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WINTER 2017

Your local telecommunications provider

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2

redrivercomm.com


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Red River Communications WINTER 2017

FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER PLEASE BE SURE TO MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING TO BE HELD IN ABERCROMBIE ON MARCH 16

After a busy and productive 2016, we are hitting the ground running in 2017. 2016 saw the last fiber drop plowed, ending a massive 12year project to bring Fiber to the Home for all members of Red River Communications.

JEFF OLSON GENERAL MANAGER/CEO

Though the fiber is in the ground, a few months remain to get all the fiber cut-over. Our crews are working diligently to complete the conversions that will allow every customer of Red River Communications to enjoy every service available to every customer. Services include FiberFAST Internet, crystal clear digital TV, and traditional voice services. We also offer 4G cellular services, and the more services you subscribe to, the more money you save with our Customer Loyalty Program. I want to thank everyone who has helped us over the years complete this project. Whether you helped us plan routes to your home, provided permission and easements, or assisted with the conversion at your home, your help is truly appreciated. The true meaning of “Cooperative” really shines through!

“...2016 SAW THE LAST FIBER DROP PLOWED, ENDING A MASSIVE 12-YEAR PROJECT TO BRING REDRIVERCOMM.COM

FIBER TO THE HOME FOR ALL MEMBERS OF RED RIVER COMMUNICATIONS.”

You may think our work is now done. That could not be further from the truth. Many hours go into maintaining the fiber facilities, as well as keeping the technology up to date. As all of us that have cell phones and computers know, technology moves very rapidly and the device you buy today may be outdated tomorrow! The same holds true for all the equipment and devices needed to provide you state of the art services. Our well trained, dedicated staff are up to the challenge of keeping this network up to date, and up to speed. Please be sure to mark your calendars for the Annual Meeting to be held in Abercrombie on March 16. After a hearty meal, you will be entertained by Carissa Swenson as she discusses living in an age where technology rules. Following Carissa’s presentation, you will hear updates on the operation of your cooperative. I hope to see you there!


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The Need

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Red River Communications WINTER 2017

Dirk Monson Member Support Manager One of the top questions our members ask is “how much speed is enough?” The answer to that question isn’t quite so straightforward. Take watering a lawn for instance. For a small yard, a single sprinkler attached to a small garden hose would probably be sufficient. But, trying to use that same setup to water a 5 acre pasture during a

drought wouldn’t work too well. Your internet connection isn’t too different. While a 20Mbps FiberFAST connection may be plenty for a single individual who uses the internet occasionally, it would be woefully inadequate for a family of 4 all using Netflix at the same time. The more people using the internet, the higher the speed you need to ensure a good internet experience for everyone.

So, What Speed do I Need? Fantastic question! Take an inventory of the devices you have that connect to the internet. Odds are you have more gadgets and gizmos that use the internet than you might realize. Think about cell phones, tablets, smart TVs, smart appliances – the list goes on and on. A recent study showed that the average home has about 8 internet connected devices. Many of these devices are accessing and using the internet, even when they aren’t being used. REDRIVERCOMM.COM

There’s no magic formula, but knowing how many internet connected devices you have in addition to how your household uses them is a big help.

We typically recommend our 50Mbps speed tier for most members as a starting off point. This provides enough speed to stream video and use the internet (e.g. Facebook) at the same time. If needed, we can easily upgrade your internet connection to speeds all the way up to 1000Mbps (1 gigabit) if you truly have the need for speed!


What’s a Mbps? Mbps is an abbreviation for Megabits per second. It’s a measure of the top speed your internet connection can achieve, split across the different devices that are using that connection. Let’s look at a 20 Mbps connection. That means that one person using that connection could reach a download speed of 20 Mbps. However, if two people were using that connection at the same time, the 20 Mbps of bandwidth (i.e. total speed) would be shared between the two of them.

Red River Communications WINTER 2017

for SPEED

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If two people were each trying to watch a 4K movie on different devices at the same time, the 20Mbps connection would not be sufficient. Both people would see constantly buffering video and have a poor internet experience. Our speed guide below explains why that matters.

Speed Guide We’ve put together a list of common internet activities and the minimum speeds recommended for each. Keep in mind that this is the speed needed for each person or device using that service. For example, a household with two people watching two different Netflix movies at the same time would need (at least) double the speed listed.

