How Nex-Tech Bridges the Digital Divide with Free Internet Hotspots

April 4, 2024

Long before many of the federal and state programs to support digital adoption and inclusion, long before digital equipment giveaways became mainstream, long before the nationwide effort to bridge the digital divide, Nex-Tech has been committed to all of these in our service footprint. For a start, we came into existence due to a lack of service in rural Kansas which motivated some farmers to build their telephone network. Despite the technology change, we have remained consistent in connecting rural communities. We have been at the forefront of meeting the digital needs of communities across northwest and central Kansas. To date, Nex-Tech has provided digital equipment ranging from digital scoreboards for schools to free mobile phones and free laptops, to the installation of hundreds of free Wi-Fi Hotspots across towns, cities, places of recreation, places of relaxation, schools, restaurants, places of worship, and more.

Today, Nex-Tech has free Wi-Fi Hotspots in over 250 community locations around northwest and central Kansas.

These Hotspots allow men, women, and children to connect to the Internet and participate in the digital economy. These are critical community institutions- anchor institutions that enable community life. These are opportunities for relaxation, learning, trade, tourism, governance, etc. These are practical avenues for ensuring that people living in rural Kansas get the best Internet service, irrespective of their income, as they are free of charge.

Furthermore, we have given special attention to our local libraries for many years. We recognize that libraries are more than just for learning; they are places of networking, reflection, and sharing ideas and are crucial to community life. Nex-Tech is currently the service provider for over 30 libraries across our footprint. This means that besides free Wi-Fi hotspots at these libraries, we are doing more by providing them with mainstream Internet connectivity of 500 Mbps connection or higher.

We believe that reliable, affordable, and future-proof broadband should be available to all regardless of income, status, age, profession, or the population of a town. This is why we have connected most of our service areas to 100% fiber – the very best broadband in the world. This is why we now offer 1 Gig symmetrical speeds across our service footprint – faster speeds for a comparatively lower price. This is why we give out small loans to help businesses succeed and thrive through our revolving loan fund.

The push to end the telephone connectivity divide was the reason for our establishment in the 1950s. We continue in that same spirit today, by seeking to end the digital divide of the 21st century. We believe that no one living in our footprint should have less service or less access than those living in the big cities. So will continue to offer free Wi-Fi services across our footprint. We will continue to offer the best fiber connectivity. We will continue to work to bridge the digital divide.

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We are currently constructing fiber networks. Find out if your address is in a fiber construction area here.

Friday Otuya

Connect with Friday

Friday Otuya
Community Engagement Specialist

Friday Otuya /əoTU:ya:/ drives our multifaceted community economic development efforts and is the Nex-Tech contact for all our loan and grant programs. His vision is to position Nex-Tech as the community economic development partner of choice in Kansas for federal, state, and local stakeholders.  He lives with his wife and son in Hays, KS.

Weekdays: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.