Red River Communications - Spring 2018 Newsletter

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The Streaming Revolution There’s a whole lot more to watch than just Netflix

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Your local telecommunications provider

Technology Blueprint: 4G LTE Flip Phones


There’s a CRAFT APP for That



Red River Communications SPRING 2018

FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER CHALLENGES REMAIN TO OFFERING A STAND-ALONE INTERNET SERVICE IN THE NEAR FUTURE Over the past year we have seen positive growth in the advanced services we offer, including digital TV, FiberFAST Internet, wireless broadband, and cellular services. I thank you for your patronage and the trust you have put in us.


Over the past few years I’ve talked about the possibility of offering stand-alone services. Though the FCC has addressed this and we can theoretically offer stand-alone broadband, the issue of adequate federal funding for rural telecom carriers, also known as Universal Service, has yet to be solved. The Universal Service program operates under a tight budget, without enough money to adequately fund all the important programs like broadband. Because of this we are unable to offer stand-alone broadband at a reasonable cost without also providing your landline service.


We remain hopeful that rural issues will be addressed by the FCC. It is imperative that programs meant to ensure rural consumers receive comparable services at comparable prices remain a cornerstone of the Universal Service program. In my last update, I addressed the issue of broadcast retransmission fees. We finished negotiations for these rates shortly before the new year. As was the case in previous negotiations, the broadcasters were relentless in their demands for higher rates. Our negotiations, however, were able to collectively save our members nearly $136,000 over the next 3 years compared to the broadcasters’ demands. We take this as a small consolation though, as we know that these kind of increases are simply unsustainable.


I want to extend a sincere thank you to all who attended our recent annual meeting. It is always a pleasure to speak with our members and hear firsthand how they are taking advantage of the fiber network that we’ve worked so hard to build.

As always, if there is anything we can do to make your experience with us better, just let us know! We are committed to delivering our communites world-class services with a hometown touch.


DIRK MONSON Member Support Manager The first flip phone hit the market in 1989. Nearly 30 years later, the design remains a popular choice. However, the end is near for old 3G flip phones. The major carriers are planning on turning down their 3G networks beginning at the end of this year. It means that the flip phone you have now may not work for much longer.

Kyocera Dura XV Perfect for the person who drops or drives over their phone ( happens).


New flip phones are arriving daily with features far exceeding the flip phones of yesterday with price points at a fraction of today’s smart phones.

Kyocera Cadence A budget flip phone that sports a classic front screen so that you can easily see who is calling. A great phone for those who don’t need extra features.


LG Exalt With a large screen and a 5MP camera, this phone boasts many of the features of a smart phone without the price or complexity. Our best selling flip phone of 2017



This ruggedized flip phone is water-proof and features 18.3 days of stand-by time.

Fear not! The change to cellular technology doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up the trusty flip phone. But, you will need to upgrade to an LTE-capable flip phone.

Red River Communications SPRING 2018

4G LTE Flip Phones


Today I Learned

Red River Communications SPRING 2018

Education Series Are you wondering how to watch the Bison next fall when their games are on ESPN3? Do you have questions about those Chromebook ads you’ve seen on TV? Maybe you’re thinking about making the leap to a smart phone. Make plans to attend one of our FREE community education classes this summer! Watch for Facebook posts and mailers with exact dates and locations.

Using a Smart Phone JUNE 2018


If you’ve ever been interested in learning more about smart phones or are considering purchasing one for the first time, this is a great introductory class. We will have several models of smart phones on demo from Apple and Samsung.

How to Watch TV...Everywhere JULY 2018


We’ll show you how to access all your favorite content (including the Bison) using the Watch TV Everywhere platform. Our class will show you how to sign-up, as well as use the service on different devices like iPad and Roku.

Chromebooks: How Do They Work? AUGUST 2018


Looking at a new laptop, but don’t want to spend $$$? A Chromebook is a great way to use Facebook, watch Netflix, and other internet tasks without breaking the bank. REDRIVERCOMM.COM

Like your FiberFAST internet service? Think Red River Digital TV is the best way to catch the game? Tell your friends! You’ll get $25 for each new service they take!


Red River Communications SPRING 2018


The Streamin


Red River Communications SPRING 2018

CARISSA SWENSON Consortia Consulting Streaming, the future of entertainment, can be convenient and economical once you get it set up and learn how to use it. Getting to that point can be overwhelming and confusing! I want to give you information to start streaming with little effort. Let’s start by explaining what streaming is. Streaming is the transmission of audio and video over the internet to computers, mobile devices and TV streaming devices. So essentially, it is watching videos over the internet, rather than through cable TV or satellite providers.

If you have one of the new Ultra HDTVs you will need 25 mbps just for that device! If others in your home are streaming content too, you will want to increase your bandwidth to accommodate everyone and every device in your home. STREAMING DEVICE There are many different ways you can stream videos. Videos can be streamed to smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs and traditional TVs that have been connected to a streaming device.

