Hiawatha Broadband Communications (HBC) will provide free broadband for two months to eligible low-income households, as a number of Minnesota and Wisconsin announce schools closures amid concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

HBC is taking measures to provide free internet access to eligible low-income families, who are new customers, and for community Wi-Fi hotspots, President Dan Pecarina announced on Friday.

“HBC is working with Winona Area Public Schools, and other southeast Minnesota school districts, to accelerate the school system’s referrals of local low-income families to ensure every student has access to vital communications services through the HBC Internet Assistance Program,” Pecarina said. “Families who live in the company’s service area can sign up for the program through the school system.”

“HBC is a strong supporter of K-12 education,” said Pecarina. “It is important to our families, schools and communities that all children are provided the access to on-line learning offered by local school districts. HBC’s Internet Assistance Program for low-income families has been in place for 10 years with more than 7 school districts participating in the program.”

HBC is prepared to move quickly to install broadband service to new subscriber families to ensure students aren’t left behind as schools suspend classes and move to on-line learning.

Eligible participants must live in an HBC service area and be enrolled in the free/reduced-cost School Lunch Program or the TAP (Telephone Assistance Program).

Eligible families should call a local HBC Customer Care Representative at (888) 474-9995 to sign-up for the two month free Internet Assistance Program.

Hiawatha Broadband Communications, Inc. (HBC) delivers cutting edge telecommunications services to communities in southeastern Minnesota. Founded in 1997, HBC builds and operates hybrid fiber and Fiber-To-The-Home networks providing Gigabit broadband services to residential customers and 10 Gigabit or more service to business customers. In addition, HBC uses this fiber network as a backbone for providing wireless broadband in rural areas. The company offers a video service selection of more than 300 channels, digital music, pay-per-view and extensive local programming produced by HBC Studios. The company has over 110 employees supporting, retail, wholesale, construction, business consulting and Wizard support divisions in over 30 communities.
For additional information, or to schedule an interview, please contact
David Dicke at ddicke@hbci.com or (507) 474-5884.

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