DRN ReadiTech Network Connections Quarter 1 2020

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Quarter 1 | 2020

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Scholarship Program Page 4:

Mobile Medical Alert Now Available! Page 6:

BAND: Netflix 1

HELLO 2020 & 70 YEARS AS A CO-OP! By Kent Schimke

DRN ReadiTech General Manager/CEO

Happy 2020! As we celebrate our 70th year as a cooperative, DRN is in a good position financially due to our Board of Directors’ forward thinking and progressiveness. This is due in part to smart decisions in investments, acquisitions and diversification, and government subsidies.

Diversifying for the Future & Our Members Other key investment opportunities providing diversity for DRN ReadiTech are Dakota Carrier Network (DCN), Verizon, and US Connect. These investments have proven to be very successful, not only monetarily, but by enabling synergies and providing operational efficiencies to DRN ReadiTech and the invested entities alike.

ACAM II - Connecting Rural America In 2019, DRN ReadiTech elected a new support model named ACAM II (Alternate Connect America Model II) which will provide certainty to the amount of funding dollars the cooperative receives to provide, maintain, and advance fiber/broadband infrastructure and technology to and for DRN’s members. The model provides this certainty for the next 10 years but there are many unknowns and uncertainties to what or if any support will be provided at the close of the 10year period and ACAM II.

With a very progressive Board and highly skilled management and employee team, members can be assured that your cooperative will continue to be successful, grow, and be relevant for many years to come.

The year 2020 will be a year of exploration for new opportunities that may help us grow our footprint and/or diversify in order to prepare for the unknowns and uncertainties after ACAM II. The search will be for opportunities that will strengthen the cooperative and its future for another 70 plus years. Technology & Managed Services Growth In the past and present, DRN ReadiTech has been a leader in the industry relative to diversification and one example is the creation of ReadiTech, our non-regulated managed IT business. A year ago, DRN ReadiTech purchased a managed IT business with locations in Fargo, Grand Forks, and Bismarck. Doing business as ReadiTech IT Solutions, this DRN ReadiTech subsidiary, offers the opportunity of growth in larger market areas.


DRN to Credit Members a Free Month of Service I am proud to announce the DRN Board of Directors have approved a free month of service for all cooperative members who subscribe to Internet and/or landline phone service. Members will receive their free month of service as a credit on their April statements. While the country’s economists argue about a potential recession or a slowing economy, DRN’s Board of Directors recognize the impact trade wars and low commodity prices have had on our local farm economy. “We, as a telecommunication cooperative, felt the need to help our friends and neighbors out during this weak farm economy which trickles down to all in our service territory,” said Ralph Neu, DRN Board President. I look forward to serving you in 2020 and beyond! Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

Kent Schimke

2020 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM Attention students—earn money for college! DRN is passionate about supporting area youth and is proud to announce it will continue its Scholarship Program in 2020. High school seniors are eligible if they attend a high school in one of the DRN exchanges and/or their parents or guardians are DRN subscribers. Applicants also must plan to attend an accredited college, university or vocational school and indicate an interest in returning to a rural community following graduation to further their career. Students meeting these criteria are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is February 28, 2020. Complete the application online at drnreaditech.coop About Us - Scholarship Program. For more information, contact Janell Hauck at 344-5000.

FRS Scholarship Program

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) offers an annual college scholarship program in which they award 30 one-time $2,500 scholarships to students from rural America for their first year of college, university, or vocational-technical school. Each year DRN will sponsor students who wish to apply for the scholarship. If a student from our territory should be awarded the scholarship the FRS funds $2,000 of each scholarship, and DRN awards the remaining $500. To apply or for more information visit frs.org/programs/youth-programs/scholarships. The application deadline is March 6, 2020.

PLANNING TO BUILD THIS YEAR? DRN asks all those planning new construction, to please notify our office between two to three months before you would like new services installed. To improve customer service and eliminate delays, DRN needs this time to ensure easements have been attained and all proper plans are in place to reach new areas with telecommunications services. Call DRN at 344-5000 to plan your services.




mobile medical alert PROVIDER system

go with confidence!


Belle® is a small, easy to use mobile medical alert pendant that offers you confidence to live life on your terms. It is certified on the Verizon 4G LTE network, so you can easily get help at home or away from home with the press of a button, across the US.

DRN ReadiTech is excited to announce the launch of a mobile medical alert system.

The Belle® is a mobile medical alert pendant that offers users the ability to explore fearlessly. Belle is a small, easy to use mobile medical alert pendant that offers you confidence to live life on your terms. It is certified on the Verizon 4G LTE network, so you can easily get help at home or away from home with the press of a button. When the button is pushed, the pendant connects users to emergency care specialists at certified central station 24/7. Users speak with specialist via powerful built-in two-way voice technology. Specialists can locate users via GPS location technology and send loved ones or emergency services to users. Belle is a registered The pendant is water-resistant, though it should not be trademark of Freeus, LLC. submerged. Belle’s battery lasts up to 30 days per charge and comes with a simple charging cradle. ®

it works...


