Red River Communications - Fall 2018 Newsletter

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FALL 2018

Your local telecommunications provider

Watch TV....Everywhere!


Locally Made: Dakota Vines


Upgrading Your Cell Phone


Fall 2018 Edition Volume 3, Issue 3 2

Red River Communications Fall 2018

The Red River Communications newsletter is published quarterly for our customers. It is distributed free-of-charge to our customers in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dave Gauslow President District 1 - Abercrombie Ronald German Vice-President District 8 - Fairmount/Hankinson Gary Boutiette Secretary/Treasurer District 5 - Kent Wayne Schindler District 2 - Barnesville Rhonda Erbes District 3 - Colfax Harlan Deike District 4 - Great Bend Neil Klosterman District 6 - Mooreton Thomas Bjorndahl District 7 - Rollag Ione Eckre District 9 - Lidgerwood/Wyndmere COVER PHOTO A recognition of the communities we serve as a cooperative.

From the

General Manager Jeff Olson General Manager/CEO October is National Cooperative Month. The theme for 2018 is “Cooperatives – See the Future”. At Red River Communications, our members not only see the future, they are living the future with state of the art connections to the world. The goal of any cooperative is to improve the life of their members. By providing access to voice, video, and FiberFAST data connections, the members of Red River Communications enjoy better connectivity to the outside world than many major metropolitan areas. How can a small cooperative like Red River Communications achieve such lofty goals? The board and management of your cooperative answer to you, not outside shareholders! A cooperative is democracy in action, where your board of directors are your peers elected by you. As a member, you are an owner of Red River Communications. Much of the work we do is dictated by the needs of the membership, not by how much money we make. Periodically, the board of directors elected by our members will decide to make a capital credit retirement. That retirement is returned to you as a capital credits check like the one you might have just received this month. Capital credit retirements happen even if you no longer have service with Red River Communications. It’s important to keep your address updated if you move out of the area so that future checks can be sent to you. Here are some interesting statistics about cooperatives: 1 out of 3 Americans is a member of a cooperative, there are 2,106 agriculture co-ops in the US with over 2 million member owners, and consumer cooperatives have a membership base of over 343 million members. Thank you for being a member of Red River Communications. Together, we are making Rural America vibrant now and into the future.


Red River Rural Telephone Assoc. 510 Broadway, PO Box 136 Abercrombie, ND 58001 701-553-8309 Produced by the staff of Red River Communications


Boxes? Check! Moving truck? Check! But did you call Red River Communications? If you plan on moving, give us a call! We can assist you in stopping your service. Plus it’s important to keep your address current so we can send you future capital credits checks. Keep us updated - don’t miss out on the benefits of your past membership!


Red River Communications Fall 2018

DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL A cooperative is a democratic organization controlled by its members who are given opportunities to actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Members contribute to the capital of their cooperative. This capital is used to operate the cooperative. A portion is returned back to the members in the form of capital credits, based on patronage (service).

Find out more at



Red River Communications Fall 2018

Take your TV service with you EVERYWHERE!

Jennifer Clark Member Support Specialist All Red River Communications Digital TV subscribers have a neat perk you may not know about…and it’s FREE! It’s called WatchTVEverywhere. This free feature allows you to watch many sporting events and your favorite shows anywhere you want - NOT just on the TV in your living room!


We offer a word of caution when watching video and TV content over your cell phone or hotspot connection: BEWARE OF DATA USE! Streaming video content will run up your data use very quickly so be aware of your cellular data plan! If you’re using a laptop or desktop computer, open your favorite internet browser (like Chrome or Firefox), navigate to watchtveverywhere, click the WatchTVeverywhere button, login with your credentials (see the guide on page 5), click on the network icons and pick the show you want to watch! One thing we like to remind customers is not all internet packages are made to support video streaming - especially high-definition quality content. A faster internet package may be needed so you don’t suffer unexpected buffering. If you get that dreaded buffering symbol, it might be time to upgrade to a faster connection! 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 regular 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. Red River Communications offers a variety of internet packages that supports video streaming. Call our office to speak to one of our Member Support Specialists for details on which package may be best for your situation. Mention WatchTVEverywhere and get one month 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 December 31, 2018.

Setting up Your WatchTVEverywhere Account

STEP TWO Select Red River Communications as your TV provider and select Register to create a new account.

STEP THREE Using the information from your bill, enter your Account Number and the Last Name as shown on the statement.

STEP FOUR Once signed up, you can use the login information on all your devices like smart TVs, tablets, and laptops to access some of your favorite programming online. If you’re using a tablet or smart TV, you’ll need to download the channel’s free app (e.g. History) from your device’s app store. You’ll need to enter your WatchTVEverywhere login within the app to unlock all of the available content. Searching for TV Everywhere in your app store will bring up many apps!

