JACKSON, NE (KTIV) -- Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, community members and businesses alike are looking for ways to stay connected and engaged.
But, not everyone can do that. That's why one local company is offering free WiFi hotspots across Northeast Nebraska.
"Communication services are so important in 2020 and that's why we really want to keep those going even through this national crisis," said Northeast Nebraska Telephone Company Marketing Manager Melissa Lanzourakis.
"Keeping America Connected." That's the pledge Northeast Nebraska Telephone Company is taking part in from the Federal Communications Commission.
"And what that means is you're not going to disconnect people for late pays and you're going to provide free WiFi hot spots for anyone to use," said Lanzourakis.
So how do those WiFi hot spots work? The concept is pretty simple. Find the the central office in your area. Simply drive up within about 100 feet, staying in your car. Search your WiFi networks until you find NNTC_PandemicFreeWiFi and connect.
"People aren't going to die without WiFi, but it's important to keep communication services up for people," said Lanzourakis.
Next week, that 100-foot range will be extended even farther to 600 feet through WiFi extenders.
"So it will really give a nice range so people won't have to be right on top of the building to get the WiFi signal," said Lanzourakis. "People want that social interaction still. Not everybody has internet at home so we just want to give folks the opportunity to use the internet while they are being quarantined."
Those 22 free drive up WiFi hotspots are spread all throughout northeast Nebraska. They are at:
- Allen - 212 S. Clark St.
- Bartlett - 531 Randolph St.
- Bristow - 202 1/2 Park St.
- Butte - 510 Thayer St.
- Clarks - 106 W. Amity St.
- Clearwater - 306 Nebr. St.
- Coleridge - 114 N. Main St.
- Craig - 196 N. Main St.
- Decatur - 430 W. 7th St.
- Dixon - 208 3rd St.
- Jackson - 116 N. Pigeon St.
- Long Pine - 156 W. 4th St.
- Martinsburg - 5204 Main St.
- Newcastle - 205 Louis St.
- Obert - 213 Hwy 12
- Prague - 301 W. Center Ave.
- Spencer - 107 W. Evans St.
- Staplehurst - 222 N. 5th St.
- Stuart - 105 E. 2nd St.
- Ulysses - 420 C St.
- Weston - 350 Elm St.
- Winside - 203 Vroman St.
NNTC also is offering an internet discount with their internet service, for each student at home, who needs to continue schoolwork online.