Gaylord, MN – RS Fiber Cooperative (RSF) is taking additional measures to protect customers from losing essential broadband services by extending the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

“Many of our customers continue to endure significant financial challenges because of COVID-19,” RS Fiber General Manager Ben Ranft said. “RS Fiber understands that and is committed to helping our most financially vulnerable customers keep their services which have become even more essential in this pandemic environment because of online learning and working from home.”

Extension of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge means:

-Free broadband service to qualified low-income households. Eligible households must have school-aged children enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program or the Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP).

-Temporarily suspending disconnections of service due to failure to pay and waiving late fees for customers.

-Maintaining free access to RS Fiber Community Wi-Fi hotspots.

Since signing the initial FCC pledge in March, RS Fiber has worked with local school districts to make sure each student, their families, and teachers would have access to broadband for both education and working from home through its wired and wireless networks. RS Fiber continues to make its community Wi-Fi access points available free of charge.

Throughout this pandemic, RS Fiber Installation Technicians have been safely connecting and servicing customers while following strict safety protocols. All employees must pass a daily health screening which includes temperature checks, before being allowed to serve customers. Local RS Fiber offices are open by appointment only with customers being asked to answer several health-related questions prior to scheduling any appointment. These protocols will remain in place to protect our customers and employees and to help stop the spread of COVID-19. HBC is proud to report that these precautions have kept all employees healthy and virus free.

According to Ranft, RS Fiber will continue to implement these safety measures as long as they are needed.

“It is important that we do everything thing we can to be able to safely serve our customers and continue to provide them with the tools they need to be successful in both work and school,” Ranft said.