Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

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Spring Social Giveaway Winner

Great Plains Communications would like to congratulate our Spring Social Giveaway winner, Zach Haller of McCook, NE! When asked what his favorite video game of all time is, he commented, Mortal Kombat.

By sharing this with us and liking the Great Plains Communications Facebook page, Zach has won a gaming package made up of: a Nintendo Switch™, Mario Kart Deluxe 8, and Joy-Con Wheel (set of 2).

We would like to thank everyone who took part in our Spring Social Giveaway! Keep a look out for future giveaways this summer. If you are still looking for a good deal, our current promotion is still going on through the end of the month!

  1. Add or upgrade your Internet service and receive up to a $50 bill credit and FREE installation
  2. Sign up for Cable TV or Phone service and receive FREE installation
  3. Bundle your services and save up to 37% EACH MONTH

If you are interested in signing up or learning more about this awesome deal, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483!

Again, we want to congratulate Zach Haller on being our Spring Social Giveaway winner!

Summer Internet Safety Tips for Parents

Summer break is quickly approaching and that means an abundance of free time for the children in your life. While there will be plenty of time spent outside, it is good to keep in mind some Internet safety topics to discuss with children to ensure their online experience is a positive one.

  1. Internet usage guidelines

Rather than telling them all the things they can’t do, have a conversation with your child about how long they are allowed online and what type of sites are OK or not OK. While you make the ultimate decision, show that you are listening to their opinions. Also discuss how to behave towards others when chatting, gaming, emailing, or messaging.

  1. The importance of privacy

While this depends on the age of the child, a simple rule for younger children could be that they should not give out their name, phone number or photo without a parent’s approval. Older children should be advised to be selective about what personal information they include on social networking, such as not including their address or telephone number on sites such as Facebook.

  1. Meeting online “friends”

The Internet can be a positive place for children to interact with other young people and ultimately make new friends. By discussing it ahead of time, your child is more likely to recognize if they’re talking to someone they shouldn’t be. This is a good way to keep the dialogue about Internet interaction between you and your children open.

Remember that the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh the negatives and that it is a wonderful educational and recreational resource. Let your child show you what they like to do online and discover it with them.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas You Can Make at Home

Forget flowers and chocolates this Mother’s Day. Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channel, HGTV and found some of our favorite gifts you can make at home that add a personal touch.

DIY Watercolor Silhouette

Get the little ones involved with this one! Take a silhouette picture of each child and let them do their own watercolor painting. Then with just a few more steps you will have beautiful art that mom will cherish.

2 Ways to Display Family Recipes

Is your mom a great cook? Maybe she has recipes that have been passed down for generations. Both of these gift ideas are simple, yet beautiful ways to honor those memories she holds dear through the recipes.

DIY Bathtub Caddy with Wine Glass Holder

Give the gift of relaxation through a stylish and homemade bathtub caddy. This is the perfect gift for the mom who likes to sit back in some bubbles with a good book and glass of wine. With only a few pieces needed and the freedom to customize it to your family member, this gift could be put together in no time.

DIY Sugar Scrubs

Going along with the spa and relaxation theme, these sugar scrubs are a super easy gift for all the moms in your life. With just three ingredients, two of which might be in your pantry right now, these scrubs will be cost efficient and still be much appreciated for the homemade touch.

Spring Social Giveaway

We are throwing it back with our retro video game themed spring promotion, looking to help you get the high score with our high-speed Internet and watch your bill drop with up to a $50 bill credit! Along with this great deal, we are also doing our best social media giveaway to date.

Spring Social Giveaway

Enter to win a gaming package, including:

  • 1 Nintendo Switch™
  • Mario Kart Deluxe 8
  • Joy-Con Wheel (set of 2)

With this prize, you will be able to take the entertainment wherever you go, with the capability of a console gaming system and portable device all in one. Entertain the whole family with the classic Mario Kart team and feel like you’re really on the track with the Joy-Con Wheel as it simply snaps around the controller.

HOW TO ENTER

All of this sounds fantastic, but how do you get your name in the running? It is simple:

  • Go to the Great Plains Communications Facebook Page
  • Like our page
  • Find the post with the header “S O C I A L G I V E A W A Y”
  • Like the post
  • Comment on the post what is your favorite video game of all time

The giveaway will run until May 16, 2018. We will announce the winner here on our blog on Thursday, May 17, 2018.

To find out more on how you could receive up to a $50 bill credit, go to our website or call 1-855-853-1483 and tell our representatives you would like to learn more about the current spring promotion.

Cinco de Mayo 2018 Recipes

It is Cinco de Mayo this Saturday and we have looked for some of our favorite recipes from cable channel Food Network to add to the menu.

Mexican Tortilla Pizzas with Chorizo

Great for an appetizer at your Cinco de Mayo party, this dish promises a punch of flavor as the chorizo and beans are balanced by the salad and crema topping.

 

Easy One-Pot Carnitas

Prepare this easy one-pot dish for juicy pork carnitas tacos your friends are sure to love. Add a toppings bar and everyone can make their own to their liking.

