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S.D. telecommunications companies offer free internet to households with K-12 students

A Rapid City computer repair service has noticed an increase in scams specifically targeting...
A Rapid City computer repair service has noticed an increase in scams specifically targeting the elderly.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 1:56 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - If your K-12 student is enrolled in classes, you may be eligible for free internet service for the rest of the 2020-21 school year in South Dakota.

Gov. Kristi Noem launched K-12 Connect through South Dakota telecommunications companies.

“Given the unprecedented disruption for many of our K-12 students, we want to make sure there isn’t a gap in learning this year,” Gov. Noem said. “So many South Dakotans are stepping up to help, and I want to thank the South Dakota telecommunications companies that are teaming up with us to make this access possible.”

Eligible households will receive a letter this week indicating eligibility and identifying a telecommunications company to call to access free internet service through K-12 Connect.

To enroll, eligible households must call the telecommunications company noted in their letter to set up service. Enrollment closes Nov. 20, 2020.

Providers will install the necessary equipment on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Households must meet all of the following:

  • Have at least one student currently enrolled in an accredited South Dakota K-12 school;
  • Must meet the income eligibility guidelines for the free and reduced school lunch program;
  • The household was not subscribed to a fixed broadband internet service as of July 1, 2020

Internet service will be provided through June 30, 2021. After that time, the household must return the equipment to the provider or continue services at the household’s expense.

More information, including options for households who may qualify but don’t receive a letter, can be found at k12connect.sd.gov.

Telecommunications companies who are participating in K-12 Connect include:

  • Alliance Communications Cooperative
  • Beresford Municipal Telephone Company
  • Faith Municipal Telephone Company
  • Fort Randall Telephone Company
  • Golden West Telecommunications
  • Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative
  • Kennebec Telephone Company
  • Long Lines Broadband
  • Midco
  • Midstate Communications
  • RC Technologies
  • Santel Communications Cooperative
  • Swiftel Communications/Brookings Municipal Telephone
  • TrioTel Communications
  • Valley Telecommunications Cooperative
  • Vast
  • Venture Communications Cooperative
  • West River Cooperative Telephone Company
  • West River Telecommunications Cooperative

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.