Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Author: GreatPlainsComm (page 2 of 63)

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.

Wings Over the Platte – Congratulations, Abby Jensen!

We are excited to announce that Abby Jensen, Nebraska native and part of the Great Plains Communications family, has had four photography pieces chosen by The Stuhr Museum in Grand Island, NE as part of their ‘Wings Over the Platte’ show. Currently going on, and running until April 9th, ‘Wings Over the Platte’ is “Grand Island’s celebration of the return of the Sandhill Cranes every spring,” states their website. Along with Abby’s ‘Cradling the Moon’ piece being chosen for billboard advertising, she received two Awards of Merit for ‘Cradling the Moon’ and ‘Leading the Way’.

This celebration is not just for bird watchers, but for anyone who appreciates the beauty of the Sandhill Cranes and the Platte River. When visiting, you can find Abby’s artwork, as well as other pieces specific to the spring migration, at Stuhr Museum’s ‘Wings Over the Platte’ exhibit, Prairie Winds Art Center’s ‘Spirit of the Cranes’ exhibit, and in the gallery of the nature center.

Again, we want to congratulate Abby on the selection of her beautiful photography. All pieces are displayed below and will be for sale at the show.

Business Appreciation – Red Willow County Courthouse

Great Plains Communications is proud to highlight another one of our business customers, Red Willow County Courthouse in McCook, NE.

The process began in 2014, when Red Willow County Courthouse completed the construction of its new Law Enforcement Center and jail in McCook and was looking into updating its more than 25-year-old phone system. Explains McNutt, “We initially had someone put in a different phone system, but it worked poorly and caused lots of frustration. We then made the decision to put our project out for bids, and included not only the phone system but our other communications services as well.”

He continues, “We received several bids including one from Great Plains Communications. I met multiple times with Philip Jensen and others from Great Plains Communications, as did our Commissioners, Head of Maintenance and all department heads. Great Plains Communications clearly did their research to determine our needs. I liked their approach and their willingness to make sure our needs would be met. We gave our business to Great Plains Communications — phone, Internet and TV — and have been customers for about a year.”

Great Plains Communications Installs Fiber and More

Philip Jensen is Sales Manager of Business Accounts at Great Plains Communications. He notes, “The first thing we needed to do was install fiber optic cable to the Red Willow County Courthouse. We also utilized as much existing cable and wiring in the Courthouse and Sheriff’s Department as we could, combining it with the new fiber optic cable. This allowed greater flexibility for their communications services, and helped prepare Red Willow County Courthouse and other county buildings for many years to come.”

For phone services, the Business Solutions department of Great Plains Communications installed a Panasonic NS700 Hybrid analog and digital IP PBX. All of the Red Willow County Courthouse phone lines were combined into one PRI (Primary Rate Interface) connection, which saved money. PRI also allowed for Caller ID service to every phone in the Courthouse and Sheriff’s Department, which they previously did not have on all phones.

Two Internet access connections are set up — one for the Red Willow County Courthouse and one for the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff needed a separate connection and more bandwidth in order to efficiently upload and download footage from cameras and conduct training. Inside the Courthouse, Great Plains Communications combined all connections into one, therefore providing more bandwidth with only one connection to maintain.

Jensen recalls, “We installed the phone system on Presidents’ Day 2015, since the Courthouse was closed that day and installation could be done with minimal downtime. Our PBX person did training by phone for County employees before the phone conversion to get them up to speed. Technicians from Great Plains Communications also stuck around another week to make sure everything was working well.”

Better, Faster Connections

McNutt is pleased with the upgrades to their phone and Internet services. “Great Plains Communications connected our Law Enforcement Center and Jail to the Red Willow County Courthouse. For the sake of efficiency, we really wanted those two facilities tied together in our communications stream. We’re also benefitting from much faster Internet speeds and clearer sound quality with our phone calls,” McNutt says.

He adds, “It’s not just me. Everybody is so enthusiastic about the people from Great Plains Communications. They’ve bent over backwards to accommodate our needs. They get right on it if we have questions or issues, and if they don’t have the answers immediately, they’ll find out and get right back to me. I can’t say enough about how courteous and easy to work with they are. I also appreciate having one designated person at Great Plains Communications who takes care of our account, so there’s just one phone call to make. We’re out here in rural Nebraska, and we’re still getting advanced services and great customer support.”

Ready for the Future

What’s ahead for the Red Willow County Courthouse? McNutt replies, “We don’t have any major technology upgrades planned for 2017. However, we will be working on getting additional facilities tied into our network. And now that we have the infrastructure in place, we may look at using new applications such as video conferencing for the Courthouse.” Jensen sums it up this way: “Thanks to fiber, they’re pretty well ‘future proofed’ as far as communications.”

2017 Valentine’s Day Recipes

If you are looking to have a romantic Valentine’s Day at home, don’t assume that means you can’t have an amazing meal. Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite Food Network recipes for you to enjoy with your loved one next week.

 

Red Velvet Heart Pancakes

If you are looking to get creative this Valentine’s Day, make these cute heart shaped red velvet pancakes for your loved one. They are not only beautiful to look at; it will be like you are starting your day off with dessert.

 

How to Make Holiday Beef Wellington

This Beef Wellington might look fancy, but it is surprisingly simple to assemble. The spinach and artichoke add an earthy flavor to the beef and the presentation is always a show stopper.

 

Champagne Jelly Flutes

This is a fun way to combine cocktails with dessert. By adding the gelatin, you will be able to enjoy a nostalgic texture with the adult flavor of champagne.

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