Summer 2016 Newsletter

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Red River Communications SUMMER 2016


Looking at the calendar, it is hard to believe that we are past the middle of the year and are nearing the end of summer. Where has the time gone? JEFF OLSON GENERAL MANAGER/CEO

However, the coming fall season does bring with it some good news. We have renewed our long-standing agreement with BEK Communications to broadcast local high-school sports events within our communities. This service has been met with rave reviews and is another way we continue to differentiate ourselves from other TV service providers. Expect an even better quality product this year as all broadcasts will be in high-definition. Our staff is anxiously awaiting the arrival of construction crews to begin the final year of construction of our fiber to the home project. We anticipate this year’s construction to go smoothly largely thanks to the work of our staff and partners. As I’ve mentioned before, this year will be the culmination of 12 years of visioning, planning, and execution. The completion of this project will put your Cooperative in elite company as one of only a handful of providers in the nation to boast a 100% fiber network.



This fall will also bring with it a new, exciting offering. We are currently in the early planning stages of offering a community-wifi service. The service will allow our membership to access the same reliable Red River Communications’ internet connection they are used to at home when they are near designated access points. More information about this “first in the region” service will be coming this fall. In other news, we continue to monitor how recent FCC actions and reform orders will affect your Cooperative. Rest assured, we will continue to provide our membership top-notch service at affordable prices. We will do our best to communicate how any changes may affect you well in advance.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE We are so excited to be completing our Fiber to the Home network this year! With the construction in the towns of Abercrombie, Colfax, Fairmount, Great Bend and Mooreton we will be 100 percent Fiber to the Home. We should be starting construction toward the middle of August and expect to be done early in the fall. Splicing of the cables should be complete shortly after that and we will begin installing the electronics and connecting customers to the new fiber network over the winter months.

Red River Communications SUMMER 2016



Ripley’s Inc. from Erhard, MN will be our contractor. They have done excellent work for us in the past and we expect great results from them again. As a cooperative here in the upper Midwest we are fortunate to be leaders in bringing the cutting-edge communications services that fiber optics provides. The broadband speeds that we are able to provide to you on our fiber optic network make our communities thriving and growing places to live.

Call Before You Dig Are you planning a do-it-yourself project? There may be several buried utility lines on your property, such as electric, telephone, gas, water or sewer. Remember to call North Dakota One-Call or Gopher State One-Call to have the utility lines on your property marked. It is easy to call 811 to stay safe. It’s free, it’s simple, and it’s the law.

Sign-up for Paperless Billing and Get $5! 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 to enroll.


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


COMMON CENTS FOR THE COMMON GOOD: “Rounding Up” Makes a Large Difference

Red River Communications SUMMER 2016

DONNA THIEL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Community improvement was the goal of Red River Communications’ Board of Directors when they organized Common Cents in 2008. Common Cents is a non-profit entity to awards funds to local nonprofit and community organizations and offer emergency & medical assistance to individuals. These funds are generated when our customers choose to round up their monthly bill to the next dollar and contribute less than a dollar a month (up to $12/year) to Common Cents. Thanks to these contributions, the Common Cents program has awarded more than $122,800 since the program started in 2008.


Who Receives Funds Local organizations benefiting from Common Cents awards include community centers, fire and rescue departments, park boards, museums, ambulance service, historical and community attractions, medical needs, theater groups, libraries, military organizations and youth activities, plus several Red River Communications members with emergency or medical needs.

“Common Cents . . . for the Common Good” How a project will benefit the community is the key question when a separate nine-person Common Cents Board meets quarterly to review applications. One director represents each of our districts. The current Board members are:

Chairman Nancy Phalen – Lidgerwood/Wyndmere Vice-Chairman Patty Zietlow – Great Bend Secretary/Treasurer Jackie Moen – Kent Joy Bang – Rollag Kaylene Motschenbacher – Barnesville Cheryl Hackey – Abercrombie Benae Freeberg – Colfax Carmen Marohl – Mooreton Lois Krautbauer - Fairmount/Hankinson

Abercrombie Park Board $1,500 for baseball equipment Colfax Softball Association $500 for fast pitch equipment Hankinson Community Betterment Club $750 for tables & chairs Marcus Friskop Learning Site and Veterans Memorial $1,500 for an orchard irrigation system Matt Kinneberg $1,500 for narcotics search dog training One individual $500 for medical expenses

