Blog Archive

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New E-bill Coming Your Way

A lot of us now routinely get e-bills from our utilities and credit card companies instead of the old conventional paper bill. Glasgow EPB started offering e-billing several years ago, before the process really had all of the kinks worked out of it. A large number of our customers in Glasgow opt for the e-bill and many follow up on the e-bill by also making their payments online. If you are one of those, or if you want to check into becoming an e-bill customer, things are about to get a lot easier and better for you!

As part of the process of preparing for new electric rate designs starting next year, we are changing all of our billing over to a new system. While this process is dreadful for the folks on the EPB team, it is going to open the door to a much nicer e-billing system. Very soon all existing e-bill customers will be getting an email from us with a link to a new sign up site. Do not be afraid that this is some sort of fraud email! It will be the real deal! Once everyone signs up as they are prompted to do, then they will start getting the new e-bill and they will have access to some exciting new features. First of all, everyone will have access to their historic bills. Folks who pay online will have the new option of storing their credit card information so that they will not have to enter it each month.

These new features will not be just for existing e-bill customers. We are hoping that these features will cause everyone to reconsider going paperless and getting their bills via email. We will be posting a link to the service so that everyone can sign up at their leisure. I can assure you, once you get started using this method and reducing the amount of paper piling up on your desk, you will fall in love with e-billing.

Call us at 651-8341 if you need help signing up for the new e-billing from Glasgow EPB!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Want to Save $50 per Month?

Saving money was not the goal when I started down the path toward having no wired telephone service, but that is the final result! Like everyone else that was using the EPB/Cinergy/Norlight telephone service, I was told that Norlight planned to abandon the Glasgow market by the end of the year and that I should make arrangements for an alternate service provider. After procrastinating for a couple of months, here is what I did.

Our situation is probably very similar to thousands of other families in Glasgow. I have a cell phone, my wife has a cell phone, and we had the old reliable wired phone service to our house. For years we have seen the habit of younger folks to save money and complication by simply using one cell phone and one phone number for all voice communication. As we contemplated the move from Norlight’s service to some other provider, we decided to jump into the same sort of telephone environment which has been working fine for our children. Not only has it worked just fine, we are saving the $50 or so per month that we were sending to Norlight!

The first step was to go to our cell phone provider (we happen to use AT&T but this will work with any of them) and tell them that we needed a new cell phone with Bluetooth and GPS features, and we told them we wanted to port our home phone number to the cell phone. This took a bit of discussion as they needed our Norlight account number and we had to agree to pay a $30 one-time charge to port our home phone number to the cell phone. We were also told that the actual port might happen anytime from three days to thirty days out, but we were determined to accept this vague transaction. My wife left the AT&T store with a new Samsung phone armed with Bluetooth and GPS.

Next we bought this amazing little device called a Bluetooth gateway. We got ours online and simply plugged it in and followed the directions to pair it up with the new cell phone. The thing is simply amazing. When the cell phone is within about twenty feet of the device, they “pair” using the wireless Bluetooth technology. Once they are paired and the device is plugged into any telephone outlet in your house, all of your home phones ring when someone calls the cell phone. Similarly, you can use any of the regular phones in your house, just like you always have, to answer and make calls. The only difference is that the calls are coming and going through the cell phone instead of through a wired telephone provider but you really cannot tell the difference. This is all accomplished simply by bringing the phone into the range of the Bluetooth gateway. After the initial pairing, it happens automatically as you come and go from then on!

About four days after the initial visit to the AT&T store, calls to our old home number started ringing through to the new cell phone. Once that happened, we disconnected our home from the Norlight service and finished plugging in the new Bluetooth gateway. Since then, our home phone service acts just like it always did when we are at home and the cell phone is paired with the gateway. When we are gone, we take our home phone number with us via the cell phone. And there is more.

One of the fears we had in making this transition was the lack of location identification if we had an emergency and had to call 911. However, since we activated the GPS feature on the new cell phone, I am happy to report that test calls to 911 have, so far, reliably resulted in them seeing my address on their screens! I find this simply amazing.

So, at the end of the day, we are saving the $50 per month that we were spending on our Norlight telephone line. We canceled the old cell phone so now we are just out for the monthly cost of two cell phones. This should be very exciting for all of you who are trying to decide what to do about the end of Norlight telephone service in Glasgow as well as everyone else who has a wired telephone line and the desire to save some money. This solution seems to work amazingly well and we will miss fewer calls since we will be taking our home phone number with us when we are away. If you would like help in accomplishing this same result at your home, give us a call or an email.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Glasgow - An Internet Savvy City

Back in 1994, Glasgow EPB brought the internet to Glasgow and introduced the world to the use of broadband to deliver high speed internet access. In those days many already had internet access, but, other than in Glasgow, it was done via exceedingly slow and cumbersome telephone based connections.

Sixteen years later, most would be shocked to learn just how much data comes and goes between Glasgow EPB internet customers and the rest of the world. New switching equipment at our Jama M Young Technology Center gives us the details. Each day our customers send and receive over two terra bytes of information via their EPB internet connections. That is the equivalent of 500,000 digitized songs per day, or about 500 million average magazine pages! In fact, at the present rate of data transmission to and from Glasgow EPB customers, we are consuming information equal to all of the printed books in the United States Library of Congress every week.

You might also be amazed to learn just how popular Glasgow’s original website, is. On average, that page is called up four times per second, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

Glasgow may be a very small rural city inhabited by only about 15,000 folks, but those folks all have a tremendous appetite for information!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What We Did This Summer

Now that the hottest summer on record is finally winding down, we have had some time to do some work other that just trying to keep power flowing and the air conditioning running in Glasgow. Part of that work is now visible on the main page in the form of a new link to ESPN 3.

About this time every year we are faced with customers that want certain sports programming that is not available in our market, or which is so highly priced that it is out of the community's budget range. This year we have found an affordable solution in ESPN 3. ESPN 3 is a way to deliver just about all sporting events that ESPN covers, from anywhere in the country, to your computer screen. Say you just moved to Glasgow from Texas and want to see the Aggies play -- you can watch the game on your computer via our new deal with ESPN 3! If you want help figuring out how to hook your computer up to your television so it feels the same as watching the event on regular ESPN, just give us a call and we can help you with that as well. Look for the ESPN 3 logo and click on it via the Glasgow home page. After you do, finding the game you want should be pretty self-explanatory.

This service is just another expansion of the high speed internet service operated by your locally owned Glasgow EPB. There have been a lot of rumors and bad information circulating around Glasgow of late regarding our cable and internet services as we distance ourselves from the telephone business. Anyone who tells you that this company, or that company, has bought out the EPB's cable or internet business is simply telling you something that is totally untrue. We are in the midst of massive upgrades to both our cable and internet services, and if you leave our services for a competitor just because of our change in philosophy about the telephone business, you are leaving the very best services available in the 42141 zip code! We invented high speed internet access in Glasgow, and our services will always be the ones where new technology is first delivered to the people of Glasgow. We have no other communities to serve but this one.