What You’re Doing Speed 3 Mbps

Netflix (High Definition)

7 Mbps

Netflix (Ultra HD/4K)

20 Mbps

Online Gaming 10 Mbps Streaming Music 2 Mbps

REDRIVERCOMM.COM

Netflix (Standard Definition)


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Red River Communications WINTER 2017

Students learn about careers in the alpaca industry during a Marketplace for Kids Education Day at Wahpeton in 2016.

COMMON CENTS UPDATE The Common Cents Board of Directors met in December to review applications and made donations totaling $3,500.00 to these organizations: FAIRMOUNT PARK DISTRICT $1,000 to renovate park restrooms MARKETPLACE FOR KIDS $1,000 for Education Day supplies SEND THEATRE $1,000 for a sound system FAIRMOUNT PUBLIC SCHOOL $500 for physical education mats Thank you to Red River customers who round up their monthly bills to the next full dollar and pool those extra funds into the Common Cents program. Over $130,000 has been awarded to area non-profits and community organizations since 2008.

REDRIVERCOMM.COM

TO APPLY

Download an application at redrivercomm.com/about/common-cents or contact our business office. Submitted applications are reviewed quarterly.


BACKUP POWER NOTICE Your voice telephone service is provided using state-of-the-art fiber optics which requires backup battery power to continue functioning during a power outage. To maintain the ability to connect to 911 emergency services and to avoid a disruption of home voice service during an outage, we provide a battery for the backup power for your home voice telephone service — at the time of the initial installation at no additional cost. This same battery is also provided to business customers although it generally does not provide enough power to run multiple lines or a business telephone system.

REPLACEMENT OPTIONS As previously noted, a backup battery has been provided by Red River Communications during the initial fiber installation. The backup battery is the property of Red River Communications and may need to be replaced every five to seven years or when the battery is no longer functioning. It is not possible for a customer to test the battery. We will provide and install at no cost to you a replacement backup battery, upon appointment, when it becomes known that the battery needs to be replaced. If you have any questions, please call 553-8309, 1-866553-8309 or email membersupport@redrivercomm.com.

Red River Communications WINTER 2017

BACKUP POWER FOR VOICE TELEPHONE SERVICES DURING POWER OUTAGES

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WHAT YOUR BATTERY CAN (AND CAN’T) DO FOR YOU The backup battery for your telephone service provided by Red River Communications allows you to continue to use your home voice services during a power outage. Without a backup battery, or alternate backup source such as a generator, customers with fiber-based telephone service will not be able to make any calls, including emergency calls to 911. The only way to maintain the ability to use your telephone is by using some form of backup power like the battery we provide.

Backup batteries are expected to last up to 8 hours on standby power. The backup battery should give you at least 6 hours of talk time, however, other factors may affect the battery so this is not guaranteed. If you feel that is not enough time, you may extend your standby power by purchasing additional spare 8-hour batteries from our company. Extended backup batteries may be available for purchase in the future. This information is provided in compliance with FCC Order 15-98.

REDRIVERCOMM.COM

Our backup battery does not provide power to any services other than voice. Digital TV and Internet services will not function on the backup battery. Home security systems, medical monitoring devices and other equipment typically will not run on a residential voice telephone backup battery.

EXPECTED BACKUP POWER DURATION


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Google Pixel XL

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Can it dethrone iPhone as the king of smart phones? Red River Communications WINTER 2017

Mardee Besette Member Support Specialist Change; it’s scary. However, it’s inevitable and constant with technology. We are always chomping at the bit for the next big thing, the newest, latest, and greatest. Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL (the larger screen version) have been dubbed the “best” Android phone on the market to date. Could the Pixel become Apple’s biggest competitor and should they be worried? I’ve been a loyal Apple user for over 7 years. I would never have dreamed of the day I’d give up my iPhone for an Android. However, I recently jumped ship and decided to give the Pixel XL a shot. I knew I could always go back to Apple with my tail between my legs if this new “relationship” didn’t work out. Even though it’s early, I can comfortably say I’m in love with this phone. The switch was pretty much effortless. The Pixel came with the cords and attachments needed to connect the two phones and transfer everything (and I mean everything). The one thing I was most hesitant about was losing all the music I had purchased through iTunes. Believe it or not, ALL transferred into the GooglePlay Music app. Any apps that were available for both IOS and Android transferred as well.

In addition to all of the previously mentioned features the picture and video quality is amazing. I know I’m in the “honeymoon”

Google is rumored to have already started working on the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2, which will have a waterproof design. It is also speculated that Google is working on a Pixel model with downgraded specs and a lower price tag.

