AUGUS T 2 0 23 Cornerstone Group © 2023 YOUR QUARTERLY DOSE OF TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATION Connections Panora Office 114 East Main Street, Panora, IA 50216 641.755.2424 Hours: M–F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Guthrie Center Office 403 State Street, Guthrie Center, IA 50115 641.332.2000 Hours: M–F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. but closed 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. for lunch FIBER Fast • Reliable • Local FIBER www.panorafiber.com Sign up for Managed Wi-Fi for $10.95/mo.* to receive: EXTRA COVERAGE • GigaSpire BLAST router – Features dual-band, Wi-Fi 6 technology. • GigaSpire Mesh BLAST extender – Added if needed to expand your Wi-Fi coverage. EXTRA SECURITY • ProtectIQ service – Shields all your connected devices from malware and intrusion, alerts you of suspicious users, and more. EXTRA CONVENIENCE • CommandIQ app – Lets you easily manage your network and its usage from any Android or iOS device. EXTRA SUPPORT • Managed software updates and local assistance – Enjoy a carefree Wi-Fi experience. WANT EXTRA PARENTAL CONTROLS? Add ExperienceIQ service for $4/mo. It lets you set the rules for sites like YouTube and TikTok and games like Roblox and Minecraft, manage your child’s screen time, and monitor websites and apps used. To sign up for Managed W-Fi, call 641.755.2424 in Panora or 641.332.2000 in Guthrie Center. *Professional installation at $89.95 is required. Fee waived with 2-year agreement. MANAGED WI-FI is extra handy Win a $10 Bill Credit During which month did Panora Fiber switch to a new bill pay system? Answer: _____________________________ Name: ______________________________ Phone:_ _____________________________ Email: _ _____________________________ Clip and return by August 31, 2023, to Panora Fiber, 114 East Main Street, Panora, IA 50216 or 403 State Street, Guthrie Center, IA 50115. Congratulations to our most recent winners: Calvin Anderson from Panora and Joanne Zieser from Guthrie Center. Two winners chosen at random per quarter. Contest open to Panora Fiber customers aged 18 and over. Applicants can win once per 12-month period. Other restrictions may apply.
PANORA FIBER • WWW.PANORAFIBER.COM • 641 . 755 . 2424 IN PANORA • 641 . 332 . 2000 IN GUTHRIE CENTER You Have New Ways to Pay Your Panora Fiber Bill In June, Panora Fiber began using a new bill pay system. It’s expanded capabilities include: • An improved user experience • A “Pay Now” feature for quick payment without having to register an account • Automatic and scheduled payments • Digital bill statements • Debit, credit, and ACH/eCheck payments accepted • Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo digital wallet linking available We now have an IVR (interactive voice response) phone system for quick account balance review and bill payments. We no longer take payments from customers manually, whether over the phone or in our offices, for your security as well as ours. New credit card machines are in both offices if you like to visit and make payments. If you call, we’ll transfer you to our IVR system to pay over the phone. If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Panora office at 641.755.2424 or our Guthrie Center office at 641.332.2000. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a Federal Communications Commission program that helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service. It provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet if the provider offers ACP-discounted devices. The ACP benefit is non-transferrable and limited to one monthly internet discount and a one-time connected device discount. A household is eligible if one member of the householdmeets at least one of the criteria below: • Has an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines; • Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline; • Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard) Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; • Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision; • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing lowincome program. If the ACP ends, or when a household is no longer eligible, customers will be subject to the provider’s regular internet rates, terms, and conditions. There are two steps to enroll: 1. Go to AffordableConnectivity.gov to submit an application or print out amail-in application. 2. Contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill. Some providers may ask you to complete an alternative application. Additional information about the ACP is available at AffordableConnectivity.gov, or by calling 877-384-2575. You can also call Panora Fiber, as a participating provider, to learn more. Affordable Connectivity Program Helps Households Connect
Cornerstone Group © 2023 Dispelling Myths About Home Wi-Fi Networks Given how much technology changes over time, it’s not surprising that what was once true no longer applies, or that people get confused by technical jargon. To clear things up, we’re setting the record straight on a few Wi-Fi myths. Myth: If several people in our home are downloading, then our Wi-Fi will slow to a crawl. Older Wi-Fi technology couldn’t cope with multiple devices downloading, gaming, or streaming at the same time. However, today’s routers and access points are designed to help mitigate this. While the available bandwidth can only be divided up so many times before the effects of everyone “taking a slice” will be felt, a modern router has ways to distribute said bandwidth more equally and fairly. They include multiple antennas and band steering (where the router steers your device to the best, most suitable frequency/band). Myth: 5GHz is always better than 2.4GHz. Which band is better depends on your Wi-Fi needs. If you want better range, use 2.4 