 

Healthy Zucchini Enchiladas

Trying to stick to a low carb diet but still want to enjoy the rich flavors of the Cinco de Mayo holiday? Try this recipe and swap the tortillas for zucchini strips.

Increase Your Speed – Watch Your Bill Drop

Score big this spring with high speed Internet from Great Plains Communications. This is one promotion you won’t want to miss as you can increase your speed and watch your bill drop in price! Find out the multiple ways you can save this season, below:

  1. Add or upgrade your Internet service and receive up to a $50 bill credit + FREE Installation
  2. Sign up for Cable TV or Phone service and receive FREE Installation
  3. Bundle your services to save up to 37% each month

As the need for speed continues to rise with multiplying devices in the home and bandwidth requirements from streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, make sure you are keeping up with your family’s speed needs. If you aren’t sure what that might be, take our What Speed do you Need quiz here on the Great Plains Communications website.

If you are interested in signing up or learning more about this amazing deal, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and one of our representatives would be happy to assist you.

Earth Day 2018

Technology is continuing to become more prevalent in our day-to-day lives, everything from arming home security systems from an app on your phone, to your fridge texting you the grocery list. However, people are continuing to make strides in “Going Green”, or looking for ways to be eco-friendlier. Great Plains Communications has a few tips on how you can be more energy efficient in your home this Earth Day, April 22, 2018.

 

  1.  Be sure to turn off all lights, appliances and electronics when not in use.

This could mean unplugging your phone charger when not charging a device, turning off your porch light when not in use and unplugging your toaster when you’ve finished making breakfast. Each of these might be a small act, but eliminating multiple devices has the power of being very effective in the quest for energy conservation.

  1.  Switch your light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescents and LED bulbs.

According to energy.gov, making the switch will result in around 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents and can last 3-25 times longer.

  1.  Wash clothes in cold water.

According to Consumer Reports, your clothes will come out just as clean using cold water as they would by using hot. Even your whites will end up cleaner than ever with cold water. Not only will you end up with a pile of freshly washed clothes, but you could end up saving an extreme amount of energy. In fact, 90% of energy you consume when running your washing machine is produced just from heating up the water for hot or warm loads.

 

These are just a few ways to make your home more energy efficient, saving you money on monthly bills and helping to reduce your carbon footprint. There are many ways to go green this Earth Day, and Great Plains Communications wants to know how you plan to do so. Let us know what eco-friendly activities you have planned in the comment section on our Facebook page.

Introducing ESPN+

Today, April 12, 2018 Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International’s BAMTECH Media in partnership with ESPN, launched their new subscription streaming service, ESPN+. This service is targeting avid sports fans on a broad and niche basis, offering subscription streaming access to thousands of additional live sporting events, original content, and an on-demand video library. Some examples of programming would be: 180+ Major League Baseball games, 180+ National Hockey League games, 100 days of coverage of PGA Tour, and year-round boxing matches. It is subscription based and separate from the ESPN TV Everywhere that fans receive as part of their cable subscription as well as being completely separate and a distinct product from ESPN television.

How and Where is it Offered?

ESPN+ will be integrated into the updated ESPN App. The new app will be available on iOS and Android products, as well as the web, FireTV, and additional devices starting today. If you already have the ESPN app, it will either update automatically or prompt you to update it. Once it has done so, you can elect to purchase access to ESPN+.

What Does it Cost?

An ESPN+ subscription will cost $4.99/month or $49.99/year. ESPN+ does not come with your Great Plains Communications cable subscription, but is an additional purchase directly from ESPN.

 

If you have questions about the new ESPN App or ESPN+, go to support.espn.com or call 1-888-549-ESPN. If you already have the ESPN app, you can also utilize the ESPN App Live Chat Feature.

2018 Call Before You Dig this Spring

Despite the colder weather we’ve been having, it is spring and that 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!

Online Tax Tools

Tax Day is just about here, as April 17, 2018 quickly approaches. While filing taxes is never a super enjoyable task, it is something we all must do. Great Plains Communications wants to make the process a little easier for you, with a few online tool options.

TurboTax

You can find the TurboTax Federal Free Edition software online to file your 1040 EZ and 1040A federal returns as well as your state returns. While the federal filing is free, state might cost extra. The software is very user friendly, as you can either upload your W-2 as a file or even snap a photo and TurboTax will auto-fill the right fields.

H&R Block Free File

Using H&R Block’s Free File program, you will be able to file both federal and state tax returns for free. If you have used another software in the past and are looking to switch to H&R Block, you are able to import tax returns from any competing software, upload tax documents and start filing.

TaxAct

Through a Q&A format, you can file your 1040EZ and 1040A federal returns, as well as your state returns for free through TaxAct. However, importing past year’s returns will cost an extra $5. They have both a desktop and online version of their software.

 

Choosing the right tax filing software depends on your specific needs. Luckily there are many options available and you can file from the comfort of your home with the convenience of online programs.

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