Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Tag: High-Speed Internet (page 1 of 16)

Summer Story Giveaway

What’s YOUR summer story? Are you planning a vacation? Or maybe you will be living next to the pool all season? Is there a big camping trip coming up?

Let us add to the fun with some awesome giveaways and savings you won’t want to miss! Starting this week, through July 19, add any new service and receive FREE installation. Upgrade your Internet speed and receive a $25 bill credit! Find your summer story with savings from Great Plains Communications.

The excitement doesn’t stop there! We are doing weekly giveaways on our social sites throughout the entire promotion. This week we are giving away a camping package including:

  • Inflatable lounger air sofa hammock
  • 2-piece set cast iron skillet
  • 750 Lumen LED battery lantern
  • 3-pack Jiffy Pop popcorn
  • Stainless steel coffee mug

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Like our Facebook page
  2. Like this post
  3. Post a picture or short video in the comments below, showing what you and your family are up to this summer

The camping giveaway will end Friday and you can also enter through Instagram. And don’t forget to check back next week for a new theme and giveaway!

If you are interested in signing up for our promotion or would like to learn more about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Raspberry Pi Intro Activities for Kids

Have you heard of a Raspberry Pi? No, not the dessert that’s delicious with vanilla ice cream. A Raspberry Pi is a small customizable single-board computer that is capable of being the base to countless projects ranging in difficulty for not only adults, but teens and children. It is a great way to get your family and kids into the world of computer hardware and coding or programming. And did we mention they only cost around $30?

You’ve probably heard a lot about schools incorporating more STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities into their curriculum. Great Plains Communications wants to help continue that into summer activities you can enjoy with your kids using a Raspberry Pi.

Different Models and What They Mean

So, we have covered the very basics of what a Raspberry Pi is, but there are multiple model types and we want to make sure you are selecting the right one for your projects.

  • Raspberry Pi Zero: Internet of Things (IoT) applications, robotics
  • Raspberry Pi 3 A+: IoT applications, home automation projects
  • Raspberry Pi 3 B+: Low grade server projects, or possibly a full-blown daily computer

Each Raspberry Pi can be used for just about any project, but the main difference between the models is connectivity and price. The more you pay, the more you get for horsepower and connectivity like Ethernet and USB ports.

One of the biggest benefits of the Raspberry Pi is the large community of users and creators behind the small computer, meaning lots of tinkerers who know what they’re doing have done all sorts of projects with the Raspberry Pi. Some of these collections can be found at Instructables, PiMyLifeUp, and even the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s site.

Intro Projects and More

If you are just starting out with a Pi and want an introduction the whole family can understand, a good first project would be Setting up your Raspberry Pi from the Raspberry Pi foundation. This project will walk you through all cables and other hardware you will need to use your Raspberry Pi to start creating projects.

After you’re a bit more familiar with a Pi, you can take the next step and start programming with a program called Scratch, which is an interactive, point-and-click beginner’s introduction to programming. The Raspberry Pi Foundation also has a great project page for a Water use calculator – a fun interactive tool your kids can use to calculate how much water they are using each week.

After getting your kids’ feet wet with some conceptual programming, you open a whole world of opportunity. You can look all over the Internet for more advanced projects, from designing video games to creating a weather station. Instead of having kids looking at their screens all summer, help them learn what makes that screen work.

Internet Safety Topics to Discuss with Children this Summer

As the school year comes to an end, kids will have a lot more time on their hands. While there will be plenty of time spent outside, the Internet will also be a huge part of kids’ lives this summer. It is good to keep in mind some Internet safety topics to discuss with children to ensure their online experience is a positive one.

 

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.

 

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 and you should always know what social platforms your child is using. Snapchat for example has a location feature that can be set to show the user’s exact location on a map to any of their “friends.”

 

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 also 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.

Congratulations to our Pick Your Prize Giveaway Winner!

Pictured: Shelley Mitchell of Imperial, NE with her husband, Doug Mitchell and their grandson, Karson.

Pictured: Shelley Mitchell of Imperial, NE with her husband, Doug Mitchell and their grandson, Karson.

Help us in congratulating our Pick Your Prize Social Media Giveaway winner, Shelley Mitchell of Imperial, NE! By sharing a gif showing her favorite thing about spring on our Facebook page, she was given the option to choose between a $200 Visa gift card or a 5-Burner Open Cart LP Gas Grill in Stainless Steel and Black with Side Burner. Shelley has chosen to receive the grill as her prize!

The Pick Your Prize Giveaway is part of our Pick Your Spring Savings promotion that is currently going on through May 17. While we were only able to have one winner for our social media giveaway, you can still receive up to a $100 bill credit by taking advantage of this promotion! Here is how to do it:

  • Sign up for NEW Internet service or upgrade your current speed and receive up to a $100 bill credit!
  • Bundle with TV, Phone or both and receive an ADDITIONAL $25 bill credit!
  • + FREE installation on all new services

To sign up for this great deal or to learn more, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483. And again, help us in congratulating Shelley Mitchell on winning our Pick Your Prize Giveaway!

