PMT Lobbies Are Temporarily Closed

The COVID-19 threat is impacting all our lives and businesses. With Gov. Little’s stay-at-home order, we are committed to doing everything we can both to protect the health and safety of our employees and to continue providing the highest quality of service we can for you and our community. As an essential business, we will continue to be available to you.

 

Lobby Closures

PMT considers the health of our members and employees to be a top priority, which is why we have decided to close all PMT lobbies to walk-in traffic effective March 30, 2020 until further notice. PMT will continue to monitor the situation and will reopen for foot-traffic when it is deemed safe based on recommendations from our local, state, and national authorities.

 

How to Pay Your Bill

We encourage you to take advantage of our variety of options to pay your bill:

  • Pay online by visiting https://ebilling.pmt.org/
  • Pay by phone at (208) 436-7151 or (208) 878-7151
  • Take advantage of payment drop boxes located at each office.
  • Burley: in the front of the parking lot near the PMT entrance
  • Rupert: near the front entrance doors, and there is a second box around the back of the office in the parking lot.
  • Mail your payment to PMT, PO Box 366, Rupert, ID 83350

 

Service, Repair & Call Times

Over the past weeks, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of new Internet installations as PMT has committed to providing at least 60-days free Internet to families with K-12 students who were previously without the Internet so that they can stay up-to-date on their learning during school closures.

We’ve also seen our call volume rise as businesses enact work-from-home policies, schooling moves online, and people turn to streaming entertainment in lieu of social activities. In many cases, people are finding that their current plan no longer meets their new day-to-day consumption. If your Internet needs have changed, or you need a free conference calling solution, please call us!

We will continue to do our best as we try to answer and respond to all incoming phone calls and messages.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and explore further measures to support our customers and the community as needed.

 

We are Still Working

PMT is considered an essential business, and while our lobbies may be temporarily closed, PMT employees are still committed to you. We are still working to provide excellent service for new installs, maintenance, and response to any outages. If you need to contact us, please call (208) 436-7151 or (208) 878-7151 or email us at pmt@pmt.org

 

Sincerely,

Dan Hoover, CEO

5 Kid-Friendly Streaming Platforms You’ll Want for Spring Break

 

Will your kids be reaching for their screens over the course of Spring Break? A bit of screen time here and there doesn’t have to be a bad thing. And with family-friendly streaming platforms, you can rest assured that your kids are watching videos safe for little eyes—even without your constant oversight.

Plan ahead for those much-needed moments of peace, quiet, and screen time now by downloading these family-friendly streaming platforms today.

 

  1. PBS KIDS Video

With the award-winning, educational PBS KIDS Video app, you don’t have to feel guilty about letting your kids indulge in some screen-time this holiday break.

Little ones love how easy it is to watch live TV in the app or play their favorite shows on-demand, including Curious George, Daniel Tiger, and Sesame Street. And parents love how the “Weekly Pick” feature suggests a fresh set of videos geared toward keeping young brains mentally engaged even while out of school. Best of all, this app is totally free!

 

  1. DisneyNOW

With all the talk lately about the new Disney Plus streaming platform, don’t overlook the kid-friendly DisneyNOW! This app provides access to the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Radio Disney, and Disney Junior in a few taps.

Simple thumbnails of favorite characters make it easy for kids to quickly find the shows and games that feature that character… which makes it easy for you to savor a few more moments with a steaming cup of coffee. You’ll need a TV-provider login for total access, but some content is available for free.

 

  1. YouTube Kids

You probably haven’t thought of YouTube as a very safe option for unmonitored screen time. And you were mostly right… until now.

YouTube Kids has been designed with kids in mind (think big images and eye-catching bright colors). More importantly, robust parental control settings make it much more kid-friendly than the original site. It even comes complete with a timer option, so parents can limit screen time in just a few taps.

 

  1. Amazon FreeTime

Can’t decide if you want your kids to have access to Disney, PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, music, games, Audible books or something else more on the educational side? With Amazon FreeTime, you don’t have to decide. This platform offers all of the above and more.

Parental controls make it easy to set a certain age range, allow only parent-approved purchases, and lock games and videos until educational goals are reached. Your kids will love the easy access to popular Amazon originals, such as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Tumble Leaf. And you’ll love that you can add this to your Prime membership for just $2.99 a month!

 

  1. Nickelodeon

With Nickelodeon, you can choose between not one, not two, but three different apps. Nick, Nick Jr., and Noggin each have their own platform.