There are three things you need to start streaming: • FiberFAST internet • Subscription to a streaming service • Device to watch the content, such as a Smart TV, tablet, smart phone or a modern TV with a streaming device HIGH-SPEED INTERNET The internet connection should be capable of streaming while providing a quality connection to other devices in your home. An internet speed of 25 megabits per second (mbps) is the suggested minimum household download speed to stream content. REDRIVERCOMM.COM

Most sites will suggest you need less than that, however, if you are trying to stream a video while others in your house are using the internet for other things, you want enough bandwidth to handle all those activities at once.

These connected devices include Roku (pictured above), Google Chromecast, Amazon FireStick, Apple TV and gaming units such as newer models of the Xbox and PlayStation. There is a wide price range between these devices and each company offers multiple models. Based on reviews, the Roku family of devices have the highest rating and are the most reasonably priced. STREAMING SERVICE You have high-speed internet and a streaming device, now you need to decide what types of shows your family wants to watch. Some online videos can be watched for free, such as YouTube and Crackle. However, many streaming

ng Revolution that’s in your Digital TV package, and that channel is also on your Watch TV Everywhere lineup, you can log-on and watch TV everywhere you have an internet connection!

Red River Communications also has Watch TV Everywhere available for Digital TV subscribers.

The internet is playing a huge role in so many of our lives and entertainment is no exception. Before you decide to cut traditional cable TV or satellite from your monthly budget, be sure you will be happy with the options available through streaming services.

Watch TV Everywhere was created for those of us who still want to keep traditional cable TV, but would like to access shows on our mobile devices or when away from our TV. If you are already paying to access a channel

Red River Communications SPRING 2018

services offer subscription packages such as Netflix, SlingTV, Hulu and Amazon Video. With a little time and research on providers, you will find what content interests you.


You may decide you are not quite ready to start streaming full time!


Carissa is a technology expert with Consortia Consulting. She makes technology easy to understand, fun, and approachable. Thanks to the internet, she is based in Halliday, ND but works with companies throughout the country.

Get Connected to Watch TV Everywhere 1) Visit 2) Choose "Red River Communications" from the dropdown 3) Click the “Register” link 4) You’ll need the following info:

- Account Number - Last Name on Your Account

Note: Watch TV Everywhere requires an active Digital TV subscription. ESPN3 requires an active internet agreement.


5) You are ready to go! You can now use your Watch TV Everywhere account to watch your favorite shows from your computer, mobile device, or connected device.


Red River Communications SPRING 2018


People who do not know me personally may be surprised to learn that I love doing old-fashioned sewing and needlework in my down time. I find it very relaxing to work on a cross-stitch piece while watching sports on TV or making a quilt while listening to an audiobook. It is my time to unwind and create a gift or something for myself. Technology has played a significant role in my hobby since I order a lot of my materials, patterns and fabrics from the internet. Here are some great sites and apps you might want to check out for your next craft project.


Craftsy is a website full of great ideas for a lot of different crafts and projects. Not only can you get inspiration, but you can purchase supplies, step-by-step instructions and detailed videos taking you through the entire process of making something new. This is a great way to learn how to do a new project or learn a new skill. You can purchase a subscription

that gives you full access to all materials, or you can purchase individual projects. If you are an expert craftsperson and looking to make money from your craft, Custom Made allows you to sell your skills to someone looking for a specific item. It is also a great way to buy that special something that is custom made just for you!

CRAFT SPECIFIC APPS There are many apps in the App stores that are specific to certain crafts. If you search in the app store for quilting, woodworking, jewelry making, or any other craft, you may be surprised at the resources available at your fingertips. There are special calculators for helping design patterns, videos for how-to, and lots of ideas to keep you busy!

TECH TIP The free app Stitch Counter by Anna can count those stitches, whether they be knit or crochet.

Like Saving Money?




Red River Communications SPRING 2018



with our Customer Loyalty Program Say goodbye to confusing bundles! With our Customer Loyalty Program, the more services you have the more you save. It’s easy! Let’s say you have local phone and FiberFAST internet. That means you are eligible to receive a 3% discount on the price of your internet service. Add our Digital TV service and your savings jump to 7% on your internet package and Digital TV package! Add our cellular service to bump up your savings to 11%! HOW DOES IT WORK To enroll in our customer loyalty program, you’ll need to opt in to our paperless billing program ($5 one-time credit) and setup autopay on your account. You can use a checking account OR credit/debit card for autopay.


Local Phone


Digital TV $74.95 Discount: -$8.24 Cellular $80.00 Discount:


FiberFAST Internet






Contact Red River Communications for full details. Active 2-year agreement required for qualifying services. Discount does not apply on cellular line charges, digital TV extras such as DVR, additional set top boxes, or premium channels, FiberFAST Wifi, TechHome, local phone, long distance, taxes, fees, or other non-core services. Account must be in good standing to qualify.


