Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

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Setting Up Parental Controls

Summer vacation is just around the corner. It may not feel like it with the weather we’ve had this week, but most schools have just about a month left. This means the kids will be looking to fill their time. Keep your family protected with parental controls. While Great Plains Communications knows that no system can take the place of monitoring what media your kids consume, parental controls can make it a lot easier. This is an easy way to make sure that 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 in a secure way.

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 ensure 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.

Congratulations to Carolyn Troxel, Our Outstanding Teacher of the Year!

Help us in congratulating Broken Bow Middle School teacher, Carolyn Troxel as our Outstanding Teacher of the Year! It had been a day full of standardized testing for the school, ending with a presentation in the auditorium. Little did Troxel know, that not only were her 7th and 8th grade students ready to surprise her, but her family was waiting in the library just a short distance down the hall.

Casey Garrigan, Marketing & Sales Relations Manager and Principal Rusty Kluender asked Troxel to the stage. Once the initial applause had subsided, Garrigan read part of Troxel’s application. When asked what rewards she finds in teaching, she wrote, “I am rewarded when my students have success no matter how big or small. Everyday I get to experience new worlds and learning through the eyes of my students. I get to capture that moment of inspiration when it emerges from these young learners and use it to constantly encourage others to do their best. I strive to make sure that every student is able to experience the joy that comes from doing a job well.”

Troxel, a middle school language arts teacher was awarded a plaque along with a check for $5,000. Great Plains Communications wants to thank her for her time and dedication and again congratulate her on being our Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

Introducing the New GPC Weather Channel!

Great Plains Communications is excited to announce the upgrade of our local channels across the state, to GPC Weather.  This upgrade brings brand continuity and state-of-the-art automated weather forecasting to all of our previous channel 2, GPC-TV, and Weather on 2 communities.

 

With the new format of the channel, GPC Weather condenses numerous legacy channels into four distinct channels that are broken into the following regions:

    • NorthWest
      • Chadron – Gordon – Rushville – Hay Springs
    • SouthWest
      • Grant – Venango – Palisade – Hayes Center – Imperial
      • Sutherland
      • McCook
    • Central
      • Broken Bow – Stapleton – Callaway – Oconto – Arnold
    • NorthEast
      • Bloomfield – Center – Creighton – Crofton – Niobrara – Plainview – Ponca – Verdigre – Wausa – Winnetoon – Wynot
      • Elgin – Neligh – Oakdale – Petersburg – Ewing
      • North Bend – Dodge – Scribner – Snyder

 

This week, we will also be promoting GPC Weather across our social media outlets with #GPCWeatherWeek. The week’s daily post will include topics such as new channel features, severe weather safety, and a weather radio GIVEAWAY.

 

To view an early access demo, click here to go to our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/kLHV4urWNH4.

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week – Thank You To Our Dispatchers!

Every second week in April is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Many don’t know what that means or have never heard of this week-long event. April 9-15, 2017 has been dedicated to the people who are not often seen but heard through the sounds of an emergency. Great Plains Communications would like to thank all dispatchers throughout our communities for your service. We understand that being a dispatcher is much more than answering and transferring phone calls.

They keep our policemen informed, track firemen through dangerous scenes, provide a calm voice through panic of a traumatic event, and much more. Thank you for helping create a safer world for our families and friends.

A Twist on Easter Classics with Food Network and HGTV

Easter is this weekend, and Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite twists to some of the classic holiday traditions. To start, our cable channel, HGTV has provided a fun step-by-step guide to creating unique galaxy decorated ceramic eggs; eliminating the risk of unfound eggs becoming your home’s air freshener the week to follow. Then Food Network has some colorful and yummy deviled eggs that are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Lastly, we wanted to make sure your dinner table is as beautiful as your food is delicious, with this Vintage-Meets-Modern Spring Table Setting by HGTV.

 

DIY Galaxy Easter Eggs – HGTV

 

How to Make Colorful Deviled Eggs – Food Network

 

Vintage-Meets-Modern Spring Table Setting – HGTV

 

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.

New Auto-Pay Winners!

Great Plains Communications would like to congratulate Al and Barbara Shannon of Plainview, NE on being our latest Auto-Pay winners! By taking advantage of our Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing, they have won a $200 Visa Gift card.

To be entered in the contest, simply sign up for Great Plains Communications’ Auto-Pay or Paperless Billing Services. If you are already taking advantage of these opportunities, then you are already entered to win! A new winner is selected each month to receive $100 per service, for a potential reward of up to $200 in Visa Gift Cards.

 

Auto-Pay

Take the stress out of bill paying by signing up for Auto-Pay. Your payment will automatically be made from your account, saving you checks and eliminating late fees. You can also have your bill automatically charged to your credit card.

Paperless Billing

Paperless Billing eliminates the hassle of waiting around for your bill to come. You won’t receive a paper bill in the mail, but will get set-up in our convenient and user-friendly eBill system. This system allows you to track your long-distance minutes, see your billing history, and pay your bill online if you don’t use our Auto-Pay service.

 

Take a minute if you aren’t already signed up, and fill out the form on our website or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483. Again, we want to congratulate Al and Barbara Shannon, our new Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing winners, and we hope to see your name next month!

April Fool’s Day History

Get your whoopee cushions and hand zappers ready, because April Fool’s Day is this weekend. Have you ever wondered how the jokester’s holiday started? Did you know it is celebrated all around the world? Our cable channel, History Channel has a video to shed some light on the history possibly dating back to ancient Roman spring festivals.

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.

Troubleshooting At Home

Having problems with your Internet connection can be frustrating and confusing. After your first 12 tries at the refresh button, you restart the device. All that does is gives you a few minutes to contemplate just how frustrated you are. It still doesn’t work. Great Plains Communications wants to give you a few tips on how to troubleshoot the problem to either solve the issue, or provide you with helpful information for tech support in assisting you further.

 

First off, what are you having an issue with?

 

Email

When having problems with your email, ask yourself the following questions before panicking and continuously hitting resend.

 

  • Did you go over your quota in your mailbox?
  • Is it not sending to a certain email or to all email accounts?
  • If you send group emails, are you getting an error stating you sent too much mail? If so, are you registered for mass email agreement with Great Plains Communications?

 

Modem & Router

If you don’t have an Internet connection reaching any of your devices, it might be your modem that is causing the problem. Your modem is what allows data to travel over a phone line from your device to the Internet. The router then connects all other devices to the modem. So if the only problem seems to be the connection to your tablet or laptop, the issue is more likely in the router.

 

  • Is your ADSL or DSL light flashing? This means the modem is not connected
  • Is there a red Internet light on? This means your DSL modem is not getting an IP to connect.
  • Is your Ethernet light on or off? This will determine if the connected device is online.

 

Specific Website

If you are having problems with a specific website that will not load or is continuously giving you an error, the first step you could take is entering the link into “Down For Everyone Or Just For Me.” This site will help you determine if the problem is with your device. If it comes back that the problem is with your device, there are numerous things it could be, from something in your computer stopping the stream of data reaching the Internet to really anything along the way.

These are just three of the many common problems users may experience with their home networks. If troubleshooting the problem on your own does not work, follow these last few steps in contacting our tech support and they will be happy to help you.

 

  • Make sure you have your account number ready.
  • Be sure to be in front of your computer, to enable you to walk through tech suggestions step by step.
  • Expect to be on the phone for a minimum of 20 minutes, as it can take some time for a tech to pinpoint the exact issue.
  • Have all your findings from doing your own troubleshooting ready.
  • Call 1-855-853-1483, Option 1

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!

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