Connections for May 2021

MAY 2 0 21 Cornerstone Group © 2021 114 East Main Street Panora, IA 50216 (641) 755-2424 Online: Office Hours: M–F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Win a $10 Bill Credit When did Panora Telco and Guthrie Center Communications implement caller ID authentication? Answer: _____________________________ Name: ______________________________ Phone:_ _____________________________ Email: _ _____________________________ Clip and return by May 31, 2021 to Panora Telco, 114 East Main Street, Panora, IA 50216 or Guthrie Center Communications, 403 State Street, Guthrie Center, IA 50115. Congratulations to Angela VanWinkle, the most recent Panora Telco winner; and Marlene Sunds, the most recent Guthrie Center Communications winner. One winner chosen at random per quarter. Contest open to Panora Telco and GCC customers age 18 and over. Applicants can win once per 12-month period. Other restrictions may apply. YOUR QUARTERLY DOSE OF TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATION Connections 403 State Street Guthrie Center, IA 50115 (641) 332-2000 Online: Office Hours: M–F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. but closed 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. for lunch Panora Telco and Guthrie Center Communications offer FiberFast Internet to residential and business customers inside our fiber footprint in Guthrie County. Sign up to enjoy: • ROBUST SPEEDS UP TO A GIG – Get the upload/download bandwidth you need to work more efficiently and enhance your streaming experience. • CONTINUITY OF SERVICE – Due to the high reliability of our fiber network, service issues are rare. Should a trouble occur, we’ll work to resolve it the same day, based on your schedule. Call or visit us online to learn more about FiberFast Internet, and visit our Solutions Center in Panora to shop locally for routers, PCs, smart home devices, and video cameras. Speeds available may vary depending on location. Contact us for details. Count on the area’s FASTEST AND MOST RELIABLE fiber broadband service

PANORA TELCO • ( 641 ) 755-2424 | GUTHRIE CENTER COMMUNICATIONS • ( 641 ) 332-2000 Before You Dig, Make a Call to Iowa One Call Spring is here and construction and digging projects will soon be underway. Remember, there are many underground utilities that may present a problem if disturbed, and unmarked services may be dangerous if hit. It’s important to call Iowa One Call at 811 or 800-292-8989 at least 48 business hours in advance of digging, so underground services such as gas, water, telephone, electric, cable TV, and sewer can be located and marked. Locate requests are taken 24 hours a day/7 days a week. When you call, you’ll be given a 9-digit ‘dig ticket number’ which can be used for reference throughout the project. If damages occur as a result of a dig and Iowa One Call has not been notified prior to the excavation, the homeowner or excavator may be liable for repair costs, loss of product/ services or other related charges. Make it a priority to call before you dig this spring and summer. Not only is it the safe way to dig, it’s the law. Each day, Americans receive millions of unwanted phone calls. These include spoofed robocalls, when a caller transmits misleading or inaccurate caller ID information to deceive recipients into thinking the call is from someone they know or can trust. For example, a call could appear to be from your town when it’s actually coming from another country. These types of fraudulent calls are not simply an annoyance. Robocall schemes take approximately $10 billion from consumers in scams each year. What’s more, they’re degrading consumer confidence in the voice network—by some estimates, more than half of all calls are not being answered. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been working for years to address the problem of spoofed robocalls. In March 2020, the FCC adopted new rules requiring all originating and terminating voice service providers to implement caller ID authentication using STIR/SHAKEN technological standards in the Internet Protocol (IP) portions of their networks by June 30, 2021. STIR/SHAKEN stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN). It requires carriers to “sign” calls they originate, preventing spoofed caller ID data and guaranteeing that the caller ID information that appears on phones is trustworthy. According to the FCC, “Widespread deployment of STIR/SHAKEN will reduce the effectiveness of illegal spoofing, allow law enforcement to identify bad actors more easily, and help phone companies identify calls with illegally spoofed caller ID information before those calls reach their subscribers.” Panora Telco and Guthrie Center Communications implemented caller ID authentication in February 2021. This is a free service for residential and business customers, which works automatically to identify and block unwanted robocalls before the phone even rings. On the first month caller ID authentication was in use, 21.60% of calls (approximately 16,050) were identified as bad actors and blocked. Andrew Randol, General Manager/CEO, said, “Panora Telco and Guthrie Center Communications are thrilled to provide caller ID authentication. This technology will be hugely beneficial to our customers by reducing both the number of unwanted calls they receive and their exposure to scams.” If you have questions about caller ID authentication, please call Panora Telco at (641) 755-2424 or Guthrie Center Communications at (641) 332-2000. New Caller ID Authentication Blocks Spoofed Robocalls