With paperless billing, you’ll receive an email each month when your bill is ready to review. Plus, you can use our SmartHub app to review your account at anytime!

Customer Statement


Common Cents For the Common Good

Thanks to continued contributions by Red River Communications’ customers, the Common Cents program donated $18,894.50 in 2017. Common Cents is a nonprofit entity operated separately from Red River Communications. It awards funds to local non-profit and community organizations, as well as offering emergency & medical assistance for local individuals. Funds are raised when cooperative customers choose to round up their monthly bill to the next dollar. A taxdeductible donation of less than one dollar per month is made to Common Cents. Common Cents BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Carmen Marohl Lois Krautbauer Terri Tschakert Cheryl Hackey Benae Freeberg Joy Bang Angela Haugen Amy Bredman Elizabeth Thiele

Red River Area Sportsmen’s Club $494.50 for a trap shoot target thrower Wyndmere Museum Foundation $500 to finish school house basement Hankinson Fire Protection District $2,000 toward a replacement fire truck Bagg Bonanza Historical Farm $500 for building repairs

Lidgerwood Park Board $1,000 for new pool furniture Rollag Softball $1,000 to purchase a lawn mower Richland 44 PTO $500 for children’s theater production group fees Marketplace for Kids $500 for Education Day supplies

Mantador Fire Dept. $2,000 for fire truck repair

Richland 44 Music Parents $1,500 for sound and lighting equipment

McLeod Preservation Historical Society $1,000 to reroof McLeod depot

Fairmount Park District $1,000 for equip garage repairs & park shelters

Wyndmere-Barney Ambulance $1,000 for resuscitation mannequins

CHI St. Francis Health Foundation $1,000 for a sensory garden

Aber Park, Museum & Pavilion $1,500 to replace pavilion roofing Colfax Wold Softball Field $900 for new bases & umpire equipment

Wyndmere-Barney Ambulance $1,500 for an AED unit Colfax Wold Softball $500 for a new concessions grill One individual $500 for medical need

$148,208.50 Donated since 2008 167 Donations TO individuals and organizations


and we want to bring you the best communications services.

DENNIS MITCHELL Outside Plant Manager

After several years of constructing a new fiber optic plant, Red River With spring quickly approaching, Communications has some Red River Communications clean-up work to do. We is preparing for another are planning to remove the construction season. abandoned pedestals left by the installation of the There are two housing developments, one in Hankinson newer fiber optic cables and and the other in Colfax, that we pedestals. are planning for. We are also We got a start on this work planning to install approximately last fall in the Colfax Exchange 30 miles of backbone fiber and will be continuing this in the Mooreton-Wyndmerework over the summer Lidgerwood area. months. It’s important for the Construction on this project is expected in the fall. If you are planning construction of a new home or business, please give us a call and let us know about your plans. It helps with our planning

homeowner to let Red River Communications do this work because the newer cables could be damaged if the older pedestals are removed improperly. Please give us a


call if there is a pedestal that needs to be removed immediately. We are finding it necessary to upgrade some of our fiber optic electronics. All electronic equipment has a relatively short lifespan and then newer technology takes over. There are approximately 600 homes and businesses where we will be changing the electronics. A new UPS/battery backup will also be installed and there may be some minor wiring changes required in the home or business. We will notify those customers where we need to change equipment by a letter and appointments will be scheduled for this work.

Are you Planning a Do-It-Yourself Project? Planting a tree or putting up a fence? Remember to contact North Dakota One Call or Gopher State One Call! There are several utility lines buried such as fiber optic, electric, gas or water... The first step to any project is safety! Damaging an underground facility can be costly and can even cause injury or even death. Dial 811 to contact North Dakota One Call or Gopher State One Call and the utility line owners will be notified to locate their lines. It’s free, it’s simple, and it’s the law.



DEB SYVERTSEN Plant Maintenance Manager

Red River Communications SPRING 2018



PO Box 136 510 Broadway Abercrombie, ND 58001



WYNDMERE COLFAX MOORETON LOFF, GRANT 372-3822 FORD, BRYAN 274-8831 HAUGEN, JOSHUA R 439-2118 THOMPSON, RANDY 372-3429 JOHNSON, ALEX 274-8849 OLSON, DOUGLAS & SAMANTHA 439-2621 FAIRMOUNT DEL TORO, RAQUEL 474-5519 The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a GREAT BEND choice about whether to receive telemarketing FIECHTNER, BRADLEY J 545-7587 calls. The Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines. HANKINSON BOMMERSBACH ELECTRIC 242-7710 To enroll, visit PEDERSEN, LAVERNE 242-7131 THE CREATION STATION 242-7549 KENT NORDICK, GABRIELLE



538-4429 538-4999

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