Red River Communications Spring 2016 Newsletter

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Red River Communications SPRING 2016





The past year was productive for Red River Communications. Favorable conditions allowed us to complete the fiber build in the cities of Hankinson and Lidgerwood. Cut overs are progressing well, allowing customers in these towns access to the highest speed and the highest quality network available. This year our fiber build will be completed in all of the areas served by Red River Communications. Contractors will be working in Abercrombie, Colfax, Mooreton, Great Bend, and Fairmount to place the fiber optic cable starting this summer. Cut overs to the new facilities will begin as soon as contractors are complete and the project is certified by our engineers. This will be a huge milestone for your Cooperative as Red River Communications will boast a 100% fiber optic network. The work that began in 2004 has gained much attention, both locally and nationally. Recently Red River Communications was named a Certified Gig-Capable Provider from NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association. As a Certified Gig-Capable Provider your Cooperative joins a national campaign to build awareness and industry recognition of community-based telecom providers that have built communications networks capable of delivering internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, which is 100 times faster than those currently available in many U.S. households. This recognition would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the employees of Red River Communications. We also continue to make investments into our wireless internet offering. With this service, we are able to provide a high-speed internet connection to customers outside of our primary service area. We recently installed upgraded equipment at our Breckenridge tower location. The goal of these upgrades is to offer even faster service to a larger number of customers.

Every year I talk about the FCC and changes that we see coming as the FCC works to reform the Universal Service Fund program. These are complicated issues as the FCC works to reform a program that must work with all communications companies, large and small, urban and rural.

I encourage you to stay in touch with your Cooperative. The Board, management and employees are here to help and support you in all of your technology needs. Thank you all for allowing us to serve you.

2016 Annual Meeting Recap A crowd of nearly 200 gathered in Abercrombie at Richland 44 Elementary School for our 64th

Red River Communications SPRING 2016

Our mission is ongoing. The fast pace world of technology will keep us forever learning and forever supporting our member-owners. This isn’t an easy task, but I am confident that we have the right people who are dedicated to this mission and greet each day with a can-do attitude and a desire to see Red River Communications succeed.


District 8 (Fairmount/Hankinson) Ron German, re-elected Members also approved changes to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws which will allow the Cooperative to react more quickly as the industry and regulations continues to evolve and change. Additionally, cash and other door prizes were given away to those in attendance. The grand prize, which was a year of free FiberFAST™ internet was won by Stella Helm of Kent, MN.

annual meeting on March 17, 2016. During the business meeting the members received an update on the financial status of the Cooperative and heard reports from Board President Dave Gauslow and General Manager/ CEO Jeff Olson. Three directors were elected to the Board:

District 6 (Mooreton) Neil Klosterman, re-elected

Member Support Manager Dirk Monson with winner Stella Helm


District 3 (Colfax) Rhonda Erbes was elected to replace Mike Myers who retired after 6 years of service on the Board.


CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Fiber Project Nearly Complete

Red River Communications SPRING 2016

Matt Ihland (Director of Operations) and Dennis Mitchell (Outside Plant Manager) supervise a wireless equipment install BY DEB SYVERTSEN PLANT MAINTENANCE MANAGER

Spring is here and we are preparing for another busy construction season. We will be completing our Fiber-to-the-Home network in the towns of Abercrombie, Colfax, Fairmount, Great Bend and Mooreton. Ripley’s Inc. has done a great job for us over the last few years and will be installing fiber for us in these towns as well. They plan to start mid-summer and all of the work should be completed within a few months. Splicing of the cable will be done in a short timeframe after construction and that will allow us to complete the cutovers at the homes and businesses in the fall and over the winter. When these towns are finished, Red River Communications will be 100 percent Fiber-tothe-Home!


Overbuilding all of our exchanges with fiber optics has been a very big project taking over twelve years to complete. We started construction in 2004 and 2016 marks the completion of our final projects. As a Cooperative, we are fortunate to be able to offer the finest communications services available anywhere in the country.

BEFORE YOU DIG If you are planning a building project, be sure to give us a call so we can plan accordingly to bury cable to your new house or building. We have several new homes and new customers that contacted us over the winter and we are making plans to bury cable for those customers very soon. Remember, if you are planting a tree,YOU digging CALL BEFORE DIG!a hole for a mailbox or installing a fence, contact North Dakota One-Call or Gopher State One-Call NOTon ONLY ISproperty IT A GOOD to have the utility lines your marked. IDEA, IT’S THE LAW. It is easy to call 811 to stay safe. The first step CALL 811. to any project is safety!

