For Immediate Release (03/15/2020)

Gaylord, MN – RS Fiber Cooperative (RS Fiber) will provide two months of free broadband service to eligible low-income households, as a number of Minnesota schools announce closures amid concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Manager of the RS Fiber Network, Winona-based Hiawatha Broadband Communications, Inc. (HBC) made the announcement Monday morning. HBC President Dan Pecarina said that RS Fiber is taking measures to provide free Internet access to eligible low-income families, who are new customers, and for free community Wi-Fi hotspots.

“RS Fiber will be working with local school districts to accelerate the school system’s referrals of local low-income families to ensure every student has access to vital communications services through the RS Fiber Internet Assistance Program,” Pecarina said. “Families who live in RS Fiber member communities and townships can sign up for the program through the school system.”

“RS Fiber is a strong supporter of K-12 education,” said Pecarina. “It is important to all families, schools, and communities that every child is provided the access to on-line learning offered by local school districts.”

RS Fiber is prepared to move quickly to install broadband service to new subscriber families to ensure students aren’t left behind as schools suspend classes and move to on-line learning amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Free Community WiFi Hot Spots will be located in Gaylord at Gaylord Park and in Winthrop at Winthrop Park to provide additional Internet access for the general public.