Kids’ favorites like Peppa Pig, Blues Clues, and Dora the Explorer can be accessed for free (with a TV log-in) on the Nick and Nick Jr. apps. For just $7.99 a month, Noggin offers a plethora of interactive games, popular shows, and videos that promote learning with a wide variety of topics such as shapes, numbers, letters, art, music, manners, and more.

 

It’s no secret that screen time can help you keep the peace during school breaks—but that peace will be gone faster than you can say “School’s Out” if a game or video stops to buffer! (Why is it always during the most inconvenient moment possible?!)

 

Save yourself that headache and call PMT today to ensure your internet connection will work when you need it most!

 

 

2020 PMT Annual Meeting

As a cooperative, PMT is owned by the people it serves. Each membership carries with it one share in the ownership of the company and one vote in the democratic process that guides it. This March, PMT members will be able to exercise their rights by casting their vote for one, three-year Director position.  In addition to voting, members are also invited and encouraged to attend the 2020 PMT Annual Meeting.

PMT Annual Meeting

March 30, 2020

6:30 pm – Registration and Voting

7:00 pm – Call to Order

PMT Frazier Building Conference Room

701 6th Street, Rupert, ID

 

Voting Options

There is one, three-year director position up for voting this year.  The candidates are Kevin Smith and Jason Gibbons.

Vote at either the Burley or Rupert PMT offices on March 30, 2020, from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Request an Absentee Ballot and return it to the Secretary prior to 5:00 pm on March 30, 2020

For more information about the Annual Meeting, or to request an absentee ballot, please call PMT’s Administrative Office in Rupert at (208) 436-7151.

PMT Employees Elected to Chamber Boards

PMT is pleased to announce that employees Bryan Beckstead and Clint Carter have been elected as directors to the board of the Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce and the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, respectively.

Beckstead and Carter have both been heavily involved in chamber activity by being Ambassadors, where they helped organize and promote chamber programs and initiatives.  As directors, they both hope to channel their energy and experience to help area businesses succeed.

“I’m so happy about being elected to the Twin Falls Chamber board.  To help the Chamber with their strategic direction, and to ultimately help businesses be more successful in the Magic Valley is very rewarding,” stated Clint Carter.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved with the Mini-Cassia Chamber,” stated Bryan Beckstead.  “We’ve had so much growth in our area. To be able to actively work with businesses to grow while preserving the quality of life in the Mini-Cassia area is my goal.”

Congratulations, Bryan and Clint, on being elected as board members to our local chambers’. We know your experience and dedication will help propel business forward.

Warm Your House (And Lower Your Electric Bill) with These Smart Devices

Is your electric bill rising as the temperatures drop? Smart gadgets are here to help. Read on to discover the tech you need to warm your home—without putting a strain on your bank account!

 

Smart Thermostat
If you prefer to “set it and forget it,” a smart thermostat like the Google Nest Learning 3rd Generation Smart Thermostat or the Honeywell Home T5+ Smart Thermostat could save you money and hassle. After you make adjustments in the first few days, a smart thermostat will learn your family’s preferred temperature at different points in the day to put you on a comfortable, energy-saving schedule. Whenever you leave home, it adjusts accordingly. And you can even control it from your device to keep your energy bill low while you’re on the road!

 

Smart Blinds
There’s one free way to warm your home: Use the power of the sun! Open your blinds in the daytime to let some sunlight in, then close them in the evenings for privacy. Even better? Automate it all by installing the MySmartBlinds Automation Kit Bundle on your existing blinds. Use a timer, temperature preferences, or voice control with Alexa to control your blinds. Plus, the motor charges with an included solar panel, so you don’t have to worry about sneaky energy costs from the kit itself.

 

Smart Display
You dive under the covers, turn out the lights, and… wait a minute. Did you turn off the light in the pantry? Did you lower the thermostat for the night? You can slip your feet out onto those cold hardwood floors one more time, or you could just roll over and check your Echo Show 5. Use this smart display to make energy-saving moves from bed, check weather predictions before setting your thermostat for the day, and much more.

 

Smart Plugs
 Do you know how much energy your appliances are using on a daily basis? Find out by plugging them into a WeMo Mini Smart Plug. Then, check the app to monitor how much energy you use on that particular appliance and program the smart plug to turn on and off at the times you set. It also works with Alexa, making this little device the most cost-effective way to turn any old device into a smart device and save big on your electric bill.

