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Nex-Tech expands public broadband access
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It is nearly impossible to imagine life without the modern conveniences we take for granted. Electricity, phone service, even running water were merely luxuries to many rural Americans just a couple of generations ago. Today, these services are termed necessities for residential and certainly commercial development.

The explosive expansion of personal computers, mobile communications and high-speed Internet service, or broadband, is rapidly redefining the ways in which people live, work and play. In fact, broadband service has become a critical necessity for any community wanting to attract families or businesses.

In an effort to ensure universal broadband accessibility, Nex-Tech is providing free broadband and Wi-Fi connections to 35 public libraries in central and northwest Kansas.

For small community libraries like the Norcatur Public Library, the donation addresses a critical need. "We now have super fast Internet capabilities for free," according to librarian, Deb Marshall. "Our limited income can now be spent on better uses such as updating our books, getting our books cataloged, which we couldn’t remotely do without good, fast, reliable Internet, and other items to continue to make our library updated and user friendly," she added.

Nex-Tech/Rural Telephone CEO/General Manager Larry Sevier said the donation exemplifies Nex-Tech’s dedication to partnering with, and giving back to, the communities it serves. "Even as Nex-Tech continues to expand broadband availability throughout central and northwest Kansas, the organization understands that providing free public-access Wi-Fi connections is critical to ensure that every individualregardless of incomehas access to these essential services," he said.

Sevier stated that this donation of free services would collectively amount to approximately $21,000 per year into the central and northwest Kansas economy.

Locations with free broadband service and free public Wi-Fi access donated by Nex-Tech: Almena City Library; Atwood Public Library; Burr Oak Community Library; Courtland City Library; Doctor F Lee Public Library, Agra; Downs Carnegie Library; Gove City Library; Graham County Public Library; Grainfield City Library; Great Bend Public Library; Hays Public Library; Hoisington Library; Jay Johnson Public Library, Quinter; Jennings City Library; Kirwin Public Library; Lebanon City Library; Lenora Public Library; Logan Public Library; Long Island Community Library; Natoma Public Library; Norcatur Public Library; Northwest Kansas Library System, Norton; Norton Public Library; Oberlin City Library; Osborne Public Library; Palco Library; Phillipsburg City Library; Plainville Memorial Library; Russell Public Library; Selden Public Library; Sheridan County Library; Smith Center Public Library; Stockton Public Library; Sunshine City Library, Prairie View; WaKeeney Public Library

Free broadband service donated by Nex-Tech: Kensington Community School Library

Free public Wi-Fi access donated by Nex-Tech: Republic Library