HAYS — Nex-Tech has connected more than 120 households to free internet service since Kansas schools closed for the semester, company officials said. Nex-Tech has also responded to increased bandwidth usage caused by people working from home.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the March 17 announcement by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly to close schools through the remainder of the 2020 school year, Nex-Tech initiated a continuous learning initiative and announced its program March 26. To successfully implement the program and ensure students had access to internet for remote education, Nex-Tech worked with dozens of schools in its service area to identify households without internet.
“We understood the extreme importance of ensuring learning was not interrupted for students in our area and our team came together quickly to make that happen,” said Dustin Schlaefli, director of Customer Engagement at Nex-Tech. “Since launching the program, we have received numerous positive comments and thank you notes from our customers and the schools. That’s a good feeling and makes us proud that we are able to help.”
In addition to the state-wide shift to online learning, an increase in the number of people working from home has also added to higher demand for reliable Internet service. Since March, Nex-Tech has experienced a significant spike of internet usage during the day. Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., bandwidth usage has increased 30% to 45% as compared to pre-pandemic. Despite the increased network usage, Nex-Tech has met the demand, Schlaefli said. “Our network was built to scale and was designed with the future in mind. We were ready and have successfully absorbed increased usage without affecting user experience.”