So...where’s my Bison Football? 10 of the 11 regular season Bison games will air on our local NBC channel (Red River Digital TV 11 & 1011). Most Bison games will be streamed over the new internet-based ESPN+ service that is different from ESPN3. This is a new online streaming service offered by ESPN and it is NOT offered through traditional TV. ESPN+ costs $4.99 per month and is subscribed to directly from ESPN. The November 10th game against Missouri State will be available exclusively on the ESPN+ platform.


Red River Communications Fall 2018

STEP ONE Grab your latest RRC bill and head over to online. You’ll need your account number and the last name as shown on the bill (highlighted). Note: you’ll need to be subscribed to Red River Digital TV to sign up for a WatchTVEverywhere account.


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Locally Made: Locally Awesome

Dakota Vines is Creating Works of Art - One Bottle at a Time

Red River Communications Fall 2018

Co-founder Bob Grosz stands behind the bar at Dakota Vines in rural Colfax


Bob and Deb Grosz have opened “We had a lot of time to fill,” Deb their doors and are sharing their remarked. “This was a really passion for wine with the world. great opportunity for us to spend more time together.” Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery, located on County Road The decision to start a winery 4 east of Colfax, opened this past was not arrived at quickly, June in a brand new facility that however. In fact, it’s a journey was the result of nearly a year of that began nearly 15 years ago. construction and collaboration. “In 2003, I made my very first The vineyard and winery is wine,” Bob said. “It was from a located immediately south of kit and it was a lot of fun. From Crooked Lane Farm, occupying there I found a place that would land that once contained crops ship grapes from Washington to more common to North Dakota experiment with.” like soybeans and corn. Three years ago, Bob made a Today, nearly 200 grapevines big leap towards making his occupy the space in front of the and Deb’s dream of opening a winery. winery a reality. He enrolled in a program from the National The self-proclaimed emptyScience Foundation (NSF) called nesters said that starting a Enology - literally the science of business was necessary. wine making.

This program combines the expertise of 13 different colleges and universities across the United States. Delivered online through a virtual classroom, the program draws participants from many different areas. “The best part,” Bob joked, “was that each class required one weekend in a winery.” Bob and Deb have crafted seven different wines for their inaugural season: 2 red, 2 white, and 3 fruit-based wines (apple, pear, and plum). “There is an art and a science to wine. Our kids are really artsy and this is our art,” noted Deb. They have intentions to expand their wine varieties in 2019 to include a strawberry-rhubarb, chokecherry, currant, and

several others.


Red River Communications Fall 2018

“A wine maker can make one different decision and their wine can taste completely different,” Deb commented when asked about how Dakota Vines differentiates themselves from other wineries. Bob noted that they plan to focus on creating wines using fruits native to the region. The goal is for the onsite vineyard to supply much of the fruit needed for wine making once the vines mature, which can take upwards of 3 years. In addition to the wines crafted on site, a selection of local craft beer and non-alcoholic beverages are available. The winery has several seating areas, including a two-story great room called “The Gallery” with expansive windows that highlight the scenic Wild Rice River that runs near the property. The walls of the winery are adorned with art produced by local artists, who are invited to showcase their works - many of which are for sale. The artists keep 100% of the proceeds from any artwork sales. “We hope the art brings people out,” Deb said. “Perhaps they will enjoy a glass of wine while they enjoy the art.”

DAKOTA VINES VINEYARD AND WINERY ADDRESS: 17355 County Road 4, Colfax, ND OWNERS: Deb and Bob Grosz HOURS: Seasonal. Check for hours


While the winery will be closed for the winter, it will open for special events throughout the season. Check their website or Facebook page for details about these events and information about where you can obtain their wine.


So, What SPEED do I Need?

Red River Communications Fall 2018

Dirk Monson Member Support Manager If watching a single Netflix movie in highdefinition takes 5Mbps (megabits per second), a 20Mbps FiberFAST connection should be plenty, right? Well - not exactly. Let’s use an analogy to break it down a bit more. Imagine that you’re driving on the interstate in a car that can go the speed limit of 75mph. No matter the amount of lanes on the road, your car can only go 75mph. However, the same road with multiple lanes comes in handy, especially when other family members have their own cars. By sharing the same (larger) road, odds are you’ll all reach your destination faster than you would on a single lane road. A bigger road can carry more cars at the same time even though the speed limit remains the same. Likewise, with higher bandwidth internet (sometimes also referred to as speed) you can actually do more at the same time. But, doesn’t a faster internet speed mean I’ll download things faster? The answer is: it depends. Internet speed is essentially a measure of how fast data can transfer from your computer to or from another computer or

service (usually a server at a company like Netflix). The service on the other end might have a speed limit that is far less than the internet speed your connection is capable of reaching. For example, let’s say that you have a 100Mbps connection and Netflix has a speed limit of 25Mbps. No matter how fast the connection is, Netflix can only go at 25Mbps or roughly 1/4 of the maximum speed of that connection. It is not because Netflix is throttled, but because Netflix is only providing video data at its maximum 25Mbps speed. So, what’s the point of having faster internet? Put it simply, that faster 100Mbps connection gives you more lanes for internet traffic. Going back to our interstate analogy, that 100Mbps allows your connection to carry more data. That means you can have multiple people in your home streaming video or using the internet at the same time without noticeably slowing down one another. There are many services that take advantage of these multiple lanes even on a single device: file backup, software downloads, etc. You’ll notice these tasks take a lot less time with a faster connection.

