Internet providers offer ‘free service’ to students

With an end goal to help region students as they get ready for the possibility of distance learning, region web access suppliers are giving families alternatives to enable students’ education proceed.

“We are offering any student that lives in our service area that doesn’t currently have internet services today two months of free internet service … basically through the school year,” Crosslake Communications and ECTC General Manager Josh Netland said. “We have also turned up wireless hotspots. Two of them are in Emily – one at our office and one at city hall – one is at the Fifty Lakes City Hall and then two locations in Crosslake, one being Town Square and the other at the Crosslake Communications office. If parents don’t have a facility at their home, those areas are available as well.”

Students and their families will approach the company’s entrance level package free of charge through the finish of the school year, as will clients of the companies’ TV and telephone services.

“If customers have college students that had to move back home, that does qualify as well,” Netland said.

Moreover, TDS will give web access to low-pay people and families with youngsters and college students for 60 days, as will Charter Spectrum – with establishment expenses waived for these families. CTC is sans offering web speed updates for two months for current clients, and have built up WiFi hotspots at Nisswa Elementary School and a few areas in Brainerd and Baxter.

To attempt to secure the two clients and representatives, Crosslake Communications and ECTC will put forth a valiant effort to offer the types of assistance without going into any houses.

“Any installation that we can do remotely – like a self-install – that is what we will be trying to do,” Netland said. “We will send a piece of equipment home with a customer and walk them through it over the phone. We are not actively trying to go in and out of customers’ homes unless absolutely needed.”

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