

Dessert: Lemon Blossoms – Inspired by Sansa’s Lemon Cakes

“Sansa was so stuffed that she could not manage more than two little lemon cakes, as much as she loved them.” – Game of Thrones Find the recipe here.

 

Cocktail: Bonfire

Winter is here, so make a bonfire. This refreshing drink combines the light notes of lime and mezcal (similar to tequila) with the warm flavors of the cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the froth of the egg white and this drink will have you watching for White Walkers. Find the full recipe here.

 

If you would like to sign up for the HBO package, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Newest Survey Winners!

Help us in congratulating our newest quarterly survey winners, Jeremy Cleveland of Wisner, NE, Greg and Elaine Worthing of Venango, NE, and Elizabeth Elliott of Arnold, NE!

Jeremy Cleveland of Wisner, NE receives his $100 Visa gift card from Great Plains Communications Broadband Technician, Layne Matthes.

The survey provides feedback on how customers feel about 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 strengthen our business as a whole.

Greg and Elaine Worthing of Venango, NE receive their $100 Visa gift card from Great Plains Communications Broadband Technician, Brandon Wood.

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 our participating customers. As you can see in the pictures, our winners, Jeremy, Greg and Elaine, and Elizabeth received $100 gift cards.

Elizabeth Elliott of Arnold, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card from Great Plains Communications Broadband Technicians, Josh Flint and Mitch Geiser.

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

2017 Fourth of July Safety Tips

Soon picnic baskets and coolers will be overflowing, colorful smoke bombs will be used as bug repellent and family gatherings will be color-coded with the red, white and blue. Fourth of July weekend is a time to celebrate the United States of America with family and friends through good food, fireworks and sunshine. While there is much fun to be had, the holiday weekend comes with some risk of harm and Great Plains Communications has a few tips to keep in mind so that everyone can enjoy a happy and safe time.

 

Keep Child Use of Fireworks Supervised at All Times

Fireworks come in all shapes, sizes, and power levels. They also come with different degrees of injury potential. This is why adult fireworks are not safe when handled by children. One way to help supervise the situation is to keep child appropriate fireworks in a separate place from any that could cause them harm, and always have a supervising adult present when any kind of fireworks are nearby.

 

Use Alcohol Responsibly

Alcohol is often a factor in many Fourth of July festivities, and can be a dangerous combination with fireworks. Use cautiously and be sure to have a designated driver to bring partygoers home after the event ends.

 

Be Cautious of Food and Beverages Being Left Outdoors

Leaving food and some beverages in summer outdoor temperatures can cause food-borne illness. According to the U.S. FDA, you should never leave food out for more than one hour when temperatures reach above 90 F and no more than two hours for lower summer temperatures. Not only dairy and eggs can cause food poisoning, but any food has the potential to become contaminated.

 

Pet Safety

Pets often become scared from fireworks, which could result in them running away, having an accident indoors, or destroying property. Be sure to protect your pets by not taking them to firework displays, not leaving them in a car alone, and keeping them in a safe place indoors.

 

With these tips in mind, Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday weekend!

Fourth of July Recipes with Food Network

The holiday weekend is quickly approaching and what do you think of when you think of celebrating Fourth of July? Fireworks and grilling is what Great Plains Communications thinks of. We have found some of our favorite recipes from Food Network to help get your menu started.

 

Foil-Packed Grilled Chicken Wings

This recipe combines sweet and spicy with the brown sugar, chili powder, and chipotle powder. The foil packets make it easy to create portions for a party and no plates needed with the handy foil packets.

 

Party-Smart Grilling Tips

If you have a lot of people coming over and only one grill to get all the protein cooked, it can take a long time to get everything done and can lead to eating in shifts. Check out these time-saving grilling tips that you can take care of before your guests arrive.

 

Flag Cake

Looking for the perfect patriotic dessert to celebrate the holiday? Ina’s sponge cake is not only delicious with the vanilla cake and buttercream frosting playing off the tartness of the fresh berries, but it is sure to be the centerpiece of your table with the adorable flag design.

 

Watch for our blog on firework safety, Thursday, June 29.

2017 Summer Events

Each summer,  Great Plains Communications employees enjoy getting involved in the different communities around Nebraska through parades and events and we are excited for another season of fun. Be sure to watch for us, as we will be handing out free t-shirts along with other goodies in the events listed below:

 

Saturday, June 24: Pioneer Picnic Parade in Callaway, NE

Thursday, June 29: Elgin Local Celebration in Elgin, NE

Saturday, July 1: Crofton Q125 Parade in Crofton, NE

Saturday, July 8: Fur Trade Days in Chadron, NE

Thursday, July 19: Thayer County Fair in Deshler, NE

Monday, July 31: Custer County Bull Riding Classic in Broken Bow, NE

Saturday, August 5: Street Car Days in Red Cloud, NE

Sunday, August 6: Dodge County Fair in Dodge, NE

Thursday, August 10: Knox County Fair Bull-A-Rama in Bloomfield, NE

Saturday August 12: Old Settlers Day in Indianola, NE

Friday and Saturday, August 18 & 19: Chase County Fair in Imperial, NE

Saturday, August 26: Friendly Festival in Hay Springs, NE

Business Appreciation – Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Great Plains Communications is proud to highlight another one of our business customers, Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy in Fremont, NE.

