CONTACT US Colo Telephone Company and Central Iowa Broadband 303 Main Street / PO Box 315 Colo, IA 50056 Colo Telephone Phone: 641-377-2202 Central Iowa Broadband Phone: 888-377-0067 Call Before You Dig: Iowa One Call 811 Office Hours: M–F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Office Closures: Nov. 11 – Veterans Day Nov. 24-25 – Thanksgiving Holiday Dec. 26 – Christmas Holiday Jan. 2 – New Year’s Holiday Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit Us Online: www.colotel.org Find Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ColoTelCo HAVE A VERY, VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS Colo Telephone and Central Iowa Broadband hope your Christmas wishes come true. May you enjoy plenty of festivities with family and friends, delight in the season’s sights and sounds, and treasure every gift with a grateful heart. Cornerstone Group © 2022 PROGRESS AND PLANS As 2022 comes to an end, Colo Telephone Company and Central Iowa Broadband (CIB) thank our communities and customers for an accomplished year! We successfully brought fiber to 11 unserved locations in rural Nevada through the Empower Rural Iowa NOFA6 Grant. We’re currently in the process of turning up Fiberto-the-Premise services in Collins, which will allow us to serve up to 240 locations with voice and high-speed broadband. We’re also currently involved in a fiber/road move located at 580th and Hwy 30, due to the Department of Transportation’s interchange plan slated for 2023. Over the summer, we participated in Collins Days and Colo Crossroads Festival, along with a Collins community meal. In July, we celebrated Dave Larson’s 25 years of service to our company and thanked him for all he’s done for us throughout the years! We even managed to squeeze in a company walk on a nice day and enjoyed a meal at the newly reopened Niland’s Café. This fall we made the tough choice to stop offering TV plans and are helping many customers begin streaming the video services of their choice. If you have questions as you transition to streaming, we’re here to answer them. Looking forward to 2023, Colo Telephone and CIB hope to continue to find ways to bring services to unserved rural areas. We’re also excited to meet many more friendly faces as our customer base grows. CONNECTIONS HOLIDAY 2022 NEWS FROM COLO TELEPHONE AND CENTRAL IOWA BROADBAND Celebrating Dave Larson’s 25 years of service Walking, talking, and lunching Joining the Collins Days Parade
STREAMING HAS FOREVER CHANGED AT-HOME ENTERTAINMENT JUST FOR FUN, CHECK OUT THESE HOLIDAY APPS These free apps, available for Android and iOS, are sure to generate smiles for the young (or young at heart) in your family. Christmas Sweeper 4 Attention Candy Crush fans! Christmas Sweeper 4 is like your favorite game, except with a Christmas twist. You’ll light candles, clear the snow to uncover gifts, catch jumping snowmen, fill up gift bags, drop Santa down the chimney, and more creative mischief. Elf Yourself You replace the Elf faces with the faces of up to five people or pets, select a dance theme, and this app will create a comical elf dance video. Once completed, you can share the video on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Message From Santa! With this app, your kids can call Santa, get video messages, record a wish list, and hear what Santa is doing. There’s also a Santa Chatbot that makes it seem like you’re talking with the man himself. You can also request a call from Santa, and your children can record a voice message for him. The way most of us enjoy TV today is fundamentally different than it was 10-15 years ago. Instead of watching network and cable programs on a TV only, we’re streaming a much broader range of entertainment on a variety of devices—laptops, tablets, and phones —in addition to TVs. Clearly, streaming is the new way to watch TV. The majority of U.S. households have at least one streaming subscription and over half of them have at least three. Streaming services have changed what we watch, where we watch, and how we watch. We now have much more freedom in terms of at-home entertainment, and this freedom has opened up a whole new world of both challenges and possibilities. For example, given the seemingly infinite amount of streaming content available, choosing what to watch next can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience. How many of us have spent half an hour scrolling through titles, only to give up and just rewatch a favorite movie or TV show? TV series fans are taking advantage of streaming’s viewing flexibility to assume more control. While some watch episodes from start to finish, others rewatch scenes (to understand confusing dialogue) or skip unwanted content (such as violence or scenes with a character they dislike). There are also people who watch all or part of a TV series in fast forward (called “speed watching”) to consume as much content as possible in a short amount of time. We can’t forget another major option enjoyed by many—binging an entire season in a day or two. Your streaming experience is impacted by your internet speed. If you think you might need an upgrade, call Colo Telephone Company at 641-377-2202 or CIB at 888-377-0067.