The more services you have, the more you save. 5

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SAVE UP TO 11% on phone, digital TV, internet and cellular from

Visit for more information

Must be a member of the cooperative in good-standing in order to qualify for the loyalty discount. Services must be currently in a two-year or longer agreement to qualify. Discount is 3% for 2 services, 7% for 3 services, and 11% for 4 services. Discount is on the base amount of the service not including taxes or fees. Must be enrolled in paperless billing and autopay. We reserve the right to discontinue this promotion. Qualifying services include cellular, digital TV, and internet. Local phone service is not discounted, but is required to qualify. For more information or to enroll, please call 701-553-8309 or email



Red River Communications SPRING 2016

Nobody looks forward to a car accident. Fortunately, there’s a dependable repair shop located nearby to get your vehicle back on the road. Reg Gilles owns Gilles Body Shop in Great Bend, ND. He opened up shop in 1974 after attending NDSCS in Wahpeton. The business, which is located in the former Great Bend school, specializes in auto body, auto repair, and used auto sales. Gilles also sells used car parts through his salvage yard. In fact, the business gets its name from the former school. “GBS stands for Great Bend school,” noted Gilles, “and that’s how I got the name Gilles Body Shop.” Before getting into the auto business, Gilles farmed with his dad (Tony) for a number of years. Reg and his wife of 33 years, Karen, live in Great Bend. When he’s not at the shop, chances are you can find him on the golf course or fishing. Call 701-545-7460 or 701-640-4841 for more information.


EMPLOYEE PROFILE Mardee Besette joined Red River Communications on January 11 as a Member Support Specialist. She will be assisting customers with new and existing services, also helping with sales and marketing. Her favorite part of her job is working with customers and co-workers. REDRIVERCOMM.COM

Originally from Valley City, ND, Mardee previously worked at Sanford Health as a HR Representative. Mardee lives in Abercrombie and enjoys photography, sports, hunting and fishing.

Erbes Joins Board of Directors Rhonda Erbes was elected to represent District 3 (Colfax Exchange) on the Board of Directors. She is filling the director position previously held by Mike Myers. Mike served on the Board from 2010 to 2016. Rhonda has worked for CHS Inc. (DBA Dakota Plains Ag – Kindred, ND) for 30 years as an office manager/grain account. Rhonda and her husband Lonnie live south of Colfax and have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren.

COMMON CENTS Barnesville Area Community Fund $1,000 for a splash pad Colfax Community Center $1,000 for a new furnace Lidgerwood Ambulance $1,500 for tables and chairs in training center Lidgerwood/Hankinson Rural Health Associaton $1,000 for building renovations Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion $1,100 for an AED

Funds are raised by rounding up monthly telephone bills to the next dollar. A tax-deductible donation of less than a dollar a month is made to Common Cents. To enroll in Common Cents, contact our office today at 701-553-8309 or email membersupport@


Red River Communications SPRING 2016

The Common Cents Board met in March to review applications and made donations totaling $6,100 to the following:

COMMON CENTS is a nonprofit entity which awards funds to local non-profit and community organizations and offers emergency & medical assistance for individuals.

One individual $500 for medical needs Three new directors joined the Common Cents Board in 2016. The entire current Board members are Nancy Phalen, Jackie Moen, Patty Zietlow, Cheryl Hackey, Kayleen Motschenbacher, Joy Bang, Carmen Marohl, Lois Krautbauer and Benae Freeberg. The Common Cents program has awarded $117,064 to area nonprofits, community organizations and several individuals since its inception in 2008.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS Applications for Common Cents are available at and are due by May 27 for consideration at the next meeting.

Sign-up for Paperless Billing and Get $5! Prefer to receive your bill electronically? Sign up for paperless billing 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. Call our office at 701-553-8309 or visit smarthub to enroll.

Email with your event details and we’ll advertise it on Red River Digital TV - free of charge.


Have an upcoming event, fundraiser, or community gathering that you or your non-profit organization want to advertise?

PO Box 136 510 Broadway Abercrombie, ND 58001


NEW DIRECTORY LISTINGS Abercrombie Beto, Merlin & Cathleen Heinz, Brian & Alyssa Ihland, Charles

Kent 553-9243 Perlenfein, Chad 553-8822 553-8533 Lidgerwood Christensen, Gladys Barnesville Lee, Codie Durensky, Brent & Michelle 493-4211 Martinez, Jake & Jessica Phillips, Benjamin & Leah 493-4307 Mooreton Fairmount Allmendinger, Stephen Kast, James 474-5564 Rollag Hankinson Kosmatka, Jason & Bre Bladow, Shane 242-9058 Bushey, Justin 242-8487 Wyndmere Dalchow, Daniel ND Center for Tobacco Prevention 242-8341 Dotzenrod, Ben & Allison Gonzalez, Marianna Haberman, Ben

Smykowski, Vincent & 557-9255 Jessica 439-9261 Stedman, Chance & Genea 439-0607 538-4311 538-7422 538-7284 274-8418 937-5537 439-2717 439-2733 439-2504 439-2536




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