Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 3)

Fall Landscaping and Calling Before You Dig

Temperatures have dropped and soon multicolored leaves will sprinkle the yards. If you are looking to do some fall cleanup before the cold embrace of winter, Great Plains Communications would like to take a moment to remind you of the Digger’s Hotline and calling before you dig.

Keep in mind, this isn’t needed for planting chrysanthemums or other annual fall flowers along the front of the house. However, if you are planning to dig more than 6 inches into the ground, you should start off by calling 811. These projects could include installing a new fence or digging up a dying tree or shrub.

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 below 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/.

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!

Have you signed up for SmartHub yet?

Have you signed up for SmartHub and Auto-Pay? As a Great Plains Communications customer, you have access to our account management system, SmartHub! It is a smart, fast, and convenient system that allows you to view and pay your bill, receive notifications, report service issues and contact us about services and promotions.

To access SmartHub, you can either log-on to https://gpcom.smarthub.coop 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!

Once you are signed in to SmartHub, you can also sign up for Auto-Pay and do away with worrying about late or missed payments. To show our appreciation, we enter all customers participating in the Auto-Pay program into a monthly drawing for a $100 Visa gift card! If you have any questions about signing up for SmartHub or the Auto-Pay program, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Join Our Team!

Ready to reach your full potential? Join the Great Plains Communications team. We employ over 240 people across Nebraska, with half of our employees living and working in the towns where we provide service. Our employees proudly represent our commitment to providing homes and businesses with fast, reliable, and scalable technology solutions.

We aim to hire candidates who are not only qualified but have the drive to succeed within our strong organizational culture. In keeping with our mission of customer satisfaction, all jobs carry an overriding responsibility of superior customer service in terms of quality, timeliness, and assistance.

To check what positions we currently have open, visit our careers page at https://www.gpcom.com/careers.

Streaming Services Continue to Rise in Emmy Nominations

The 2019 Emmy nominations have been released and while much buzz is around Game of Thrones, another conversation is happening – the growth of streaming services in the award rankings. The past few years, HBO and Netflix have fought it out to top the Emmy nomination chart, but this year shows that it isn’t only Netflix representing streaming. We have included a breakdown of nominations that major networks received in 2018 and 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

HBO 137 (108 in 2018)

Netflix 117 (112 in 2018)

NBC 58 (78 in 2018)

Amazon Prime Video 47 (22 in 2018)

CBS 43 (35 in 2018)

So what networks are your favorite shows on? Do you have the Internet speeds to support the rise of streaming services?

Great Plains Communications (GPC) has a promotion going on now that can provide the speeds necessary and save you some money!

If you add any new service now, you will receive FREE installation. If you are currently a GPC Internet customer and would like to upgrade your speed to better fit your family’s needs, you can receive a $25 bill credit. To sign up or learn more about this promotion, call 1-855-853-1483.

The 71st Emmy Awards will air on Fox on Sunday, September 22 at 7p.m. CT.

Tips to Keeping Your Electronics Safe in the Summer Heat

We are in the middle of summer and the temperatures are staying hot and steady. Are you keeping your electronics cool through the heat? Extreme heat can be potentially detrimental to your expensive gadgets. Great Plains Communications has some tips on keeping not only your portable devices cool, but your home computer as well.

 

  1. Be mindful of where you leave your devices. It may sound like common sense, but maybe you needed to run into the store or class for an hour or two and you left your laptop on the back seat of your car. This kind of heat can cause major damage to the battery and other sensitive electronics. And if temperatures got high enough, it could even affect the connections between different components of your device.
  2. Consider your case. Just as black clothing attracts more sun, a black case on your phone or tablet could do the same. Instead of buying a whole new case, consider getting a foamed neoprene sleeve or cover for summer months. The foam (which is used for wetsuits) will not only add extra protection from clumsiness, but the material will also keep it cooler than most plastics.
  3. Watch your screen. It’s true that many e-readers are glare-free and can be used in the sun. However, when it isn’t in use, don’t let it sit out. Too much contact with sunlight can cause the LCDs in your screen to deteriorate and shorten the lifespan of your device.
  4. Don’t forget your home electronics. Just because your desktop computer is inside your home, doesn’t mean it isn’t at risk from heat damage. Make sure to keep electronics out of direct sunlight. Also, always leave room for airflow around your equipment and never cover any vents or fans. Most computers, routers, and other devices have vents in the back or on the side. If they are placed in tight areas, the air pumped through the vents will gradually become hotter and hotter, which could ultimately overheat your machine.

Big Season Premieres Coming this Month

There are quite a few fan-favorite shows starting back up this month! To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action, Great Plains Communications has included start dates and the trailers for the upcoming seasons below.