Cornerstone Group © 2022 STRATEGIES FOR MORE SECURE ONLINE SHOPPING If you’re doing more shopping online these days, you’ll want to make sure your personal and financial information stays secure to avoid becoming the victim of identity theft or other scams. Remember to take these precautions: • Only do business with reputable vendors. That means sticking to sites you’ve heard of or have a high percentage of positive reviews. • Make sure your information is encrypted. You can tell the site uses encryption if its URL includes “https” instead of “http.” • Use company apps. Even better than secure websites are apps, which many retailers now provide. • Don’t shop when using public Wi-Fi. Don’t conduct any financial transactions unless you’re on a secure connection (such as your network at home). • Use a credit card. Though debit cards are handy, they don’t provide the same kind of protection that credit cards offer (such as getting money back for illegitimate purchases). • Check your credit card statements. If you see any charges you don’t recognize, contact your credit card company immediately. Be sure to follow Colo Telephone and CIB on Facebook. We regularly post warnings about scams being reported in the community. Has Amazon contacted you to confirm a recent purchase you didn’t make or to tell you that your account has been hacked? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), about one in three people who have reported a business impersonator scam say the scammer pretended to be Amazon. The median loss for victims of this scam is around $1,000. These scams take different forms. In one version, scammers offer to “refund” you for an unauthorized purchase but “accidentally transfer” more than promised. They then ask you to send back the difference. What really happens? The scammer moves money from one of your bank accounts to the other (like savings to checking, or vice versa) to make it look like you were refunded. Any money you send back to “Amazon” is your money, not an overpayment, and as soon as you send it out of your account, it becomes theirs. In another version of the scam, you’re told that hackers have accessed your account —and the only way to supposedly protect it is to buy gift cards and share the gift card number and PIN on the back. Once that information is theirs, the money is, too. Here’s how to avoid being taken by an Amazon impersonator scam: • Never call back an unknown number. Use the information on Amazon’s website and not a number listed in an unexpected email or text. • Don’t pay for anything with a gift card. Gift cards are for gifts. If anyone asks you to pay with a gift card, or buy gift cards for anything other than a gift, it’s a scam. • Don’t give remote access to someone who contacts you unexpectedly. This gives scammers easy access to your personal and financial information such as your bank accounts. Have you spotted this scam? Report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. If you think someone has achieved access to your accounts or personal information, visit IdentityTheft.gov. There, you’ll find steps to take to see if your identity has been misused, and how to report and recover from identity theft. AMAZON IMPERSONATORS SCAM MONEY FROM VICTIMS
303 Main Street / PO Box 315 Colo, IA 50056 Colo: 641-377-2202 CIB: 888-377-0067 www.colotel.org WE HOPE THE NEW YEAR IS A YOU YEAR Happy New Year from all of us at Colo Telephone and CIB. As 2023 begins, it’s a great time to focus on YOU — what you want to change, enjoy, and learn during the next 12 months. We may be able to help you achieve some of your New Year’s resolutions. For example, if you plan to gain skills by watching educational videos online, upgrading your internet speed will quickly make those lessons a more enjoyable experience. Cornerstone Group © 2022 CONNECTIONS NEWS FROM COLO TELEPHONE AND CENTRAL IOWA BROADBAND 1 It makes sense to switch to our paperless billing, which means you’ll receive your Colo Telephone Company or CIB statements via email rather than “snail mail.” With paperless billing, you’ll have one less bill in your mailbox each month and less clutter on your kitchen counter. Plus, you’ll help us use less paper and save some trees. GO FROM MAILBOX TO INBOX WITH PAPERLESS BILLING SIGN UP FOR PAPERLESS BILLING NOW Call Colo Telephone Company at 641-377-2202 or CIB at 888-377-0067.