BY THE NUMBERS PIXEL XL

SCREEN

5.5”

CAMERA

12MP

BATTERY

IPHONE 7 PLUS

3450mAh

STORAGE Up to 128GB WEIGHT

5.9 Ounces

5.5” 12MP 2910mAh Up to 128GB 6.6 Ounces

REDRIVERCOMM.COM

The hardware is fast and very responsive, the battery life is long, and the Google assistant is wise beyond other phone assistants (like Siri).

phase of this new venture with Google, however I’m riding out this wave of wonder.


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Red River Communications WINTER 2017

Take your TV service with you EVERYWHERE!

Jennifer Clark Member Support Specialist Ever wish you could take your Digital TV service with you on vacation? Want to check in on the big game while you’re away from home? Have a TV in a room you rarely use but wish you had your TV service connected to it only when you needed it? Well, I have fantastic news for you! Red River Communications offers a free service called watchTVeverywhere to all its digital TV subscribers. This service is completely free and only requires an internet connection like Red River’s FiberFAST WiFi internet service on the device you want to view your programming. REDRIVERCOMM.COM

WatchTVeverywhere even works on older “dumb” TVs. Simply connect a gadget like Roku, Chromecast, or a gaming console to your TV then go through the steps to connect your gadget to your FiberFAST WiFi internet to turn your dumb TV into a “smart” TV.

Not sure your WiFi is fast enough to stream video to your device? Call Red River Communications to learn more about our FiberFAST WiFi service including a WiFi “tune up” to make sure your signal is strong enough for streaming video. You should check your data plan before streaming your TV programming on a smart phone. Streaming video and TV content over a cellular network can become expensive if you have a limited data plan. You are responsible for all of the charges from your mobile carrier. Visit our website redrivercomm.com/ digital-tv/watchtveverywhere to see which networks participate and learn how to set up online access to your digital TV service subscription. Mention WatchTVEverywhere and get three months of any premium movie channel for free when you sign up for Red River Digital TV.*

Not all channels are available on WatchTVEverywhere at this time. *Promotional offer applies only to new Digital TV subscribers. Expires April 28, 2017.


2017 Customer Events Customer Appreciation Picnic

JULY

Customer Appreciation Picnic

AUG

Customer Appreciation Picnic

SEPT

Customer Appreciation Picnic

OCT

Coop Month Lunch

OCT

Coop Month Lunch

OCT

Coop Month Lunch

OCT

Coop Month Breakfast

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20

17

14

10

11

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Barnesville 5pm to 7pm

Lidgerwood 5pm to 7pm

Fairmount 5pm to 7pm

Rollag 11:30am to 1pm

Colfax 11:30am to 1pm

Hankinson 11:30am to 1pm

Abercrombie 8:30am to 11am

All events are open to the public and no RSVP is needed. Follow us on Facebook for more information.

REDRIVERCOMM.COM

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Abercrombie 5pm to 7pm

Red River Communications WINTER 2017

JUNE

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PO Box 136 510 Broadway Abercrombie, ND 58001

WINTER 2017

NEW DIRECTORY LISTINGS Abercrombie Bauer, Shad & Christie

Wyndmere 553-8373 Stein, Brianna

Barnesville Designs by Becky 354-7217 Glynn, B 493-4610 GP Headers 493-4251 Hankinson Vintage Rose Floral

242-7008

Lidgerwood Duerr, Dennis 538-4128 9195 Hwy. 18 Neiber, Alfred 538-7410 Mooreton Mistic, Kyra & Andrew Owen 274-8292

439-0043

65th Annual Meeting Attend the 2016 Annual Meeting on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at the Richland Elementary School in Abercrombie. A meal will be served from 5:00 to 6:30 pm, plus Carissa Swenson will speak about how technology is positively impacting our lives. The business meeting follows at 7:00pm.

Directors will be elected for three districts: District 2 – Barnesville District 5 – Kent District 9 – Lidgerwood/Wyndmere

BUSINESS HOURS

INTERNET HELP DESK

BILL PAY. YOUR WAY.

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

701-553-8309

855-386-9905 redrivercomm.com

Your local telecommunications provider

redrivercomm.com

Red River Communications - Winter 2017 Newsletter  

The Need For Speed: Sorting out the myths from the megabits and helping give you the best internet experience.

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