 

Wednesday, June 5

The Handmaid’s Tale – Hulu

The adaptation of the classic novel by Margaret Atwood is heading into it’s third season of The Handmaid’s Tale. While society has been fighting against a plunging birthrate, there is a much larger battle at hand.

 

Black Mirror – Netflix

As fans know, Black Mirror has separate stories for each episode, but we have included the trailer for Smithereens, the first episode airing Wednesday, June 5. As each story is intense in its own way, this first episode of the fifth season looks to not disappoint.

 

Sunday, June 9

Big Little Lies – HBO

After a chart-topping first season, Big Little Lies is back for more and is adding Meryl Streep to the star-studded cast. While many of the mothers are bonding together after the traumatic season 1 finale, one mother is now looking for answers and it doesn’t seem as if she is going to stop until she gets them.

 

Thursday, June 13

Baskets – FX

Chip Baskets played by Zach Galifianakis is back for a fourth season with big changes coming. He is finally ready to move out of his mom’s home, but it seems it might be a tough and humorous transition.

 

Tuesday, June 18

The Detour – TBS

Back for a third season, The Detour will take us on a worldwide tour with the Parker family as they search for Delilah, after she has run away. They will search tirelessly and stop at nothing to find their daughter, while also angering many people along the way.

 

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.

A Few Things You May Not Know About Daylight Saving Time

This Sunday, March 10, 2019 we will “spring forward” in recognition of daylight saving time. While we have been changing the time on our clocks for many years now, have you ever wondered why that is or why there are some areas that don’t do it? Great Plains Communications has a few fun facts on the matter.

The Legislative Bill 309 has been introduced.

In 2018, Senator Lydia Brasch introduced Legislative Bill 309 with the intent of eliminating daylight saving time in Nebraska. She stated, “The standard time of the state of Nebraska shall be the time established by the Uniform Time Act of 1966 in both the Central and Rocky Mountain time zones, except that the state of Nebraska shall not observe daylight saving time.”

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 1. Shortly after, the United Kingdom did the same, introducing “summer time.” The United States didn’t adopt daylight saving until 1918 but didn’t apply to everyone. It wasn’t until Lyndon B. Johnson started the Uniform Time Act in 1966 that we observed time as it is today in America. The Uniform Time Act gave states the option to either adopt daylight saving time for six months and standard time for the other six months of the year or opt out altogether.

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.

2019 Financial Goals and SmartHub

Have you set a goal to become more financially responsible in 2019? Great Plains Communications has just the features to make sure you stick to your resolution and succeed.

As a Great Plains Communications’ customer, you have access to SmartHub, an account management system that was introduced in 2018. It is a smart, fast and convenient system that allows you to view and pay your bill, receive notifications, report service issues and contact us about services and promotions.

To access SmartHub, you can either log-on to https://gpcom.smarthub.coop 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!

Once you are signed in to SmartHub, you can also sign up for Auto-Pay and do away with worrying about late or missed payments. To show our appreciation, we enter all customers participating in the Auto-Pay program into a monthly drawing for a $100 Visa gift card! If you have any questions on signing up for SmartHub or the Auto-Pay program, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Find the Support You Need this Holiday with Tech Home

Our lives have become a constant stream of information through news feeds, search engines, emails, and reviews. All accessible through our multitude of devices. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure you understand just where those connections are going and ensure 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.

Round-the-clock technicians will provide 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 http://www.gpcom.com/residential/internet/tech-home-device-protection.

Advantages of Having a Landline this Winter

As the holiday season begins, do you ever feel like you are constantly making lists? From grocery lists to guest lists and Christmas wish-lists. Great Plains Communications wants to remind you of one more list that you won’t want to forget and that is for winter safety. Temperatures may be moderate so far, but as any Midwesterner knows, winter is coming.

So, you have your batteries and extra blankets, but do you have a landline telephone? You may be wondering why you would need a landline, when all the members of your family have cell phones. Cell phones are great on the go and bring some of the best technology right to your fingertips. But with cell phones come batteries that need power to recharge, which isn’t always available through a power outage brought on by extreme weather. Here are just a few advantages to having a landline telephone this winter:

  • Security in an emergency, with consistent reliable 911 connection
  • No need for batteries or charging when using a corded phone
  • Elimination of potentially faulty connection and dropped calls
  • Top-quality sound and clarity

Remember, if the power isn’t working in your home, most likely neither are your cordless phones. Keep your family safe this season and make sure you have a corded phone plugged into a wall-mounted phone jack. That way you can be sure to have a clear and reliable connection throughout any storm headed our way. For more information on how you can get phone service with Great Plains Communications, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

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