Their therapists help patients move better, and we did the same for their voice and data transmission.

After completing Doctorate of Physical Therapy degrees at Creighton University, therapists Ross Tessendorf and Chris Demuth gained experience working in both hospital and private clinic settings. In 2006, they opened their own clinic, Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, in Fremont. A second location in Elkhorn was added in 2016.

 

Comprehensive Services

Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy offers comprehensive physical therapy services for a wide range of diagnoses, injuries and conditions. Its physical therapists help patients recover from surgeries and injuries, help athletes increase their strength and performance, and help those plagued by chronic pain to restore pain-free motion and activity.

With the two clinic locations, Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy serves patients from Dodge, Saunders, Washington and Douglas counties as well as the cities of Fremont, Arlington, North Bend, Hooper, Blair, Scribner, Schuyler, Wahoo, Cedar Bluffs, Elkhorn and Omaha.

 

Switching to Great Plains Communications

In addition to having a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, owner Ross Tessendorf is also a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  While he clearly is an expert on the movement of muscles and joints, Tessendorf leaves the mechanics of voice and data transmission to Great Plains Communications. Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy has been a Great Plains Communications customer for a year and a half and currently receives Internet and phone services at both the Elkhorn and Fremont locations.

“We were previously working with another communications provider, and the service was initially okay. Over time, how- ever, their service declined. When we experienced an outage, it was taking that provider two to three days to fix things; their technicians came from Lincoln and had to cover the entire state. Imagine not having phone or Internet services for that many days. We were basically closed,” Tessendorf notes.

He continues, “Chris Demuth and I decided to switch to Great Plains Communications in 2015 for a few reasons. I live in the Blair community, and my wife and I knew a couple of people who work for the company—Kelli Swanson, Strategic Account Manager; and Chris Wulf, OSP Fiber Design Engineer. When we heard Great Plains Communications was coming to Fremont, Kelli Swanson put a package of services together for us to review. It was an easy decision, since we were able to save money and get faster Internet speeds by going with Great Plains Communications.”

Great Plains Communications installed Internet and phone services at Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy’s Fremont location first, then added these services in two phases at the Elkhorn location. Swanson explains, “When the Elkhorn location opened, our company couldn’t provide Internet service in that area yet. So we installed phone service only. In February 2017, Great Plains Communications was able to connect the Elkhorn location with our Internet service since our fiber network in the area was complete.”

 

Responsive Local Service and Support

By using Great Plains Communications for both services at both locations, Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy is benefiting from enhanced communications as well as the convenience of working with a single provider.

Tessendorf says, “We love being able to call someone locally and discuss options with our phone and Internet services. Tammy Hovendick at Great Plains Communications has helped with our rollover and forwarding issues with phones as well as the fax line. She’s stayed late and communicated with our IT guy to make sure we were satisfied with how everything was working. I appreciate that kind of customer service.”

What’s ahead for Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy? Tessendorf replies, “Our goals for 2017 are to continue to provide excellent customer service to the Fremont community and grow our Elkhorn location. In Elkhorn, we want to be the place that provides high-quality care in the area. With Great Plains Communications assisting us with efficiently communicating with patients, doctors and local schools, I believe these goals can be achieved.”

Father’s Day Recipes from Food Network

Looking for the perfect gift for that special man who has been there to stick on the band aids, check under the bed, and walk you down the aisle? Father’s Day is this weekend and Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite recipes from our cable channel, Food Network that will please dad from the inside out this holiday.

Bacon-Egg-and-Cheese-Stuffed Pancakes

Don’t be caught thinking brunch is just for Mother’s Day! Whip up some of these deliciously decadent bacon, egg, and cheese stuffed pancakes to help dad start the day off right.

 

Bobby Flay’s Grilled Ribeye Steak

What better way to celebrate this beautiful weather and your dad at the same time, than grilling a beautiful steak such as a ribeye. Top it with Bobby’s onion jam and blue cheese, or customize it to your family’s liking.

 

Alton Brown’s Pan-Fried Chicken

Another classic dish to show your love for your father and food, fried chicken. Follow Alton’s technique of seasoning the chicken before flouring for a crispy, flavorful skin without the risk of burning the spices.

Make Sure You Have WatchTVEverywhere this Summer!

Watch all your favorite shows on all your wireless devices with WatchTVEverywhere from Great Plains Communications! If you are a cable customer of ours and have access to an Internet connection, you can stream Food Network, HGTV, ESPN and much more through your Roku, laptop, tablet, mobile phone and more.

 

The first step to getting your WatchTVEverywhere account is to register. You will need to go to www.watchtveverywhere.com and do the following:

 

Select Great Plains Communications from the list of TV providers in the drop-down menu and click on Submit

Click on “Register”

You will need two pieces of information to register, your account number and the correct spelling of the last name on the account.

 

You will then be asked to:

 

Provide an email address. This will be your user name. This can be any valid email address.

Provide a password

Select a password reset question

Supply the answer to the password reset question

Click on Register

Check the email address you just provided. You will find an email message with your WatchTVEverywhere activation link. Click on the link to complete the registration process

You are done and can begin to enjoy your favorite channels!

If you have any questions over your Great Plains Communications cable service or accessing WatchTVEverywhere, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

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