Red River Communications Winter 2016 Newsletter

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The annual meeting will be held on March 17 at 5:30pm in Abercrombie at the Richland Elementary School.

Your local telecommunications provider


Red River Communications WINTER 2016

FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER FIBER-POWERED COMMUNICATIONS PROVIDES A MEANS FOR OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES TO BE AFFORDED INTERNET SPEEDS THAT ARE MANY TIMES FASTER THAN METROPOLITAN AREAS. This past year saw the continuation of our muti-year fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) project. Construction this year focused on Hankinson and Lidgerwood.


We began to move customers in Hankinson over to the new fiber network this past fall and will begin doing so in Lidgerwood sometime in February. We appreciate your patience as we work to connect everyone to the network in a timely manner. Our fiber projects represent much more than an incremental technology upgrade. Fiberpowered communications provides a means for our rural communities to be afforded internet speeds that are often many times faster than what’s available in metropolitan areas. Connectivity once reserved for only the largest businesses is now available to any individual or business on our fiber network.



We firmly believe that the fiber network can be the backbone for economic development and educational opportunities. We’ve already heard from members who are using their FiberFAST internet connections to more efficiently work from home. The amount of traffic our network carries has increased over 65% this year, which can be directly

related to our members opting for increased internet speeds. WHAT’S NEXT Our focus is on completing the fiber optic network build out that began in 2004. The towns of Abercrombie, Fairmount, Great Bend, Kent, and Mooreton are slated to be completed in 2016. Once finished, Red River Communications will join an elite group of companies that can proudly say they operate a 100% fiber optic network. With any construction project, there will be hiccups and disruptions. Our crews do the best that they can to ensure any such disruption is minimal. We sincerely thank you for your understanding as we work together to provide our members a world-class network. To celebrate, we have many FiberFAST launch events planned for 2016. It would be great to see you at one of them! Please stay tuned for event dates and locations.



to offer nationally-recognized channels.

It’s been over three years since Red River Communications started offering digital TV service. Like many of our members, we were fed up with the choices that were available through other providers.

Then, the head-end encodes the video so that the set top box connected to your TV can display the channel. The real magic is how the signal gets from the head-end to your TV.

Satellite TV promises low introductory prices, but the monthly price almost always increases after the first year. Cable TV simply isn’t available outside a few select towns. We knew we could do better.

Our Digital TV service is truly that - digital. The video signal

Red River Communications WINTER 2016

The DIGITAL TV Difference

from the head-end travels over our fiber optic network back to your home through fiber (or copper in areas that haven’t yet been built out). By doing it this way, we ensure that the TV signal is 100% digital. This means a clearer picture and more reliable signal that is unaffected by weather-related interference.

HOW IT WORKS Digital TV is a surprisingly complex mix of technologies.


TV broadcasters, like ESPN, take their video feed and beam it to a satellite, which is then delivered to a facility on the ground known as a “head end.” We share a head-end with several different companies. This helps keep costs down while allowing us

What’s the De


Red River Communications WINTER 2016

BY DIRK MONSON MEMBER SUPPORT MANAGER Nearly every device that connects to the internet today does so using wifi. Everything from tablets to refrigerators to TVs are wifi-enabled. So, just what is wifi? Wifi stands for wireless fidelity. Okay, that doesn’t help much; let’s try again. Wifi is the technology that allows a device called a wifi router to transform a corded internet connection into a wireless signal. Without this router, every device would need a cord to connect to the internet. Can you imagine needing to carry a cord around the house with you everytime you wanted to access the internet? Huge hassle! Wifi doesn’t replace your internet

connection, it merely enhances it. Perhaps it’s easiest to think of wifi in terms of water. Water comes to your house through a pipe, just like internet comes to your house through a cable. The wifi router is to the internet what a sprinkler is to the water pipe. Wifi is merely a different, more convenient way of distributing your internet access. Wifi always works perfectly, right? Unfortunately that’s not the case. Because of the very nature of wireless, it is susceptible to interference from everyday household appliances like microwaves or cordless phones or even other wifi routers. However, newer wifi routers do a better job at overcoming interfence than early models once did.