Press anytime for a real-time battery level update


With this powerful speaker, it’s easy to hear the specialist answer your call.

call button

Just press one button to speak with a specialist and get help. It’s that simple.

circular light

The light around the button lets you know when a call is in progress and when the pendant needs to be charged.


A powerful microphone allows you to speak with a kind, courteous specialist. They can send emergency help or contact a loved one to assist.

Belle® lasts up to 30 days per charge, and it comes with a simple charging cradle to make recharging easy. Bellemore is lightweight andthe easy to wear or carry with the learn about mobile PERS. included lanyard and belt clip.

Contact our customer service team today to READi TECH Call 344-5000 or visit drnreaditech.coop. www.drnreaditech.coop 701-344-5000 customercare@drnreaditech.coop

battery status button

It includes WiFi location technologies. It is IP67 water-resistant but should not be submerged.

CONGRATULATIONS CALENDAR WINNERS DRN ReadiTech subscribers submitted their photos of living, working, and playing throughout the area for the 2020 calendar photo contest. These photos captured the essence of rural life in North Dakota. Customers received their calendars in December. Thanks to all who submitted photos for this year’s calendar. Stop by a DRN ReadiTech office, to pick up an extra calendar for your cabin, shop, garage, or to give to a friend.


Ava Brokaw

Crystal Grueneich

Dayna Speich

Richard Long

Lana Norton

Katie Kinzler

Katherine Plessner

Kristine Harris

Rick Pittenger

Morgan Zetocha

Rebecca Herman

Angela Carter

Brittany Plum

Leah Meisch

Christine Peterson

DRN READITECH GIVES BACK DRN ReadiTech recently presented donations to area communities. A donation of $5,000 was made to the Oakes School Track and Field project. The donation will go to make updates to the track and field to provide a first-class facility for training, hosting events, and community use. DRN ReadiTech recently donated $2,000 to the Kulm Volunteer Fire Department to go towards the purchase of new vehicle extrication equipment. The new equipment is better able to cut through newer vehicles and replaces old, outdated extrication equipment. Employees at DRN ReadiTech have been busy the last few months giving back to our communities. A school supply and food pantry drive was held in August 2019. 179 school supplies were donated to schools in Edgeley, Forman and LaMoure. 187 food pantry items were donated to Ellendale, Oakes, LaMoure County and Ransom County food banks. Pictures of some of the donations are below. “Fan Day Fridays” fundraisers are also happening each Friday. Funds are donated to various local organizations through the year including Service Dogs for America and Riding for Dreams.

It’s that time of year again: temperatures below zero, the wind is blowing, and all you want to do on a Friday night is curl up on the couch with a blanket, a bowl of popcorn, and a marathon of your favorite TV show. Thanks to Netflix, accessing all 325 episodes of Gray’s Anatomy is now as easy as pressing play— but have you ever wondered how all that content gets to your home? Netflix’s United States library alone holds more than 6,000 titles, and delivering this much content across

In the early years of its streaming services, Netflix owned and operated all of its own servers—but these servers simply could not keep up with the breakneck speed at which demand was growing. In order to deliver more content at faster speeds and lower costs, Netflix launched a content delivery network (CDN) called Open Connect in 2011. A CDN takes content from an original source and copies it onto servers located all over the world. To establish this network, Netflix has reached out to Internet service

the country depends on a reliable, high-speed

providers around the globe and provided

Internet connection. If you live in North Dakota,

them with Open Connect appliances to

chances are the show or movie you are currently

install in their data centers.

watching was brought to you by one of the

These small, rack-mountable boxes contain

14 broadband providers that are owners of

the Netflix content library, downloaded

Dakota Carrier Network (DCN) and members

from the original Netflix servers. Now, every

of the Broadband Association of North Dakota (BAND).

time you log in to Netflix, the app scans for

From the server to your screen, here’s how

you request will be delivered by the Open

a nearby Open Connect box. The content

Netflix arrives in North Dakota homes.

Connect box nearest you, so your movie or episode can play at the push of a button.

Creating a Global Network Netflix has evolved from a subscription-based DVD-by-mail service into the most influential video streaming service in the world, with the number of global subscribers increasing from just 4 million in 2005 to nearly 150 million in 2019. In order to keep up with its rapidly growing viewer base, Netflix has had to make drastic changes to the way it operates.


Netflix in North Dakota Netflix has Open Connect appliances in close to 1,000 locations around the world—in cities as large as New York, London, and Tokyo, as remote as the Amazon rainforest, and right here in North Dakota.

