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Rural Distance Learning Gets a Tech Boost in Oklahoma and Texas

Posted by Chad Rupe, Administrator, Rural Utilities Services in Broadband Rural
Apr 02, 2020
A Hilliary Communications technician installs free Wi-Fi
Hillary Communications has stepped up when needed most during the COVID-19 by installing free Wi-Fi in 57 different communities. Photo by Hilliary Communications.

Hilliary Communications, which serves parts of Oklahoma and Texas, has reinforced its commitment to its customers and communities with a series of upgrades in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. This is especially important since students across the state will begin distance learning on April 6 as schools across the region go back into session remotely.

To address this emerging challenge, first Hilliary identified 57 locations in eight Oklahoma counties for community Wi-Fi locations, which will receive free internet daily between 8am and 9pm. The number of locations and the time the high-speeds will be available will allow local students to continue to learn while also prioritizing social distancing, which has been so important in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Second, Hilliary is giving its customers the ability to upgrade their current speed at no charge until the pandemic passes. Finally, Hilliary will offer up to a 25Mbps package to any household with a child in school at no charge for 90 days while also waiving installation fees in the process.

USDA Rural Development’s partnership with Hilliary extends more than 50 years, back to 1967 – and just recently two of its subsidiaries were recipients of investments in the first round of our ReConnect Program. Both Oklahoma Western Telephone Company and Border to Border Communications have received a combined $14.6 million to provide fiber to the premises over more than a thousand square miles of rural Oklahoma and Texas. They anticipate nearly 5,500 rural households will have access to high speed broadband upon completion.

Medicine Park, Oklahoma town hall and fire station
A Hilliary Communications technician installs free Wi-Fi at the Medicine Park, Oklahoma town hall and fire station. Hilliary has made a series of free upgrades to help its customers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo by Hilliary Communications.
Category/Topic: Broadband Rural