Cornerstone Group © 2021 Lifeline Support for Affordable Communications Lifeline is a federal program to help low-income subscribers stay connected by providing a monthly discount of $5.25 on their wireline phone, wireless phone, or broadband internet service. FCC rules prohibit more than one Lifeline service per household. Lifeline is available to eligible low-income subscribers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. To qualify for Lifeline, subscribers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in at least one of the assistance programs listed below: • Medicaid • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP) • Supplemental Security Income • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8) • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations • Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met) You can check your Lifeline eligibility at do-i-qualify/. Or contact Panora Telco or Guthrie Center Communications with questions. To get the best performance from your Wi-Fi network, it’s important to place your router in the optimal location in your home. The real estate agent mantra, “Location, location, location” applies here, since the wrong location can sometimes cause the internet connection to fail or drop intermittently. Follow these guidelines to help you find the right spot: • Install your router in a central location. Routers send the signal out in all directions, so if it’s left in a corner of your home, a significant percentage of your wireless coverage is being sent outside. It’s best to move the router to a central location to optimize the signal. In a multi-story home, this means the main floor. • Avoid physical obstructions. Don’t place your router near walls made of brick, stone, or concrete. You also shouldn’t place it inside a cabinet or drawer. • Go high. Routers tend to spread signal downward, so it’s best to mount the router as high as possible to maximize coverage. Try placing it on an upper shelf or mounting it on the wall in an inconspicuous place. Don’t put it on the floor. • Avoid reflective surfaces. SomeWi-Fi signals bounce off windows, mirrors, metal file cabinets, and stainless steel countertops, lessening both network range and performance. • Stay away from other electronic devices. This includes TVs, microwaves, and phones. • Don’t settle prematurely on a location. Try placing your router in several different promising locations and note the internet performance in each. While this trial-anderror method may not be the most scientific way to find a good spot, it can end up being an effective one. If you’d like us to set up your home’s Wi-Fi network and provide continuing remote support, sign up for Managed Wi-Fi. Call Panora Telco at (641) 755-2424 or Guthrie Center Communications at (641) 332-2000. Where in Your Home Should Your Router Go?

Cornerstone Group © 2021 PANORA TELCO • ( 641 ) 755-2424 | GUTHRIE CENTER COMMUNICATIONS • ( 641 ) 332-2000 Here’s How (and How Often) to Clean Your Remotes Remotes for TVs and media players get handled frequently, often by hands that are also grabbing snacks. So it makes sense to give your remotes thorough cleanings. How often? Plan on doing this at least monthly—more frequently if a family member is sick—to help avoid the spread of germs. While cleaning a remote is a relatively easy task, you need to be careful not to damage the battery contacts or the circuits. If you do, the remote will stop working. Follow these steps: 1. Remove the batteries from the back of the remote. 2. Dip a cotton cloth into rubbing alcohol and wipe down the entire surface of the controller. 3. Follow up with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab to carefully clean around the buttons. 4. If there’s grime inside the buttons, use a toothpick to remove it. Dry the remote with a lint-free cloth. 5. Reinstall the batteries. Be sure the battery compartment is dry before you do this. Take Streaming Services for a Spin with Free Trials When streaming services like Netflix began, they all offered a free trial, hoping that once you watched their content you’d become a monthly subscriber. While this sales strategy is slowly becoming less common—Netflix has discontinued it—there are still streaming services that let you try them out without paying a cent. Let’s say you want to watch a TV series your friends have been raving about that’s only available from one streaming service. Naturally, it’s a service you don’t have and don’t want to sign up for on a long-term basis. If available, take advantage of a free trial to binge the series over a weekend. Or maybe your family is starting to get bored with the streaming services you’ve had for years, and wants to “test drive” a few others for the fun of it. Again, a free trial is the best route to take. Keep in mind that to use these free trials, you’ll probably need to enter credit card information. Some streaming services will automatically renew after the trial period is over, so set a reminder for yourself to cancel before this date if you don’t plan to keep the service. A recent check of popular streaming services yielded this list of free-trial offers, and we share it here to give you an idea of the possibilities. However, these offers are subject to change without notice, so visit the websites of services you’re considering to get the most current details. Why not enjoy free trials of several streaming services? There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is free entertainment! To enhance your streaming experience even more, call call Panora Telco at (641) 755-2424 or Guthrie Center Communications at (641) 332-2000 and ask about getting an internet speed upgrade. • Amazon Kids+ – Free one-month trial of the Single Child plan • Amazon Prime Video – Included with Amazon Prime membership and a 30-day free trial is available • Fubo TV – Free 7-day trial • Hulu + Live TV – First month free • Peacock Premium or Peacock Premium Plus – Free 7-day trial • Philo – Free 7-day trial • Showtime – Free 30-day trial • SlingTV – Free 7-day trial • YouTube TV – Free 7-day trial