 

Smart Power Strips
Much like the WeMo smart plug, the Heyvalue Smart Power Strip is a simple way to give your existing appliances a “smart” upgrade. That’s because this power strip comes with a free app you can use to control and schedule power to your appliances. With the ability to change the settings on each of its 4 outlets and 4 USB ports individually, this provides all the control you need to ensure you’re only powering devices (and paying to do so!) when you actually need them.

 

Smart Lighting
 Not only will you save money with Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit, but you’ll get to be creative too! These smart lights can be connected to your device through Alexa or your existing Nest or Samsung SmartThings system, so you can control when and how your lights come on or off (even if you’re not home!). The creative part? You can adjust the color hues to set the perfect ambiance for waking up, winding down, studying, gaming, and more. Put these bulbs in your favorite lamps or overhead lights, and don’t worry about them going out anytime soon: These bulbs last up to 25,000 hours.

 

Keep your home running smoothly and efficiently this winter with these smart devices, all powered by a strong Internet connection. Contact PMT today to ensure you have the Internet you need to power your home and save!

PMT Pays $337,612 to Customers

PMT is proud to announce that $337,612 was approved by the Board of Directors to be paid out to the cooperative’s members. Project Mutual Telephone Inc. is a non-profit cooperative that pays dividends back to customers based on the Board’s discretion in regard to their annual net revenue. The more services used by each member, the larger their patronage check. This year’s dividend payment will be issued in December and represents a portion of patronage earned in 1995 and 2018.

“We are very proud to be able to return this money to our members. We are the only communication company in the area who pays customers back,” says PMT Board Chairman Dan Lloyd. “Paying customers patronage is a tangible way to say, ‘thanks for doing business locally’ because, without our members, we don’t exist.”

Checks will be mailed the first of December. For those members receiving dividends in the amount of ten dollars or less, the credit will be applied to their December bill.

What is Patronage?

Did you know that as a member of a cooperative you are part owner? Each time you subscribe to one of PMT’s services like High Speed Internet or TV you are not just a customer; you are making an investment in a company that you actually own!

As an owner of a telephone cooperative, you are entitled to benefits that are not available to customers of private or big name telephone companies. These benefits include:

  • You elect each representative on the Board of Directors. Their role is to ensure the cooperative provides the highest quality, best value and latest technologies for you and protect your investment.
  • Any net profit is allocated back to members in the form of patronage dividends. Your percentage is tied directly to what you’ve invested.
  • You can be sure that we aren’t out to make a profit, but rather invest in our communities including members, business and schools that depend on the latest technologies to remain competitive and be successful in today’s global economy.

In order to operate the business, patronage remain with the cooperative for a certain amount of time before they are retired, or returned, to members in the form of patronage dividend checks. Dividends are typically paid during the month of December.

If you do move to an area outside of our service area, your membership status is canceled; any patronage earned will remain with the cooperative until they are retired. It is the former member’s responsibility to notify us of any address changes. In the event that we cannot locate you, after a certain amount of time, unclaimed monies are transferred to the PMT Foundation – our charitable foundation that awards community grants and scholarships. Members can see if they have unclaimed patronage here.

The only exception for paying out an account early is death of a member. There are forms and documentation to submit in order to pay the estate of the deceased member — contact the business office for more details.

 

PMT Delivers $2,200 to Local Elementary Schools

Local elementary schools in Minidoka and Cassia counties recently received a boost in funds as PMT donated $2,200 to the schools. PMT donated the money to the schools as part of a back-to-school promotion they ran. In September and October, PMT customers choose a local elementary school to receive a $50 donation, made on their behalf from PMT, when they signed up or upgraded their PMT Internet.

“This promotion is a win-win for both the schools and our customers,” states Dan Hoover, PMT CEO. “Our member customers are getting the fastest, most reliable internet for their day-to-day needs like homework, work, and entertainment.  At the same time, the schools are benefiting with a much-needed boost to their funds.”

Here is how much each school received this year.

Acequia Elementary received $100

 

Rupert Elementary received $750

 

Paul Elementary received $250

 

Heyburn Elementary received $250

 

Oakley Elementary received $150

 

White Pine Elementary received $200

 

Mountain View Elementary received $100

 

Dworshak Elementary received $250

 

John V. Evans Elementary received $100

2019 Grant Recipients Announced

The PMT Foundation awarded over $15,000 to organizations in the Magic Valley, each seeking to help sustain and improve our community.