Applying for Funds REDRIVERCOMM.COM

Common Cents applications should be for a specific project in or around our service area and are due one week before each Board meeting or around the 24th of February, May, August and November. Please include quotes, bids, and any fundraising for the project. Applications are available online at or at our business office. Completed applications may be returned by mail, dropped off or e-mailed to


Switch and Save:

Red River Communications SUMMER 2016


Did you know that Red River Communications offers up to an 11% discount on your monthly cellular plan price? Plus, our plans start at only $50 month for a smart phone with nationwide coverage! Switching to Red River Cellular is easy, whether you have service with another carrier or not. To make switching even easier, have these items ready when you come to our office:

Bring Your Phone By bringing your current phone with you, we’re often able to transfer your contacts, photos, and other important information to your new phone. This makes setup a breeze!

Bring Your Bill If you want to keep your existing phone number, we’ll need a copy of your latest cellular bill from your current provider. If you use paperless or online billing, have your account login information handy.

Bring Your Logins Be sure to bring your logins for things like Apple iCloud and Gmail with you if you plan on getting a smart phone. We’ll need these to complete setup of your new phone. We’ll help you create these logins if you are moving to a smart phone for the first time. Generally, it takes about an hour to pick out a phone and get everything setup.

Call 701-553-8309 for questions or to setup a cellular appointment today!

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Our cellular showroom carries the latest cell phones and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm.


What You Can Expect Wh

Red River Communications SUMMER 2016

We’re embarking on the final year of construction for our fiber to the home project. The project aims to connect every member in the Cooperative to a fiber-optic connection.

What is Fiber Optics and Why is it Important? Fiber optic cables (or fiber for short) use light to transmit voice, video, and data services. Traditionally, this information was transmitted on copper cable. While copper provided the backbone of communication service for many decades, its ability to handle future technologies is very limited and the cable is nearing the end of its useful life. Fiber has a great capacity to carry large amounts of data, which allows for faster internet speeds and new services like Digital TV.

When is it Coming and Where? Soon! We anticipate that construction will begin in the town of Fairmount sometime in August, with work quickly progressing to the other four towns on our construction schedule this year. Those towns are Mooreton, Great Bend, Abercrombie, and Colfax. All other areas in our cooperative have already been connected by fiber.

What Do I Need to Do? For right now, our members don’t need to do anything. A Member Support Specialist will contact you this fall or winter when your home is ready to be connected to the fiber network.

Improved Reliability Fiber is not susceptible to interference like traditional copper communication cable. This translates into a better experience for you and your family.

Faster Internet A fiber connection means that internet speeds up to one gigabit will be available! That’s nearly 650 times faster than traditional internet connections. REDRIVERCOMM.COM

More Services Fiber allows Red River Communications to deliver our high-definition Digital TV service to any member within our service area, as well as other future services.

hen Fiber Comes to Town First, construction crews from Red River Communications and our partner Ripley’s Inc. will be seen around town. Flags marking existing utlity lines will be placed to ensure that the fiber optic cable has a clear path for installation. At this phase, construction will be primarily limited to public right-of-ways and alleys.

CONNECTING YOUR HOME An employee of Red River Communication will visit your home to determine how fiber will get from the public right of way to your home. The technical term for this connection is a “drop.”

Red River Communications SUMMER 2016



The fiber optic cable will be bored or plowed, depending on the distance, to a location near where your existing copper phone line enters your home. Our goal is to make the installation minimally invasive to your yard.

INSTALLATION A new box will be installed on the outside of your home. This box will replace the existing copper phone line box that may already be on your home. Once construction is completed, a Member Support Specialist from Red River Communications will contact you to schedule an appointment for connection to the fiber network. The appointment is completely free and is necessary to continue offering service to our cooperative members. This step is called a “cut-over.” Generally, these appointments will begin 6-8 weeks after construction has been completed in your town.

Fiber allows us to provide you faster internet speeds and new services like Digital TV. If you would like to add a new service, please let our Member Support Specialists know. They can often schedule installation to coincide with the connection of your home to the fiber network.





Red River Communications SUMMER 2016

David joined Red River Communications on June 20 as an Outside Plant Technician. He will be learning company protocol, processes with Fiber-to-the-Home, trouble calls and work on construction projects. David’s favorite part of his job is the diversity – splicing fiber, construction and trouble calls. Originally from Red Lake Falls, MN, David previously worked at Master Construction as a fiber splicer. He and his wife Melissa live in Moorhead, MN. David enjoys golfing, hockey, spending time at his hunting cabin and being with his family at the lake.