Learn more at

Download SmartHub Today! REDRIVERCOMM.COM

Did you know that you can use your smart phone or tablet to pay your bill anytime, anywhere? Get the free SmartHub from the app store. There are no transaction fees for payments made through our website or the app. Get a $5 one-time bill credit for going paperless, too! Call 701-553-8309 or visit to enroll.

Phone Getting... SLOW ? It might be time to ugprade your cell phone! Have a cellular device that won’t keep a charge? Does your signal keep dropping? Has your phone gotten slower over time? Cell phones don’t last forever so your device may be telling you it’s time for an upgrade! As you may have heard Verizon is planning on turning down the older 3G cell towers. This tower powers the older flip phones and some older

smart phones many of our customers use. Once the 3G towers go dark, the older devices will no longer work so it’s important to upgrade sooner than later. Customers moving to their first smartphone should expect to be here for a few hours. We will teach you how to use your phone and answer any questions you may have. We’re like the other (bigger) providers…only much friendlier!

Red River Communications Fall 2018

Jennifer Clark Member Support Specialist


READY TO UPGRADE YOUR PHONE? CALL OUR OFFICE to schedule an appointment with a Member Support Specialist. The latest appointment we schedule is 2pm to ensure there is sufficient time to get your new phone setup and make sure you are comfortable operating it. If you have service with another provider, BRING A COPY OF YOUR BILL and we will be happy to port (i.e. move) your number to Red River Cellular Service. You will also need to bring your ACCOUNT PIN code (usually 4 digits). We cannot bring your number to our service without these two items! Regardless of the type of phone you have, WE WILL ATTEMPT TO TRANSFER your contacts and other important information to the new device. This may not be possible, however, on certain older devices. CHARGE YOUR DEVICE prior to your arrival. A fully charged device will speed up the data transfer process.

Have a Smartphone? Here are some helpful steps to take before coming to our office that will make your visit even easier! Back up your device to the cloud.

Call 701-553-8309 or email for more information!


Bring any logins and passwords to your app store (e.g. iTunes/AppleID), email (e.g. Google), and social networks (e.g. Facebook) so they can be restored to the new device.


Red River Communications Fall 2018

Common Cents For the Common Good

Thank you letter from Red River Quilts of Valor who were awarded funding in the previous quarter.

Thanks to support from Red River Communications customers who round up their bills, the Common Cents board awarded $2,173 in September.


Red River Area Sportsmen’s Club $673 for trap throwers

Elizabeth Thiele (Great Bend) Vice-Chair

Richland 44 PTO $500 for children’s theater Two individuals, medical need $500 each

$158,806.50 Donated since 2008

Benae Freeberg (Colfax) Chairperson

Andrea Haugen (Wyndmere) Secretary

Deb Syvertsen old copper pedestals that once Plant Maintenance Supervisor provided services to your homes and businesses. Good progress Fall is here and we still have has been made getting the old some construction work left to pedestals removed. Please give us do! One of our bigger projects a call if you are aware of an older this year is installing about or damaged pedestal that needs 36 miles of cable connecting our attention. our Mooreton, Wyndmere, Lidgerwood and Hankinson If you are planning to burn ditches offices. This project is expected this fall, be on the look-out for to begin the middle of October communications pedestals. Ditch and should be completed burning can cause severe damage within a few weeks. to fiber optic cables resulting in REDRIVERCOMM.COM

We hired a contractor late this summer to remove the

service outages. Repairs are very costly and will be the responsibility of the person burning the ditch. Always remember, if you are planting a tree or installing a fence call 811 to have the utility lines on your property marked. It is easy and free to call 811 to stay safe. The first step to any project is safety!


Red River Communications Fall 2018



Catch all the action on Red River Digital TV DECEMBER 11 GIRLS’ BASKETBALL LIDGERWOOD @ RICHLAND







Game Times and Channels Check your Digital TV Guide for game times and channels (3001, 3002, and 3003). A full schedule of games statewide can be found at

Scholarship applications are now available on our website. Go to for more details.



PO Box 136 510 Broadway Abercrombie, ND 58001

Fall 2018


242-7622 242-7905 242-7863 242-7924







Like your FiberFAST internet? Tell your friends! You’ll get $25 FOR EACH NEW SERVICE they take! Have them mention your name when they sign up for service!

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls. The Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines.

To enroll: 1-888-382-1222




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



Your local telecommunications provider

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