“Netflix reached out to DCN in 2014,

“Latency is a very important term in our

Through this relationship with Netflix,

when they noticed that the majority

industry. We want to have low latency

the owners of DCN–North Dakota’s rural

of subscribers in North Dakota were

in all applications,” Seth said. “That’s

broadband service providers–and BAND

coming to Netflix through the DCN

why we work with Netflix and other

members are able to deliver content to

network,” said Seth Arndorfer, CEO of

content providers to get the content as

North Dakota homes at a higher quality

DCN. “As a result of that, we have worked

close to the customer’s eyes as possible,

and faster speed than ever before, so you

with Netflix to place a copy of the entire

so that the end user experience is as

don’t have to wait for your next episode

Netflix library in DCN’s data center in

simultaneous as possible.”

of Gray’s to start.

Bismarck as well as in Fargo.”

Now, instead of traveling

Before Open Connect, when you selected

all the way to Chicago and

a movie from Netflix on your television

back, your request is sent

in North Dakota, the app would need to

across the state to the Open

request that content from Netflix’s main

Connect box in either DCN’s

server in Chicago.

Fargo or Bismarck data

“Think of it as a highway system, and the amount of time that it would take to get from Hettinger, North Dakota to Chicago,” Seth said. “Then, factor in the amount of

centers. From there, the content travels along DRN’s fiber and appears on your screen within milliseconds.

traffic you would have to compete with to

As more households

get there.”

complement their traditional

On the information superhighway that is the Internet, the farther away a piece of content is located, the more traffic you must compete with to reach it and the longer it will take to load—a phenomenon known as latency. When it comes to streaming, latency means more buffering, low video quality, and a subpar experience for the viewer.

TV viewing with streaming services, the decision to partner with Netflix on the Open Connect Network reflects DCN’s ongoing commitment to evolve along with the needs of North Dakotans. “That’s really what DCN does,” Seth said.

Interested in getting the best streaming quality possible? Contact your local broadband provider about upgrading your speed!

Learn more about BAND at broadbandnd.com.

“We make investments in North Dakota that are highly technical and complex, but for an end user, it simplifies their life.”



NINE TIPS TO GET STARTED WITH WINDOWS 10 1. Find apps, files and more on your PC Press the Windows logo key and type the name of whatever you want to find in the search box. Or, use the menu to navigate to your top apps and recent activities. 2. Customize your Start Menu Pin apps to the Start menu for quick access to what’s important. 3. Organize Start with folders Drag one tile on top of another to make a folder, then drag more tiles into it. To open the folder, just select it. 4. Find settings quickly Select Start - Settings, and then type keywords in the search box to find the setting you want. 5. Sign in with one account on all your devices Select Start - Settings - Accounts - Email & accounts, then select Add a Microsoft account to sign in. On each of your devices, sign in with that account.

6. Quickly change settings in action center Open action center (bottom right corner), then select a quick action to instantly change a setting or open an app. Or right-click a quick action and select Go to Settings or Edit quick actions. 7. Get apps for your PC Shop in the Microsoft Store for free and paid apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, and books. Select Start - Microsoft Store. 8. Keep your PC up to date Get the latest features and security updates. Select Start - Settings - Update & Security Windows Update - Check for updates to see if there are new updates. 9. Learn from the experts Windows experts can help you get the best out of Windows. Visit community.windows.com to learn about how to be more productive with Windows. Tips provided by Microsoft.

Still need to update your Windows 7 computer to Windows 10? Contact our team today at 344-5000.

PROTECT YOUR VALUABLE FILES. Your important tax files, family pictures, business information and other important files could be gone in seconds. Don’t wait until it’s too late - get Managed Online Backup today and prevent a disastrous file loss.


Don’t leave yourself open to data loss risk. For more information or a free consultation, call 344-5000!

ANNUAL NOTIFICATIONS Do Not Call Residential Notification To address consumer concerns about unwelcome telemarketing calls, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) established a national Do-Not-Call Registry. The registry applies to all telemarketers (with the exception of certain non-profit and political organizations) and covers both interstate and intrastate telemarketing calls. Commercial telemarketers are not allowed to call you if your number is listed on the registry. Consumers may register their residential phone number, and wireless numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call Registry for free. To register by phone, call 1-888-382-1222. For TTY call 1-866-290-4236. You must call from the phone number you wish to register. Or, register online at www.donotcall.gov. Telemarketers have up to 31 days to get your phone number and remove it from their call lists.

Battery Backup Notification DRN ReadiTech reminds customers your telecommunications services are powered by electricity. If your main power source goes out, all fiber customers have a backup power supply box provided by DRN in your home, apartment complex, or office building. The battery backup powers telephone service for approximately eight hours. This means the backup will provide eight hours of in use time or talk time. If the power is out for an extended period of time, telephone service will continue to work as long as the battery backup has not been depleted of its eight hours of in use time. During a power outage, Internet and television service disconnects immediately. In order to keep you and your family connected during an extended power outage, DRN ReadiTech recommends connecting your home or business to a backup generator or emergency backup battery. DRN ReadiTech offers a 24-hour extended battery for purchase. For details on buying an extended battery or any other questions regarding the battery backup, contact a customer care specialist at 344-5000.