DIGITAL TV UPDATE As we’ve mentioned in the past, the cost to bring you popular channels continues to increase. While your Cooperative and our industry tries to find an amicable middle-ground with content providers, we are often held hostage by broadcasters demanding higher programming fees. Unfortunately, in order to keep popular channels in our lineup, we are being forced to increase our monthly Digital TV rates. Effective October 1, our Digital TV packages will be priced as follows: Basic $27.95 Choice $66.95 Premier $79.95

Broadcast Retransmission Fee In order to carry local channels (such as NBC or FOX) local broadcasters require TV service providers pay a monthly fee.


Additionally, the broadcast retransmission fee will increase to $7.83 per month. This fee is further explained in the box at right. Monthly fees for DVR service will increase to $14.95 per month and set top lease fees to $5.95 per month.

The collected fee is paid by the customer and is distributed in full to the local broadcasters. The fees are determined by the broadcasters.

We understand that this price increase may cause frustration. But, know that your Cooperative is doing what it can to hold the line as programmers charge even more exorbitant fees for content.

The rules governing these fees are part of the 1992 Cable Act.

To learn more about our efforts to keep TV prices affordable, visit:

The more services you have, the more you save. 9

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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 SUMMER 2016

DIRK MONSON MEMBER SUPPORT MANAGER The warm weather and long days mean only one thing: time for golf. While the region offers numerous quality golf courses, Willow Creek Municipal Golf Course is truly a hidden gem. The nine-hole course is located just east of Barnesville on highway 34 and features varied terrain, making for a challenging but very playable course. Course manager Brock Walseth notes, “the course is well-suited for all skill-level of players.” The facility has recently seen a number of improvements, both to the clubhouse and to the course itself. More upgrades are planned for the future, including additional options for onsite food. “It’s just a fun course to come and play,” remarked Walseth when asked what he liked best about the course. “The quality of the course far exceeds the size of town.” The challenging but approachable course plays at 5,540 yards from the blue tees, making it a destination for players looking for more than the average nine-hole course. The course and its staff are welcoming to newcomers and regulars alike. “You have that small town feel when you come here. My favorite part of the job is meeting new people,” said Walseth. Once finished with their round, players are encouraged to stick around the clubhouse, where they’re sure to find the Golf Channel on and a cold beverage waiting.

PLANNING YOUR VISIT Reservations are encouraged on weekends and holidays. Discounted youth rates available.



8am to 8pm

Green Fees:

$15 (9 holes) $22 (18 holes) $30 (All day)


$16 (9 holes) $23 (18 holes) $28 (All day)

Tee times: 218-493-4486


MARDEE BESETTE MEMBER SUPPORT SPECIALIST Nearly every internet-enabled device you own, from cell phones to TVs to computers, uses wifi to wirelessly access the internet. It’s important to have a wifi router with the right capabilities to help your devices connect to the internet.

Red River Communications SUMMER 2016

How Do You Wifi?


A wifi router that is underpowered is a bottleneck for your entire home. To use an analogy, an insufficient wifi router would be like using a drinking straw to provide water to your house. Sure, it might work but the water from your faucet would slow to a trickle! We recommend the Calix 844e Gigacenter wifi router. Our experience has been that this router is faster and more reliable than other comparably priced routers. This means that it has a stronger signal allowing for faster speeds (throughput) and a larger coverage area (range). It’s like a racecar with a big fuel tank! The Calix 844e Gigacenter router is an 802.11ac router, the latest technology behind wifi. While that may sound like Greek, it means that it is optimized for the latest devices. You and your family can use all your devices at the same time without experiencing an internet slow down.

To get a Calix 844e Gigacenter wifi router, call our office at 701-553-8309 or email Our Member Support Specialists would be happy to help ensure you get the possible wifi and internet experience!


Red River Communications offers the Calix 844e Gigacenter router for only $6.95 per month. This wifi router will improve your internet performance throughout your home and across all your internet-enabled devices. For only $99, one of our trained technicians will perform a wifi tune-up on your home and install the Calix 844e Gigacenter in the best location possible!

PO Box 136 510 Broadway Abercrombie, ND 58001


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