What Kind of Wifi Router Do I Need? We get this question a lot and the answer varies. We recommend a commercial grade wifi router called a Calix 844e. Our experience has been that this router is more robust than other comparable priced routers. This means that it has a stronger signal allowing for a faster speed (throughput) and a longer coverage area (range). A router not capable of delivering sufficient throughput is a bottleneck for your entire network. Going back to our water example, an insufficient router would be like using a drinking straw to provide water to your house!

The Calix 844e is available for lease for $6.95 per month or for purchase at $159.95. Call our office to get one today!

WIFI FACTS WiFi (pronounced wye fye) is a technology that allows computers, smartphones, tablets, TVs, and other internet-enabled devices to connect to the internet and communicate with each other wirelessly. WiFi uses radio frequencies (2.4GHz and 5GHz) similar to cordless phones. Much like those phones, wifi has a limited range. This means the further you are from the wifi router, the slower the speed will be.


The number of devices you have connected to a wifi router also makes a difference. Wifi has limited radio frequency spectrum (“bandwidth”). Because of this, too many devices trying to use it at once can cause a traffic jam, leading to slower speeds!

Calix 844e GigaCenter

The further you are away from the wireless router, the slower the speed. High-end routers use antenna technology to get around this limitation.

eal with Wifi? 802.11ac is the current standard and offers the fastest speeds & furthest range. It operates in the 5GHz radio band.

Red River Communications WINTER 2016

Wifi actually encompasses several different standards that vary in their speed and range. The original standard is 802.11b and has limited speed and range.


How Does Wifi Work? An internet connection travels via a fiber optic or copper connection from the nearest central office to your home or business. The connection terminates at your location either through a switch (copper connections) or an ONT (fiber connections). In case you are wondering, ONT stands for optical network terminal. Then, a device called a wifi router connects to the ONT or modem. This device is what allows your computers or other devices to connect to the internet wirelessly. Often times, the wifi router is a piece of equipment that you own. The router transforms the internet signal into a radio signal that is transmitted wirelessly. For optimum performance, the router should be as close to the center of the building as possible on the main floor. Without a wifi router, devices would need a physical cable connection to the ONT or modem in order to access the internet. REDRIVERCOMM.COM


What’s On TV?

Red River Communications WINTER 2016



Richland at WyndmereLidgerwood



Wyndmere-Lidgerwood at MilnorNorth Sargent

BUSINESS PROFILE BY RHONDA MILLER SALES ASSOCIATE Emily Ward is owner and operator of Karizma Salon & Spa in Hankinson. She opened the business in 2007 and celebrated her 8th anniversary in November 2015. This full service salon offers everything from haircuts and color to manicures, facials, and pedicures. A variety of products are for sale and gift certificates available. Please call 701-242-7645 for an appointment.

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January 25


Emily has always wanted to own a business. Her path to success started at Josef’s School of Hair Design Fargo and finished up at Rita’s Beauty School in Moorhead in 2002. After graduation, Emily worked at the Hide a Way Salon in Moorhead for 4 year as an assistant manager before moving to the Centre Square Salon in Wahpeton.

February 16


Emily is married to Adam Ward. Together they have a son Shiloh and a daughter Hazel.

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Karizma is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9am to 5pm and Thursday from 12pm to 8pm.

Hankinson at WyndmereLidgerwood

Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah at Hankinson Richland at Sargent Central Lisbon at Richland

All games on Red River Digital TV channels 3001 and 3002

Go Paperless - Get $5

Prefer to receive your bill electronically? Sign up for our paperless billing service and receive a one-time $5 bill credit!


With paperless billing, you’ll be able to receive your bill online or through your mobile phone (coming soon). Call our office at 701-553-8309 to enroll.

Karizma Salon & Spa is located at 341 Main Ave South in Hankinson. Find her on Facebook for the latest updates.