GHz. If you need higher performance or speed, use the 5GHz band. The 5GHz band, which is the newer of the two, has the potential to cut through network clutter and interference to maximize network performance, which means 5GHz will be better for things like reducing game lag. Myth: My device won’t connect to Wi-Fi, so there must be a problem with my internet. While there are scenarios where this might be the case, such as a neighborhood-wide internet outage, there are other potential connection issues. For example, if you have a device that won’t connect to Wi-Fi, start by focusing your efforts on that device. The solution could be as simple as turning the device off and back on. You can also reset your device’s network’s settings or have the device “forget” your Wi-Fi and reconnect a few seconds later. Panora Fiber offers Managed Wi-Fi to help with setting up and maintaining your home Wi-Fi network. To learn more and sign up for service, call 641.755.2424 in Panora or 641.332.2000 in Guthrie Center. 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Offers Hope Too many people experience suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress without the support and care they need. However, help is readily available. By calling or texting 988, a person can connect directly with a mental health professional via the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a national network of more than 200 crisis centers, staffed 24/7 to provide confidential assistance. These centers are supported by local and state sources as well as the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Veterans can press “1” after dialing 988 to connect directly to the Veterans Crisis Lifeline which serves our nation’s Veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and those who support them. For texts, Veterans should continue to text the Veterans Crisis Lifeline short code: 838255.
Cornerstone Group © 2023 PANORA FIBER • WWW.PANORAFIBER.COM • 641 . 755 . 2424 IN PANORA • 641 . 332 . 2000 IN GUTHRIE CENTER Understanding the Two Main Types of Streaming Services There are 200+ streaming services now available, which can be overwhelming. However, it simplifies things to remember there are only two main types—live streaming services and on-demand streaming services. Live streaming services enable you to watch content online in real time. They’re often called cable replacement services since they promise to replicate the cable TV experience but with lower monthly bills. Most live streaming services provide at least a few live local channels as well as an assortment of cable networks, concerts, sporting events, comedy specials, and gaming events. Examples of live streaming services are YouTube TV, Sling TV, FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and Philo. On-demand streaming services offer extensive libraries of TV series, movies, and documentaries to subscribers for a monthly fee. Content can be watched on your own schedule and on any device. It’s easy to set up an account, and in most cases, you can start a free trial and cancel at any time. Popular on-demand streaming services include Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, Prime Video, Disney+, Discovery+, and Max. Visit the StreamNow section of our website at gostreamnow.com/ panora-fiber for help navigating through the many streaming options in devices and services. Hosted by the Iowa Communications Alliance, CyberCon brings together representatives from rural communications providers to learn about cybersecurity threats and how to address them. This year it was held May 17-18 in West Des Moines. Curt Thornberry, Technology Development Director, and Zach Davis, IT Technician, attended from Panora Fiber. Thornberry has been involved with planning all eight CyberCon conferences, and this year, he made a presentation titled “Navigating Cyber Threats and Uncertainty: An Example form a Rural Broadband Provider.” “Cyber threats are an immense and growing risk to both individuals and businesses, and Panora Fiber is on the front line. Mitigating the threats to our company and customers is something we take very seriously, and we’re continually refining our cybersecurity posture,” Thornberry said. He added, “Panora Fiber’s membership in ICA provides many benefits. ICA meetings and conferences afford opportunities to learn about and share information on cybersecurity, regulatory deadlines, customer service trends, and technical best practices. Much of the knowledge we obtain is directly translatable to improving the overall customer experience.” Panora Fiber’s Curt Thornberry Presents at CyberCon VIII Be on Guard for Tech Support Scams Here’s how it works: Scammers may use pop-up ads claiming to sell fixes for your computer, which lead you to a website to download the software. You’re told to call to “register” the software, and if you do, you’ll be asked for remote access to your computer. Using remote access, they “examine” your computer and say it has problems needing additional “solutions.” Next they want your credit card number to purchase these so-called solutions, often leading to credit card fraud. Alternatively, some scammers call and claim they’re on the tech support team at Microsoft or another well-known technology company. They go through the same process of accessing your computer, getting credit card or other information, and causing trouble. Follow these tips to avoid being scammed: • Never give access to your computer to someone who calls you out of the blue. • Never provide credit card information or other sensitive data to someone claiming to be a tech support representative. Panora Fiber wants you to stay informed and vigilant so you can outsmart the scammers. If you’re experiencing computer problems and suspect a scam is involved, contact us to have your computer evaluated.