It’s Almost Tax Day – Online Tax Tools 2019

Tax Day is just about here, as Monday, April 15 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 those who are still needing to file, 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, along with many upgrade options that provide additional help and an even smoother process. 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.

Spring Savings with Great Plains Communications

Spring is a time to refresh and renew. Great Plains Communications wants to help you do just that – out with the old and in with the new Internet speeds this spring! The Internet isn’t just for entertainment or research purposes anymore, it is a necessity in the home. From supporting security systems to being a requirement for a child to succeed in their education, make sure your family has the Internet speed they need.

Pick your spring savings!

Sign up for NEW Internet service or upgrade your current speed and receive up to a $100 bill credit!

Bundle with TV, Phone or both and receive an ADDITIONAL $25 bill credit!

+ FREE installation on all new services.

 

We want you to pick the speed and deal that best fits your family’s needs. If you aren’t sure what speed your family needs, check out our speed tool. For more information or to sign up for this great offer, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

It’s the 30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web

If you have done a Google search today, you might have noticed that the Google Doodle looks a little different. The search engine is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal that was the creation of the World Wide Web. Today the terms, “Internet” and “web” are often used interchangeably, though they actually have different meanings. Before the World Wide Web, the Internet was only accessible by the military in a form known as ARPANET – a global network of computers that were able to communicate with one another developed in the 60s. It wasn’t until Berners-Lee’s proposal in the late 80s that created the web, or the public’s main access to the network.

“Information Management: A Proposal”

In March of 1989, Tim Berners-Lee was a young software engineer working at Switzerland’s European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. He was working on ideas combining “broad connectivity and openness” when accessing information. So, he wrote his first proposal, “Information Management: A Proposal.” According to an article from CERN, the proposal was for “an internet-based hypertext system to link and access information across different computers.” By Christmas, Berners-Lee had implemented components we know today as HTML, HTTP and URLs.

Keeping Things Open

In April of 1993, CERN released a freely available version of the WWW software to the public, which was the beginning of the open platform we know today. They encouraged the public to not only use it, but improve upon it through open source software, open hardware, open access publishing and the CERN Open Data Portal. This is what allows you the opportunity to create a website right this minute, or two websites, or 50. According to Statista, in January 2019 there were around 4.4 billion active Internet users and according to Internet Live Stats, there are just under 1.7 billion websites on the web and the count continues to rise.

2019 Safer Internet Day and Tips for Parents

Are you a parent, scrambling to figure out ways to keep your children safe online? As children grow up with technology from before they can take a step or speak a full sentence, there are many questions and troubles that can arise. Striving to address an emerging online issue each year, the Insafe organization has shed light on topics such as cyber-bullying and social networking. This year, Safer Internet Day 2019 has the theme “Together for a better Internet.”

Safer Internet Day (SID) started as an initiative and has grown into a landmark event. Forming in Europe, the Insafe organization has grown above and beyond its original geographic zone and now celebrates in more than 100 countries worldwide, across all continents.

The idea is that no matter what language you speak or what country you call home, we all face issues brought forth by the Internet. As our children become emerged in the culture and effects of technology, cyber safety becomes increasingly important and we need to play our part in making the Internet a better place.

One resource of SID 2019 is a program called Family Online Safety Institute. The site provides parents with, “advice, tips and tools empowering you to confidently navigate the online world with your kids.” You can filter the content by specific topics such as: safety, privacy, social media and more. Great Plains Communications wants to help provide information, so families enjoy all the Internet has to offer, but in a safe manner. For more information on SID 2019, check out their website at http://saferinternetday.us/.

2019 Fit Social Giveaway

According to statista.com, The Statistics Portal, the top two resolutions for 2019 are to, “Diet or eat healthier” and “Exercise more.” It can be hard to know where to start and what steps to take to reach your goals. Great Plains Communications wants to help get someone off on the right foot with our Fitbit Charge 3™ social giveaway! The advanced fitness tracker helps monitor steps, calories, 24/7 heart rate, sleep tracking and much more.

To enter the giveaway, go to our Facebook page and find the post including the picture above. Then follow these instructions:

  1. Like our Facebook page
  2. Like the post
  3. Tag a workout buddy in the comments

The giveaway will run until January 21, 2019 and the winner will be announced here on our blog on January 22. So, get after those goals and up your speed in 2019!

If you are looking to up your speed in more ways than one, check out what Internet speeds we offer in your area and let our reliable network keep all your family’s devices connected!

Last Chance to SAVE with Our Holiday Promotion!

You don’t have much time left! The holidays might be over, but there is still time to take advantage of our great holiday promotion. Discover the magic of savings with Great Plains Communications and our new Value Bundle. Connect all your devices with reliable high-speed Internet and you could receive up to a $100 bill credit.

The Value Bundle includes:

Upgraded equipment

FREE Wireless

FREE HD Cable Channels

FREE Long Distance & Calling Features

 

New Internet customers can sign up for the bundle now and receive $100 bill credit and FREE installation. If you are already a Great Plains Communications Internet customer but are looking to increase your speed to fit your family’s needs, receive a $25 bill credit when you upgrade now. This promotion ends tomorrow, so call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 to sign up for this great deal while it is still available!

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