CONSUMER RIGHTS Your Red River Communications service representative has a basic responsibility to answer your questions and resolve your problems. If you’re not satisfied, feel free to ask for a supervisor or the manager. If you are still not satisfied, you have the right to file a formal or informal complaint with the appropriate public commission. ND Public Service Commission 600 E. Blvd, Dept. 408 Bismarck, ND 58505-0480 1-701-328-2400 or 1-877-245-6685

MN Public Utilities Commission 121 7th Place E. Ste. 350 St. Paul, MN 55101-2147 1-651-296-7124 or 1-800-657-3782

SD Public Utilities Commission Capitol Building, 1st Floor 500 East Capitol Ave. Pierre, SD 57501-5070 1-800-332-1782

FCC Consumer Affairs 445 12th St. SW Washington, DC 20554 1-888-225-5322 or 1-888-835-5322 (TTY)

Annual Meeting Notice Directors will be elected for three districts: District 3 - Colfax District 6 - Mooreton District 8 - Fairmount and Hankinson See for qualifications. Nominations due Feb. 26. Meeting is March 17 in Abercrombie.

COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE in Minnesota from Red River Communications.

Red River Communications will be offering scholarships to graduation high-school seniors. Details are being finalized.

Scholarship funds will be awarded after the student successfully completes their first year of college or technical school.

Students whose parent/guardian is a member of the cooperative will be eligible to apply. Minnesota Students The Minnesota Telecom Alliance Foundation will award five $2000 scholarships to MN high school seniors graduating in 2016. As a member of the MTA, Red River Communications can offer this scholarship opportunity to students attending Minnesota high schools and whose parent/guardian has service

Students who have an interest in communications technology and rural communities will be given preference for these scholarships. Completed applications must be postmarked by February 26, 2016 and returned to Red River Communications. FRS Scholarship Apply for a $2,500 or $5,000 scholarship offered through the Foundation for Rural

COMMON CENTS The Common Cents Board met December 1 and made four donations totaling $4,000 to the following organizations:

Friends of the Hankinson Library

$1,000 for Imagination Library (national book giveaway program)

Hankinson Park Board

Service (FRS) and Red River Communications. At least thirty $2,500 scholarships will be awarded nationwide, with Red River sponsoring local winners. Any graduating high school senior who plans to attend an accredited 2-or 4-year school and whose parent/guardian has service from Red River Communications is eligible to apply. Scholarship applications are available at or from your school counselor. Our General Manager’s signature is required and applications must be postmarked by March 1, 2016. Visit scholarships for details and applications.

COMMON CENTS is a nonprofit entity which awards funds to local non-profit and community organizations and offers emergency & medical assistance for individuals. Funds are raised by rounding up monthly telephone bills to the next dollar.

Mantador Park District

A tax-deductible donation of less than a dollar a month is made to Common Cents.

Mooreton Park Board

To enroll in Common Cents, contact our office today!

$1,000 to replace park bathrooms $1,000 for park upgrades and playground equipment

Red River Communications WINTER 2016



$1,000 for park upgrades and playground equipment The Common Cents program has awarded $110,964 to area nonprofits, community organizations and several individuals since its inception in 2008.


Nellie previously worked 5 years at RDO Equipment Company as a Sales Coordinator. She and her son Colton (7) live near Christine, ND.


Nellie Olsgaard joined Red River Communications on November 30 as a Plant Clerk. Nellie will be working on maintaining plant records and managing plant inventory. Her favorite part of her job is learning new skills and working with great people.

PO Box 136 510 Broadway Abercrombie, ND 58001




Berseth, Nathan & Janelle 553-8783 Heyen, Chris 553-9064 Stubson, Gerald 553-8783

MMC Electric

Barnesville Kletsch, Jacob 493-4681 Kramer, Vi 493-4607 Peppel, Kelly & Christy 493-4346 Story, Donovan & Whitney Poppel 493-4555

Wyndmere 218-731-2173


Mooreton Sun Dog Saloon



Geffre, Markus 474-5540

Carmichael, Brandon & Melissa 937-5212 Flaten, Darnell 937-5203 Nelson, Maury & Aileen 937-5333 Weber, Luke & Mandy 937-5624

Seltvedt, Tamera 242-7829 Westphal, Justin & Jenny 242-8993

439-0002 439-0752

Cunningham, Joey 538-4833 Kohoutek, Travis 538-7446 Illies, Lance 538-9362

Fairmount Hankinson

Woodbury, Bryce & Tracy Woodbury, Wade & Bobbi




Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:30pm

Need assistance? We’re here 24/7 to help you!

Pay your bill without any added fees!

Closed Saturday and Sunday



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