A lot of vendors came knocking at our door during the initial COVID-19 crises but the one that not only knocked but said what can WE do to help the kids was Nextlink! And that really meant a lot to me – they had already provided excellent Internet service and support to Springtown ISD – but they wanted to know what else they could do.
After some brainstorming and discussions on what they could or couldn’t do because of “regulations” they came up with a solution to provide free Internet at each of our campus parking lots, not only for those students who didn’t have home Internet but for all community members. They provided high-powered radios, ran the wires and connected to the district’s network. I then provided some basic filtering and we started advertising the availability of this community Internet access.
There are many a night that I drive through town and the parking lot looks like what I would imagine a drive-in theater looked years ago. People sitting on the back of their pickups – and I assume the parents were watching streaming videos while their kids worked on their online school assignments.
After a successful implementation and rollout – Steve Burks called and said what else can we do? What other issues can Nextlink step up and help with? I explained the latest issue – getting connectivity to those kids who have no Internet. He put his team to work on it and gave us a proposal that would provide individual homes with connectivity to the ISD. Looking at the numbers you could tell that they would take a financial hit with this – but again – this was something they are willing to do … for the kids!
The Kids and Staff of Springtown ISD says THANK YOU NEXTLINK! And I say Thank you Katy and Susan for providing an awesome support system for a cranky old technology director!
Chief Technology Officer