NEW DIRECTORY LISTINGS Ellendale 349 Sandra Berens........... 349-4130 Jo Ann Porter............ 349-4109 Forman 724 Janice Christensen... 724-3665 Fort Ransom 973 Jason Jones.............. 973-4089 Gwinner 678 TG Larson Farms....... 678-2601 Hwy 13 Diner............. 678-2726 Lisbon 683 Lux Transport LLC..... 683-2309 Harris Lunneborg...... 683-4197 Robert Russell........... 683-3182 Litchville 762 Veronica Johnson..... 762-4853 Milnor 427 Aspire Realty............. 427-7473 Oakes 742 Peggy A Adam........... 742-3160 Gordon Brummund... 742-2243 Gloria Brummund...... 742-2554 Doreen Else............... 742-3496 Darwin Kurtz.............. 742-3541 Bryan Mayer............... 742-3971 Moving Mountains Learning Center......... 742-5001 Verona 432 Rainy Black................ 432-5661

NOW HIRING - SUMMER INTERNS Accounting, IT, marketing, and sales internship positions now available! For more information and full job descriptions visit: www.drnreaditech.coop - About Us - Careers


FEDERAL LIFELINE ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE For those who can’t afford communication services–Lifeline, a federal program, can help eligible people pay part of their phone or broadband bill. Lifeline can save you at least $9.25 on your monthly phone bill for basic local telephone service or broadband. Lifeline assistance applies only to service in the home where you live. Who is eligible?* An individual is eligible if he or she participates in one of the following programs:

*Only eligible persons may apply. Only one discount is available per household. Lifeline is non-transferable. How to obtain assistance: Offices that administer a program under which you are eligible for Lifeline may automatically send you an Assistance Certificate in the mail. Anyone wishing to participate in Lifeline is required to sign a form indicating, under oath, that they qualify to participate because they meet at least one of the program eligibility requirements. This must be signed and returned with a copy of your income or program eligibility.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

What if my benefits stop? If you no longer qualify for any economic program, you no longer qualify for Lifeline.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

For more information: Call DRN at 344-5000. Consumers must apply for Lifeline through their telco. company.

Federal Public Housing Assistance

Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension

In addition, a consumer may be eligible if his or her household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.

For more information on Lifeline Assistance call 344-5000 or visit lifelinesupport.org

RANGECAM Camera Surveillance for Rural Assets Cellular-connected cameras with easy setup, affordable service, and dedicated support. Photos or videos taken on: • motion detection • scheduled times • on-demand Then transmitted to you immediately. How it works? You pay at the end of each month for exactly how long you used the cameras and how much data they used. You can turn cameras ON or OFF in our web-app anytime. There are no activation fees.


Call 344-5000 today to learn more!

TV UPDATES As a video provider, we are subject to annual programming fee increases from programmers and network channel owners. For more information about these fees, please visit www.tvonmyside.com. Because of these programming fee increases, effective February 1st we enacted a $3.99 per month increase to the Ultimate Family TV package. Skitter TV As of February 1, 2020, we will no longer offer Skitter TV service. The decision to discontinue this service is the result of several key components—Skitter rate increase; the low number of members using the service and lack of support from Skitter.

Visit tvonmyside.com to learn more about programming fees, channel negotiations, and cable costs.

If you have any questions or comments concerning these notices, please contact our customer care department at 344-5000. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We thank you for your business.

Record Your Favorite Shows! With a DVR from DRN ReadiTech you can control how you watch TV. • • • •

Record, pause, rewind, and more Voice Control Remote Local Sporting Events Stream Easily

Learn more at drnreaditech.com or call our team at 344-5000.

WATCH LOCAL & STATEWIDE SPORTS ON DRN TV Channel 104 or 107 (Ashley) East | Channel 195 West | Channel 196


READi TECH 9628 Highway 281 PO Box 69 Ellendale, ND 58436

70 Years

This institution is an equal-opportunity provider and employer.

A CELEBRATION OF SUCCESS Founded in 1950 as Dickey Rural Telephone Mutual Aid Corporation, DRN has a lot to celebrate in our 70 years. A first of its kind in North Dakota, DRN has always been on the leading edge of technology. We invite you to join us this year in a look back and celebrate our success.


Headquarters 9628 Hwy 281 | PO Box 69 Ellendale, ND 58436

Lisbon Office 16 4th Ave W Lisbon, ND 58054

Oakes Office 103 6th St S Oakes, ND 58474