“Once again we received grant applications from many worthwhile and deserving organizations from all across the area served by PMT,” states Marianne Welch, PMT Foundation Chairman. “We are pleased to announce our 2019 grant recipients and wish them continued success in their efforts to positively impact many in the communities they serve in the Magic Valley.”

As a customer-owned cooperative, Project Mutual Telephone (PMT) pays patronage dividends back to customers every year based on services used. When those monies go unclaimed for a number of years, they are transferred over to the PMT Foundation, which focuses on furthering education through a scholarship program and supporting community projects through grant awards.

The 2019 recipients were:

  • Oakely Valley Senior Citizens – $4,000 – To purchase tables and chairs for the Heritage Center, as the number of seniors using the center continues to rise.
  • Mini-Cassia Shelter – $3,500 – To replace aged appliances in the safe house
  • Friends of the DeMary Library – $2,534 – To install a set of Handicap Automatic Door Openers on the west side of the Library.
  • Mini-Cassia Search and Rescue – $2,500 – To purchase thermal imagers to help aid in search and rescue missions. The thermal imagers are useful in that they can expedite searches as they work in the dark, and in inclement weather.
  • Wilson Theatre – $2,500 – To purchase a scrim screen to project scenery on the stage for plays, concerts and productions.

 

PMT Grant Applications are awarded once a year and will become available again in the summer of 2020.

 

About PMT Foundation

The PMT Foundation was created in 2006 by the PMT Board of Directors as a charitable foundation. The Foundation helps further education in communities served by PMT through its scholarship program.  It also supports projects and programs that sustain and improve those communities.

 

 

About PMT 

Project Mutual Telephone (PMT) is a full-service communications company providing local telephone and its associated features, including long distance and voicemail, cell phone service, cable TV, IPTV, high-speed internet, directory publishing and computer networking and repair for home and office.  Headquartered in Rupert, Idaho, PMT has been serving the Magic Valley since 1916.  PMT serves 8,000 member customers and has offices in Rupert, Burley and Twin Falls, ID.

Automatically Finding the Best WiFi!

Automatically Finding the Best Wi-Fi Signal Wherever You Are In Your Home

We know how important it is for you to have a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. That’s why many modern gateways (also known as routers, modems or access points) have powerful features designed to help you get the strong connections you want. Here are two of them:

Band steering: keeping you on the road less traveled.

Imagine a single lane highway that carries all the traffic both in, and out of, a town. If it’s a fair-sized town, that road could get pretty congested at times, and vehicles traveling on it can interfere with each other.

Now imagine if that same road was widened into two lanes. Congestion would be halved, and it would be able to carry twice as much traffic.

Wi-Fi is a lot like that.

In the beginning, there was only one Wi-Fi frequency: 2.4 GHz—a single road. As Wi-Fi became more popular, the 5 GHz band was introduced, doubling the amount of traffic a Wi-Fi network can handle.

Older devices can still only operate on the 2.4 GHz band, but newer ones can operate on both. However, in most cases, the device chooses the band. For example, your brand new phone might stay on the 2.4 GHz band as long as it can connect to it, even though there may be less congestion on the 5 GHz band. It will only switch to the 5 GHz band if you tell it to or if it can no longer connect to the 2.4 GHz band.

Some modern gateways don’t leave the choice up to your devices. They monitor how much traffic there is on the 2.4 GHz band and, if it’s too congested, will steer your devices to the less traveled 5 GHz band. Of course, if you still have old devices that can only connect on 2.4 GHz, these gateways will leave them where they are.

Node steering: finding you the best connection.

If you’ve installed a MiHome, a Whole Home Wi-Fi solution from PMT, in your residence, you may have one or more smaller boxes in different parts of your home. These units ‘mesh’ together to expand your Wi-Fi coverage across your entire property—perhaps even to your garage and front and back yards. They receive the signal from your primary gateway and transmit it further afield. In this situation, both the gateway and each of your additional units are referred to as “nodes”.

When you move around with your devices, you’ll move away from your primary gateway and towards one of the other units. Or you may move from one unit’s coverage area to another. In each case, the system will automatically steer—or switch—your devices to the gateway or unit that delivers the strongest signal. You don’t have to do a thing.

PMT Coupon Book

Save Big on Your Favorite PMT Services with the 2019 PMT Coupon Book.

The coupon book is packed full of savings for both current and new customers.  Offers include 3 months free on our most popular services including high-speed internet, cable TV, PMT Mobile and more!