Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Author: GreatPlainsComm (page 3 of 66)

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.

2017 Summer Show Premieres

Summer premieres are on the horizon, and you won’t want to miss these new characters as their unique stories unfold. Jessica Biel returns to television in The Sinner, a murder mystery that will have you guessing. Midnight, Texas isn’t just about vampires and psychics, but what happens when the main character, Manfred finds himself among an array of both humans and supernatural beings, unknowing which are allies and which are not. You can find the trailers for these and other premieres below.

 

The Mist – June 22  (Spike)

 

The Bold Type – July 11  (Freeform)

 

Salvation – July 12  (CBS)

 

Midnight, Texas – July 25  (NBC)

 

The Sinner – August 2  (USA)

 

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

Check Out Our Website Redesign!

We are excited to announce the redesigned Great Plains Communications website has launched!

When we began the project, we had some specific goals in mind:

  • Effectively define and brand our company as a forward thinking solutions provider with a high performing network and high performing people
  • Provide valuable customer education resources
  • Create a site that is user friendly and visually engaging
  • Effectively define the areas of our business
    • Residential
    • Business/Enterprise
    • Wholesale

The new site is designed to help us achieve these goals effectively, and we are excited to finally have it live. We encourage you to browse the site and take note some of the interactive tools including the “What speed do you need?” tool and the Bundle tool designed to help residential customers customize services to their specific needs.

 

Speed Tool

Click the Image to Try

 

Bundle Tool

Click the Image to Try

 

If you have any questions about the design or where to find specific things on our website, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative would be happy to help.

Red Nose Day 2017

Great Plains Communications employees get in the fun of supporting Red Nose Day.

Great Plains Communications employees get in the fun of supporting Red Nose Day

Don’t miss the Red Nose Day Special tonight on NBC. It is the third year in a row that the network has supported the cause through a one night special. Familiar faces will litter the screen from Mandy Moore, Ben Affleck, Orlando Bloom, Julia Roberts, Paul Rudd, and many more. Their website explains, “Throughout the night, viewers will be entertained, learn about the programs supported by Red Nose Day that are helping to change the lives of children, and have the opportunity to support the charity through calls to donate, making a real difference for kids in need here in the U.S. and around the world.”

Hosted by Chris Hardwick, the special event will start at 7:00 p.m. CT and we have included the schedule below:

7:00 p.m. – Celebrity Ninja Warrior

Celebrities such as Derek Hough, Stephen Amell, and Mena Suvari will take to the American Ninja Warrior course.

8:00 p.m. – Running Wild with Bear Grylls

Julia Roberts accompanies Bear Grylls to Kenya, where the pair must tackle a very harsh route of desert, canyons, and rivers to deliver vital vaccines to a remote village. Another obstacle in their way, they must reach their destination before the vaccines expire. “The journey highlights the impact of lifesaving vaccines, which Red Nose Day helps to provide to children around the world,” NBC says.

9:00 p.m. – The Red Nose Day Special

With a mix of comedy, top music performances, and the much-anticipated reunion sequel of “Love Actually” some of the biggest stars will gather tonight for the third annual Red Nose Day charity campaign to help end child poverty.

To find out more information on Red Nose Day, visit their website at rednoseday.org.

The Beginning of Memorial Day

With the long weekend approaching, we want to look past the party planning and vacation destinations and take a moment to look back at where Memorial Day began. We at Great Plains Communications are extremely grateful for the sacrifices so many brave men and women make each year to fight for our country.  We also value this holiday as a time set aside each year to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

Here’s a little history about Memorial Day:

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and it began in the years following the Civil War.  It was called Decoration Day because it was a day set aside to decorate fallen soldiers’ grave sites.  In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y. as the birthplace of Memorial Day as it was the first to have an annual, community-wide commemoration.

In 2000, the “National Moment of Remembrance Act” was passed to officially set a time for a national moment of silence.  At 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, all Americans are encouraged to take a moment to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the U.S.

We invite you to join Great Plains Communications and the rest of the country in the moment of silence and as Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada said: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Congrats Scholarship Recipients!

It is graduation weekend for many areas, which is one of our favorite times of year here at Great Plains Communications. We are honored to be able to award $15,000 in scholarships to students in our communities.

Help us in congratulating our deserving award winners!

Alissa Meyer of Wisner, NE

Baily Wood of Grant, NE

Britley Schlueter of Wood Lake, NE

Cade Ewoldt of Blair, NE

Callie McCandless of Blair, NE

Drew Letcher of Hay Springs, NE

Haylee Klawitter of Verdigre, NE

James McArtor of Grant, NE

Jarrett Branz of Blair, NE

Krista Ott of Wisner, NE

Makayla Brockhaus of Creighton, NE

Mariah Dendeinger of Crofton, NE

Nathan Hatterman of Wisner, NE

Nathan Tobiasson of Hay Springs, NE

Shaylee Heathers of Champion, NE

 

Our scholarship program isn’t just about helping students go to college, it’s also about encouraging students to return to rural towns after they leave college.  These students often become leaders in their communities, bring new solutions to rural issues, and encourage growth in rural towns. Find out more information on our grants and scholarships program at https://www.gpcom.com/about/scholarships.

What is the WannaCry Ransomware Attack?

You may have seen the terms WannaCry, WanaCry, WCry, or Wanna Decrypt weaved throughout the news the past few days. This is referring to the most recent global ransomware attack. Initiating in Europe on Friday, per White House Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert in Monday’s midday White House briefing, it has spread to over 300,000 computers in over 150 countries. So what does this all mean and what can you do to protect yourself from ransomware?

What Does It Mean?

Ransomware: malware planted illegally in a computer or mobile device that disables its operation or access to its data until the owner or operator pays to regain control or access.

Malware: software intended to damage a computer, mobile device, computer system, or computer network, or to take partial control over its operation

Ransomware isn’t a new idea, but if you haven’t heard of it before this outbreak, the simple explanation is that if a computer gets infected, certain common files (such as JPG and PNG pictures, DOCX Word documents and PDF files) get encrypted with a secret key that only the attacker holds. In order to get those files back in one piece, the attacker requires a payment (in WannaCry’s case $300-$1200) to get the key in order to decrypt the files.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Devices?

A patch for this attack was released by Microsoft, which fixed the vulnerabilities on all modern-supported OSes (Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and XP is even included).

Other prevention advice offered by No More Ransom!:

  • Back up your computer and store the safety version in the cloud or on a drive that is not connected to your computer.
  • Use robust antivirus software.
  • Keep all the software on your computer up-to-date. Enable automatic updates.
  • Never open attachments in emails from someone you don’t know. And remember that any account can be compromised.
  • Enable the “Show file extensions” option in the Windows settings on your computer. This will make it much easier to spot potentially malicious files. Stay away from file extensions like “.exe,” “.vbs” and “.scr.”

If you find a problem, disconnect your machine immediately from the Internet or other network connections (such as home Wi-Fi).

 

For more detailed information on the WannaCry ransomware attack, check out the following publications:

http://www.ntca.org/images/stories/Documents/Communications/flash_wannacry_final.pdf

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/15/528451534/wannacry-ransomware-what-we-know-monday

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